10 August 2012

Sprezza-tourism

It's been said by better writers on this topic than me that men who care about clothes eventually graduate from overt displays of pattern mixing to clean and simple classics. I suppose I must be reaching the final stages of narcissism, given my proclivity this Summer to opt almost invariably for combinations of navy and white, with tan or cream trousers. Clean, simple and classic, the combo has served me well. I must be getting old.
Kelly green braces provide only a quiet reminder that I do in fact deal heavily in flamboyance when the mood strikes me.

A white straw hat with navy and burgundy striped band is further proof that I have gotten old enough to no longer fear the consequences of behaving like a grown-up. Made it USA by Bailey of San Francisco, and picked up for $42.50 in the half price Summer sale at the Andover Shop, it was worth every penny. Simple, quality, classic dress, right?

Rear blade of the tie hanging just so slightly longer than the front blade (on purpose, of course)....proof positive that even I am not immune to an occasional bout of "Sprezza-tourism".

The concept of "Sprezzatura" has gotten so far out of hand that I can hardly bear to utter the word...and I'm an Italian who posts photos of himself on the internet for a men's clothing blog. I wish I could claim credit for the term "Sprezzatourist", but I can't. Along with the equally brilliant pun "Sprezzatourettes", credit belongs to M. Reginald-Jerome de Mans, for A Suitable Wardrobe. I'm not one to "re-blog", but M. de Mans' article is a must-read for any man serious enough about clothes to care, but firmly self aware enough to have a good laugh at his own expense.




10 comments:

Christopher Redgate said...

Awesome outfit! I love the tie and the hat. I have always been partial to hats, (the fact that I am becoming more and more follicularly challenged as time goes by may have something to do with that,) but the more I learn about clothes and care about style the more I hesitate to wear them, for fear of straying down the path of costumey-ness. I think you've pulled this one off nicely. Also I suppose even though I usually eschew unusual headgear, my own case of "sprezzatourettes" manifests in other ways. If you can't laugh at yourself, though... well... something bad. I can't remember the saying.

Young Fogey said...

Great, classic outfit.

I used to be a fan of Bailey Hats, but I noticed how uncomfortable the Naugahyde (or whatever) interior sweat band was, so decided to switch.

I got one a couple years ago from Miller Hats (also made in America), made with a leather sweatband, and have enjoyed it. Unfortunately, they don't seem to offer straw hats any more.

When I tried to order from them again earlier this year, they didn't have what I wanted in stock when I needed it. I had to settle for a foreign-made straw hat from Jaxon Hats. Its sweatband is cloth, and is much more comfortable than faux leather.

Anonymous said...

Great look! How long have the ends of a tie been called "blades"? I just heard this term last week and my eyes rolled so far back in my head I burst some blood vessels.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I just put my ignorance on display. I just checked the glossary of a book on the history of ties, and there is the term "blades". Burst blood vessels for nothing...

Sprezzaturealist said...

Sprezzatourism and Sprezzatourettes. I will NEVER get over that. (I lead a sheltered life I guess.) Seriously hilarious.

C.L. Young said...

That hat is a showstopper! The kelly green braces and tie combo are impeccable as well!

I dig this whole kit! I am a firm believer that hats (with exception of cowboy hats) need to make a permanent comeback in menswear.

Being someone who lives in Texas, it's refreshing to see a hat other than the usual cowboy version!

Roger v.d. Velde said...

I actually thought that de Mans article was self-indulgent drivelling.

Young Fogey said...

Self-indulgent driveling, perhaps, but entertaining self-indulgent driveling. I especially enjoyed de Mans' skewering of the sprezzatourist clowns.

G's example here is so subtle that it would go unnoticed by most, and would be invisible with his jacket buttoned. That's a far cry from the typical bozo populating Sartorialist spreads, or the sideshow escapees hanging out around Pitti Uomo.

I'm not a fan of Gianni Agneli's antics with watches, but he (nearly) always looked great. Not so with such modern "luminaries" as Lino Ieluzzi or Luca Rubinacci (whose names took me some sleuthing to find; I only remember their hideous outfits).

Which is not to say that only Italians suffer from sprezzatourette's; Nick Wooster is another sprezzing buffoon.

RMB said...

I liked the article by M de Mans - his writing verges on the self-indulgent, but I enjoy it. There may well be a fine line between rich (lush, even) writing snd flowery prose but there is also a fine line between sprezzatura and either scruffiness on one hand or effortful coolness on the other!

Ben said...

Wow. I rarely have a visceral reaction to outfit pics, but this one got me all bothered. The color, the simplicity, and the hidden braces, damnnn. Nice.