When it comes to what shirt to wear with what suit and which tie.. I am sure there are countless of you who have a battle with your mirror each morning. There are a few simple rules that if you apply them.. will make your mornings stress free.
Rule one. Colour.
Colour matching has a few different properties (remember this is totally subjective because these are my rules, not every gentleman has to follow the same)
One rule is that your tie and square do not have to 100% match.. as long as there are colours that read off of each other.. ex. paisley tie with a solid similar colour square on a neutral colour shirt (white/blue) .. that is an easy one for the office.
But if you are going to a party or getting married.. some type of event that does not require a tuxedo.. then the colours can simply read off of each other..different shades of a similar colour within all the dress furnishings – look at the above photo for examples.
Rule two: Patterns
Mixing patterns can be a tricky thing, this takes a little more skill and a good eye.
The general rules for this are that the patterns in suit, shirt, tie and square all must be different sizes than each other so that it is not all micro designs or all large in your face paisleys and stripes. Once again, look at the above photo for examples of this
Overall, the idea is that everything flows into each other and feels right when you look at it. Often times, something may look good when you are thinking about it but when you lay it out or put it on.. you feel off put about it.. that is your cue!
Sixteenth century writer Baldassare Castiglione was the first writer to coin this phrase – what it’s true intention was to help define the Western ideals of a true gentleman. The Webster Dictionary’s definition of the word is, “studied nonchalance: graceful conduct or performance without apparent effort.” In layman’s terms.. the art of looking as if you did not try to appear that amazing.
This is where it comes into the gentleman’s wardrobe (and where a lot of gentlemen are getting it wrong) and how it relates to their life.
The idea of sprezzatura in relation to one’s clothing is not simply just breaking up a suit and thinking that it is OK because “you are being sprezza” as I have heard certain gentlemen call it. No. Relate back to the definition, “studied nonchalance,” rather than random stabs at not caring.
A true gentleman always puts thought into his appearance as I have mentioned in a previous post and wearing different coordinating/contrasting articles of suiting is an art form; an art of expressing oneself.
However, this is where the gracefulness and nonchalance should be apparent. A gentleman should be confident, not arrogant. He should be able to walk into a room and everyone is put at ease because of the air around him.
Sprezzatura is not concept that is simply mixing and matching but it is the true embodiment of what a gentleman should be and what this blog is about: confidence.
PS. if you do not follow Luca Rubinacci (featured image) on Instagram already.. please do – his gentleman’s tips are great reminders of what we should all embody.
This entry is titled, “Value” – but it is not about any type of monetary valuation of clothing. It will be shorter than most because it is a black and white message.
It is about the value you put into yourself.
Whether you are in a suit every day, business casual, or super casual for work – you should always put value into how you represent yourself. Your image is the first thing people look at – and sometimes judge – and there are a lot of simple things I see done wrong just on my walk to work each day. The worst is when I hear, “Well my office is super casual and no one really cares.” That does not give you the excuse to not iron your shirt, have your trousers the proper length or dress like you care.
These are simple things that cost nothing. Do them. You never know who you are going to meet each day. You will notice a change in the way people interact with you. Being ‘clean cut’ doing the aforementioned things exudes confidence and that you care about the details. It sends a message without you even saying anything.
Like I have said in my previous posts, “If you look good, you feel good then you do better business.”
In honour of Pitti 91 (major menswear show) in Firenze, I would like to write a post about colour in relation to menswear..
And why most do not embrace it.
I have different clients in many occupations, but there tends to be one.. well two common themes – plain blue and plain grey. Now, I am not saying that we all need to go out and get a forest green suit and catch a few looks. No. However, why do we need to be so extremely conservative? That is not rhetorical..
I am personally a big advocate of colour, pattern and texture.. but still in a tasteful manner of course.. and I am in the business so it is much easier for me to be expressive. When we are creating custom pieces, it is my job introduce third and fourth options to introduce more versatility to a wardrobe and an element of sartorialism (is that a word?). I do this because most men would not purposely choose out of their comfort zone.. but that is the thing.. they do not know the limits to their own comfort zone.. in regards to their closet! Many times, I hear.. “Wow I never would have thought of that but I love it!!”
This somewhat relates to the previous post in terms of confidence. You can pull off anything that YOU want to pull off. If a tonal blue check sport jacket for Friday’s is the extent of that, then we are heading somewhere! And I am totally into that.
But for you young men beginning your careers, do not be afraid to be a little bit expressive.. do not worry, you will still get your promotion by working hard.. not by looking like your boss.