If London Collections Men is in flux, then Pitti Uomo – the biannual Florentine menswear showcase – is reassuringly familiar, bursting with brands both established and emerging exhibiting their latest wares, stone-splitting sun and more peacocks than the Indian subcontinent.
All mismatched suit separates, patterns and candy-coloured neckties, the men of Pitti aren’t known for their subdued style. Which is all the more reason us reserved Brits stand to learn a thing or two from their more outré moves.
Here’s what to heed:
1. Make Your Pocket Square The Point
Have we ever seen a pocket square look this good? Probably not. A bit of a Friday afternoon job for most, choosing a pocket square is usually the last thing a man does when styling a suit – it’s a plain white style lazily tossed into a chest pocket, or a polka dot take that doesn’t sit well the pinstripe jacket it’s sitting in. Or, you know, it’s paisley.
Here, however, it’s the accessory that makes the statement. Cushioned amongst a classic menswear palette of grey and blue, its espresso, gold, sky blue and white print pops in the best possible way. Props.
2. Keep Checks In Check
Patterned tailoring is a powerful thing. Unlike its plain-colour brother, it won’t see your suit immediately drowned out by several others that are – bar a slightly different lapel style – essentially the same, snooze-inducing navy or grey two-piece.
But as unlikely style god Voltaire put it, with great power, comes great responsibility. Which means if you’re plumping for patterned tailoring, you need to cushion the impact – as below.
By opting for a suit with a neutral base, the powder blue of the contrasting check lands perfectly. Making this man’s look enough to catch your eye, without making it sore.
3. Be Bold
Bold blue suits can be difficult to pull off. (Just ask Mel Gibson.)
No one wants to look like their taking their style cue from the Smurfs, so if you’re venturing beyond navy, try cobalt blue. It’s brighter than navy but not so bright as a klaxon colour like azure or cornflower blue.
Consider losing the tie, too; head-to-toe colour is a statement in and of itself, so adding in any non-essential accessories can quickly lead to overkill.
Finally, get a tan. Bolder colours work best against a richer backgrounds, so if you haven’t been soaking up the rays then swerve this one until you’re a little more sun-kissed. Or fake it.
4. Mix And Match Neutrals
Tkae a look at the picture below. Notice anything different about the man in it?
He’s not staring back at the camera. He’s not staring back at the camera because – just like his outfit – he’s cool as. If you don’t start seeing this image crop up alongside dictionary definitions of sprezzatura in future, we’ll eat our tasselled loafers.
5. Dial Down The Pink
Not all peacocking is a p*sstake. As much as we like to poke fun at the outlandish looks donned by Pitti’s more attention-starved attendees, there are those that know how to draw all the camera lenses, and none of the criticism.
Like this duo. By opting for muted pastel pink over saturated hues, their look reads moreBrideshead Revisited than Brighton seaside deck chair.
Extra points for wearing hats without looking like utter tools.