Some interesting Pitti picks
It was nice to see Pitti back in some kind of working order recently, when I attended for the first time in two years.
Attendance was still down, with many brands absent and indeed an entire building empty. That was a little shocking to see - just a barrier where the entrance used to be.
And there was a distinct lack of Japanese and Koreans. Apparently there are still some restrictions on them travelling - or at least getting back once they leave.
But still, it was nice. I really miss the concentration of creativity that happens at a menswear show. Everyone out in their best duds, reflecting their combination of a particular style subculture, the trends within it, and then their personality within that. Often I find the streetwear guys just as inspiring as the sartorialists.
I also miss the cataloguing of the looks that used to happen in the major magazines. They were so useful. You’d trawl through 93 images but always find 10 or 15 that were worth saving.
Nowadays this mostly happens on Instagram, sometimes only in stories, and it’s often drowned out by images of what everyone had for dinner. WWD has a set, but it’s very fashion.
So here are a few I liked at Pitti this year. It’s a deliberate mix of formal and casual, and I really wish I didn’t have to remind everyone, but it still feels necessary - this isn’t about copying looks wholesale. It’s about little touches of inspiration, whether a colour combination, a cut, or even just an attitude.
Women can get away with more than men when it comes to style (it’s all about associations), but still this is a great combination. Textured grey, white, tan, brown, beige. Of all those, I think it’s the brown/grey suit cloth that brings it all together.
I wouldn’t wear the hat and I’d go for loafers rather than monk straps, but that’s the point: a different style on a different person, but something that can inspire me none the less.
There’s something contrary in me that always wants to pick the unusual choice. Not the guy in the nice suit and nice shirt. But the guy in a T-shirt and khakis that has easily missed ideas for a nice suit and nice shirt.
Here I like the colour combination of white, washed-out green and washed-out grey (in the shirt). Goes well with his hair colour too.
Maybe the theme for me this year was ‘tonal’. I’d never wear this outfit, but I was attracted by the combination of black, grey, white and a petrol blue.
Looking at those that wear more casual clothing is also often an interesting exercise in proportion. Big T-shirt, but tucked in; big trousers, but cut short. It’s often length that makes something sloppy, rather than size.
OK, here’s a nice bit of tailoring. Hi Andreas! An impressive amount of tonality going on here, with three shades of brown and a yellow (cream?) polo shirt.
I’m not sure I could pull off quite that level of brown tonal. Maybe it helps that Andreas’s tan and hair almost seem part of the combination. Anyway, one I’ll put into the ‘try and see’ folder.
This is probably more what I’d wear. Tan cotton suit, T-shirt, brown sunglasses adding something extra.
I didn’t expect the burgundy-coloured Vans though. They really added something to the outfit, in the absence of any other colour or accessory. Helps a lot if they’re beat-up.
Women again. My God they do the tonal thing well. Not because it comes more naturally somehow, but because we often don’t appreciate how much they think, have to think, and copy images even more wholesale. That’s based on a few conversations, but a subject for another day.
Here it’s just beautiful white, beige, tan and black. I will definitely be copying that. And no, guys, it doesn’t matter if your bag doesn’t match your shoes.
Wearing colours that are close to each other, but not quite the same, is something men often feel is a bad idea. It can certainly be risky, and not as smart, but it’s worth playing with in more casual clothing.
I love this simple navy on navy. It looks like a working outfit, ready for a practical day in the heat, at a trade fair. But with an elegance nonetheless.
There’s something similar here with Kevis, but rather more exaggerated proportions and, as a result, what feels more like a fashion look.
High, wide trousers; deeply unbuttoned shirt; big hat and glasses. It’s these things that make it the kind of outfit many PS readers won’t like - but it’s about proportions, not the fact there’s a big ship on the front of the cap.
I deliberately haven’t included most of the big hitters of menswear here - Ethan and Kenji, Anglo guys, Armoury guys etc. You’ll have seen most of those around anyway. And I haven’t included this picture for Tommaso either (on the left).
Rather, I liked Eugenio’s orange slippers. Only at a pool party, and only with everything else very restrained, but I love it. Better than an animal print or a big monogram for me, personally.
Here’s a lovely suit and tie. One of the few times I’ve found I like a ‘fun’ tie as well. Not too fun, not ironic, but deliberately more playful than a small geometric pattern.
