Seasoned Gentlemen at Pitti Uomo 83

Pitti Uomo 83 & Seasoned Gentlemen

The other day, I discussed a few trends and outfits from the 83rd  Pitti Uomo in Florence. While the general public is likely to focus on youthful trends and cuts, I thought it was time to take a closer look at the outfits of the more seasoned gentlemen. More often than not, their outfits are a bit more reserved and more wearable in everyday life. Without a doubt, this whole event is a show and most men – including the veterans – want to be recognized for their style, which in itself is anything but stylish. Nevertheless, certain trends are set on this kind of international stage, and I am sure we will see one fashion choice or another spread over the coming year.

Old School

You might not believe it, but there are actually some men at Pitti Uomo who dress in an old school way. Giancarlo Maresca below wears a chalk stripe navy suit with a solid dark blue overcoat, a solid shirt, a red patterned tie, a brown scarf and a light grey felt fedora with a contrasting brown hat band and dark brown gloves. In combination with his horn glasses, it is very classic and old school without calling for attention.  The gentleman on the left wears a great DB navy overcoat and a Homburg hat in a stunning color combination. The bow tie is large but works with the outfit, while the red gloves and orange case are a bit too bright to be considered old school.

Giancarlo Maresca & Members of the Cavalleresco Ordine dei Guardiani delle Nove Porte Dei Guardiani

Mr. Piscione, Giancarlo Maresca, Italo Borello of the Cavalleresco Ordine dei Guardiani delle Nove Porte Dei Guardiani

Old school classic DB suit with hat

Old school classic DB suit with hat

Black & white is the right format for this picture – it can’t get more old school than that.

Plaid Ulster overcoat with Tattersall shirt, tartan tie, with snap brim fedora and silm hat band

Plaid Ulster overcoat with Tattersall shirt, tartan tie, with snap brim fedora and silm hat band

From a distance, this outfit looks very traditional, and once you get closer you see all the patterns: the plaid overcoat, the tartan tie and the tattersall shirt. It looks a bit like he is trying too hard, but on the other hand, this is more subdued than many outfits the Prince of Wales sported in the thirties. The briefcase is too much in my opinion, but each to his own.

Double breasted overcoats with attache case & felt hats

Double breasted overcoats with brief cases & felt hats

Trendy

For many men, their age does not keep them from going wearing bold colors, trendy cuts and huge patterns in a modern way. Nick Wooster is one of them, showcasing his supersize plaid suit in this picture. Despite all that, he is always very careful about his color coordination.

Nick Wooster in Tartan

Nick Wooster in Tartan

Michael Macko, the curator of Mrket, is always fashion conscious; he pulled off a gray suit with bold red stripes and a matching stole. There were quite a few men that wore these large scarves, but Michael was the only one who matched! It certainly made him stand out from the crowd.

Michael Macko in Matching Grey & Red Stripes

Michael Macko in Matching Grey & Red Stripes

This person put together an outfit in all blue – not very creative but is works for him.

All blue

All blue

Dread locks, dark colors & a gigantic scarf

Dread locks, dark colors & a gigantic scarf

This way he wears his hair works for him, but not many could pull it off. For my taste, his combination is a little bit too dark, but he clearly was focused on bringing together different textures.

Knit hat with two tone overcoat

Knit hat with two tone overcoat

Personally, I am not a great fan of knit hats unless I am on the slopes, but it certainly makes you look a bit more youthful.

Over the top colorful outfit in green, purple & mirrored sunglasses with reading glasses

Over the top colorful outfit in green, purple & mirrored sunglasses with reading glasses

We saw this character at the last Pitti with the same colorful glasses. This time, he added more bold colors and mirrored sunglasses à la Top Gun – he reminds me more of a Christmas tree designed by Hundertwasser or Gaudi rather than an deliberate outfit.

Classically Inspired

Others wore classically inspired outfits with a slight twist that grounded them in tradition but freshened the overall look. The gentleman below opted for a classic mottled gray herringbone suit with a club collar shirt, a collar pin and a plaid tie. However, the watch strap clearly breaks with the old school look and it suits him well.

