Reader profile: Mattia
I met Mattia during our recent pop-up shop on Savile Row. A Permanent Style reader, he is also a fashion student, which gives him an interesting perspective on classic menswear.
I enjoyed talking to him, and his friends, about their studies and their clothing choices, and that naturally led onto the suggestion of featuring Mattia in this Reader Profile series.
Hopefully it brings one more variation to the line up we’ve included so far, in terms of age, occupation, budget and most importantly, style.
Outfit 1: Semi-formal
“For my first outfit I went for a fairly preppy look, with a vintage Burberry Mac on top of a corduroy workers jacket (it was a cold November morning on the day of the shoot), a vintage country rose cricket vest and an off-white button down shirt. My jeans are Levi’s 501s with a cut-off hem, with a Cerruti belt and Alden for Brooks Brothers cordovan loafers.
The loafers were the first pair of ‘proper’ shoes I ever bought. They came from eBay US and have been an absolute game changer for me - a blessing and a curse as I used to buy a lot of high-street shoes, but I don’t think I ever can again.
I love the durability, sturdiness and sheer quality of the cordovan and wear them with all kinds of outfits. One summer I wore them every single day, and they clearly show signs of that - but cordovan only looks better for it. I’ll be wearing these loafers until my toes poke out of the uppers.
Where do you buy clothes from mostly?
EBay, vintage markets, charity shops. I also go to vintage streetwear sites, as they’ll often mis-price things like loafers, suits or Barbour jackets.
I really enjoy that kind of shopping - I see it as a sort of lucky dip. But you do need a lot of patience as there will always be good days and bad days. The continuous upside is that you can be sure you won’t be matching with anyone at a party.
What advice do you have for buying second-hand?
When you’re shopping in person, give it time. I don’t like to rush - I usually browse each rack a couple of times to make sure I’m not missing anything.
I also prefer to go to the lesser-known second-hand shops, as the famous ones have become quite commercial and more expensive. The best places are often charity shops in the posher areas of London. That’s where you’ll find Crockett and Jones loafers for £25 as well as bespoke suits, vintage furs and beautiful overcoats.
Online I keep all my searches as broad as possible so that I can get the most out of each one, so for example “men’s overcoat 40”. When I’m desperately looking for something in particular, I’ll look at eBay in other countries, for example my Alden shoes came from Germany and the US, as they are very hard to find on eBay UK.
Another little tip that has only worked a few times over the Christmas period - but I give it a shot every year - is to send in offers that are substantially lower along with the message “Come on mate, it’s Christmas!”
Outfit 2: Formal
In my second outfit I’m wearing a beige three-roll-two jacket from Mabro Uomo, a vintage Lacoste denim shirt (which I like to add underneath a jacket every so often to loosen up the outfit) and vintage pleated trousers from a market in Naples. Same belt and loafers.
I know you have Italian heritage. How does that affect how you dress?
My father was born in England to a Neapolitan father and a Polish mother, and my mother was born in Palermo. My great-grandfather was actually a shoemaker in Naples and my great-uncle still works as a tailor.
I think the Neapolitan side has given me a natural attraction to the softer styles of tailoring, and for more flamboyant but relaxed looks.
What are your favourite shops in Italy? And brands?
My favourite markets to go to in Italy are Resina, Napoli and Sant’Ambrogio in Florence. The culture of buying vintage hasn’t quite kicked off in Italy as much as it has here, so it will usually be me in a sea of Nonnette (old Italian Grandmas) browsing for a bargain.
In terms of designers and brands from Italy I’ll always love Armani from the 1980s, as seen in American Gigolo. Giuliva Heritage is also making some really nice stuff, and I’m currently going through an overcoat phase so I’m hoping to get one of theirs in the near future.
How long have you been reading PS?
Since 2019, so I may be a little late to the game. I met up with Alex Pirounis of Anglo-Italian and he told me to watch Gianluca Migliarotti’s O’Mast. This led me to want to understand the differences between English and Neapolitan tailoring and I came across Permanent Style through the YouTube videos, which then led me to the website.
I then started reading during lessons in Sixth Form college instead of doing my Spanish work. The blog was one of the first sources when I was deepening my interest in the sartorial world, so it will always have a dear place in my heart.
What is your favourite article or type of article?
When I had just started reading Permanent Style, I was invited to stay with a friend who is a freelance journalist in Florence. He showed me around Pitti - honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, so I read everything I could about Pitti and there was so much useful stuff on the blog.
I’ve also really enjoyed these reader profiles, reading them and doing one! When I’ve done my sartorial reading for the day I’ll usually pop over to the comment section for some evening’s entertainment, or what I like to call ‘Sartorial Smackdown’. Some of you guys are merciless. Please, go easy on me.
Who else do you follow, or are inspired by?
Robert Spangle (@Thousandyardstyle) - his style is really unique and expresses the person perfectly, his lifestyle, what he does, what he used to do and what he picked up along the way.