Nice details too, like the bracelet, the sunglasses in the pocket. Still seems like a better way to go than a pocket square or a tie pin to me, most of the time.
To be honest, I’m not sure why I like this one so much. Maybe it just seemed very authentic - his way of wearing a suit.
I couldn’t imagine the same look with a collared shirt, or with a polo tucked in. The full cut of the trousers, and the jacket permanently unbuttoned, are also part of the same attitude. The attitude and the personality make me very happy.
I know, I know. The proportions are a bit silly: those jeans are so low the jacket barely overlaps them. But the purple, the purple under the navy is great. As is pale denim and the black loafer.
I’d take that and try a navy shawl-collar cardigan over a purple polo, with similarly pale jeans (slimmer leg, higher rise) and black loafers. That could look great.
The thing I love most about simple colour combinations is that it gives you more room to experiment with other things (if you want to).
This is basically just black and olive drab. But it makes it easier to wear a leather sandal, carry a little drawstring bag, add some jewellery.
Back to tailoring, with a combination I have actually worn and will again. Maybe that’s why I include less of these, because I feel I already know them, and have shown them on PS too.
Anyway, it’s beige/oatmeal, white and tobacco. I’ve done that with my Brioni jacket and my canvas Caliendo, the choice depending on how casual I want to be. And usually with the trousers from my Dege suit.
Last but by no means least, a guy doing some western workwear very simply and nicely. It’s the much-more-wearable alternative to what you normally see in Brycelands imagery.
Pale blue work shirt, khaki khakis, and a western hat in the actually-rather-tonal colour of silverbelly. If you’re going to try a western hat in the sun, this is the way to start.
All photos, Alex Natt, except Andreas and Eugenio, Skolyx, and three guys on the street, Pontus Jonsén of Baltzar.com
Hello Simon. May I use some of the pics. from this blog post that I like. Will try to make a video on my YouTube channel and post here. Let me know if I can have your permission to do it and if it’s do-able to use some of your Pitti Clicks 😊
Sure, that’s fine Amit. Just make sure to credit the photographers correctly – see the bottom of the article for their details
Thank you Simon for your permission to use your pics. Going forward whenever I use your pics. from any of your blog posts, I’ll ensure all the concerned photographers are credited in my Videos Descriptions that I make. I personally like that myself. That’s the whole point of taking your permission to do so. Also a mention here that I’m already very frequently mentioning Permanent Style and linking your website and your name on the Descriptions on the Casual Menswear Styles videos I make wherever it’s needed, required and necessary as I’m blogging here and wearing PS clothes myself 🥳👍
Great, thank you Amit
Two things hit me from reading this ;
1 Dear Lord, why do Japanese/Korean men wear tailoring / clothes so well ! So much is talked about British tailoring , Italian styles etc , but my god the Far East guys can pull it off.
2 The women photographed look incredible ! The lady with the white shirt just pulls off the colour and the loose fit so well .
And on that note we need articles on PS from women about how they see men’s tailoring . I don’t think we’ve ever had that .
Let’s get a female perspective .
Certainly on subjects such as how they see men wearing colour (I was was once told by a elderly lady “men are colour blind when it comes to clothes”).
Maybe even how women see clothes and how we can translate that for men.
P.S. great photos
We have covered women’s view on men’s clothes previously here. Not sure if you’ve seen that.
But actually I have a couple of pieces planned on women’s views on tailoring and clothing in general too, so good timing.
My wife always wants me to add more colour! I suggested she help me with my summer, cotton sweater purchases and she picked baby blue, a green turquoise and a quite strong pink.
And…she was right.They go with just about everything.
Color is something very personal. Being a woman, I wouldn’t say that I am naturally inclined to more colorful choices. My wife, a born and raised Italian has a fantastic eye on how to combine seasonality and colors. She says this is passing down from her mother. With her advice, I learn how to wear burgundy, yellow, and orange. Especially the latter two, quintessential Mediterranean colors that most (incl. My oldself) don’t know what to do with them.
Spookily, your yellow and oatmeal combo had already inspired me to search for a yellow similar colour. My wife said…’see’ ‘You don’t always need navy or white’
Hi Peter –
Yellow is such a wonderful and underrated color. In my opinion, either go with the very pale one or the full rich tone. The former is quite easy in my opinion. The latter is easier to find in Italy, the southern part specifically. Good luck!
