Many comments from our last Pitti article asked for pictures of more subdued outfits. So, we put together a series of exclusive pictures taken by Miguel Viera for the Gentleman’s Gazette, accompanied by the usual commentary.
Tobacco & Smoking
We already established that windowpane suits were popular, too many men still wear wristbands, and Pitti Peacocks continued to compete for attention, but more interestingly, cigars, pipes and everything regarding tobacco seems to be in again. We all know the how effortlessly cool Steve McQueen looked when he smoked, and it seems like old school tobacco (not vapor cigarettes) gives men the opportunity to set themselves apart.
The gentleman in the blue knit jacket or cardigan prefers a softer look. A soft felt hat is paired with open shirt cuffs and his shirt collar obviously does not have collar stays. Knitwear is flexible and stretchy and the tie seems like it is made of black or dark navy shantung silk. His spectacle frames seem to be made of horn, or maybe just acetate and with his pipe he follows the trend.
The other man is smoking with gusto and pulls off a peacoat in an unusual, basket-inspired weave. Note how the silver ring and watchband match the coat buttons.
Gianni Fontana likes his pipe as well and pairs it with a special velour hat. You probably won’t believe it, but these Austrian hats were sold in U.S. department stores in the fifties and sixties. Today, it is very difficult to find them new. While I like his color scheme, I think the overcoat plaid clashes with the sport coat. If you wear plaid, that’s fine, but choose a solid garment as a counterpart.
The double breasted jacket with 4×1 Kent Fasson is more popular now than it was 5 years ago, yet I have not really seen a look that would do Prince George the Duke of Kent justice. His look was relaxed and natural with the top button pair just slightly extending on either side whereas this button configuration looks cramped to me. Note how the buttoning point was elevated and the pockets remain in place, rendering a look that is somewhat out of balance.
The mustard yellow casentino coat is not special when you just consider the fabric or texture, but the color is certainly not something you see everyday.
Next, we see a smoker in a black ulster style overcoat and red bow tie, but both are anything but generic. Take a close look at the edges of his overcoat and you will notice that the edges are frayed for a distinct look. Also, the bow tie is quilted and seems to be made of leather or some kind of vinyl. Personally, I prefer bow ties in wool, silk or linen, but each to his own.
The following chap matches a flowery shirt with a vest, watch chain, bowler hat and trench coat. In combination with his pipe, it looks like he is trying too hard.
On the other hand, Ethan Desu wears a very subtle combination of a three piece suit with triple overcheck and wool tie. With his beard and pipe, he looks like smoking is his favorite thing in the world, even though he has not lit the pipe yet.
Wearable Outfits & Details
Not everybody can dress like a ‘Pitti-Peacock’, and in fact most men who are interested in clothes don’t. I suspect we only see it because it is a great way to draw attention in a way Beau Brummell would have certainly disapproved – he famously said “If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable”.
I hope some of these pictures can help you to introduce a component of color or texture to your outfits to make them more unique without being over the top. I like the subtle shades of grey and white in his outfit, especially paired with the excellent fit of his shirt and jacket. He only wears one pattern and three solid colors. The shirt and pocket square are plain white but the pinpoint flannel gray tie connects the jacket with the white elements. Note the drape over his chest and the spalla camicia shirt style shoulder without and sort of padding. All together, these elements make the ensemble timelessly elegant. What do you think of his style?
In the first picture, you can see a seasoned gentleman, who proves that one doesn’t need flashy colors to create a noteworthy outfit. He pairs a subtle pattern gray wool flannel tie with a white shirt, pocket square and a herringbone jacket. The fit is very good and unique because of his unpadded spalla camicia shirt style shoulder and the drape over his chest.
Next up is Toni Rossi, who pairs muted colors such as gray, brown and blue to create a wearable outfit. To add a bit of depth, he combines two kinds of stripes, a dotted tie and a textured cardigan or knit vest.
Green is very popular this winter, but I am not talking about a rich olive or grass green, but more of a washed-out green as seen on the gentleman with the green coat. A simple navy tie, blue shirt, and a dark checked sweater makes this outfit anything but generic without standing out from the crowd on first sight.
Mid gray is very versatile and when tailored in a diagonal twill fabric, you would be hard pressed to find a color that does not look good with it. Here we have a muted green sweater vest, burgundy striped silk tie and a white shirt with white linen pocket square.
Overcoats are great for cold winters. When it is 50°F / 10°C like in Florence in January, it is often too warm to wear an overcoat, yet at Pitti men pull out their capes and overcoats anyway. This season, the cape was popular and even the ones who did not wear a cape often wore the overcoat thrown over their shoulders. If you want to do that on a regular basis, I suggest avoiding double breasted overcoats because the extra overlap makes it look odd when you don’t close it. On the other hand, if you wear them closed, double breasted coats are perfect because they keep you warmer due to the double layers of fabric and at the same time, they give you a more military inspired look.
What would you wear and what would you do differently?