Pitti Uomo 84 Street Style – Summer 2013
It’s time again for our Pitti Uomo street style coverage. This summer, double breasted suits and blazers in pastel colors with patch pockets seem to be rather en vogue. Also, many lapels are growing wider again and even full cut trousers seem to be making a return. Altogether, this is no surprise because lapels always go from wide to slim and then back, in the way as pants progress from wide to skinny and back.
First, let’s start with the outfit from our very own Herbert Stricker. Unlike many at Pitti Uomo 84, his style is very subtle, wearing a single breasted mid-blue summer suit with notched lapels, a brown micropattern tie, a cutaway collar, a pocket square and sunglasses. Now, that in itself is not yet great style, but if you focus on the details, you can clearly see how well put together this outfit is. First, the sunglasses frames are made of real, light brown horn and not the typical acetate. Second, the collar was tailored for his face and stature, and hence has the right size – the shirt collar tips are just covered by the lapels. Third, anybody can tie a dimple in the tie knot, but most men wear their ties either too short or too long. Not with so Mr. Stricker – his tie has the perfect length, ending just at the waistband. The brown shoes are complimented by a bold patterned alligator look. Of course, baby alligator is generally more expensive but for a tall gentleman such as Mr. Stricker, large works better. Overall, if you want to standout at Pitti in a stylish way, dress down and focus on subtle details.
Below we can see an interesting pair. The man on the left also wears a mid blue summer suit like Mr. Stricker, but the overall impression is very different. On the one hand, the proportions and button hole position on the lapel are chosen in a way that screams bespoke. That is underlined by the visible pick stitching. The shirt collar is slightly too wide as evidenced by the overlapping shirt collar right above the tie knot. The tie itself features a subtle pattern, which is fine in terms of color, but it is way too long, reaching below the waistband. Also, double cuffs are maybe not the best idea when it is hot outside due to the overlapping fabric but it is ultimately a matter of choice. At first glance, these two blue suit outfits may look very similar but upon closer examination you see the difference in the details and execution.
On the right side, we see another extraordinary suit in Solaro fabric with wide peaked lapels and a high gorge. Personally, I am not a fan of the lapel extending above the shoulder, but each to his own. The young man realized his tie was too long for his height and tucked it in, emphasizing his huge waistband, which is almost as big as a slim cummerbund.
Another fabric that has not seen too many followers at Pitti is Madras – or ar least Madras inspired fabric. With such a bold pattern you don’t need any other accents in your outfit.
White sport coats are great because they reflect the sunlight and look elegant. Of course, they stain much more easily but with a little bit of care on your end that shouldn’t be a problem.
Next up is an attention seeking reinterpretation of the classic, vertically striped club blazer. While the traditional garments are usually bold enough due to their vivid colors, this examples tops it with horizontal stripes. The combination of horizontal stripes and a short cut makes this coat appear out of proportion. Personally, not my cup of tea but each to his own.
Below, you can see a very interesting smoking-inspired jacket with peaked lapels and a self-belt. In my opinion, this style expresses a certain nonchalance that fits the event marvelously, nevertheless I am convinced that a shawl collar would have looked even better than peaked lapels.
Double Breasted Summer Style
In the past, double breasted suits were often not considered to be great for summers, because the nature of double breasted suits was too formal for casual summer outfits and the overlapping fabric front made the wearer even feel hotter than it already was during summer. Now that people like Lino have popularized the relaxed double breasted sport coat, you see more and more double breasted summer suits.
To stand out from the crowd, you have to go with unusual colors – here we have a beige tone suit with a little bit of belly in the lapel and rather short trousers.
Here you see a bold example of a double breasted windowpane sport coat – note the fan and man-bag accessories. Five decades ago that would have been considered unacceptable – today anyone can wear anything.
Red suits definitely call for attention, but if you decide to wear one in the summer, wear it buttoned, otherwise a single breasted coat is preferable. Note, the lapel buttonhole is located rather high and close to the gorge – what do you think of that?
Light blue linen seems to be a popular fabric this summer. Some people don’t like the wrinkles whereas I find them characteristic for the material and hence charming.
The button stance of double breasted jackets is rarely discussed although it can have a huge impact on the overall appearance. In the example above, the buttons are placed extremely close together horizontally, making the wearer look rather disproportional. In the thirties, button stances were often much wider than what you generally find today and probably three times as large as in the picture above.
Contrast pick stitching and buttonholes is something you generally find in lower end garments because the manufacturers try to impress with something flashy rather than the cut of the garment.
In my opinion, the green windowpane fabric is fantastic, especially if it was a double breasted suit. I don’t care for the pink socks, especially in combination with the pink tie. Without it, the spectators might have worked but overall it is just a little bit too much.
Fantastic color and texture in the outfit above although the fabric reminds me more of fall coats rather than summer outfits. The golden brown horn buttons are superb and overall it really works for him.
Luca Rubinacci in a white suit that reminds me a bit of the 1930′s with some drape in the chest, 6×1 closure and full cut trousers. Obviously, he tries to establish himself as a trendsetter, knowing that fuller cut trousers have always come after slimmer silhouettes in the past. Interestingly, the trend towards wristbands seems to be still going strong.
On the very right, you can see a nice, off-white DB summer suit with a normal button stance, a light green tie, a collar pin and oxblood shoes. Personally, I think a pair of shoes in cognac would have worked even better but once again, each to his own.
In the past, we highlighted the seasoned gentlemen at Pitti Uomo and so I thought it would be interesting to see whether men in this age group continue to dress less flamboyantly than their younger counterparts.
This gentleman opted for a mid grey 4×2 double breasted suits with very short trousers, blue dotted tie and summer blue espadrilles. Overall a bit fashion forward.
The gentleman in blue is very classic with beige trousers, blue – white striped shirt and a navy tie with a single motif.
This outfit is likewise subtle in terms of color but upon closer inspection you will recognize a micropattern – rather subdued nevertheless.
Over the Top?
Some men try too hard and end up looking like it. Mr. Ricci is trying on some goofy sunglasses that remind me of kindergarten in the 1990′s but in his defense it seems like he is just trying them on for the photo.
If you wear a jacket, chances are it looks better with the shirt tucked in, and if you go for one bold pattern, don’t mix it with others like gingham.
We covered the chap with his two pairs of glasses before – obviously it is his signature look and so it works for him but it probably wouldn’t for many others.
Last but not least, there seems to be a trend towards paint-splattered jackets and trousers with what seem to be hand-painted patterns. Personally, I have yet to come across someone who can really pull it off – unfortunately, the gentleman below is not one of them.