Alessandro Squarzi for his ability to pull off almost anything, as well as his love for ‘vivere vintage’. Gerardo Cavaliere as a display of Italian classical excellence and elegance - to me it’s a romantic and slightly nostalgic style. Nathaniel Asseraf [for the cowboy boots, see below], and the guys over at Peplor who are maestros in Italian market shopping.
Outfit 3: Casual
With the last outfit I’m mixing some US/UK classic items such as a red Barbour Beaufort with an M&S black turtleneck. Harley Davidson belt, white Levi’s 501s with a cut-off hem and Wrangler cowboy boots.
The Harley belt has become a bit of a family heirloom. It was found by my uncle attached to an old set of swings at the bottom of his garden. He gave it to his brother who is a leatherwork enthusiast, who became my Godfather and passed it down to me when I was about 9. I’ve been wearing it ever since.
I always dismissed cowboy boots as I never thought I could pull them off, and they reminded me of dubious outfits in photos of my parents’ house parties in the late nineties. However, I saw Nathaniel Asseraf, of Casatlantic, in one of his Instagram posts wearing a sturdy pair of cowboy boots with some high-waisted jeans and I just loved the silhouette.
I went straight onto Depop, searched for some cowboy boots and found these Wranglers brand new, exactly the same as the ones in the post.
My Sicilian genes have blessed me with a lot of good things, but height is not one of them, and that little extra bit of heel in the boot also helps make up for it. Ever since I’ve absolutely loved them and bought a black pair as well. I would suggest giving cowboy boots a chance.
What do you do?
I’m in my second year studying Bespoke Tailoring at the London College of Fashion. In my spare time, when I’m not in the studio, I work a couple of days a week as a labourer to fund my eBay addiction. And when I’m not doing either of those, you’ll most likely find me drawing in my room or in the ring in my local Muay Thai gym.
How does all that affect what you wear?
Being at LCF as a 19-year-old who hasn’t quite figured out their own style or aesthetic can be challenging, as you’re surrounded by so many strong characters who fit perfectly into particular subcultures. But I’ve accepted that and am just enjoying the process, experimenting, messing up as well as discovering great combinations.
What do your peers think about what you wear?
Everyone seems to enjoy how I mix vintage sartorial pieces into my outfits and make them look current, as well as quite varied and versatile - as sometimes I’ll come in wearing tailored trousers, a belted overcoat and loafers and some days white jeans and cowboy boots.
What do you wear when you go out?
Growing up in a rough area of south-east London was hard for the development of my style. From a young age I was always taught by my older friends that the ‘zebra with the red stripe gets eaten’. Robert Spangle told me the military term is being the ‘grey man’. Basically, not standing out.
However, now that I’m 19 and have had my fair share of dangerous situations, and know my way around, I now do whatever I want (within reason). Clothes for going out now just depend on who, what and where.
So often it will be on the casual side if I’m going out locally: shirt or turtleneck, jeans, boots or loafers, and the jackets will vary. When going into central London I’ll always dress up. The levels of formality will change depending on who I’m out with, but I tend to be a lot more tailored than others.
Have you changed how you dress since the pandemic?
Before the pandemic I was slowly changing my wardrobe from a more urban street style to something more tailored. I was a lost teenager who finished college with no exams and had really a lot of free time on my hands. A lot of that time was spent exercising, drawing or sewing, and the rest of it was on eBay.
My brother and I discovered the weird and wonderful aspects of eBay during the first lockdown, and every Sunday we would wear our new eBay suits to keep Sunday special. It got so bad that we would refer to money as eBay credits!
Since that first lockdown I’ve pretty much had a complete wardrobe change, from that of a teenager to what I believe to be quite a developed, versatile and wide range of high-quality pieces that’ll last a hell of a long time.
Photography: Mohan Singh
What a fantastic find. I very much enjoyed the different perspective.
Excellent post – Mattia’s style is a breath of fresh air! Considered and interesting without falling into the (all too frequently seen) menswear trap of being overwrought.
Hmmm…I’ve definitely been hit on eBay with a “hey mate, its Christmas!” offer. *suspicious look*
Excellent styling. Great mish-mash of different styles/sub cultures. I am a fan of Squarzi, Giuliva looks too, and also a fan of eBay/VC/Depop shopping.
Can you tell us about the navy jacket in the photo right on top?
Also, loafers without socks in winters is a big no no.
Sure Zo, I’ll ask Mattia to reply on the jacket.
But please, try to refrain from saying things are right or wrong. Much more polite to just say you wouldn’t wear that, and more interesting to say why.
I said that in jest!
But I shall explain nevertheless. I find bare ankles in winters one of those impractical fashion things, like a tight corset, or super skinny rigid jeans, or very high platforms/heels that give you a funny gait…its almost like you have to make yourself uncomfortable to look fashionable. IMO, it falls on the wrong side of the fashion/comfort/practicality balance.
Don’t get me wrong though, his styling is totally on point. I would happily wear outfit 1 in UK spring, minus one layer.
Thanks Zo, great to have it explained and sorry if I misread the tone
A big no no? Loafers are a shoe that could be worn with or without. There is a styling aspect to both as well as a practical one in terms of keeping ones feet warm. If he dosent have cold feet and is confortable i see know issue with not wearing socks regardless of the season. Seems rather narrow minded to just dismiss it in such certain terms.
