In the past, we have written about Fresco fabric – the ideal summer cloth with built in ventilation, and flannel – a soft, brushed fabric that is typically associated with the colder times of the year. However, today there are a number of relatively light fabrics available that are worsteds but feel very similar to flannel – and they look great in combination with fresco.
Fresco & Flannel
Most people would probably never think about combining a coat made of porous and coarse fresco fabric with a smooth looking pair of slacks, especially not during summertime. However, this look was supposedly invented on the island of Brioni in the Italian Adria. Apparently, elegant polo spectators were the first to adapt the outfit of a fitted, double breasted navy coat with a pair of gray and white chalk stripe or rope stripe pants. Unlike a blazer, it was tailored like a regular suit jacket with the exception of the 6×1 button configuration, which would later become popular as the Kent Fasson – meaning that just the lowest button is buttoned. Since the closing button is placed under the natural waistline, it creates the optical illusion of a longer torso.
Flannel & Fresco Fashion Illustration
As you can see in our illustration from 1938 on the right, this gentleman has the typically wide shoulders for the time period as well as the famous spalla camicia – the so-called “shirt shoulder” because both seams on the shoulder are folded towards the shoulder, creating the look of a natural sleevehead. Apart from that, the gorge sits a little lower than on many jackets today but that was very normal in the 1930’s. Also, the lapels are wide, with a little bit of belly to them. Most importantly, this gentleman wears a traditional white carnation boutonniere flower, which heightens the seasonality of his ensemble. Paired with a light blue shirt, white tie, pocket square, Panama hat, full cut gray flannel slacks and black / white spectator shoes, this outfit was meant to be worn during the day in the summer, either at sea or on the weekends. Note, the besom pockets line up perfectly with the lowest button row, the cuffs fit the coat sleeves perfectly and despite the warm temperature, he has unlined gloves with him. What do you think of an outfit like this?