Grey herringbone three piece suit with madras style tie

Grey herringbone three piece suit with madras style tie

Walking Cane & Spats

Walking Cane & Spats

During the twenties, spats and canes were a wardrobe staple of elegant gentleman. Ever since, they have yet to return to fashionable status, and hence they give outfits a vintage look at best and a costume-y feel at the worst. In any case, it is a way to stand out from the crowd, if that’s what you are after.

Unusual DB suit with an elevated Kent Fasson

Unusual DB suit with an elevated Kent Fasson

The same gentleman, interestingly, does not wear a traditional suit. Just look at the buttoning point of the coat and how high it is positioned. The classic 4×1 Kent Fasson is located considerably lower and this look breaks with the vintage silhouette and is something I would expect from a designer.

Vintage jacket & leather bag with scarf in mismatching brown tones

Vintage jacket & leather bag with scarf in mismatching brown tones

Personally, I don’t like the look of this color combination – the browns are too different to harmonize, but not different enough to create a good a amount of contrast.

Simone Ringhi in blue

Simone Ringhi in blue

Olive green velvet DB coat with Green tie, white shirt, green-white pocket square and green boutonniere

Olive green velvet DB coat with Green tie, white shirt, green-white pocket square and green boutonniere

This green outfit is probably my favorite: it is different, yet subtle, harmonizing and it underlines the character of this person with the bold glasses and individual haircut without screaming for attention.

Navy chalk stripe suit with red socks & brown suede captoe oxfords

Navy chalk stripe suit with red socks & brown suede captoe oxfords

Navy chalk stripe suits are classic and can be combined with many things. Personally, I like the upgrade with grey mother of pearl buttons more than the red socks, but suede shoes are always a good option.

Gianni Fontana with floral print tie with navy chalk stripe suit & mother of pearl buttons

Gianni Fontana with floral print tie with navy chalk stripe suit & mother of pearl buttons

Mid Gray Flannel Suit with black double monk shoes & navy overcoat

Mid Gray Flannel Suit with black double monk shoes & navy overcoat

Great look. Sophisticated, well combined.

Double breasted overcoats in light gray & brown without gloves or scarf

Double breasted overcoats in light gray & brown without gloves or scarf

Overcoats look better with scarves, gloves and a hat. That aside, I adore both of these overcoats because they are double breasted and they are tailored of interesting fabrics without being bold.

Casentino style cloth with plaid tie

Casentino style cloth with plaid tie

Mid Gray Flannel Coat with gapping collar, knit tie & pastel red trousers

Mid Gray Flannel Coat with gaping collar, knit tie & pastel red trousers

Interesting mix of gray and pastel red, though a gaping collar will always make you look poorly put together.

Bold plaid jacket with black cardigan, white shirt

Bold plaid jacket with black cardigan, white shirt

Interesting combination of black and white  - I adore the large scale pattern of the jacket but I would probably wear it differently, maybe with a tie in a better contrasting fabric or color palette.

Constructed Sprezzatura

Last but not least, here are two examples of men who tried to hard to look relaxed. To me, it seems like they spent 2 hours putting together their outfit and they just wait outside to take a call in the hope someone will take a picture of them. Personally, I am not fond of this style at all, what do you think?
These mirrored sunglasses remind me bad 80′s pilot trends,  but like so many things in fashion these  return every other decade…

Mirrored sunglasses & teal DB overcoat

Mirrored sunglasses & teal DB overcoat

Cardigan with Windowpane Ulster, volumious scarf & one of a kind hair style

Cardigan with Windowpane Ulster, volumious scarf & one of a kind hair style

Conclusion

Overall, it seems to me like the more seasoned gentlemen did not dress as flamboyantly as many younger chaps, although you always have to bear in mind everybody wants to impress with individual style at events like Pitti. I venture to guess that older men are more interested in pleasing themselves than in putting on a show, but it’s hard to generalize about Pitti’s fashion-focused attendees!

What is your favorite outfit and why?

Picture Credit: GuerreismsTommy Tonstyle.itleeoliveira.comdowneastandoutWGSN
11 replies
  1. Qwon
    Qwon says:

    Thanks for another great post Sven. I am curious about your thoughts on the way that Mr. Giancarlo Maresca put on his tie. I assume there is a name for such style menswear blogosphere but I’ve seen similar style donned by other gentlemen especially Italians. Is this some “sprezzatura” way of putting on a tie? There is some aesthetic into it, but I don’t majority of men can never pull it off.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Qwon, thanks for your kind words. I think what your are referring to is the fact that you can see the front as well as the back of the tie. In this picture, I think his tie moved and hence the two ends are wide apart. In my experience, a sloping shoulder can cause a tie end to move to one side but it depends on the degree and the person.