However, it was a cold November necessitating four layers of clothing, the ankle area has no fat to protect from the cold. Obviously in warmer times one can see the practicality on no socks especially in Sicily, but Mattia can wear what he wants & hopefully can take on board observations especially if he’s learning how to be a zebra in SE London;-)
That might have been me then haha! Also about the socks…my mother would 100% agree with you. I feel that I may have done this to rebel against my Sicilian mother forcing me to wear 18 layers of clothing before leaving the house every time I went out as a kid. Unfortunately theres not a whole lot I can tell you about other than it being a corduroy workers jacket, bought in Tk Maxx with very little labelling.
Yes no socks on a cold November, how the young suffer for fashion, but many of us have done that to drift into comfort & fit with age. Loved the HD buckle, a good find. Good to hear a young perspective on PS.
Bravo, a fresh persepctive. Less of the finance guys and more of these please.
His jeans are in a shambles.
In other words, you don’t like cut-off jeans
I’ve never noticed such direct and blunt criticism in the comments as this. I hesitate to say this but i cant help feel it may be because of his age and possibly his status. Working as a labourer [part time whilst at uni, i know][heaven forbid we heard from a full time labourer], from a ‘rough area’ of south east London is not the sort of perspective you hear from on this site and i have always been suspicious that there is a latent social snobbery amongst the PS readership.
Perhaps i’m wrong, generally there isn’t much unpleasantness in the comments although i do wonder how much gets vetted by you Simon and then never posted?
That being said, perhaps PS has never provided a target for such discrimination as it generally mirrors the readership with its content. Rarely do we see anything other than middle aged white men in the articles on this site.
In any case i like this guys style and think the site benefits hugely for not just representing a sort of corporate, white, middle aged, high earning demographic. Indeed, to many people the average PS reader – as determined by the PS survey a few years ago – is everything that is wrong with society at large i.e straight, white men with earnings several times the average and very likely privately educated. I think seeing PS diversify as much as possible can only be a good thing.
Que the dismissive reponses….
but isn’t “permanent style” blog supposed to be.. well about “permanent” style? as in something not fashionable but also not looking out of place 10 years ago and hopefully 10 years from now?
but I think people don’t like the first outfit only. and you actually make a good point. seing outfit one on somekind of designer magazine or big name influencer people would have different reaction than seeing it on a simple guy…
Criticism like this is not that uncommon, and indeed I usually come in for more, despite being the kind of stereotyped middle-class person you describe. The more consistent thing is that criticism is directed at clothes that more conservative readers consider bad-looking or fashion-driven, rather than anything about age, race or income. I think you’ve probably read too much into that.
Interesting you say you come in for more criticism Simon. Do you mean of the images of yourself or more broadly? Do you not post this criticism? I cant seem to recall noticing much of it relating to you personally.
I don’t post a lot of it no, Brian. I guess it’s inevitable that I do though, given I’m the focus of the site.
Im sorry to hear that Simon. I must say im intreagued to know what people are saying. I cant see what you could really be criticised for?
That’s very kind Brian
Actually I’ve been surprised more than once over the years by how much of it you do post. That says a lot about one’s character and integrity.
I don’t understand. Isn’t what Simon M wrote blatant stereotyping and borderline hate speech?
It is stereotyping, certainly, and perhaps I should have been harsher with it. But not hate speech, no, and suggesting that is probably equally unhelpful.
There’s some slight speculation in my comment but I wouldn’t say it’s stereotyping as such. Me feelings are based upon comments I’ve read over the years, the people I see featured on the site and the results of a readership survey. Those are points of fact informing my position.
Hate speech? I’m not sure where that came from but any criticism
of the groups mentioned always provokes a ridiculous, overly defensive/ indignant response like this. I’m always taken aback by how defensive people get of criticism of this group.
Question the status quo at your peril
Simon, I’m afraid I can’t see how you can assume the average PS reader went to private school (statistically, very unlikely) and then say you’re not stereotyping.
Or, criticise others for overeacting when you brought into this conversation an accusation that straight, white men are everything that is wrong with the world. It sounds sillier the more you say it.
Please refrain from these kinds of insulting and irrelevant comments.
Wow, this really touched a nerve. I think this reposne is a little over the top. Simon [M]’s points are not entirly invalid just perhaps uneccesary given the context of this article.
Regardng public shcool, the Sutton Trust ‘Elitism in Britain’ report from a few years ago covered this in detail. The PS survey stated the most common readers professions were media, finance and the law. The Sutton report named media and law as professions with some of the highest numbers of privately educated people. Finacial services are also known for having a disprotionatly high number of privatly educated people especially in more senior positions. Simons assumption therefor is not entirely unfounded and shouldnt be dismissed so flipently.
