the bridge


Il terzo appuntamento di Style Tips si allinea con il periodo: festività su festività, voglia d’estate e gite fuori porta, vacanze imminenti (più o meno). E la categoria che decidiamo di affrontare è quella, spesso sottovalutata a livello stilistico, delle valigie.

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The belt over the cardigan. Wearing a sweater inside the trousers could be a little eccentric, but is not a folly: in the early 1900s our great-grandfathers used to do it. A century has passed by from this shot by Lartigue, but look at how modern are the subjects. The final result of the look I suggest to you will give a old-fashioned effect and, so, why don’t  emphasize the vintage taste? The – single breasted – jacket if in plain colour has to be made of a rough fabric like the wool-crepe, otherwise of a printed fabric like Glencheck or vichy; the shirt has to have a little collar and light tone on tone stripes, the tie will be perfect if knitted. The cardigan, the protagonist, has to be thin, made of wool or cashmere. The belt? Matching the outfit and with a little buckle, not to attract too much attention on the waist. And, finally, the trousers: with pleats. Picture by James Henry Lartigue from the book Chic, le Sport! (Actes Sud/Hermès)


Military licence. The uniform style: how many times have we looked for USA Navy shorts, a shirt with tabs or a jacket with golden buttons in second-hand markets in Camden and Brick Lane (London), Marchè aux Puches (Paris), Williamsburg (NY) or Porta Portese (Rome)? military style is always indeed a synonym of vintage. The point is how, and how much, the vintage (or its “imitations”) has to be mixed with current menswear, daring a match with the classic/formal wear. This is a little choice of suitable matches: creased shirts break the perfection of a suit, especially if the tie has the same old-fashioned taste. Same thing for the trousers: if they have a used appearance, they soften, for example, the clear silhouette of a double-breasted blazer. But pay attention to the accessories: if they are the only vintage items, they clash with the outfit that can be misconceived as neglected; so be sure to wear something else sticking to the point. Winston Churchill in the British Army officer uniform.


The Norfolk jacket. Contemporary menswear often brings back to fashion an archetype of the past. This doesn’t mean that we can’t find anything new in shops neither that today’s clothes are imitations (this is a totally different matter). What designers – since ever – have done is to draw inspiration from a certain era, keeping its charm untouched, but updating the reference model according to the new rules of menswear, starting from fabric and colours. In this week’s picture we can see a Norfolk jacket, a kind of blazer that was very popular in the upper bourgeoisie in the last 20 years of the 19th century. It was worn especially for hunting, with the knee-length knickerbockers and riding boots. Let’s see how to wear the Norfolk jacket’s reinterpretation: not an accurate quote, but with a bit of dandyism. The actor Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in a movie of the 40s.