Custom Vintage feat. Dualleh Abdulrahman

April 15th, 2014

You may remember Dualleh Abdulrahman from our recent March Menswear Giveaway. He made it to the finals of the contest but didn’t win, although he easily stole the “People’s Champ” crown when you take a look at the comments on the Top 13 post.

He was my personal favorite entry to last month’s giveaway, so I asked him to send us more pics so we could share his style and story…

“My name is Dualleh Abdulrhamn, I’m 36 years old, half Irag/half Somalie! Born in Dubai.

I’m an artist, photographer, clothing customizer & stylist living in the Netherlands. This crazy mix of interests has always made me an outcast. Kids always made fun of the way I looked because I was tall & skinny, and clothes never fit me properly. I’m 6’2″ with a slim neck & long arms. So typical a size ‘Small’ fits well at the neck, but the sleeves are way too short.

This made me want to try sewing my own clothes at a young age…but I didn’t have money to buy fabric. When I was 25 I started browsing the local thrift stores to find cheap garments that I could practice altering and customizing. If I ruined a couple pieces it wasn’t a big deal – we’re only talking a few Euros at the thrift store here.

I looked up to Prince & Lenny Kravitz as style icons – everything they wore i tried to find it at the thrift store and make it my own. I also love the 1920s working man style…and German soldiers clothing. So i try to mix it all and create a look that is only me… I think style is important because it’s the first way to express your creativity & personality.

When looking for new style updates I usually go to my favorite cafe to watch people pass by. I just take elements from what I see. Of course, I try to focus on people who are similar to me, tall and skinny, and focus on elements that would work for me personally. As Dan often says on Articles of Style, know your strengths – just because something works for one guy, doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you… But maybe you can tweak it ;)”

Here’s five looks from Dualleh’s vintage-heavy personal style, along with some of his clever Do-It-Yourself customizations that make his thrift store finds even more unique and personal.

1. Chopped & Screwed 


Cotton blazer by Canda, Shirt by WE, Coat by WB Lace & Co, Pants Vintage (recut), Shoes by Van Lier, Laces by Hickies,Bag by Frye (Vintage), Tie Vintage tweed (No Brand)

“This military trench coat was was really long – it covered my knees. I chopped it to make it more contemporary and versatile for the Spring. I also recut these vintage high-waisted trousers to look more style-forward and fit with my typical silhouette… Most of my trousers are vintage and self tailored.”

2. Collar Swap


Shirt by Canda (thrifted), Tweed tie Vintage, Tweed waistcoat by Peek & Cloppenburg (vintage),  Wool blazer by Hugo Boss (thirfted), Tweed cargo pants by Regent (thrifted), Shoes by Arange

“This shirt had a regular collar on it, but I didn’t like the shape of it… So I removed it and replaced it with a club collar (made from the fabric that I cut off the hem – the shirt was very long).”

3. Tube Tie


Shirt Vintage, Waistcoat by We, Leather tie DIY, Blazer by Zara, Pants by Levis Vintage, Boots by Arange  

“Leather tie: I made it out of bicycle inner tube! I also cut a skinny vintage belt to add ankle straps to these boots, since they were a little loose around the ankle.”

4. DIY Neckwear


Blazer by Harris tweed (Vintage), Shirt by Canda, Vintage tie made into a bowtie, Leather DB waistcoat Vintage (No Brand), Tweed pants by Heritage, Boots Vintage (No brand), Propellor pin vintage, Pocket watch & skull key chain by H&M

“I made this skinny vintage bowtie out of a skinny vintage necktie. It’s a very easy way to have a one-of-a-kind piece of neckwear… I also like that I can customize the shape and size (I like my bowties on the small/slim side).”

5. Worth the Effort


Shirt by Canda, Tie Vintage, Jean jacket by American Today, Leather waistcoat same as look 4, Pants by Canda, Shoes by Van Bommel. 

“This double-breasted leather vest needed a lot of work and alterations…but it was certainly worth it. Sometimes a piece is just so cool that it’s worth putting some effort into… I’m also wearing it in Look #4 above – 1 Piece/2 Ways!” (Also a waistcoat/double-breasted waistcoat mini story in here while you’re at it).



Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier