Ah Pitti. One of the world’s scant remaining safe havens for the dandy. While the death knell sounded loud for double-breasted tweed tailoring and elaborate moustaches in London at the start of the month, Pitti Uomo sees some of #menswear’s original markers alive and well in Florence. Which makes for a nice change for those of us still not sold on spending every waking hour in a glorified tracksuit.

That said, it wasn’t all impeccable tailoring with a twist: we spotted our fair share of heinous style crimes to go with the triumphs. Here are the styles to heed, and the ones to hoof, from menswear’s most important trade show.

1. Checked Tailoring Is Still A Thing

If there are two things Pitti types rate, it’s tailoring and gutsy statements. Put them together and you’ve got something they go pretty much pazzo for. Checked tailoring – whether plaids, windowpanes or Prince of Wales – was (not for the first time) front and centre at this season’s Pitti.

And if there’s one thing to take away from the way they wore it, it’s getting your dosage right. Bolder checks are great, but don them head-to-toe and you run the risk of failing (see lesson 6) rather than flexing.

Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Key Pieces

  • Selected Homme Exclusive Multi Colour Check Blazer In Skinny Fit
  • Asos Slim Chinos In Check Print
  • Ted Baker Endurance Regislj Sterling Checked Jacket
  • Jack & Jones Premium Check Blazer With Stretch In Slim Fit
  • Reiss Jagger Checked Textured Blazer
  • River Island Camel Check Wool-blend Blazer
  • Topman Navy And Grey Check Skinny Fit Suit Trousers
  • Topman Navy Window Check Skinny Fit Trousers
  • Gucci Grey Monaco Slim-fit Checked Wool Suit

2. Classic Doesn’t Have To Mean Colourless

Somewhere in the annals of menswear it’s written that punchy colours can’t be considered ‘classic’. But, then again, we also thought the world was flat at one point, so it’s fair to say that sometimes historians get it very, very wrong.

At Pitti 89, classic suiting and colour weren’t so much mutually exclusive as entwined in a kind of stylish symbiosis. In fact, the trade show was awash with chalk blue, lime green, coral and other not-so-wallflowery hues that have, like a designer with an attitude problem or an especially hungry model, a reputation for being difficult.

The trick is, for the colours at least, to a) be sparing, as above, and b) reference a colour wheel as well as the mirror before stepping out. Clashing is all very well but steer it complementary rather than car crash.

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Key Pieces

  • Asos Super Skinny Suit In Green
  • Asos Skinny Blazer In Cotton
  • Asos Slim Suit Jacket With Tipping Indeep Teal
  • He By Mango Unstructured Pique Blazer
  • Topman Burgundy Skinny Fit Suit Jacket
  • Richard James Dark-green Seishin Slim-fit Slub Silk And Linen-blend Blazer
  • Richard James Pale-blue Irish Linen Trousers
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Chinos
  • Incotex Slim-fit Brushed-cotton Twill Trousers

3. Get Noticed With Your Coat

Your first line of defence against winter’s dark arts, a coat is a cold-weather non-negotiable. But making your choice on utility alone can lead to a winter coat that sorely lacks the panache of the rest of your wardrobe. Look to Pitti’s trailblazers instead, some of whom blew the competition right out of the water with their bold outerwear.

There were three main strains this season: bright colours, fur collars and look-twice patterns. The first came in cobalt blue, forest green and the shade of a fine Chianti, generally worn as a counterpoint to the rest of the look. The fur-collar styles, on the other hand, relied on core menswear cuts and colours (navy, camel, grey), with the collar’s fabrication framed as the main flourish. Finally, patterned styles, although slightly thinner on the ground, were present in large checks or patchwork – both sure-fire ways of injecting some welcome sprezzaturra to proceedings.

So, take your pick. Just give the shoulder robing a miss – not only is it completely impractical, your overcoat won’t be up to much lying in a soiled heap once an assailing commuter takes it out.

Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Key Pieces

  • Noose & Monkey Wool Overcoat
  • Asos Wool Overcoat In Burgundy
  • Topman Rogues Of London Grey Sorrento Coat
  • Topman Charcoal Wool Rich Overcoat With Detachable Faux Fur Collar
  • River Island Navy Wool-blend Faux Fur Collar Coat
  • Reiss Banks Checked Tonal Overcoat Black
  • Burberry London Velvet-trimmed Virgin Wool And Cashmere-blend Overcoat
  • A.p.c. Wool-blend Overcoat
  • Burbery Winchester Heritage Cashmere Coat

4. The Hat Makes The Man

Like deadlifting 1RMs and tolerance for tequila shots, comparing your hat game to another man’s is an easy way of establishing who’s superior. And this season’s Pitti attendees, true to form, gave us a masterclass in how it’s done.

There was the odd baker boy, beanie and even heavyweight snapback in view, but formal brimmed hats – from fedoras to pork pies to trilbies – were the Italian OGs’ go-tos. And while eye-popping colour was a theme across this season’s suiting, accessories generally steered low-key. Which means no Prince-level showy fabrications or blinding brights.

Also worth noting is that hats generally look cooler when paired with some killer shades. So get your eyewear inline (coloured lenses or tortoiseshell frames are your best bet) before getting busy up top.

Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Key Pieces

  • Topman Brown Puritan Hat
  • Topman Black Pork Pie Hat
  • Topman Black Round Crown Hat
  • Reiss Epsom Christys Felt Trilby Hat Maroon
  • Asos Bee Keeper Hat In Khaki With Unstructured Brim
  • Asos Pork Pie Hat In Camel With Diamond Crown
  • Larose Grosgrain-trimmed Rabbit-felt Fedora
  • Loro Piana Laurence Felt Fedora
  • Larose Noir Zip Fedora

5. Mind Your Goddamn Mankles

January, in the northern hemisphere at least, isn’t so much the time to get your mankles out as to layer them in yards of sturdy, pneumonia-deflecting fabric.

Not so at Pitti. Despite single-digit temperatures, attendees weren’t shy about letting it all hang out in cropped trouser styles that exposed their pale, turkey-like flesh for everyone else to see. And shudder at.

If it’s cold enough to wear a coat (see above), then do yourself (and the rest of us) a favour and put some socks on.

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6. Some Things Are Never OK

As much as we commend Pitti for its sartorial bravura, it does spawn some looks that should never really have seen the light of day [from left to right, below]:

Exhibit A: a man in a hot pink and purple windowpane check suit. Nope. Never OK. Even if he does looks deliriously happy about it all.
Exhibit B: Fabio-meets-menswear blogger. Obviously unhappy with his objectively good looks, the usually on-point Mariano Di Vaio seeks to undo all his God-given beauty by wearing one of the most misguided menswear looks we saw at the event.
Exhibit C: LOL.
Exhibit D: This look made us question whether our photographer was actually shooting Pitti style or surveying Florentine garden ornaments.
Exhibit E: If you look closely at this image, it might kind of remind you of Cyclops crossed with Superman. Which is literally the only good thing about a guy wearing a tablecloth as a cape.
Exhibit F: “Don’t sleep on the pyjamas trend” – Simone Marchetti.

Yu Yang For FashionBeans

Final Word

And that concludes another chapter in Italian street style. So, has Pitti taught you some valuable lessons? Or are you looking to LCM for your guiding light?

Drop your thoughts below.