Jamie’s alternative Pitti picks

Monday, July 29th 2019
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Jamie Ferguson (above), the photographer I’ve worked with over the past few years on Permanent Style, has a different style to me. 

He gets tailoring, and wears tailoring, but he also wears more sportswear, more workwear, and experiments more. He has a wider range of influences.  

I also find he sees things differently to me. Being a photographer, he’s always looking at both the style and the image. The impact as well as the details, perhaps. 

During this past Pitti, I asked him to take pictures of guys he found interesting, and explain why. These were his choices.

1. Robert Spangle

"I've loved watching Rob's style evolve over the years, and how he's mixing even more military into his day-to-day wardrobe.

The majority of the time I see him he's working and usually laden with gear, but he manages to take that into account with a few twists here and there and still look ridiculously stylish."

2. Tommaso Capozzoli

"Love this look. At times the jacket worn on the shoulders thing can look a little 'sprezzy' but Tommaso carries it off with aplomb.

I view it as a natural reaction to the fact that the heat was something like 34 degrees that day in Florence, and you want to take your jacket off, not have to carry it in hand, and roll up your sleeves.

It also helps that Tommaso looks like an all round BOSS especially when wearing a punchy shade of blue."

3. Anonymous

"A lot of the time at Pitti, the more casual looks can get a bit lost amongst the sea of tailoring but this guy really stood out to me. Great 70's, rock and roll, sleaze vibe going on with some great accessories.

The shirt was amazing. When I first took the shot I thought it was out of focus but when I looked back it was the pattern on the cloth that made it appear that way.

What can't be seen in the shot is the great pair of Cuban-heeled boots he had on."

4. Thom Whiddett

"Thom's look is simple yet strong. Apart from the pop on the sunglasses, it's navy and white and nothing else. Sometimes being a little less flashy makes you stand out.

He looks comfortable, and chic and if you can achieve that in the Florentine heat, you're smiling."

5. Anonymous

"Similar to Thom but in a different vein with military rather than tailoring. Simplicity is key. A white t-shirt and high waisted chinos anchor the camo, ripstop jacket.

Some nice accessories too with the watch and ring."

6. Jonas Sundstrom and Jake Mueser

"Brown is a fantastic shade for suiting. If you're looking for something beyond the navy and the grey you already have, I feel this should be your next port of call. Smart without feeling too dressed up.

Great for winter but especially for summer in cool fabrics like linen, cotton or fresco.

Worn expertly here by Jake and Jonas of J.Mueser. Both are wearing shirts and ties but they still look summer-y and fresh and not overdressed. Also hair game on point."

 

All images @jkf_man except top image, @milad_abedi

In that top image, I am wearing my Gieves & Hawkes bespoke linen suit, with Anderson & Sheppard panama hat and Edward Green cordovan loafers. Black grenadine tie on cotton/linen striped shirt. Full post here.

Jamie is wearing a straw hat from Sublime and shirt from Blue Blue Japan, both via No Man Walks Alone. Trousers from Universal Works and shoes from Vans.

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JB

Don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad photo of Tommaso. That color suit is one that in theory I couldn’t see work at all, but it really does. It’s easy to think the blue wall behind helps it, but I’ve seen other shots with just people in the background and it still looks great.

JB

PS. I love this article idea, very fun way to get other perspectives.

Matt

Robert looks like he’s taking shots of US Marines clearing a village in the Vietnamese highlands, not fops lounging on a wall outside a Florentine clothes show. Awesome look.

Thomas

I did not see it the first time but now i want to switch that picture to black & white and photoshop an M48 Patton crossing the Mekong Delta behind him.

Anonymous

Nice choices and nice pictures. I like them all to some degree, outside of #5.
I hate camo as civilian cloth (with the exception of it being wore for practical reasons, such as hunting, and even there I’d avoid a too close to military one). I could say a lot of (bad) things I feel about it, but I’ll only point this one out: being ex-military, my experience is that only 2 kinds of people wear camo as civilians:
1. (Ex-)Military that have them from their duty, and quite terribly so can’t afford anything else.
2. People who never went in the army (but at least some wish they did). They have no idea what it really means to wear it, and it looks really bad.
Really, to my opinion at least, nobody should wear camo in civilian. And if you do, just know that to most (ex-)military, camo doesn’t make you “cool” or “stylish”. Quite the opposite actually.

Brian

Having done military service I understand where ANONYMOUS is coming from but I don’t have a problem with the camo. However, had the jacket included the of use of insignia from actual military services/units, past or present, I would not have been pleased.

Bob

Look carefully. There’s a US badge on the collar.

Aside from that, wearing cammies outside of the military, the outdoors, or the pivacy of one’s house, or over the age of fourteen, is the ultimate anti-permanent-style. This is what this website has come to.

Just to pre-empt the inevitable rebuttals: No, it’s not the same as wearing vintage military items like khaki shorts or silk scarves, because they were civilian items before they were used by soldiers. But that kind of camouflage only ever had one purpose.

Sam

It’s an interesting discussion, not just for camo or military clothing but also extending to workwear or sports apparel. Half of the male wardrobe is derived from these sources, and where does one draw the line about what’s appropriate/ethical/stylish/authentic?

A friend of mine was wearing a workwear-inspired cotton suit recently, and was told by someone that it was disrespectful to wear because she’s not working class. I understand the reasoning there, but I think it’s rather over the top – the vast majority of the contemporary working class is not exactly clad in 19th-century factory gear. Is wearing jeans disrespectful to miners past and present? I don’t think so.

Anonymous

Perhaps Samuel Johnson’s thoughts apply here.”Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.”