Good idea on women’s view’s. I’ve learnt a lot about simplicity in colour combinations from my wife over the many years of our marriage.
Also thanks to you for some great take outs (not wholesale looks as you say) from the images such as use of a Breton T-shirt under a denim shirt and of course one of my favourites a horizontal stripe under a jacket- I have a similar fine stripe and can see how it can work as well as a thicker breton.
Great stuff thanks.
Hi Simon, I’d like to add another article idea to the mix…
Permanent Style is a fantastic resource for any sartorial minded man, but there seems to be no equivalent for women that I can find online. I am certain that a lot of the principles you speak of can translate to womenswear as well, yet while I can list many brands (Drakes, Rubato etc) and shops (Trunk, The Rake etc) that I could turn to for high quality, classic men’s clothing thanks to your blog, I cannot find any womenswear equivalents.
I’d imagine if Drakes, Private White or the Armoury did womenswear they’d do a roaring trade.
Tailors and shirt makers don’t seem to cater to women, with Katheryn Sargent, Huntsman and precious few others being the exception. I think Fred Nieddu may do the odd thing without advertising, Scott Fraser does a very limited offering of women’s MTM…and Blackhorse Lane do ladies jeans but not chinos. Bosie/Harley of Scotland do women’s Shetlands but most other Shetland brands you’ve tried do not.
Mr. Porter features many brands you endorse, yet Net-A-Porter is full of ‘luxury’ garments made from polyester, extremely fashion led and designers typically don’t share your views on subtlety and proportions.
You often advise men to steer away from skinny or even slim fit, giving great thought to balance of proportions. Women seemingly don’t have as much of a choice in this area what with fashion’s penchant for see through and figure hugging fits…with a lack of quality or limited design options being the problem IMO. Bespoke or MTM is mainly a man’s domain (other than perhaps for formal dresses), and there seems to be no voice giving similar advice to you, for women.
My rather (!) laboured point being, what do women do who share the values of Permanent Style male readers?
I’d love to read an article or series of articles by you (though I know you only like to write from experience and this is after all a menswear blog) or a woman/women you respect offering some direction on the above thoughts. I’d mainly be interested in every day, casual wear brands or tailors who make such things rather than suits for women per se, but there is a huge gap online here IMO…perhaps other readers have found this also, or their partners?
A very good idea. There is precious little around, but women who shop that way must go somewhere. Let me talk to one or two stylish women I know in this area and put something together.
Cheers for the push
Fantastic! Thanks Simon, that would be great. With so much of womenswear being derived from menswear originally, I find it so curious that in 2022 there could be such a disparity in offerings. I’m fascinated as to why Drakes, for instance, don’t sell their clothes with a women’s fit or at least unisex, when their marketing campaigns feature female models looking so stylish in them! The contrast in philosophy behind womenswear and menswear designers generally would be very interesting too, understanding the different priorities and challenges (and selling points) in relation to each other. It would be interesting to hear thoughts on the influence of sexualisation on womenswear compared to menswear also. Many thanks!
OK, thanks James.
The biggest reason most brands don’t offer much womenswear, by the way, is because it is so affected by fashion – you need different fits and styles continuously, and it’s a hard thing to keep on top of when it’s not your main area. Many brands over the years that I have known have started women’s lines because so many of their customers’ partners have asked for it. But they rarely work, because women actually buy very little of it.
I’ve had several style-conscious female friends join me for an appointment at my tailor, just to see what it is about, and they have universally been overwhelmingly positive about the selection of quality fabrics and the subtitles of design language; how a softer canvas can change the formality level of a jacket, how the traditionally muted colour requires you to communicate more with texture and cut,and how things actually get better the more you wear it. They bemoan the lack of quality fabrics in women fashion…
But thus far, not even the most well-heeled ones have actually taken the step to order anything. Even though bespoke trousers cost less than the gucci and LV purses some of them own, and even though my tailor has a good track record of cutting trousers for women.
The old saying “It doesn’t matter how many people love or hate your product, the only thing that matters is if they buy it.” seems to hold some sway.
Nicely put Sam. I wonder whether it would make any difference if those women could try on tailoring from the tailor in a range of cuts and cloths, and then order their own.
