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Dave Dahlen’s style advice in 2 words: Quality matters – Rochester Minnesota news, weather, sports

Dave Dahlin, Mayo Clinic’s Education Compliance Officer, appreciates learning something new every day.

For example, Dahlin, an avid cyclist, learned he could ride his bike from Zumbrota to Duluth in just over 10 hours.

Recently, he realized the importance of being a volunteer at St. Mary’s and Methodist Hospitals pushing his “gratitude wagon”.

“We walk into clinical departments and some non-clinical areas in hospitals and just say thank you to the staff for their hard work,” Dahlin said.

“A simple candy bar is not that easy, but some of the employees were surprised in a very good way.”

Daley and his wife Ann, residents of Zumbrotta since 1994, have two sons — Paul an ICU nurse in May and Luke, an Augustana senior in Sioux Falls.

Dave Dahlen Monday, December 20, 2021, in Rochester.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Please tell us about your method.

I’m not sure anyone has combined the words “Dave Dahlen” and “style” in the same sentence. While working at Mayo, I focused on looking professional. Before Covid, I wore a shirt and tie every day – without exception. Prior to my work at Mayo, I worked at three colleges and universities. I started working at Rochester Community and Technical College at the age of 25 and many of my students were older than me, so I wore a zip-up shirt and tie to look much older. I no longer have this challenge.

Inspiration sources?

When I was a college student, I had dinner with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Schlesinger was a noted historian and served as a special advisor to President John F. Kennedy. Schlesinger was noted to be wearing an elegantly knotted tie. After I met him, I told myself I’d wear my bow tie when I got “old”. But I guess I wasn’t that old until I was 45. I spent an evening watching YouTube videos and teaching myself how to hook them up. Around 2011, I started wearing the tie to work on Fridays. I continued this tradition until we moved to working from home with COVID. I’m less formal now, but I’ll wear a tie when I have an important presentation via Zoom.

Any special ties?

I have some holidays that I enjoy.

What do you hope your style will communicate when you also work and volunteer?

In my first job at Mayo, I worked closely with students and residents in the College of Medicine and Science. My goal was to serve learners so that they could focus on completing their educational program without additional concerns. The calm and professional appearance helped me, therefore, a very good learner. …One of my co-workers had a peevish of rude shoes, so I always tried to keep my shoes polished.

What are the most important components of your wardrobe?

A few years ago for my birthday my wife gave me a simple T-shirt she picked up from Hanny’s. The brand was 2undr. These are incredibly soft and comfortable. They also do a great job at absorbing moisture. Over the years, I’ve gotten more. It’s not that expensive, but I really like it and it doesn’t really wear out, so I now have enough that I always wear one of these shirts. I think the most important part of my wardrobe is the part that no one sees.

What should be in every good-looking man’s wardrobe, including any accessories?

One properly fitted suit, a nice white shirt and a pair of comfortable dress shoes. Most of us have to wear clothes at least once in our lives.

Do you have a priceless sentimental piece?

I grew up in International Falls and as a kid, my dad always wore a Bemidji Woolen Mills coat. After my father passed away, I ended up with the jacket. I wore it for a while, but it became a light teddy bear. Neither the style of this jacket nor its fleece has changed much since the 1930s and they still make it in Bemidji. I managed to get a replacement like my dad. …I also have some woolen shirts that I wear as light jackets. I think it’s amazing that a company that started in the 1920’s making warm, durable clothing for the lumber industry is still operated by the same family and that 100 percent of their products are made in northern Minnesota.

Anything about your wardrobe that people might find surprising?

All my real tie. There are no clamps.

Favorite season in terms of clothes?

late autumn. I love soft mornings when I’m wearing shorts and a sweatshirt.

Favorite places to shop here?

When I got my job at Mayo, I had to buy a few suits – I only had one. Thomas Kramer worked with me at the time, and he and the guys at Hanny’s always treated me like I was their most important client. I’m “pathologically loyal”, so why would I shop elsewhere?

Anything special “Minnesota” about your style?

My everyday items are products from Bemidji Woolen Mills and shoes made in Red Wing. I own two pairs of Red Wing Heritage shoes. Nothing says “Minnesota” more than the combination of Red Wing shoes, Bemidji jackets, and Wolin Mills. The companies support local jobs and produce high-quality materials. I love supporting local businesses, especially those rooted in Minnesota. Besides, the products last forever and look really cool.

Parting thoughts?

The importance of quality. Paying a little more the first time usually results in a quality item that will last a lifetime.

Do you know someone with a unique style? Send nominations to


With “your style” in the subject line.


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