Some interesting Pitti picks: Mixing patterns, layering knitwear, wearing volume

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As we did last year, during Pitti I picked out a few people and outfits that I really liked, but that could have been missed - because they’re not Ethan, Jake or Tatsuya Nakamura.

They’re deliberately a mix of smart and casual, tailoring and streetwear. But I would encourage readers to spend a few moments with each, even if they’re not obviously their style. Each holds beautiful little lessons, whether it’s a colour combination or an interaction of length and volume. 

If anyone wants the more expected faces I can do that sometime too, or include them next time. 

First is Paul Croughton, an old friend and now editor of Robb Report in the US. He’s had an increasing amount of tailoring made in the past few years, and the pieces from Fred Nieddu, such as this jacket and coat, are particularly lovely. 

As is often the case with great tailoring combinations, the outfit looks merely elegant at a distance, but actually has lots going on. In particular the three micro-patterns in the coat, jacket and scarf, which would be too much were it not for the anchor of white shirt and dark plain tie at the heart of it all. 

Cream, white and green. As soon as I saw those three colours here I started to wonder how I could wear them together too. A white shirt under a cream cardigan, perhaps, with a stronger, grassy-green trouser, coat or jacket. Perhaps vintage army trousers, a white shirt and a cream crewneck. 

I also find it interesting that the standard beige of the rain coat looks more like cream when it’s picked up by these whites and creams. 

Justo Gimeno’s father, Gimeno Sr. There is so little here I would actually wear myself and yet so much I like on him. The strong patterns of the tie and scarf, which feel better as a twosome than on their own; the burgundy Teba, combined with the green of the coat. 

There is an extent to which these stronger patterns and colours (the Teba is fairly punchy) are easier for someone older to pull off. As if there are clearly no restrictions of work or society any more. This feels like it would be as much at home, in Spain, as on a walk into Pitti. 

There’s strong pattern here too, in a hand-embroidered jacket from Bode. But it’s the lovely blues of the polo, jacket and cap that caught my eye: they form a quiet and harmonious backdrop to the eye-catching things elsewhere. 

I wouldn’t wear those trousers with it all, it’s a bit too jarring. But I would really like to try a polo in that colour.

As was mentioned in a recent article on PS, photographer Alex Natt has really honed his style in recent years, and I admire how interesting, personal and practical it is. Not always an easy combination. 

He’s outside a lot of the time and requires multiple pockets, so the outer layer is usually a Barbour or similar waterproof. However, fishing varieties are especially practical and are pleasingly unusual, as shown here. Then there are black jeans or carpenter pants, roll necks, a cap. All dark colours, all anonymous at a distance but telling well-combined close-up. 

Christopher Berii. Writer, model, and our current Tokyo correspondent. Read his piece on Japanese shoemaker Seiji McCarthy here

This is an old Ralph Lauren flannel suit that Christopher found on eBay, and the proportions work well on him. The 6x2 button set-up, fastening on the bottom row, is of course dramatic but Pitti is the kind of place for something like that, and it’s the kind of style that I think can work well elsewhere in evening wear

This gentleman was one of my favourites I saw. Smiling and interesting, every day. The orange shetland pops beneath the browns of jacket, trousers and indeed cap. Without it, the browns would be rather dull together, but as a mid-layer, the orange also doesn’t stand out too much. 

I like the second outfit above too. I’m never going to wear those shoes, but I admire how he really embraces volume, and it looks great even though he’s a shorter guy. One reason is the probably accessories around that volume, like the shoes, coat and bag; another is the similar volume in his other clothes: wide trousers and pieces like that fluffy fleece. 

Mikey, from Sunspel. Always a good dresser in an understated way, and I liked this warm and practical combination in shades of navy. Fine rollneck under chunky sweater, under waterproof coat with a watch cap.

I usually see a rollneck under a crewneck like this with more contrast, such as the previous gentleman, but this made me make a note to go home and try my finest navy rollneck (from Sexton) under something like a Rubato lambswool crewneck. If it works, it would be pleasingly unusual and very cosy. It’s something women do a lot more, and would be interesting to try. 

A reader commented that it was brave of me to wear double denim to Pitti (on the last day, my day off). I wonder if they realise that there’s just as much workwear at Pitti as tailoring. The bright suits might have been the reason Pitti became famous, but there’s a lot of western clothing, work clothing and sportswear too. I wonder whether it’s a case of only following certain feeds. 