It might. But my guess is the main obstacle is social rather than practical – none of my friends ever expressed concern about if the fabric or fit would be good. Rather, I think spending this kind of money on tailored clothing isn’t an established practice for (most) women. We are social animals, and we tend to look to others like us for guidance, especially in situations that are new and/or risky. Successful men have had bespoke suits cut in the UK or Italy for decades, and even if the practice is less common today, it still carries some prestige in many circles (actually WEARING the suit could be more controversial).
As Dennise mentions below, women who are interested in this style of clothing have fewer role models; looking around, there is little social proof that this is a good idea to spend thousands on a bespoke suit, there are few signs that “people like me, or people I aspire to be like, are doing this”. Because of this, the possible social price is also higher (“You paid HOW MUCH for those pants? I’ve never even heard of this ‘Edward Sixteen’ before!”), where as a LV purse is a safe choice. You are almost certainly paying too much, but at least you aren’t the only one doing it. You can’t ALL be fools, right?
Interestingly, with fewer men buying suits, classic men’s tailors may have a lot to win by promoting their work to women. Hermes shows that it’s quite possible to be both a luxury and a craft brand – you just have to make it socially acceptable.
Thanks Sam, yes I agree that all makes a big difference as well. Unfortunately I think that side of being socially acceptable requires quite a lot of marketing spend, which then makes tailoring and many crafted products rather more expensive.
You are obviously right, Simon. In fact, I would wager that mass-market penetration is probably beyond the tailoring industry today, regardless of price increases.
What might be doable is creating some accessible ambassadors for classic mens tailoring worn by women. You don’t need to convert the whole world – tailoring is a niche product today and likely will be for the near future – it might be enough to have some fairly visible “real people” that are relatable to new customers wearing tailoring to show that “people like me are wearing this”.
After all, this is probably one reason why PS is so influencial among men: you made a lot of styles accessible to common (granted, well-off) people. You don’t present yourself as a serial entrepreneur, international playboy or high powered executive, you showed that many tailored looks could be worn well by someone working in the city and living the classic family life in the suburbs.
It should not be beyond the fabric and tailoring industry to find some non-male role models like that.
Good point Sam, I agree
Well said Sam. Social proof can play a big part.
That sentence of “HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY FOR THIS??!!!” is a regular routine I have encountered with my friends.
Luckily my wife has since joined me on the bespoke journey so at least the social proof at the household is covered. 😁
To chime in here, female customers tend stay away from MTM or Bespoke because of feeling intimidated. When I started my bespoke journey 5 years ago, I cannot find too many relatable role models except Sonya Glynn.
Many of my followers on Instagram use the term “relatable”, and that is the key. Many dms I received is about “tks for showing that women can wear a suit that is not skin tight”. Or asking advice on finding trousers that would fit female body type (we have more hips, naturally).
I believe the more female bespoke customer or tailors that are out there, the more awareness we can generate.
I can quite understand the intimidation, particularly without a PS resource equivalent for ladies and without many tailors even offering bespoke or MTM for women. Those that do are asking for quite a lot of trust I imagine!
I’d have thought London College of Fashion or somewhere would be full of young tailoring enthusiasts looking to offer bespoke to women in the future…And that there’d be a big market for it, but I wouldn’t know. Yes more enthusiasts/tailors all round would be good I agree!
Hi James –
Good point. From what I see, there is a wave of young tailoring wanting to break that ceiling for female tailoring market. Just to name a few: Abbie Leach, Laura Bachmeier, Milena La Montagna. And of course, we already have Kimberly Lawton, Kathryn Sargent, Caroline Andrew, Cristina Dalcuore, Adriana Esposito among others.
From those I have chat with on this very topic, a lot of their female customers get to know bespoke tailoring through a partner who appreciate the craft and want to try it themselves.
Having a female tailor to advise on their choices add more confidence.
I could not agree more with this. However, it seems like a very tall order. My wife and I are both professionals in the US and have similar seniority and we share financial resources. I own four pairs of shoes to wear to work and I suspect my wife owns 30 purchased over roughly the same period, each of poorer quality than my shoes and closer to fast fashion, many no longer worn. Professional women are seemingly still “forced” to follow fashion much more than men and the resultI suspect is same budget, more items, shoddier clothing at every level of female shopper, compared to men. I can wear ten year old suits or sport coats and look reasonably normal, but my wife cannot do the same. I am sure I speak from some male ignorance but professional women would do well to approach the tailors featured on PS and develop their own “permanent style”, at least for office wear.