Sam

I don’t think any civilian wearing camo does it to gain the respect of military folk! If anything, it started out as a countercultural, pacifist practice. Now it’s merely a ubiqitous style element, for better or worse. You cannot imagine contemporary street style without it.

Being respectful of the horrible realness of war, I’ve made it a personal rule for myself to only wear actual military surplus/vintage, not contemporary garments that replicate or reference a military aesthetic. It’s a small point perhaps, but I think it has more integrity to wear a garment with a real (loaded, problematic) past, rather than a fashion item that simply cashes in on the perceived coolness. I do agree wearing insignias is a faux pas.

David

Totally agree with this. Camo always strikes me as profoundly immature, on top of being plain ugly (with all do respect to Simon’s choice of a camo scarf in a recent article).

BespokeNYC

I would find it really helpful if anybody could explain to me why camo print is more problematic than the countless other military elements found in menswear, such as M65s, A1s, pea coats, parkas, watch caps, etc, and even many features of the suit itself….

I can certainly see how there could be sensitivity about somebody wearing a full soldier’s uniform but, as far as I can tell, camo prints (and vintage military pieces) are pretty much ubiquitous in streetwear, so I was surprised to see these comments.

(Just to clarify, my question is about whether or not it’s appropriate to wear, not so much whether it’s considered stylish, which I think is a separate debate)

Matt

Get over yourself, anonymous. It’s amusing that you would presume that anyone wearing camo is trying to impress you.
I don’t wear camo and never have, but it suits an outdoors-y aesthetic and it wouldn’t be the first or only type of clothing that has been folded into streetwear despite a very different origin.

It also isn’t the only example of something with a military origin making it’s way into civilian clothing. Are you against civilians wearing field jackets? The M65 pattern is a menswear staple and in fact, Simon has featured his here recently.

It’s interesting that you didn’t have a problem with the quite overtly military-inspired outfit in #1

Robin

Very useful perspective .
I think this kind of everyday type of cloth is what we miss on PS amongst all the talk of tailoring .

So please more on clothes that allow you to look good , express a ‘permanent style’ whilst allowing you to function in busy city environments .

Robin

Yes, definitely .
After all I guarantee it’s what all your readers wear most .
I don’t want ‘fashion’ . I mean style , casual , smart etc but not necessarily jackets , collared shirts etc

Functional , commutable , smart, stylish clothing features .

Tony Johansson

Yes, very much Simon. I think the idea from Robin is actually very good to go more for casual as you show with the Valstarino jacket.

Kev Fidler

A refreshing change for an occasional article especially as Jamie (presumably) sees very much the same people as you and we get a different slant on them. An interesting addition might have been what you thought of his choices? I particularly like Mr Whiddett’s look at no. 4, understated but looks very elegant as do the brown suits. One request – do you have a wider view of Mr Spangle’s outfit – nice photo but doesn’t show what appears to be a great combination of shirt and trousers?

Alex

I’m struggling to understand why anybody would want to channel a “70s sleaze vibe” outside of auditioning for a role in the Sopranos prequel, but to each their own.

Jason

I think No.4 has understood.
The rest all require some form of further training and sorry, but only the follically challenged could possibly describe No.6 as “Hair game on point!”
Mon Dieu, if ever there was a couple of dodgy barnets it is they.

Dario

I was about to comment the same about those two… Really nice suits but the “hair game” is “I just woke up”.

Lee

it takes a lot of effort to make it look like you made no effort 🙂

Rik

Really interesting article Simon and very cool photos. Quick question for Jamie – what is the watch he’s wearing?

Michał

I love this statement:
‘being a little less flashy makes you stand out’

Stephen

Interesting debate on camo. Personally I just think camo doesn’t look great on anyone in a sartorial sense, so it’s just a matter of taste. Some military style such a field type jackets mixed with for example jeans, look great, as long as you do not try to look too ‘military ‘ . Also can be very practical, as is the case with photographers. Aside from this, Thom looks great. It’s always difficult to dress for the heat. Nice alternative to polo and shorts.

Nathan

Nice fresh write-up Simon. After all, good clothes should be fun and enhance our daily experiences- not to say that Pitti happens daily but such inspiring combinations!

Whiddett’s polo is great. Any idea where to procure?

Dan Ippolito

Tommaso is a caricature of sprezzatura. Anonymous #1 is a caricature from the 70’s (the decade that style forgot.) Thom is the best of the bunch, if a little plain. Anonymous #2 manages to be both slovenly and pretentious in his t-shirt and camo. Jonas and Jake look positively unhygenic. These people may be interesting and worthwhile subjects for a photographer in an anthropological sort of way, but all of them except Thom are the antithesis of elegance.

Anonymous

A distillation of Pitti by a photographer – nice work and thoughtfully put together. Tommaso is my pick, both for the outfit and the ‘uomo forte’ presence. More, occasional, articles such as these would be welcome.
On camo: valid points all, a counterpoint is that in Europe (particularly France) but mainly in Canada /USA camo is mainstream in hunting wear, and by extension, outdoor wear. Companies such as Cabelas specialise in this so it has, in some countries, a wider, utilitarian value.
https://www.cabelas.com/category/Mens-Hunting-Clothing/104748480.uts

Tony

The camo with the US badge would attract negative attention in most of the US. In fact I think many would find it intentionally provocative. It’s just a no go zone

LAStyleGuy

Tommaso looks great, except for the cigar. Guess I get hung up on the bad breath, yellow teeth, lung disease and cancer that come from smoking. A photograph of a guy with tobacco, like so many Pitti pics, no longer adds to his sexiness; it’s a killer look, and I mean that in the most literal sense.