25 May 2011

La Costa Orientale (or, East Coast "Italian")

A while back, I made a very brief mention of a new pair of pants in the "Milano" cut by Brooks Brothers which had just made their seasonal debut. Today, on second wearing, I find myself still on the fence about my verdict.
Essentially, they would seem to be just my style. A nice pale shade of orange, very East Coast, and seemingly a cinch on a warm sunny day with a navy blazer and dress shirt open at the neck. In true Affordable Wardrobe fashion, purchased well off season at a deep discount. The cut is pretty trim, but I can live with that, especially in what once was considered a casual outfit, though these days I may as well be meeting the Queen or being inaugurated president in such a get up.

I mentioned before that the "Milano" cut takes some getting used to, and the trouble for me lies in the very short rise of these pants. Please forgive me this unseemly crotch shot, but I took it to make a point, in the interest of service to you, my devout readers. Note how the top of these pants just meet the bottom button  of my blazer. Most of my pants come up at least two inches higher, nearly to the top button. Maybe they don't even look bad, or wrong, by today's standards, but I constantly feel like I need to pull them up, only I can't, because they won't go any higher. I guess that's Italian style, or something.

Orange cotton pants should be so very East Coast, and so I wore them with a vintage blue striped Sero oxford ($1.99) and a J. Press blazer ($7.49), but I eschewed the undershirt and left an extra button open for a flash of chest hair, you know, Italian style...

and this pair of brown suede Ralph Lauren driving loafers, made in Italy ($5.49), really holds this one together, you know, Italian style.  It works, I think, but I had to work at it, and I was conscious of the skimpy cut of these pants all day, which is antithetical to stylish dressing.Who was it that said something like "if you can't wear it and forget that you're wearing it, don't wear it"? Can't remember, but its sound advice. I'll be 35 on my next birthday, and frankly, the "Milano" cut makes me feel old. Ten years ago, slim and trim were the two most important things I looked for in a pair of pants. These days, a more classic fit with room to breath is more my speed. Call it dressing like a grown up, if you will, but its really just knowing my shape and how to flatter it that I'm after. That, and not constantly trying to pull up a pair of pants that won't go any higher.

At the Top Shelf Flea, I had a customer engaged in conversation who was inspecting a vintage 1980s Brooks Brothers "Brooksease" 3/2 sack suit in navy blue with white stripes I was offering, and he said something like "when I see a suit like this, it makes me wonder why a company like Brooks Brothers would engage in all the 'preppy nonsense'."

I said "Blame it on the Italians."

p.s. plenty of "preppy nonsense" is about to hit the shop, including many of the pink and green pants recently mentioned. Stay tuned.

15 comments:

Toad said...

I have a gorgeous pair of Purple Label linen trousers cut like Milano. Tight legs, short rise. I can't imagine who it was made for.

Roger said...

They don't look awkward, even if they might feel a bit awkward from the point of view of wearing them.

The rise is not so short by European standards (I've seen lunatic short rises on so-called 'classic fit' trousers).

If we're going to call a spade a spade I'd say that the classic sack suit is just a fat man's suit. Some waist suppression and overall shaping makes all silhouettes look elegant, and doesn't have to be constricting.

jeff said...

Try using the fly to go to the bathroom, NOT going to happen, I do enjoy the cut, once I've gotten use to it.

Anonymous said...

The Milano is perfect for me being only 5'5"!!! But I think it looks great on you too.

T said...

What's the point of a short rise anyway? Are they supposed to make you look taller?

Purist said...

Dispose of them ASAP.

Ben said...

I had a few pairs of these from last year. First, and most common complaint is the fraying. Second, and Milano specific, they made my lil guys ache by the end of the day. I'm but 29 and quite slim, but the lack of rise left precious little wiggle room for someone who is confined to a desk most of the day. These things ended up getting donated to the local shelter.

Anonymous said...

Milanos are bad for the kiwis, I am afraid.

Prinz Ulrich von Boffke said...

While I like the overall ensemble, the pants are a bit on the trim side. Just my two cents.

Best Regards. . .

Sean said...

Italian like Mario Cipollini? Or Italian like Snooki?

There's a difference

Giuseppe said...

Point well taken.

How about Italian like Marcello Mastroianni or Italian like Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Stubbornly Conservative said...

The sack suit is most certainly not a fat man's suit. It is a gentleman's suit, as opposed to a gigolo's suit.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Zach said...

Did you just accessorize your chest hair?

Sometimes I accessorize my back hair, y'know, P-Town Bear Week style.....

In all seriousness though I have seriously been considering a pair of Milanos, but we have similar problems with the low rise. Same beef with Rugby pants too. I bought a pair of Clark or Hudson fits and had them tapered down.

matthew said...

i'll be honest, they look really good on you!
yes, the cut is 'trendy'...
but man, they're nice!
plus those RL shoes, beautiful!
and, MAJOR kudos for flashing the completely-summer-appropriate chest hair! making the world a better place for us greasy italians with extra follicular fortitude.

vic delta said...

Different cuts for different...ummmm...butts. You have to find the proper fit and then get used to it. Otherwise you look like you are wearing someone elses pants. That was me until I found Rugby and Milano. At 5'5'' and 130# I "swim" in the regular fit. Don't care to have my clothes look like they are "painted" on but don't need 3 yards of extra material flopping around either. Newman and McQueen were wearing Milanos before they were even invented. Again...find yer fit. Get used to it.
After years of sacks, I finally just bagged them.