Perro: The collection tried and reviewed
I don’t think Per and Rock (below) will mind me saying that when I first saw the products and looks coming from their new brand, Perro, they didn’t have a big impact on me.
The two of them - previously at menswear shops Linnegatan 2 and Sartorial respectively - had set up Perro offering knitwear and trousers, some shirts, and stocking other brands such as Bryceland’s.
The stories they told weren’t usually product-led (and I am always at heart, a product guy) while the shoots were nice, but didn’t have the kind of aesthetic vision of people like Rubato or Stoffa.
In fact, I think it says something interesting about how fashion is consumed today that you need this kind of visual identity to have an impact. Everyone and everything is online, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re in Seoul or Stockholm, you need something different to cut through.
That’s a pity, because it does make it harder to spot brands doing good product with a few nice touches, or ones just serving a local market particularly well.
This point about locality struck me when I spoke to Rock and Per on Zoom, last month.
Per was calling from the Perro shop, in Copenhagnen. Rock was at home in Amsterdam. Having never really considered Copenhagen from a fashion point of view, I asked Per what it was like.
“There’s a lot of interest in fashion here, and design in general,” he said, “but there’s little awareness of alternative ways to dress more smartly. We’ve had quite a few people interested in the products, but they usually don’t wear similar things at the moment - it’s a lot of streetwear.”
The core aim of Perro is offer an alternative: a capsule collection that isn’t streetwear, but isn’t tailoring either; that makes most people in Copenhagen looked more dressed up day to day, but also rather elegant at a meeting, a dinner, or any other social occasion.
That collection doesn’t have to be very new or unusual in international menswear. It just has to be better than what’s around the corner.
The day after we spoke, Per hosted a launch party for the new shop. We spoke again two weeks later, after I had been sent some pieces to try. It seemed the event had borne out Per’s hopes for the local reaction.
“It was interesting, we had a lot of creative types here - I think there were three or four photographers,” he said. “But few of them had seen much like this before. I guess it’s easy to forget that a lot of people live in a different bubble of brands and styles to yours.”
So for all those readers - browsing Instagram and shopping online - what does Perro offer that’s different? Why plump for their trousers, shirts or knits over Anglo cottons, Armoury shirts or A&S sweaters?
I tried most of the product after our initial call, and then discussed my thoughts with Per and Rock afterwards, to get their reactions. This is my breakdown.
Starting with the trousers, Rock says they seem to fit everyone, or at least more than almost any others he’s worn. And once you try them in person, you can see why.
They’re a nice mid-rise, sitting just at the top of the hip bones - the perfect height as far as I’m concerned. Flattering, but not anachronistic or uncomfortable. A fairly average hem size of 20.5cm.
But the leg line is what makes them fit a lot of people - the thigh and knee are very generous, almost of the point of being a look. This means they’ll fit anyone with a bigger seat or thighs, while the taper stops them being a simple wide-legged trouser.
“I worked with a few brands previously, and the leg line was always so skinny,” says Rock. “They really didn’t fit many people. Plus the rise was either very low or very high, nothing in the middle.”
Per didn’t have quite the same issue, “but I really like the balance on the trousers - the way they’re generous but tapered. It took a while to get that right,” he said.
I tried the dark-brown cotton, and liked them so much I kept them. The material is also somewhere between a normal soft tailoring cotton and a tougher chino material (from Brisbane Moss), which appealed.
The knitwear is more varied.
The shetland jumpers have a fit that I really like too - wider in the chest, slimmer in the hem, like the heritage fit of Rubato but less extreme. That larger upper body is flattering, but it’s also long enough to go with any rise of trouser.
“The longer ribbing helps as well,” said Per. “And I like the fact that when the ribbing folds over, you still see a bit of it because of that length. The texture of the ribbing is an important part of the overall look, so it’s a shame if it’s hidden.”
I tried the rust-coloured shetland (above), but found the colour too bright for me. I might try the brown in the future.
The fit of the collared knit and the roll necks are the same, but without the extended ribbing. The crewnecks are more generic in make and fit, being from a different supplier.
The collared knit (above) I found had too large a collar and opening for me - not that it won’t find favour with others, but it was a bit too dramatic for my taste.
I actually thought the same would apply to the flannel shirts, but I was proved wrong.
They do have quite a large collar, but as soon as you wear it under a jacket for a few minutes (or, to force it, shape it with your fingers) the collar develops a pleasing roll, which rather shortens the length and makes it look more natural.
“I had the same fear when I first saw them,” said Per. “But they softened nicely. We still want it to be a collar that gets a reaction, but not one that looks too 2021, too fashion.”
The shirt is also designed to be worn both untucked and tucked-in, which is a hard balance to get right.
I found it worked on me, but I think it depends heavily on your physical proportions and trouser rise. If you’re shorter, a shorter length will look better when the shirt is untucked. But if you wear a lower rise, you need a longer length for the shirt to stay tucked in.
I could have worn a Medium or a Large (see the bottom of the post for other sizing details) but went with the Large so I could get enough length in the body. I reckoned I could always slim the body later if I wanted.
“Honestly, I think it’s interesting how much people are playing around with sizing these days,” says Per. “Guys can wear two, sometimes even three sizes - it’s just a question of the style they want. With formal clothing things are more ‘correct’, but less so with anything slightly casual.”
The shirt I tried was the brown puppytooth (below), which I’ve found is not the easiest colour to wear. It needs something like black, cream or maybe dark denim to create enough contrast (unless you’re going for the double puppytooth look). But it is a great colour when you do. I may look at the white in the future.
I hope that gives readers a sense of both what Perro is trying to do, and what is interesting about some of the products.
A slightly larger thigh or a collar that moulds are not the easiest things to get across on Instagram, but on PS we try to get a little deeper. A little more informed.
I know Rock and Per have been hit by lots of delays in the past two years trying to get their brand up and running. I wish them all the best in 2022, and hope they have fewer frustrations.
The Perro store at Ahornsgade 18 in Copenhagen is half store, half studio, and is only open on Thursdays and Fridays. The site is PerroOfficial.com.
Rock and Per are also holding some trunk shows, including one recently in Gothenburg, Sweden.
In the clothes I have mentioned, I went with a size Large in the safari shirt, a Medium in the sweaters, and a 48 in the trousers. The latter needed taking in about an inch in the waist, and hemming to length.