The straight white male comment is provocative for sure but again when you look at the disproportionatly high number of these people in senior positions and the continued lack of diversity in leading roles across our society i dont think its unreasonble to point to this as a problem. I certainly think to say it is insulting is to deny this issue and close down the conversation when perhpas one is necessary. From a non white man reading this response from a white man in as position of influence i cant help but feel it only serves to preserve the position of power of white men.
I think Simon [C] that perhaps your last reponse overcompensated for what you saw as a lack of harshness with your first message.
Thanks for the points Oli.
I agree with everything about a disproportionate number of people being in those positions in society. But it’s still a stereotype – that was the point I was making.
It is also certainly a conversation worth having, but as with many of these topics, I don’t think this is really a useful place for it.
Goodness me. Surely this site is all about clothes, clothing, style, artisans, taste (and sometimes lack of it!), trends, history, and all things related.
Please don’t allow turn into a forum where people can express their views on society at large; there are plenty of other sites that would accommodate their need to spout.
I have followed/read you from almost the beginning. I come from a working class town in NE England, no public school and 27 years service with HM Forces.(lots of medals) Just saying… we are not all silver spoon public schoolboy media lovies…. that being said, I do seem to get paid a lot of money. Differing opinions are all part of the rich tapestry of life but whereas I am what I am now, I would not like to be thought of as a Public schoolboy… nothing wrong with being an ex Eton boy but to be thought of as such would ignore the fact that I am proud of my own roots and history.
Its all good… keep doing what you are doing Simon.
Very mature response. It’s odd that someone would come to site about clothing to make derogatory statements. Keep doing what you’re doing!
I dont actually think it odd at all. This site is about luxury clothing, not just clothing and the concept of luxury has intrinsic social elements. As such i think its only natural the conversation may go this way from time to time. Furthermore, in the article many details are revealed about this individual beyond his clothes i.e age, socio-ecomonic background, occupation etc which takes the conversation well beyond just clothing.
I think this article, whose subject discusses shopping on a budget, negates your assertions of class issues with this website. In this day and age you can dress well for a relatively little money.
Look, the readership of this website make up a very small minority of men who still enjoy classic (dare I say permanent) style. I’ve always found PS and sites like it to be a refuge for those of us who are into these things and also a distraction from the world around us. Those looking to have political arguments have many many avenues to do so.
I get why people raise social and political points on here from time to time and within reason i think it enhances the discussion. On the point of dressing on a budget i totally agree. I can garantee whatever reader spends the most on clothing [and there will be a reader who tops the table [id love to know who and how much!!]] wont be the most stylish or elegent and i would hedge my bets that that title would be awarded to someone on the lower end of the spend scale. Money cant buy taste.
It’s funny Harry, I can see why price and style wouldn’t be very aligned, but I don’t see why you’d err towards someone on a lower budget having more style. I would say it’s likely to be someone who’s been dressing for a few years and found what works for them, and so likely to be a bit older. Plus having access to good things helps a little.
But I guess that is all quite speculative.
The point is Mattia is 19 & a student & has his perspective on PS & what it tries to uphold for readers of a similar viewpoint. Mattia well expressed his take on the matter & how he approaches it with a trend towards vintage which is increasingly relevant with sustainability & reducing consumption.
Status Quo we’re good in their heyday but their music never progressed nor their clothing over the post 70’s decades. The 70’s with flares, poor denim, platforms etc were for that period but no more, at least not for me having lived with that ‘sartorial’ decade.
Fantastic to see a different type of reader profiled.
I very much enjoyed seeing Mattia’s outfits, but I’ll never fathom men wearing loafers and no/invisible socks during cold weather.
This is actually super common here, with women (though they wear sneakers or combat boots, low-socks, and ankle-length jeans)…and it is no less unfathomable to me. As other have said, impractical to the point of creating dissonance, imho it gives people the look of a “fashion victim”.
Though I actually like Mattia’s style besides that point.
Funny enough, though, from the image I thought Mattia was wearing off-white socks at first.
I really enjoyed reading this Mattia, I like your fun attitude and found a lot of my own parallels with respect to your style journey.
You’re very lucky to have a brother to share this interest with, I have a friend or two who likes their clobber but sadly none who match the insatiable appetite of a fellow PS reader!
From a fellow eBay addict – all the best and here’s hoping we don’t go in for the same things 😉
Fantastic article and one that really chimes with the way I shop for clothes. I’m very much in the same school of ‘read about a brand/item on PS’ and then spend the next year searching eBay to pick one up at a reasonable price point. It’s great to know there are more of us out there and that it isn’t all Big Four finance guys and the trust-funders.
Simon. A very different and refreshing article and presentation. Well done – and well done Mattia. Would Mattia be willing to share a little about his curriculum at LCF and his goals/plans for the future.
Mattia here, yes of course so I am currently in the middle of year 2. Year 1 was a lot about learning the basics, pattern drafting cutting and making. We made a whole Bespoke suit by the end of the year along side various design briefs in which we were set to take inspiration and work from a starting point they give us in the brief, and design a series of tailored outfits, alongside learning all the tech skills like drawing technical flats and using adobe in general.
