The Power Of Pitti

Sandwiched snugly between London Collections: Men and Milan Fashion Week is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trade show in Florence by the name of Pitti Uomo. On first glance, it might appear like a large global convention for bearded and suited gentlemen to stroll around the city’s picturesque piazza, getting their street style photograph taken. However, on closer inspection, Pitti is widely recognised as the leading menswear trade show, showcasing some of the world’s most exciting emerging and established talents.

Pitti’s influence on the industry seems to grow stronger from season to season, having quickly shaken off its dry business to business image to become something more of a spectacle, and a highly anticipated fixture on the fashion month calendar. This past season the event, held from January 13th-16th, saw 35,000 industry insiders descend on Tuscany’s capital in search of the next major trends in men’s fashion.

Over the four days, every street, corner and walkway is crammed with menswear’s key trendsetters and influencers, offering up new ways of reinterpreting traditional tailoring – it’s not unheard of for certain attendees to spend months preparing their three or four outfits for their stay in Pitti. Getting spotted here can well and truly take you from style rookie to fashion MVP that quickly. So, no pressure, right?

We hit the streets to see what the Pitti Uomo 87 attendees were wearing to deliver some essential style lessons we can all learn:

1. The Golden Age Is Returning

This season more than any other, Pitti’s finest were heralding a return to 1930s and 1950s era fabrics and patterns. Tweed, flannel, corduroy and heavy duty wools featured prominently over the course of the four days.

Yet the way in which these pieces were worn was just as much a twist on, as a homage to, the classics, with sharply contrasting colour combinations and bold checks breathing new life into these old-school fabrics:

Photos: Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Inspired By Pieces
  • Jack Wills Belgrave Classic Blazer
  • Suitsupply Havana Burgundy Check
  • Ted Baker Endurance Luboc Large Scale Check Coat
  • M&s Collection Luxury Pure New Wool Harris Tweed Check Jacket
  • Austin Reed Contemporary Fit Brown Navy Check Jacket
  • Austin Reed Overcheck Tweed Jacket
  • Richard James Mayfair Checked Contemporary Overcoat
  • Suitsupply Lazio Brown Check
  • Reiss Shotel Three Piece Check Suit Grey
2. Make Use Of Rusty Hues

Move over navy and grey, rust could very well be here to stay.

We know that doesn’t read like the most exciting prospect, but rusty hues are especially autumnal and surprisingly versatile – appearing in the form of suit jackets, contrast sleeves and accessories at Pitti.

Whether you opt for a rust-coloured suit jacket, pair of chinos, or go for something subtler in the shape of a tie or pocket square, it’s time to introduce this ruddy colour into your core palette:

Photos: Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Inspired By Pieces
  • Lacoste Single-color Merino Wool Turtleneck Sweater
  • Paul Smith London Byard Two-button Wool Blazer 193280
  • New Look Jumper – Orange
  • Band Of Outsiders Flat Front Cotton Chinos 168424
  • River Island Rust Cable Knit Crew Jumper
  • Jack & Jones Mens Crew Neck Bush Knit
  • River Island Dark Rust Suit Trousers
  • Suitsupply Havana Burgundy Plain
  • Loro Piana Regular-fit Cotton And Cashmere-blend Corduroy Trousers
3. Wear White In The Winter

Pitti’s elite must have been paying attention when we debunked the ‘no white in winter’ myth late last year.

Aside from the odd day of heavy rain or snow, there’s really no good reason why you can’t wear white year-round.

Look to our street style favourites for inspiration and use a pair of well-cut white trousers/chinos or a crisp piece of knitwear to brighten up your cold-weather ensembles:

Photos: Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Inspired By Pieces
  • He By Mango Slim-fit White Jan Jeans
  • Asos Slim Chinos
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Jersey
  • Ps By Paul Smith Slim-fit Cotton-blend Trousers
  • Reiss Prince Stripe Weave Jumper Ecru
  • Officine Generale Slim-fit Selvedge Dry Denim Jeans
  • He By Mango Shawl Collar Textured Sweater
  • He By Mango Shawl Collar Textured Cardigan
  • He By Mango Textured Cotton Hoodie
4. Layer With Denim

Perhaps spurred on by the likes of Tom Ford and Prada’s denim-filled spring/summer 2015 collections, Pitti’s finest looked to the key workwear fabric for layering.

Some swapped the traditional white button-down shirt for an indigo denim style, often combining with tailoring and a tie, while others used denim jackets as the middle layer between their shirt and a piece of statement outerwear like a fur-trimmed collar coat – proof that this material’s humble origins don’t necessarily prevent it from being dressed up:

Photos: Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Inspired By Pieces
  • Lee Denim Jacket Rider Slim Fit Epic Blue
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Shirt In Denim Slim Fit
  • Wrangler Chambray Denim Shirt In Indigo
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Denim Shirt
  • Allsaints Morgan Denim Jacket
  • He By Mango Ink Color Denim Jacket
  • Acne Studios Isherwood Button-down Collar Washed-denim Shirt
  • Reiss Royce Washed Denim Shirt Indigo
  • A.p.c. Washed-denim Jacket
5. Amp Up Your Accessories

One of the things that always marks Pitti apart from other fashion month events is colour. Bold, bright and ballsy, Pitti attendees may well often limit their looks to tailoring, but their choice of colours is unquestionably liberal.

From patterned pocket squares and neckerchiefs to fedoras in primary hues, it’s via colourful accents that the Pitti trendsetters individualise their outfits.

They also tend to take a more playful approach to accessories: layering them up (e.g. a heavy scarf draped around the neck on top of a neatly tied neckerchief), storing gloves in their breast pocket, switching traditional neck ties for neckerchiefs, or letting their scarf show from the bottom of their buttoned-up blazer:

Photos: Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Key Pieces
  • Topman Jade Puritan Hat
  • Collezione Leather Gloves With Thinsulate
  • He By Mango Paisley Modal-blend Scarf
  • Topman Cobalt Blue Trilby Hat
  • Reiss Thorman Leather Gloves Red
  • He By Mango Paisley Cotton Scarf
  • Richard James Printed Cotton Pocket Square
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Ombre Wool And Silk-blend Scarf
  • Drakes Printed Silk Pocket Square
6. Get Clashing

Flouting outdated style rules, the turnout at Pitti was all for clashing colours and mixing patterns.

Checks of different scales were paired together, while colour contrasts that really shouldn’t have worked – but did – cropped up regularly throughout the four-day event.

The antithesis to the growing trend for minimalist, monochrome ensembles elsewhere, the outfits at Pitti featured three to four contrasting colours on average, and sometimes more when vivid prints were involved:

Photos: Yu Yang For FashionBeans

7. Appreciate All-New Nick Wooster x Lardini

No Pitti-themed round-up would be complete without a mention of street style king Nick Wooster’s latest exploits.

Currently in its second season, Wooster’s collaboration with Italian brand Lardini delivers more of the sartorial smarts unveiled with the debut collection in June 2014.

Combining Lardini’s renowned fabrics and construction with The Woost’s signature mix and match patterned blazers, trousers and natty tailoring, it’s the definition of classic with a twist:

Final Word

No longer an industry event shrouded from the public, Pitti Uomo now rivals major fashion weeks when it comes to being a test bed for new style trends.

So, which of these lessons do you find most valuable? Did you spot any burgeoning trends that we haven’t listed here?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…