Do As I Say, Not As I Do

July 3, 2010


Another display of great Italian fashion. Maybe it’s Lapo Elkann, or maybe it’s just that being Italian ultimately correlates to amazing style. 

We don’t do a lot of what not to do here, but this is a great example of what not to do.

Here’s a guy photographed at Pitti Uomo, the huge menswear expo in Italy.  He should know what he’s doing.  He’s certainly on-trend, as they say in the magazines, with his white pants and double-breasted blue blazer.  The only problem: he looks awful.

Why?  His jacket is so shrunken it’s straining against his body.  The almost self-parodic waist suppression has taken him from “strong shoulders and desirable man’s figure” to “woman wearing a corset,” and the short jacket has only emphasized that problem.  His buttons are straining to contain his midsection.  Maybe if he were emaciated he could pull off this look, but with a normal man’s body, he looks absurd.  Which is too bad, because he’s a handsome guy who looks to be pretty fit.

Remember that tailored clothing should make your body look better.  No trend is worth sacrificing a flattering shape.  The reason you alter a coat to fit you is not to see how tight you can make it; it’s to make it as flattering as possible.  This means it should make you look tall, athletic and healthy.  This should be informed by your real body – you don’t need big shoulderpads or a huge amount of structure to get there – but it should always flatter.  This looks like an advertisement for girdles.