      He tied the knot so the back of the tie would slightly stick out to the side on his right (the left in the picture). Just take a closer look at the gentleman in green, and you will notice he did the exact same thing however his tie fell more straight and the ends are covered by his coat.
      The key is never to use the tie tack in the back and you will sooner or later achieve that look.
      Most men who wear ties lack style and so I can see why you think they would not look good with it. Ultimately, you should wear what you are comfortable with but don’t shy back to try something new, it might grow on you.
      I suggest you start with casual outfit and see how it looks.

  2. Yannick
    Yannick says:

    I was immediately taken by the grey herringbone suit. I love the classic cut, but above all, the fabric looks absolutely fabulous. The tie works for me too.

    I am also usually quite a fan of mr. Wooster’s style, barring perhaps his predilection for going sockless with rolled up trouser legs. I cannot find any faults in the outfits he’s wearing in these photographs, especially since we cannot see his feet.

  3. Fredrik
    Fredrik says:

    I had lots of vibes from America’s 30s and 40s in this series. Nice! I have grown tired of the “italian” style that today is so overwhelmingly everywhere.

    Great article, as always! You are, although i’m very interested in menswear, the only one I read.

    Fredrik

  4. Ahmed Sajeel
    Ahmed Sajeel says:

    Excellent analysis Raphael … it is almost surprising that the well fitting Grey flannel suit, white shirt and Navy tie never cease to impress.

    And you have very correctly identified some of the efforts very deliberate … and thus less than interesting.

  5. Gianni Fontana
    Gianni Fontana says:

    Hi, thank you for the article and for the pic of me (Floral print tie with navy chalk stripe suit & mother of pearl buttons).
    Keep doing good job.
    Best Regards
    Gianni Fontana

  6. Giancarlo Maresca
    Giancarlo Maresca says:

    Dear Raphael,
    who are my preferred appareil? Italo Borrello, the man on the center of the first picture and to my left looking the second one, among the man I know under fifthy years is that with more taste and consciousness of what means “Classic”, The only B&W picture shows a true, solid, gentleman. His name is Fabrizio Servente, advisor of AWI and connoisseur of cloths and dress. I wrote an article upon his wardrobe in the last number of Arbiter, of wich right now I will send you a copy. So i know very well him and the suit he dresses. It is by Giovanni Barberis Organista, a genious of double breast jacket . This taylor has not only the greatest collection of magazines upon men style, beginning from the ’50s, but among his customers has many of the highest names of the Biella’s mills. The Servente’s taste rides the hand of Barberis Organista in a lapel which starts right (to leave in the best way) and then curves (so doesn’t become too large). The suit is in a wollen flannel whit classic dogtooth, but the black is a dark grey and the white is dirty, just a little yellow. In the Biella’s old slang of clothmakers, this colour is called “bianc pissà”, that in Eneglish sounds as “urinated white”. Servente uses only fabrics with something to tell and I take from his lesson an advice for your readers: from now and for ever, don’t stop at the first station Dress only materials with high density of meanings.

    Sincerely,
    Giancarlo maresca

  7. Giancarlo Maresca
    Giancarlo Maresca says:

    Dear Raphael,
    just a note to your delicious article upon the middle age man, a race near to extinction. The fabric utilized by Mr. Wooster isn’t a Tartan, or not only a Tartan. Is a “napkin”, the short cut of cloth that mills do to see and comparate different variations of colours in the real conditions of use. You can see, in effect, that the different parts of jacket and the two legs of trousers have different pattern and colours. Recently I saw a similar piece of fabric on the cutting table of London House in Naples. The name of the customer was that Lapo Elkan. Now, when Lapo will dress that suit, people must know that wasn’t the first one. Nobody is the first man who dress something, or can think to be better dressed if he should be.

    Your
    Giancarlo Maresca

  8. Freddy H.
    Freddy H. says:

    Hello,I agree with almost all you stated.The pictures of Lino and friend ,whats happening to my eye is the guys are becoming charactatures of themselves.Its getting laughable already.

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