I thought this shot, taken by Jamie on a cold morning, was a nice example of workwear done well. The fit of the buffalo-check jacket is perfect: just the right length, neat across the seat but big in the shoulders, with a tall collar on top. With an old tote, and boots that aren’t the obvious Red Wings. It’s an outfit that could be worn by any reader at the weekend, particularly if the cap were swapped for a beanie.

Photography: Jamie Ferguson

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SAO

Fantastic. Your ‘eye’ – much appreciated.
A few comments and questions:

  • What do you think of button down shirts worn with a tie? Seems to be common in the US. Rare in the UK, though. And I’m not sure of most of the rest of Europe. Still looks rather unusual in my view, but it’s growing on me.
  • I’m a touch sceptical about the thin polo necks under thicker crews. It looks a bit like flu season overkill. A bit too haphazard, somehow.
  • In the workwear look at the end, are those not Red Wing Iron Rangers or Beckmans? I think the Red Wing Mocc toes have become a bit of a cliche, as you suggest. Other Red Wings are also at risk of the same fate. But these look good. As well as jacket fit, trouser fit here is really good – volume, length, the works.
  • Liking Alex’s way with a Barbour. What shoes/boots does he go in for?
  • Fabulous Nieddu coat there. And lot’s of other things to think about. Enjoyed the piece.
Charles

This is on my mind too. I typically don’t do this, but am coming around to it. While shirt, silk tie for work. Maybe a denim / chambray button-down and woven silk tie for dinner out.
Both are broadly the same (shirt and tie) but feel very different indeed to me.
I can’t say I’ve been brave enough to try it yet!

Peter Hall

Alex is wearing my work wear! But as I also spend most of my work day ,outside, taking photos, I can understand how smart and practical that is. PS beanie works well with this.
I love a good splash of colour ,and am older,so drawn to the teba,tie scarf combination(mixing it with a field jacket would be fun) but the embroidered jacket! wow. What a statement piece.

jim

whats the jacket alex is wearing in the first pic?

Markus

I find Paul Croughton’s style very interesting. If one would just read what he wore, he did everything “wrong” (by the beginner’s standard of menswear). Similar pattern plus a similarily patterned scarf. But looking at the photo, it’s a great and very good looking combination.
I’m not going to try to mimic it, though, because if you’re just a little off, it could easily look too much by far. For a beginner like me it is easier to stay with plain colours, throwing in a subtle herringbone here and there (I have a particular love for herringbone coats).

Gary

Beginner’s standard? How would you define that term? It sounds very patronising, or Style Forum “iGent”, to me. Paul Croughton’s outfit is, by far, the best of those featured in this article. It is so sad to see yet more baseball caps, the antithesis of style and good taste, featured strongly again.

SamS

I quite like how you focus on the less famous people at Pitti. There’s no shortage of pictures of “the usual suspects” being passed around on social media. The classic mens style community benefit from more variety and sources of inspiration, not more of the same handful of influencers being posted and re-posted ad infinitum.

TOS

Simon,
I was taken by your comment regarding Gimeno Sr and how his exuberant style (my words) are easier to pull off owing to age. Might style in the context of age be something to explore for a future article? 
All the best.

Nils-Åke

I think it was during an ad campaign for Baracuta, circa 2013, where an older gentleman said there came a point when a man had to start dressing in clothes that was/looked older than themselves.

It gives the effect of looking younger.

Case and point: Gimeno Sr

Hal

Agreed. A good idea. As one grows older, they can pull off SO much more fine menswear with less effort. Fedoras, homburgs, trench coats… the list goes on.

Stephen

Thanks Simon a nice edit. Some interesting ideas. I quite like the roll neck under the crew neck and will give it a try -your work is done! This year I’ve recently been wearing a roll neck under a zipped bomber style cardigan, mainly to enable wearing a thinner coat in recent cold spell in the U.K and sort of got to like it. Thanks again.

Bradley Tompkins

They certainly captured the “clown show” bit as David Coggins calls it….I did see some double-denim represented Simon! Those were some of the better examples from the Vogue slideshow, and that is a look I will attempt to pull off every now and again.

Paul Trenton

I find Coggins’s comment to be a little condescending. Pitti is also about having some fun and being free in what you choose to wear…

Paul Trenton

I like this look the most. Great textures and colours!
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Stephen

Thank you David. As with Simon’s great edit not necessarily what I would ever wear, however really useful for general inspiration, ideas on combinations and challenging some norms. Thanks again for sharing.

PB

In the spirit of picking ideas – I really liked the color combination of the lady in brown here. Tonal brown is not that unusual but I had never considered Black with it. Got me thinking that dark brown trousers, a lighter brown v-neck in the shade of her top here with a black shirt underneath would be a really nice evening chic outfit. A date night version if you will of the double brown outfit that Simon had posted recently.

