On numerous occasions in the past, I have read that the Milanese are among the best dressed in the world. During a trip to Milan, I noticed that many people look just like they would in any other major city in the world, wearing jeans, sneakers and currently down vests or shiny jackets.
However, depending on the neighborhood, you may very well see and uniquely dressed ladies and gentlemen. Around the Duomo, it seems like you will find more tourists, whereas the neighborhood of Porta Genova is home to a fashion school, and the Bibliotecca della Moda, which results in a much more fashion-conscious crowd.
In Via Antonio Scarpa, I randomly met this gentlemen and when I asked him whether I could take a picture of him, he happily agreed – unlike many other Milanese gentlemen.
The Green Ulster Overcoat
His entire outfit is definitely unique, yet classic and Italian at the same time. Firstly, we have to start with the magnificent overcoat, which is a slight modification of the traditional Ulster topcoat. Not only does it come in a vibrant shade of green, but is also double breasted and has a number of interesting details.
Look at the texture of the fabric – it appears to be pilling, but this is exactly how the texture of this fabric looks when it is new. The wool texture is exactly like a Casentino overcoat, which is a true 6×3 overcoat in bright orange with a grey wolf fur collar that historically is worn by old aristocratic Italian families. This coat is very durable and has been produced in Tuscany for centuries.
The gentleman I saw wore a double breasted overcoat, which did not have the Ulster-typical 6×3 button configuration, but rather a 6×2. Interestingly, most Italians who want to express some sprezzatura, the appearance of effortlessness, only button the middle button… which may or may not look advantageous. In this case, the contrasting horn buttons work quite well with the green cloth.
Unlike an Ulster, but typically an Italian feature, is the barchetta chest pocket, located rather high up on this coat.
Just like a regular Ulster, this variation of the Casentino features cuffs and patch pockets with flaps. In the back, we can find the typical half belt with buttons and inverted pleats.
Trousers, Shoes & Accessories
Such a vividly colored overcoat requires more muted accessories in order to avoid looking like a badly decorated Christmas tree.
In this case, I think he did a rather nice job pairing it with a wool scarf in a large blue and mustard yellow shepherd’s check, grey flannel trousers and dark brown suede chukka boots. The trousers were cut rather narrow in the typical Italian fashion, while the cuffs where of medium height of 4.5 cm.
His leather gloves came in a mocha brown, which was a touch or two darker than the cigar he was smoking when I met him.
Overall, I think this outfit is typically Italian and one would be hard pressed to find a gentleman like this in any other country. So, when are you going to invest in a green overcoat?