• Alyssa Chen

Men Fashion: The Rising of Modern Dandyism

Updated: May 9

A while ago, I promised a male friend to write something about men’s fashion one day. To be honest, I am not an expert to men’s fashion. However, working in the fashion industry these years with many male tastemakers around, I am lucky to observe how they dress and accessorize themselves in a creative way. Riding on the taking place of Pitti Uomo last week (12/6-15/6) in Florence, Italy, I think it’s time to carry out my promise and share my idea to men’s fashion.


To explain how Pitti Uomo inspires me to this post, I want to provide a short background. This bi-annual trade show is viewed as the most important platform for men’s clothing & accessories, and for launching new projects in men’s fashion. It draws buyers, retailers, editors and menswear enthusiasts from around the globe every season. Aside from the business activities, what makes it more and more interesting to watch is actually what happens outside of the event venue demonstrated by those so-called “pitti peacocks.”


Contrary to the theatrical presentation of runway shows, Pitti Uomo promotes a more impeccable taste and craftsmanship of men’s fashion. Therefore, aside from flamboyant peacock style, classic elegance is another mainstream captured by the satorial shooting outside of the event venue. Such classic elegance interprets certain Italian way of dressing- these tailoring geeks are bottoned up, soft-shouldered suiting and well accessorized. They show business casual styles added up with modern dandyism that plays contrast in details (intentionally look not entirely business-appropriate to make a powerful statement!) Most importantly, most of these people are not models with perfect figures and faces or stereotypical gays- most of them look just like regular straight men!


The emergence of these “pitti men” announces the changing attitude to men’s fashion. Nowadays men are more comfortable being fashionable and being dandy. The “Victorian somber sensibility and Midwestern blue jeans kind of practicality” that dominate the men’s fashion in the past century are no more the only options. Men are learning to leverage fashion to express themselves as well- wearing an outfit is no more to hide, but more to show off, their bodies and personalities. This trend also echos the booming of men’s fashion business. The growth of men’s fashion has outpaced the growth of womenswear in the recent years, which triggers many high-end fashion brands to open their men-alone boutiques to serve this rising segment!


Given the evolution of the men’s fashion, I still know a good quantity of men struggling. Most of them are well-educated, grow up in a generation with a stereotype that pursuing fashion being not men’s thing (especially those who work in hardcore business would easily use this as an excuse.) Even though they all want to look good, they may not know how to do and are shy to get help.


As shared in my previous posts, my belief to fashion is that it is a self-expression and reflection to personal image. Well leveraging it could make one more confident, thus lead to unexpected opportunities and good transformation. Based on this belief, I want to dedicate this post to these struggling men. Hopefully my sharing from learning the dandyism of these “Pitti Men” below can inspire and encourage them experiment on themselves bravely!


All looks below are from Instragram: pitti_uomo_ unless being cited with different sources.


Entry


1.Accessories can easily spice up the looks no matter how simple your outfit is. If you prefer outfits in sober colors, consider vivid accessories (and note the harmony between all accessories and the outfit!)


2. Create a little unexpected details: add casual elements (e.g. denim, sneaker, loafer, blazer/bomber, knitwear) to your formal outfits


3.Skipping socks to create a random attitude, or try something fun if you insist wearing them!



4. Invest on good-quality shirts with details will save you some efforts in styling!



Advanced


1.Playing colors



2. Layering different patterns



3. Saloro suits keep you dapper & composure yet a bit more versatile, thanks to the red yarns woven on the underside which generates a shiny reflection depending on the lighting and the angle of the viewer.



Voila. That’s it for this week. Looking forward to the emergence of more stylish men around. Good luck, guys!


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