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P.F.

Honest question Simon, why do people go to Pitti? I understand the reason for people in the trade like yourself, Alessandro Squarzi or the Gimeno family. But what about the famous peacocks and all the influencers? Isn’t it a trade fair and thus a quite professional setting in which industry matters are discussed? I would not (willingly) go an agricultural trade fair for example, just to show how good I dress…

P.F.

Thanks Simon! I was a bit surprised with all the photos that suddenly appeared in my feed last week showing cigars, Negronis and peacocks around Pitti. Seemed a far cry from a trade fair. Therefore, my question. Thanks for your insights!

SamS

I think another reason a lot of people go is simply that it’s one of the few chances to be surrounded by people who are as passionate about clothes as you are. Once you get seriously nerdy about clothes, there’s very few people you can talk to about your interest.

As a complete unfluencer with nothing to create and nothing to contribute, I still wouldn’t mind going simply because it might be one of the few places where you can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger about the width of their lapels and not be looked at like you’re crazy.

SamS

I see what you mean about it not being for brands to meet customers. I have a fair few aquintances who do quote the social aspects and inspiration as major reasons to go there, but I guess they are all indistry people in some aspect, now that I think about it.

Craig

Really enjoyed this article. I watch avidly the street styles on show at pitti when they appear on a variety sites. Not the suit crew, as it’s not my world. You pointed out similar highlights in this piece, especially the bode coat.
Alex’s style is one that I’ve admired for some time, and when I used insta, we had a few interactions. We briefly exchanged about items and style, and he was a lovely open guy. Working in similar fields I often take a little style direction from the photographers (jamie, Alex, and milad), and find different ways to wear stuff that is already in my wardrobe.

Philip

Interesting styles at Pitti, and many are indeed appealing due to textures, volumes, colors, etc. But I find so many attendees obviously trying to provoke a reaction with their absolutely ridiculous get-ups that no one would ever wear…..but hey, if it snags them a photo on Instagram, they’re pleased with themselves. What a sad way to seek validation.

Andrew Poupart

One the best things about Pitti is that it is like a giant Style Laboratory, with dozens or hundreds of ideas and experiments on display. At least, that’s how I’ve come to think of it. Many ideas, for me, are a swing-and-a-miss, but quite a few make me think and wonder how I might something of that idea into my life. It’s just endlessly fascinating.

Bob

Really like Christopher Berii’s outfit, were this single breasted it’d be described as 3 roll 2, is there equivalent language for a DB? The middle row of buttons dont look like they’d close without distorting the line of the lapel based on its current pressing.
Plenty to like with some of the others too but dont have an intelligent comment to make on them or such.
I was aware Pitti had its streetwear but didn’t realise sportswear… realistically how does this manifest with visitors? I can’t imagine the guy in his cycling kit rubbing shoulders with those pictured above.

Craig

Personal opinion but I don’t think a 6×1 is any more… obtrusive?… than a 6×2. The major step outside what is normally seen is just wearing a double breasted suit; the difference between these two buttoning stances won’t change how it’s received one way or another.

Joe O

that balmacaan is C-R-A-Z-Y. Did you find make?

Ben

Some really great outfits here. It’s nice to see more of the workwear side of Pitti, it’s very underrepresented. Although, as Simon mentioned, it could be a social media feed issue!
That Pendleton style jacket in the second from last pic is amazing, any ideas where it’s from?

Jack Williams

Hi Simon,
I second the comments by your reader TOS and his suggestion that you write about changing styles as one ages. I am glad you included these photos of older gentlemen – especially Gimeno Sr. I find that I use more scarves and bandanas as I grow older – to cover the ravages of time on the skin around the chin and neck. Tebas are excellent for disguising the changes in shape of one’s body that occur gradually. So often you illustrate tailoring on yourself or other younger men whose shape is thin and fit. What about tailoring that is looser, that covers rather than enhances. I like your quote “restrictions of work or society anymore.” To that I would add the “restrictions of youth and conformity.”
As always thanks for the ideas and encouragement.

Jack Williams

Bradley Tompkins

I think as one grows old, they naturally become more comfortable in their own skin. A certain “zero f*cks given” way of dressing for oneself rather than the validation/approval of others. I would say that I think his combination could be a Drake’s ad as the strength of the color/pattern combinations is something they highlight/support in their campaigns.