I think that’s right GL. Women have always told me over the years that the problem is the pressure they feel under to dress in a certain way – both in respect of fashions, but also to appear professional, yet feminine, classic yet stylish, and so on. It’s much harder than dressing as a man, formally or casually
Nicely put GL.
I co-hosted a trunk show for Marco Cerrato in Amsterdam a while ago and one customer shared exactly the same opinion as you. The agreement is that he would like to bring his partner to the next trunk show and perhaps commission a pair with my assistance (I was wearing my high twist pair made by Marco, hence a good reference).
But this exchange is fantastic. Gives me more inspiration on what to do for Instagram or perhaps start writing my tailoring experience more in depth. Thank you.
To echo another comment, there is definitive gatekeeping in the bespoke community, despite the fact that there are now many female tailors making garments for any client with any body type and a significant number of women and AFAB people willing to dress classically. As a sort of tailor myself, I started a blog out of frustration due to the lack of resources such as PS but open to people who are not cis men. In addition, there’s great confusion as of what people who are not in fact men can wear: as a female who’s not a woman, the frustration is more than palpable seeing suits targeted at the AFAB demographic having nothing in common with what I find affirms me in my expression, and I bet that applies also to women who don’t want to wear cropped lapel-less jackets and tight pants. The bottom line is, though, “menswear” is not just for men, it’s for everyone, and it’s high time people realize it.
Cannot agree more than this. I shared the same frustration and bespoke was my remedy!
Luckily I am always able to get the silhouette I want (note: not tight or cropped) with the tailors I work with.
The fact is some do look good but if lm honest and with respect l didn’t see very much that was interesting at Pitti . Lots of it is “ look at me “ and some is very ordinary . Apart from that occasionally where l live in Milan you see some nicely dressed Japanese in well made suits but l think they look good because they are mostly of slender build . That said as Cary Grant stated “ it doesn’t Matter what you pay for a suit because the only thing that matters is if it fits well” and the Japanese probably follow ( Also ) this principle . I’m looking at a bloke recently in Saville Row spending 6 k on a suit and he looks like his going to an office in Moorgate . So the point is like the Japanese if you can put a look together and have the right build nothing else matters
Great filtering of what can seem to outsiders like a bewildering event – appreciated. Two things stand out for me: the beige/brown tailoring, which often seems to look best with white as a contrast; and the prevalence of two pocket work shirts. Some really nice examples here. It’s easy to go too far down the workwear tram-tracks and before long it can start to look OTT. But the nods and mixes captured in the piece are exemplary.
A question. Camp collars: have they peaked?
On camp collars, I don’t think they’re going anywhere really. You might see less at a fashion brand or store, but it’s always been a great option on a summer shirt and pretty traditional in many parts of the world too.
Great idea to apply your editorial eye to the deluge of Pitti imagery – these are fantastic and illustrate perfectly your point about drawing inspiration. That purple polo with the navy blazer, yes!! I’d welcome seeing this formula applied to fashion weeks and other industry events
OK great, good to know Peter
Everyone looks noticeable more…comfy than a lot of previous Pitti photo collections I’ve seen. Was that a general mood Simon, or is it just this selection of photos?
It’s certainly the first Pitti album I’ve seen where I’ve consistently thought “yep, I’d wear that” instead of “goodness, he’s certainly trying to attract attention”.
It’s just this selection of photos, ones I responded to. I could easily have picked out a lot of silly suits and day-glo trousers
A very nice selection, and interesting comments. Thank you. I appreciate your discriminating eye – or perhaps it is just that our tastes are very similar.
I love the strong navy and navy/purple outfits, but I have regretfully come to the conclusion that they work best on men with strong colouring (as here).
Personally I am better with something gentler, like the white, brown, beige wonderfully worn by this woman, and the men’s variations further down. It really works on all of them.
Tks a lot Andrew. It is a color combination that I often used. My tailoring wardrobe also tends lean toward that direction. Time to invest in the grey zone. 🙂
The woman with the flat cap pictured first, Denisse Yeh, is worth following on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/women_in_tailoring/
Thanks Paul, yes I do
Thank you Paul 🙂
Thanks Simon…I generally find suits and untucked shirts/polo’s to be off in terms of proportions but the look above (light blue suit) makes it work!
Do you think it’s to do with the length of the shirt and his height? I also wondered if it was about the the length of the trouser which I would say is shorter than most people would have. I’d be interested in understanding how to make that work for casual weddings and other such contexts.
