Ask me: Pitti Uomo

doyougrazia 441793 Ask me: Pitti Uomo

Courtesy: Complex Mag

What do you think of these outfits from Pitti Uomo? Seems a bit extravagant to me. – Ronald

For those of you who don’t know what Pitti Uomo is, it is a menswear trade show that occurs in Florence, Italy twice a year. Some of the world’s top designers and labels will converge at this location to show off their new collections for the season to come. It’s also a time when people in the industry will wear the most fashion-forward stuff you’ll ever see, and take pictures of each other out in the streets.

I personally think that the outfits people wear at Pitti can range from beautiful to laughable (or both). Some people put together combinations of clothing that are both innovative and inspirational to me. For example, I saw people at Pitti using colorful gloves as pocket squares for their outerwear. Fashionable and practical? Boy did I want to go out and put that in practice immediately. Also, some of the outfit color/pattern combos are beautifully executed, and I’m extremely jealous of the high quality garments being worn. Kiton, Isaia, Brunello Cucinelli, good lord.

xJNM5 Ask me: Pitti Uomo

At the same time though, I am completely turned off by the absurdity of what some of these people are wearing. Trendiness is off the charts at Pitti, and I feel like conservatism is sometimes laughed at.

Suit shorts? Of course, but only if it’s above the thigh!

Jackets shrunken to toddler sizes? Hmm, shall we try baby sizes?

Women’s hats and meggings? Maybe we should add a bow to our hair as well?

So I guess that’s my long way of saying that the outfits at Pitti can range from ludicrous to fabulous, and most of what’s being worn should be seen as fashion-forward and trendy as opposed to classic and timeless. Probably fun to look at and take small ideas from here and there, but not necessary to emulate in its entirety. Definitely not dogging on the event or the people who attend it, as I think events like this are necessary to move fashion forward, but you probably won’t see me in some of the more outlandish Pitti-wear anytime soon.

So there you go, my thoughts on Pitti Uomo. Oh, and if you want a laugh, here’s an excellent article about how to “fit in” at Pitti Uomo.

Adding trendy to classic

Generally, I prefer a more classic style. To me, nothing beats a navy blazer, grey flannel trousers, grey cotton socks, black oxfords, and a nicely pressed white dress shirt. However, sometimes it’s fun to mix the trendy with the classic. What do I mean by that?

Well, let’s think about some classic looks that everybody knows of. Solid colored suits.  V-neck sweaters with dress shirts, wool pants, and oxfords. Blue jeans and oxford cloth button downs. These are tried and true looks that have stood the test of time, and can be worn by just about anyone. The problem is that some people might argue these looks can get a bit stale and boring.

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. There are lots of weird and sometimes outrageous trends out there. Take for example pairing running shoes with suits. Or puffer vests underneath sports coats. Dress pants ending at the upper ankles, or upper thigh?

I think there can be a very happy medium between the two. Take some fun and cool trends and mix them into your classic outfit. Put a little subtle flair into your otherwise “normal” clothing.

I’ll give you a recent outfit I wore as an example of mixing a little trendy into the classic:

A classic man would always wear socks, a trendy man will ditch them from time to time (or wear really short socks like I currently am). I’ll go trendy here on this otherwise classic outfit.

A classic man wears wool trousers. A trendy man wears cargo pants. Why not both?

 Adding trendy to classic

 Adding trendy to classic

Jacket: Tommy Hilfiger | Shirt: Michael Kors

Pants: Ovadia & Sons, Gap | Shoes: Allen Edmonds

Try it out. Those that know fashion a bit will compliment you on your trendiness, while those who don’t will complement you on your classiness. Can be a good combo if I say so myself.

Trying too hard

tumblr m5slfp1WIP1rw8ydao1 1280 Trying too hard

So yes, we want to dress better as individuals. We want to make a good impression in front of others, and we want to look and feel great.

All awesome. But can we go too far?

My answer to that question is yes. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it. The truth is, fashion can easily go from helping a man’s image, to making that same man outright laughable. I think a simpler man would not want to cross that line.

First off, I never want clothing to take away from the product that is you. How does the saying go? Wear your clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you? Well, I am a huge proponent of that, and think that sometimes we need to take a step back and realize that clothing is simply static material. Static material that is there to help the dynamic you look and feel more confident.

When starting to dress better, I think we need to sometimes be careful and consider a couple things. First is occasion. What is the occasion that you are dressing up for? Is it formal, casual, somewhere in between? Whatever it is, you want to make sure you fit somewhat appropriately to the picture, or else unwanted attention may come to you. You know that guy who wears a suit to the all-casual work place? Ever heard the people around you whispering, asking “why is this tool wearing a suit to work for no reason?”

Now if you are that guy, and you feel best in a suit regardless of the occasion, all power to you! However, if it’s simply to show that you have fashion sense, you want to make sure you’re wearing suits at the appropriate times. In a casual setting, you can still look damn good with a nicely put together casual outfit, and you won’t look out of place. Likewise, you can still set yourself apart during formal events as long as you have a nicely fitting suit, and the right accessories to make you stand out.fc2 Trying too hard

As a general rule, I would say that if you pull something out of your closet, put it on, and wonder “can I pull this off?” for even a split second, then you should evaluate why you are wearing those clothes in the first place. The reason I say this is that you might get self conscious while you’re out and about for the rest of the day, and remember, we want to promote self confidence, not self consciousness. If you’re walking around constantly wondering if you can pull off your newly bought wine-colored slim pants, then you’re probably not fooling anyone. Go back to those trusted blue jeans of yours, there are plenty of ways to improve dress even with just basic blue jeans!

Lastly, remember that fashion trends are just that… trends. I’ll say it again, stick with the classics and staples, as they will never do you wrong. Wearing camo, colorful bowties, hot pink skinny pants, and the like are fine at times (minus the hot pink skinny pants), but I personally think that you’ll look better with a pair of dark jeans and a thin v neck sweater. And you probably won’t think twice about what you’re wearing, letting your true self come out more.

Dress in confidence, but remember why you’re doing it. Is it to prove to others that you can follow fashion trends? Or is it to look awesome and feel even awesomer? Keep it simple gentlemen. You can call me a broken record, but at least I’m replaying the key part of the song.