Peter Hall

Yes. I’m much more likely to go for a bright colour as a middle layer now and am beginning to have a strange desire for brightly coloured trousers.
As I have aged ,and expanded, I am drawn to comfort. Layering is great,I find, good and bright accessories .Aim for smart with a twist of the unusual.

Simeon

Really enjoyed this Simon, found Pitti shots difficult this year with seeing all influencer and not much else and so many forced outfits (coats worn like capes etc.)

Great to see some of the real side of Pitti and real people, so very keen on more of this!

Makes it tempting to actually visit too

Georgios

Simon, do you have an idea what coat is Gimeno Sr. wearing ?

AK

What a happy coincidence! That Ralph Lauren suit with the 6×2 roll is perfect and LITERALLY what I was hoping to have my tailor make next – the photo reference is going to make it a lot easier since we don’t speak a common language.

Aaron

Seeing the polo fully buttoned up gave me a thought – you mentioned (I believe on the jean cuffing article?) about doing ‘how to wear X articles’. If you do do those articles, perhaps one on shirt buttoning could be interesting? I know you’ve spoken a little about undoing an extra button when it’s hot or stylistically if there’s an undershirt but aside from that I don’t recall seeing a more explained thought for the other options.

Scott

Every year I find Pitti to be less and less relevant. To me it’s primarily a peacock farm for fashionistas. Of course that’s fine and it is interesting, but not germane to the PS motto of being simply well dressed in my opinion.

Scott

Yes indeed! Those peacocks are fascinating in a way as they can pull off outfits that I would look ridiculous in most likely. So I do look forward to your Pitti articles and occasionally see something that I can actually use sartorially. The older men are the ones that are the most interesting to me in that they appear to still really enjoy clothing, love it!

John

Hi Simon,
I’ve come to think that the navy DB blazer is actually the incontrovertible iconic piece in the whole menswear. And surprisingly enough, its design also happens to be the most challenging to get right for oneself! Apparently, more constraints than in the SB version to factor into its making. That’s perhaps the main reason why as RTW it rarely meets our expectations.
John

Sigurd

Hi Simon. Nice picks. Like you I am also now tempted to try the rollneck under sweater combo. I love my shetlands but can grow tired of wearing them with a shirt underneath. Somehow this look is always a bit loaded (preppy), even if I switch it up with chambray or polos underneath for variation. Rollneck seems fresh and contemporary. Do you think this one from sunspel would work? Men’s Brushed Cotton Long Sleeve Turtle Neck in Navy | Sunspel

WG

Hi Simon
Do you know where Senor Gimeno’s colourful scarf is from?
Many thanks

Edoardo

The shoes in the last pic are actually from Red Wing, the Iron Ranger model.
Really enjoyed the outftits breakdown!

Tim

Could someone tell me the model and colour of Alex Natts Barbour Jacket? Would be much appreciated. Tim

Ben

Hi Simon, there seems to be a huge number of non industry professionals attending pitti these days and filling their instagrams accounts with photos of themselves in various locations and menswear ‘situations’ both at pitti and then throughout the year in various locations presumably in their home towns. I can’t help but see this as incredibly vane and it becomes increasingly hard to avoid for anyone who follows or has an interest in menswear. I was wondering what your take on this is from an industry insiders perspective? On one level I guess this engagement and publicity is positive for the industry but I find it increasingly distasteful and off putting and would say if anything it is driving me away from following or engaging with menswear and leaves me placing my interest, values and ultimately disposable income elsewhere as I do t want to associate with this type.

Dario

I hear you with some of the accounts which are over the top, but there are also some accounts of real people who show what they wear on a daily basis, and provide some ideas and inspiration.
In many cases, I would say that I enjoy these accounts much more than those of some “industry professionals” which look like lookbooks of their own brand / the brand they are modelling at the moment for. Or posting looks that they came up with “to push the boundaries” but you would never see outside of instagram.

Ben

I have no problem with non professional accounts and I agree that allot of them provide the best inspiration. I don’t follow anyone who I believe to be disingenuous but that doesn’t stop them appearing here and there. I would argue against it being democratic in any sense of the word. The accounts I refer to showcase people with significant wealth openly displaying it. I would say it is elitist more than anything. To call it democratic I would find slightly insulting or at best misguided.

Maybe it’s just a personal problem I have with these guys and more broadly it’s no big deal but I still can’t help being irked by it.

Paul

I love the baseball caps shown above. I’ve found that most caps don’t fit or work for me, due to a head shape that’s not in the standard distribution. Any recommendations on brands or sources for getting a fitted cap that would work with permanent style?