As Pitti begins, those that are there will be sending over grainy luxury product shots of peacoats and topcoats, blazers and socks, Borsalinos and 7 folds, etc. etc; those that aren’t will whine about how neoclassical tailoring is dead and that the peacocks are only there to strut around eating gelato making small talk. We will inevitably see multiple shots of the same gents in the same outfits from various angles, as well as all manner of ways in which one can temporarily attach oneself to a stone wall. And guess what? I love all of it. Yes, there are folks that will be truly terribly dressed, but I try and look past those enfant terribles to find the examples of sprezzatura, spezzato, beauty, and whimsy. I primarily attempt to use Pitti as a educational exercise and have my eyes on the men who are actually in the business. As such, I thought it might be slightly useful to elucidate on what I will be looking for, once we all go full uomo.
-Fit: Many gents sadly conflate fitted jackets with a tight squeeze, which is a shame as those coats appear uncomfortable and look even worse. If you peer closely at the most proper fellows at Pitti, they generally have the perfect amount of waist suppression in their outerwear, ranging from blazer to topcoat. Also check out some back shots, as a truly well-fitted blazer tends to look great from the back. Alan from The Armoury had a shot like that recently that demonstrated what good fit can be. Other elements to consider would be trouser tapering, jacket length, shirt collars, etc, etc. Check out what you like and what you don’t in terms of fit, form, and function.
-Color: I tend to not pay attention to colors that are deemed “in” or on trend, and instead look for ways in which classic hues are utilized in unique ways. I am a sucker for blues, greens, and burgundies, so I will be looking for the attendees that really demonstrate the potential ways to use these colors. Look for the colors that you favor and how the men are wearing those in coordination with their various pieces. As a small example, I have gotten great inspiration from gents at Pitti on how to wear various shades of blue together, or how to bring brown into a wardrobe without having it appear drab or boring.
-Pattern: Much of Pitti is seemingly about standing out amongst a crowd, and pattern tends to help folks do just that. I, for one, see fortune favoring the less bold and like to search for the ways in which guys mix the more subtle patterns, especially when layering. The winter edition of Pitti is definitely my favorite due in part to the sheer amount of clothing that folks tend to wear
-Shoes: As most of you have probably noticed, I have an affinity for fine footwear. There is however, a difference between seeing shoes in stock and store photos and seeing them genuinely worn by actual humans. Pitti is a great chance to see how gents pair shoes of various style and color with the rest of their outfits, especially trousers. It’s also nice to compare and contrast other elements like break and cuff.
In the end, I’m not looking for outfits to copy or trends to latch on to. I am much more interested in finding smaller stylistic elements or cues that I could possibly use myself or suggest to others. For that, there is no better concentrated source of inspiration than at an event like Pitti.