Yes it’s a hard one. I think the length definitely makes a difference, but I think also as mentioned it’s about the proportions of everything else – looser, bigger, and yes a shorter trouser.
I’m not sure it’s a combination I think would be great for a wedding though, I feel something neater would be better. Maybe a knitted T-shirt, or a knitted polo tucked in. Otherwise it looks too loungey
Thanks Simon…definitely agree on the wedding point, I was a bit unclear. I was actually thinking about a Guayabera. My partner is mexican and I have a lovely linen one. My plan is to match with linen trousers from a suit but still trying to decide how to put a top layer on it, considering how unpredictable July weather is.
Ah, I see. I think that sounds a bit tricky, the three colours/linens together. And a guayabera is best on its own usually.
Perhaps go with just the guayabera, and have the option of a vest underneath for some warmth if needed? If you need something more than that later, a shawl knit would be nice, but obviously not smart.
Thanks Simon, that’s really helpful. I think your right about the jacket. Can’t believe I didn’t think of the vest! I guess a nice light scarf would be nice for warmth and colour too.
Great article Simon, thank you for offering us this small window into this seasons Pitti, your selections are great. I agree, my Instagram was flooded with plenty of Pitti coverage, 85% of which was lovely looking meals and drinks in hand, with nice outfits being secondary.
Good point on the big magazines coverage. GQ was my go to back when I didn’t know about PS, nor what pitti was really. Ahh the memories of trawling through those photo collections, I wonder does GQ even still cover it?
Great shots, I appreciate how you continue to remind it’s about inspiration, not like for like with these outfits. For instance, I’m not the biggest fan of tobacco (on myself), but I appreciate how well it works with white, cream etc. and looks on others, some of the fits are incredible.
I love the more relaxed trousers across the board, but the highlight for me are the navy looks, amazing. The Navy, faded out denim and black loafers (cordovan?) is wicked. Do you reckon a dark olive or even military green would be a suitable alternative to the purple in that outfit? I’m enjoying playing around with Navy + denim + black in a casual setting, I cannot wait for the faded black iteration of the PS tee.
Thanks CK, and yes I think a dark olive would be great there.
Some great unexpected looks featured, as you’ve indicated. And bravo to you for the looks NOT featured: This is the first time I can remember seeing a Pitti shoot where no one is sporting a cigarette or cigar. Whether intentional or not, delighted that style isn’t being equated with a 1950s “smoking is cool and I don’t care a whit about smelly clothes, bad breath, reduced lung capacity and, oh yeah, cancer.”
Thanks. There was one particularly stupid jacket that had three cigar pockets sewn on the outside breast. Not only showy, but just a poor way to execute that functionality.
Oh, and actually my favourite moment of day one – a photographer told us that he saw someone in an awesome outfit, crouched to shoot him, and then noticed he was wearing two neckties. “Two ties!,” he said to us. “I was so angry I could have f*cking punched him”
An homage to Back To The Future pt2 perhaps!
Simon, this is one of your better recent articles with a number of really interesting ideas and insights. You’re so right that women can get away with a lot more concerning style. The woman in the db suit looks fantastic whereas a man would look silly with the jacket unbuttoned. Your observation that women do the tonal thing so well is also true and I also plan on copying this look. The woman in that photo looks sensational! I also really liked the outfits on the men in the poolside photo, just great. Lastly, the purple and navy combo was beautiful and I plan on using that too!
However, the outfits consisting of oversized baggy pants, t-shirts and otherwise garish casual clothing on grown men looked juvenile. It looked like these guys were trying to dress like teenagers or rappers in Los Angles or London.
So thank you for the fantastic tour and discussion of the Pitti show.
Even if those aren’t your style, I do find it interesting how well they’re executed, and others are done so badly. For example, the point about length being so important with something that roomy.
Yes I did notice that, but still think that grown men should dress like well, grown men in both tailored and casual clothing. When you write that piece on the female perspective on men’s casual dress please ask this question about adult men dressing like their teenage sons. I suspect the answer will be enlightening.
I have asked questions like that before Scott, and it’s something we covered in this article briefly. The consistent thing that always comes up is women want men to be relaxed and confident. Which often means a T-shirt and jeans only because men feel more at ease in that, or look it at least.