Year 2 is a lot about creating your designs. So just before Christmas I made a fully bespoke outfit that I designed for a specific client that we were given in our brief. Right now we are currently working in collaboration with Scabal pitching new business ideas and our take on what future tailoring looks like. We now have models that the university has hired and we are following the whole Bespoke process (fittings etc) for this project.
In terms of my own goals/plans for the future I am currently searching for an internship for the university’s industry experience project. I am also considering taking a year out before my final year to do a tailoring internship to make sure that my final collection in year 3 is as high quality as it can possibly be! The end goal would be to have a brand of my own however I am only 19 and still have a lot to learn, and a lot of time to learn before I get there!
Thank you Mattia.
One small technical comment Simon: The first (header) picture at the top of the article is not available in the gallery like the other pictures, so it’s not possible to zoom in like the rest. Might this be fixable? On this occasion, I wanted to zoom in to look at the details of the corduroy jacket. Thank you.
I’ll look into it. Thanks Noel
The joy of timeless menswear. I don’t think I’d ever wear cut off jeans ,but I would be comfortable it just about wear everything else. Particularly like the formal outfit-I just wish we could find quality trousers on UK markets.
1. the reason I very much started following “permanent” style instead of fashion. and since I can’t say anything nice, I’ll stop there.
2. actually really nice and a makes me want to look for mid wash denim instead of your “everyday denim” b) i wonder if linen jacket in similar colour would work. I’d even say it could warrant a “permanent style for younger people” label. 🙂
3. well, he’s Italian. so stand out piece on top of stand out piece on top of stand out piece on top of stand out piece is not too bad. “I” would stick to one stand out piece and rest of the stuff as calm as possible.
Hard pass on cowboy boots, but other than that – very interesting! Especially the second outfit is spot on. And hey, enjoy your Sicilian height, if you were as tall as me you wouldn’t be able to buy anything vintage or RTW!
I really enjoyed this article. It’s quite interesting to read about someones take on style, think “I wouldn’t EVER wear that…” followed by “…but I can see why some people would.” While it’s always nice to be reminded that I’m not the only “mid 30s to early 50s office guy wearing sport coats, tailored trousers and C&J shoes” out there, there’s more to learn from people who have a different take on personal style than I have. I would never wear cut-of jeans these days, but I can see how someone younger, a bit more fashion forward, can pull it off.
I know fashion is almost a dirty word around some fans of classic menswear, but most things we consider classic today was once fashionable. At some point in history, traditionalists turned up their noses at oxford shoes and silk ties. Ivy was a trend (among young upper class people too, the nerve!). I’m sure lots of the more casual approaches to tailoring we see today will seem utterly cringeworthy (probably not as cringeworthy as the expression “cringe”, though). And perhaps one or two will remain relevant. Those oxford shoes stuck around for a pretty long time, after all.
Thanks Sam. Nice to know some readers like having themselves reflected back at them, and others like being challenged more. And plenty more like both!
Would that I’d been so stylish at his age. I shudder to think of some of some of the things I wore!
He’s got a great sense of proportion and colour. Reading the description of the casual outfits you could easily picture a messy pile-up of ill-matched vintage but they’re actually perfectly combined into coherent and stylish outfits. Really pleasing to look at even if I wouldn’t wear much of it myself.
Nice point Tommy
And that’s the thing about style; not much here I would wear or even like but it works for him and looks cool. Cowboy boots I love, have even bought a few pairs but I just cant wear them, I always feel a git, but then I look at the photo and start looking at cowboy boot sites again, cant win. Vive le difference and vive individual style. Style is style, that’s the beauty of it, his is not mine but its definitely style. Thanks to the covid lords they are allowing me to have 7 days in London in February so I get to wander the streets and feel stylish vibe.
Now that’s a post I can relate to. Really cool style! I didn’t even know there were red Barbours…
Where can I see “O’Mast”? I do not have an apple computer or this Apple TV.
The DVD is available. I think The Armoury might still sell them?
I saw that, thank you Simon. However I do not know anyone who has a dvd-player anymore. :/
It’s worth hanging onto them! If you like good films in particular. Otherwise you’re completely at the mercy of streaming channels and what they want to offer – which usually means the most mainstream, easy to watch things. Nothing alternative
Another excellent article in this series – thank you Simon and Mattia.
i’ve seen a number of people – Mr Spangle particularly – who wear denim (often pale or white) with the hems removed, leaving a frayed edge and loose strands. Why is this? Asking out of curiosity and interest – no critical or negative intent.
I don’t think there is a reason Alex, it’s just a style. Even if it has origins in people cutting rather than stitching jeans to the right length, the reason people do it today is just because they like the slightly ragged and casual style.
We used to do it in the ’70s, Doc Martins or Dealer boots with jeans cut and frayed. No I dont know why either, it must have been a good idea at the time.
Instead of getting your trousers taken up in a dry cleaners (for a student/young person time and money costly) or rolling them up (appearing too fussy) you can quickly trim them down with a pair of scissors. As others have discussed before, the fraying is seen as attractive, like a well-earned wash on your denim or nice patina on your leather.
Thanks Mattia, very stylish!
