Pitti Uomo is well worth the visit just to see the Florentines, and foreign elite, in action.
The four-day event in Italy really does raise the bar for men’s suits for the coming season. The 88th edition, being summer (in Europe) saw tailoring lighten up, in fabric and colour. And they switched it up, with plenty of separates combinations reviving what it means to have your own style.
The Fifties (and the Eighties) were the main eras explored; the former affected trousers and jacket colours, while the latter manifested in statement shades.
The men were purposeful with their suiting, but didn’t lose that sense of European ruggedness; that one thing the Italians do best. Read on for the five must-wear suiting trends from Pitti Uomo 88.
#1 Double-Breasted Waistcoat
Why so serious? Well, there’s nothing stuffy about a double-breasted waistcoat. Especially, when worn like a Florentine. And with no sleeves, it’s the perfect way to layer a suit in summer. This Pitti saw the men sport the three-piece suit, letting the waistcoat be the feature by dabbling in checks.
Micro-checks squared up the sartorial cloth, under a pastel-hued blazer in lilac or mint. Paired with a silky business tie, the neckpiece matched one of the checks in the waistcoat, making it pop. Elsewhere, the more casual-look windowpane retained formality under a full linen suit. And by sticking to tonal grey, the colour didn’t supersede the impeccable suit cut.
#2 Pleated Trousers
Fifties alert. The pleated trouser was a key style back in the decade of Steve McQueen. It was a sign of comfort back then, which saw it made with a wider leg, compared to the flat-front variety. At Pitti, the key tailored bottom was the pleated khaki/chino trousers worn with a shirt (no tie) and blazer or sports coat.
Men stuck with the Euro open button-down and rolled sleeves, then played around with bold prints (another post-war Fifties trick), keeping the shirt snug and slim to juxtapose against a wider leg. Tip: always tuck the shirt to accentuate the pleats and lose the belt entirely.
#3 Bright Frames
Reneging on the very old, bright frames brought the Florentines from the Fifties to Eighties. Electric-hued wayfarers had a neon-off with round lensed shades, with the most outlandish of them all working fluoro yellow frames and blue mirrored lenses.
Gents who wore the statement specs kept the suits neutral in colour (think grey, blue, and brown) but still remained on point with other accessories; rocking polka dots on ties, and pocket squares and contrast strip-age to their shirts. Clash effect, at its best.
#4 Classic Headwear
Dressed in the best from top to toe, the Italian’s weren’t complete without a classico cappello on their heads. A key style included the trilby, reimagined from the Forties in summery tones of white, beige and cream. Likewise, the fedora came in lighter colours, made of felt, with contrast ribbon trim. Otherwise, straw fedoras with tonal trim, added a slick addition to a suit, matching the jackets to blend in.
The structures of the two hats are similar, but the trilby has a sharper crown and, most importantly, a much narrower brim. Another, key style was the boater in straw with rainbow ribbon trim. It was Pitti, after all.
#5 Green, Green & More Green
‘Green’ is the new ‘blue’. But not Kermit-the-Frog green, more emerald, teal or biscay bay. The prominent sartorial cue was taken from men who adopted blazers in the oceanic green, which is just as versatile as the ever-popular navy or cobalt.
The white pant was the standout pairing, played up dandy-style with pink shirting (pastel or candy-stripe) and a quasi-offensive canary yellow pocket square. In line or light wool, the green blazer is set to be a big tailoring trend for 2016. Why not get onto it now?