My point on casual clothing like this is just that it’s too easy to dismiss it as looking bad just because it looks bad (and yes, too young and immature) on the vast majority of men (particularly in summer). It is possible to do it better and worse.
Cary Grant once said that simplicity was the essence of good taste. When I think about my favorite outfit, the tonal woman, in this article I realize how right he was. So in her honor, today I have on my version of her outfit: white polo, tan chinos, brown belt, olive suede Summer chukka boots. As one of the women in the article you mentioned observed, men often just try to hard and it shows. That’s clear in some of these casual outfits. So kudos to the women in the pictures for showing us how to dress simply with superb taste and style. Please give them my thanks and compliments if the opportunity arises. They’ve given me the best sartorial lesson in quite some time.
I sent a comment that it was nice to see a Petit Prince in one of the photos, but you did’t publish it, so resending now.
Lovely selection – one of the defining aspects of this site that makes it my favourite read is that it rallies wholeheartedly against dismissive traditionalism. Curiosity is at the heart of dressing well, and often the second glance at an outfit is where you’ll be surprised by inspiration.
I’ve got a linen suit the color of a faded cigar, and I’ve been wearing it with burgundy espadrilles for years. The colors work so well together
Hi Simon, that very casual tan suit with the bellows pockets looks great. Any thoughts on where to get something similar or which makers have strengths with something so casual? thank you!
I’d go Neapolitan and think it would work well. Key thing will be finding the right thick cotton though – be much easier if you could find one that has been made up bespoke
Sorry Stuart, don’t know why that didn’t come through the first time
Great editorial selection. The main two things I am pulling from this are black loafers with washed denim and destroyed vans with cotton suit. Ah, and the striped shirt under the blue un-buttoned shirt has me inspired to do the same, but with a blazer or chore.
Another female to follow for menswear inspiration is Emilie Hawtin (@ehawtin). She does color, tonal, and style so, just, right.
She does indeed. Emilie and I had a long conversation about these points in Pitti – it was one of the things that stimulated the thoughts here
Hi Simon, tks a lot for the feature and the comment. You touched on many points that I cannot agree more. Despite the fair being a smaller edition than its usual, I managed to spend more time than this past Jan inside, found a few hidden gems.
With regards to the fabric, it is a wonderful vintage hopsack in baby blue pinstripe from Rubinacci archive. To me, that adds the final touch for the suit, only visible when in person with a close distance.
The hat is a deliberate choice, an original Sicilian coppola done with natural straw, paying homage to my wife’s family roots.
I would fully agree the choice with loafer, however, given the heat I need to wear the most comfortable pair I packed with me (MTM single monk by Acme). At the end of a very hot week, almost everything gives me pain except this pair.
Look forward to seeing more coverage of women’s perspectives in the menswear world.
Thank you Dennise, and and thank you for the detail on the pieces.
What is the point of this whole event, when most of the oufits couldn’t be featured on your formality scale, in so far as anything goes?
Frankly, I’m puzzled by what I’ve seen.
If you mean the point of Pitti, John, it’s about a wide range of styles, including more casual clothing and streetwear, and not just things more normally featured on PS.
fyi, there are no legal restrictions for Japanese and Koreans (citizens/residents) to travel, but there is a strong cultural pressure to stay home.
I went back through your previous Pitti coverage after reading this. Some stuff that you were enthusiastic about (e.g. the possibility of cloaks/capes in menswear) was still pretty exciting. Other stuff had, of course, aged poorly. I’d love to read a retrospection from you on the topic (while my Pitti fever is still burning). Are there ideas from previous Pitti’s that you think deserve more uptake? Do the changes over the years tell us something about where the lines between fashion, fantasy and style lie?
Pitti is such a strong expression of every menswear philosophy and approach that it seems like it must offer insights on the topic.
I’m not sure I was ever that enthusiastic about capes, Aaron? I did love the idea of the capote, as covered there and in a later article, but as I said then, it’s just too unusual to wear, it doesn’t work.
I’m also not sure Pitti is that good a guide as to fashions unfortunately. It’s too extreme, and too influenced by a handful of brands that happen to be wearing one style or another. You could certainly do more thorough analysis of the things people were wearing, and see evidence of the increasing casualisation, the influence of western wear, more wearing of black perhaps.
But you’d be better off doing something like analysing all the people going into Canary Wharf on a weekday morning, or all the people in Hyde Park on a summer’s day. I think that would give you a better idea of real trends – you’d see the growth of gilets among workers, or hawaiian shirts among men in summer etc.