I’d like to comment on the discussion above as well, about what PS covers. It would be fun to see an even broader scope of styles here. There are so many ways do dress well.
For example, I regret that I will never be able to pull off wearing the foot-long white robe that many people wear in the arab world. It looks so good, and I imagine that it is one of the most comfortable garments in the world. Personally, I’d be happy to see you covering that (and many other styles), Simon, even though it is outside the tradition of western clothing. Or maybe do something on today’s latest fashion, or yesterdays, as you occasionally have done?
Anyway, thanks for your good work, Simon.
No worries Erik, and good thoughts. I can and will branch out now and again, but bear in mind this site is still focused on luxury, classic (western) menswear, so it’s never going to deviate too far
Arab clothes can be expensive, even bespoke.
One would think that for example the mens headscarf is just a piece of red and white cloth. But there is a lot of knowledge and taste behind it, different qualities, different makes. Then the styles how to wear it, even some ´sprezzatura ´ 🙂
A dear friend once gifted me a very special Arab scarf. I have never seen anything in this quality before and I have visited many shops. When I asked him he told me it was very hard to find. But he doesn’t tell me where he found it. I wear it only on very special occasions.
I do understand your focus, Simon, and it’s best to keep your focus.
But when you happen to be in an Arab country one day, try to find an Arab tailor. My impression is that tailors are more common in some Arab countries than in Europe. It would be fun to read about your adventure and to see you in tailored Arab clothes.
Thanks HP, I certainly will.
I loved doing that in Japan with kimonos for example (here)
Unfortunately I travelled through quite a few Arab countries when I was younger, but never visited a tailor
Erik, I wear Arab clothes every single day at home. You are right, for me it’s the most comfortable thing to wear.
What a refreshing reader profile. I have enjoyed it quite a lot.
His style references are spot on and I enjoyed his mention of being the “grey man”. Probably applicable to growing up in any “rough area” of any big city.
Even though I would not wear his outfits, they do look great on him.
I do not like cut-off jeans as, for me, they look unkempt. The cowboy boots is also something I would never wear, just as the loafers without socks. But that may be due to my social and cultural baggage.
Would it be possible to have a feature on ebay searching and the like? Sounds like a fascinating enterprise…
Sure, nice idea.
By the way, that’s the best type of reaction: ‘Even though I would not wear his outfits, they do look great on him’. You have a sense of style, but you’re not narrow-minded either
I am pretty sure Mattia looks a lot cooler than any of us did when we were 19 years old. Would I wear any of the outfits he wears here? No, not a chance. Does he look cool rocking them? Absolutely
Great read and great looks! Its lovely to see people like Mattia, who dress so well with smaller budgets and with a focus on vintage and second-hand.
In terms of style – I can see why some people find “fashionable” ideas like no socks challenging and I’m sure its not for everyone. But I do I find that in many of these innovations filter down to becoming normal after people have had time to digest them. My brother is a graduate of LSF like Mattia and I have lost count of how many things he and his friends wore that I didn’t like or didn’t understand, only to find myself entertaining them a bit later: examples include turned up jeans, trousers without a break, vintage sweatshirts, white socks and loafers…the list goes on.
I think something that innovators in style (and indeed beyond) do is challenge people to evolve their wardrobes by bringing back looks from the past, using items in new ways or just in unusual combos and contexts. Sometimes, that process begins with a little tension. But that’s healthy right? Otherwise we’d still be wearing frock coats and top hats.
Nicely put Fred
Indeed. Very well put Fred. I lack the talent and nerve to be at the forefront of any of this but thanks to guys like Mattia my kind can sit back and observe things for a bit before adopting some of it (just ahead of the general masses of course 😉
I think some of these things like no socks have a practical aspect that people might be missing out on because of the context that they live in. When I lived in Argentina, I would basically walk from my air conditioned house, to my air conditioned car, and then to my air conditioned office. Then abiding by the “sacred rule” of wearing socks with a suit wasn’t very hard.
Now I live in Denmark and even though the summer is not as hot as in Buenos Aires, I use public transport, walk a lot more and my office resembles a pizza oven on the hottest days. So I can’t even think about wearing anything else than a no show sock.
Hi Simon, this profile is really interesting in my opinion mainly because of the age of Mattia compared to myself and the other people profiled.
Mattia is in his early 20s and as a consequence is still very much looking for and developing his style whereas the rest of us are in our 40s and have had our style more or less imposed on us by our professional and social situations and are working on refining it.
Mattia’s style is young, fresh and fun. At the same time, in my opinion, he has a tendency to overdo it a bit, as does almost everyone at that age (I certainly did). Still screaming rather than whispering style.
For example, in the last outfit, the white cut off jeans, red barbour, cowboy boots and Harley belts are all in my opinion statement pieces. Any one of them alone would be OK, but all of them together are a little much to me.
I see this as a normal progression and learning process and I wish Mattia well.