Just a question re the Breton top featured in your Insta below Simon.
If you want a Breton top, why not buy an authentic one, rather than a fashion copy made in the Far East? Armorlux for example?
Because often those made in the far east are better quality, and even more authentic too. Just because a company has been around for a long time doesn’t mean they’re quality today is the same as it once was. There’s no shortage of examples there.
Thanks Simon, but not sure I follow how products made in the Far East can be even more authentic? Given that “la mariniere” was originally an article of uniform clothing worn by the French navy, and thus made in France, surely they can’t be?
I think that’s a little naive Stuart. Levi’s and Lee may have made the original jeans, but for a long time the Japanese were the only ones making them at the original quality.
I wasn’t talking about quality, but authenticity. The Japanese make some exceptional whiskies, but they can’t be called Scotch.
I guess it depends what you mean by authenticity. If scotch were sold by the same companies, but not made using any of the same processes as traditionally, I wouldn’t call it very authentic. Same with the clothes.
Informative and inspiring! As regards brown (and brown with a touch of grey) suits, which tie colours would you choose to match with? Grey (but not dark grey) could be a good choice, a regimental brown/blue perhaps. Certain greens also… Anything else?
Absolutely – brown can be great with a whole range of colours. Navy is always good, and autumnal colours like orange and yellow are also nice if the brown isn’t too grey or desaturated. It’s harder to think of colours that don’t work I think
Indeed, many coulours could work! After the comment I realized that my question has more to do with texture and depth. Silk ties didn’t work in my tests, probably muted linen/cotton/wool ones would be better (given the ‘informality’ of brown). Thank you for your help!!!
Hi Simon, in the 10 image the guy is wearing a cotton suit with a white tee. Just some time ago I had a discus about tees with sport/unstructured blazers and everyone adviced against the t-shirt blazer combination. How is that? What I am missing? Like you I think the combi like in image 10 looks good. All the other guys said that you have to use a polo or ocbd. How to you think about this? When does a blazer with a tee works and when not? 🙂
It’s a hard thing to pull off, I think, even though he does it well. A collared shirt is nearly always more flattering than a T-shirt, and a T-shirt under a suit can look a little like trying to be too fashionable.
Have a read of my thoughts on the look in general here. I have to say that I’ve rarely worn the look since that post.
Hi Simon. You mentioned that the brown tonal outfit Andreas is wearing is not something you would necessarily choose for yourself. For this type of brown jacket, what color trousers would you choose? Would cream or off-white work? Or mid grey?
Yes cream or off-white would definitely work, and a mid or light grey probably would too.
You could also replace the polo with a white shirt – anything to add a touch more contrast and make it less tonal basically.
Not at all impressed. A lot, not all, of this looks sloppy, and ill-fitted.
Thanks Dave. Interested to know whether that’s regarding things that aren’t your style, like some of the more casual clothing, or you’re referring to any of the tailoring. More specific comments are often more interesting. Cheers
Both, really, Simon. The gent in the various shades of brown looked well-tailored and fitted, but many of the more casual outfits looked like over-sized, shapeless bags just hung on human frames. Additionally, I have never warmed to this suits-without-socks look; thought that had finally died a quiet death, but apparently not.
I have long thought tailoring and fit were closely related to the appropriate geometry for an individual. For example, skinny lapels on larger or broad-chest men, to me, look out of balance no matter how currently stylish they may be considered. The human brain responds to symmetry, and reacts to a lack of it. Poor fit, in my opinion, rather “startles” the eye, but in forward fashion this seems often to be the point.
Thanks Dave, that’s more interesting.
On the tailoring points, I think it’s important to recognise that this is on a spectrum, and we’re rarely talking about real extremes. They’re definitely out there, but also among very traditional tailors there is still disagreement about what constitutes appropriate proportions
In that vein, I can’t get over Tommaso’s jacket for some reason — the way it drapes, the pockets, the pattern. Does anyone happen to know the fabric and maker?
It will be made by Vestrucci – all his clothes are. Have a search on PS if you haven’t heard of them before
Regarding the ‘fun tie,’ most patterned shirts have a small pattern, which makes wearing a tie with a small geometric pattern a risk, especially if you’re going with a (small) patterned jacket too. Big patterns is the way to go, and it’s a great shame that they’re so hard to find.