The style is solid and I totally resonate with the “where am I going/who will be there” attitude of living/travelling through somewhere dodgy. What can be seen as blending in on the street to slightly enhance safety while also expressing some sort of style? Although I (clearly through reading this site) appreciate tailoring, there are few times I would walk around and feel comfortable and confident after some pretty dangerous encounters in life.
As someone in the similar age/wage bracket it is also refreshing to read the same shopping techniques! There are some golden finds on eBay just listed under ‘jacket’ etc. As Mattia said, take your time searching and you will find something great.
Good to see an alternative but maybe something between the two would be good…
I do struggle calling cut off mid blue jeans “semi-formal”, the lower half of the casual outfit if anything looks more more formal.
It’d be interesting to know what the mid and long term aspirations are… is the hope to move to top tier bespoke for most garments? More of the same? Something not clothes related?
I oscillate in my engagement with the website. It’s always articles like this that pull me right back in though. There is something very life affirming about having someone like Mattia on; and what good is a website about (sub) culture if it doesn’t do just that. Here’s a to a well composed exchange.
Being on the shorter side myself, I’m not fond of the cutoff denim look. I would much rather have them tapered with the ability to slightly cuff them if needed (i.e. when wearing my Engineer boots or the like).
However the rest of the outfits are fantastic, especially the Barbour. Bravo Mattia!
One would unlikely be donning outfit 1 for a day in town, but I can totally see myself in it for a short dash from the dorm to the lecture hall/dining hall/library etc. Sad to say my uni days are far behind me, if only I can dial back 20 years…
As inveterate thrifter/vintage junkie I’m entirely biased, but to my mind it’s so much easier to achieve interesting looks when you draw from the past and try to align it with your own vision. It takes as much or more work than researching and acquiring luxury products — but arguably much more rewarding. It becomes an achievement that has nothing to do with having lots of money.
Anyway, love his looks and sense of personal style. I love these features—thanks Simon!
I enjoyed very much the article. Mattia has a lot of style with budget constraints and this lead me to a topic on which I would like to read more on PS: if style (with minimum compromise on quality) always requires high budgets (at least when we talk about casual wear; tailoring is a completely different issue). To make an example: I have a pair of high waist chinos which I bought at Gap in London more than 20 years ago and for not more than 30 pounds. I had them adjusted in Italy for 10 euros. The fit is great and the material is still in excellent conditions with just the patina of the years. Would it really be so different the result buying chinos at more than 200 dollars? Mattia goes for vintage clothing but I am sure he would be able to wear with a lot of style going to high street shops.
Thanks Petronio, it’s a really good question. I think the (very) short answer is that yes, there are always quality differences that also affect the overall look, but yes, they are both smaller and more personal than with tailoring.
Those Gap chinos might be a great cut on you, for example, and having them in a tough-yet-worn-in right-hand-twill might be a small point alongside that. Even if it’s one PS readers would enjoy.
There is also, more amorphously, more of a ‘look’ sometimes in casual clothing that is cheaper, cheap and ageing in (objectively) a worse way. Denim is often a good example there, precisely because better jeans often aim for things that actually do wear more in some ways.
It’s certainly something worth exploring more in the future.
Petronio – your Gap chinos are over two decades old, you say. It’s difficult to get things of that quality on the high street now, quality has deteriorated from what it was even a decade ago and Mattia is probably better-served by having a vintage habit.
That red Barbour is absolutely gorgeous. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one in an unusual colour before, very jealous.
I personally prefer the cut off hem when worn with boots, it looks more natural to my eye.
Great to see an article from a younger reader! I’m very much enjoying these articles and they make me all the more eager to get more of my wardrobe sorted out.
Simon and Mattia congrats, this was a very interesting perspective from someone who most likely anjoys his clothes in many other ways as the older readers. I like to read many of the themas you post but this one was one of the best cause it showed some very different things:
1) you dont need much money to be well dressed, but you sure need time and to be a stylish person with a good taste and to experiment a lot
2) many many people dont have so many bespoke clothes if any at all
3) a jacket and a coat can look good even if they dont fit 100% perfect, if the wearer is young, full of style and not fat.
4) The shoes are the most important outfit thing and even people who dont have much money invest on them.
Id like more of those cases of people instead of the always suited up/ very picky people.
I fully agree.
Simon, Mattia mentions Alessandro Squarzi. Did you ever visit his store Fortela in Milan?
No, I’m afraid not
Always find these reader profiles a good read. Always useful and interesting to see a different perspective and ideas.
As for the stereotyping debate – a waste of time and the carbon generated posting the comments (better suited to Twitter!). One reason why this is as close as I ever get to (un)social media.
The first picture of outfit 2 looks very, very good. And completely effortless, totally natural.
In my eyes, this is among the best pictures on PS (on par with Simons tobacco linen suit).
Being an American university student myself means that while it’s amazing to be exposed to all of the tailoring on PS, only the most casual (and RTW) clothing really applies to my life. The rest is all aspirational. I don’t dress like Mattia at all, but thank you Mr. Crompton for highlighting a young person engaging with classical menswear and validating it!
I very much enjoyed the profile of Mattia. It resonates with me for a very different reason than in many of the comments. I am emerging from two years of Covid restricted life on the far side of my 70th birthday. As I emerge, how do I assemble a personal style that reflects the huge changes that have affected how we live and dress over the past couple of years. I am professionally as busy as I have ever been, and in person meetings are starting to reappear on my schedule. Watching how a young man develops a sense of personal style is extremely useful as I try to decipher the code of how to dress both age appropriately and occasion appropriately. I couldn’t and wouldn’t try to look like Mattia, I would look foolish, but I like his approach. And I endorse the Permanent Style approach of a broad perspective that can help one develop one’s own style.
Thanks Tom, and lovely to hear it’s helpful
I’ve read all the comments, with some tutting and some nodding. Personally, I think this is a great feature. Not everything can be about rich middle age dudes (gosh, who would have thought they could afford nice things) and this is refreshing. The mix of vintage and new, and the innovation shown in buying vintage and putting it together is great.
I don’t like the jeans, but so what? I don’t like marmite. It’s irrelevant.
Well done Mattai, some nice progression in dressing at your age is something to be proud of.
If I could give you some advice it would be the following:
Ivy Style, Ivy League Style, Trad Style, and Trad Security Guard Looks will provide you with a solid foundation towards dressing well with consistency.
Build Looks within these genres by only changing one or two variables at a time, and over the coarse of a year or so you should become very well dressed.
Become more strategic with your style progression. Realise that you can only really improve so much every year and that there are only so many days per season to dress in certain fabrics and colours. Be a smart shopper and dresser, choose which looks to build your expertise in, failing to do so will certainly result in your becoming a fashion victim.
Dont’ try to tame fashion. Everyone tries, but it’s like quicksand, the harder you try the further you sink. Avoid it like the plague.
Don’t jump the gun with Neo Ivy or Neo Prepster Looks. Learning how to wear chinos and cords is more valuable then you might think, then move onto grey flannel trousers etc. At the same time get yourself some raw denim entry level denim and begin setting some fades whilst your at college. Stay away from the raw hemmed garbage and those ‘Euro trash’ white jeans, they are both sartorial dead ends that will waste your time.
Embrace the white shirt instead of white jeans. Any man can look smart and considered with a white shirt even if it’s a $25-$40 mall brand shirt from Uniqlo or H&M etc. The white shirt adds presence to the wearer, so be aware that degenerates will prefer if you ‘turn a blind eye’ and not wear the white shirt, take this into account…
Do not fear the necktie. The necktie is one of the most important elements towards dressing well. Neglecting to wear neckties is not a wise choice. Wearing and thinking about neckties will help your understanding of shirt collars, shirt colours, and longue suit coats/blazers etc.
White shirts offer the perfect background for any necktie, coat or slacks. Blue shirts are also good for the timid tie wearer since they lack presence yet still look somewhat conventional.
Knit ties are a good place to start. Black is the best. Dark brown if your a ‘hair guy’ who likes styling his hair etc.
Get a wool knit tie for Winter, it’s easier to wear a wool tie then a silk one because they’re cosier and actually utilitarian. Wear them whenever it’s cold etc.
That’s about all I’ve got time to add. Hope you appreciate the advice, and that Simon doesn’t flag this comment..
P.S. Also enjoy the early years, they’re the best part of Sartorialism really and you only get to live them once.. At whatever age it’s all the same really, just be strategic about it.
What I like about Mattia is his self-awareness — he knows he still has a lot to learn and is eager to get at it. It reminds me of a survey that showed that people with a great deal of self-esteem are not usually the best learners because they think they already know it all. Mattia is headed for success.
My own style is fairly conservative, and at first I too was put off by the frayed jeans. But when I saw them a second time in white, with the red Barbour, I began to get it. Although I never wear red, I thought that was a great outfit.
Long-time reader and big PS fan here. Very infrequent commenter. Well done Mattia! I think they all look great, I was always a plain off-the-rack USA male who often looked pretty bad in his clothes. Wish I’d sensitized to all this when I had the chance. But I like this Post since it shows someone thinking about clothes and style without showcasing it in $6000 bespoke outfits and mannered looks for cameras. I will likely never buy bespoke even though I can afford it. It’s just not a priority. But looking better than the sloppy bum I used to look like is a priority and I really value the education I’ve gotten here at PS. Very nice to see a thoughtful young man apply it in a mainstream human budget-minded way. And I’d enjoy more of that here.
One really dumb observation: The blue jeans look slightly stained with dirt on the upper legs. A few years ago I saw a $1000 pair of designer blue jeans made that way on purpose. I couldn’t believe it. Several years ago I bought a pair of Levis for first time in years and they were faded and silvery on the upper legs. I returned them thinking they were a manufacturing defect. You should have seen the looks on the faces of the young store clerks when I pointed out “the problem”. Hahahahah. You get older and lose touch I suppose.
I loved reading this and I love Mattia’s style. As someone who doesn’t earn a lot of money most of my reading here is pipe dream stuff. But me and mattia are on the same boat – there is a way to dress well for under 3k! It’s just takes a whole lot more time. Really liked the article simon