I made several mistakes early on in my journey down the road to elegance. But what are the mistakes I wouldn’t make again?
1) trouser width: I will no longer make them too tight; the pants must be well proportioned with the length of the shoe.
2) trouser length: I won’t make them too short anymore; otherwise in Italy they say you have water in the house like in Venice! Never show ankle and shoe 100% in its entirety. The pants must reach the shoe. It can arrive in a traditional way until it almost touches the heel or stay between the ankle and the shoe, without showing too much of the sock.
3) The colors worn: too many are excessive. Maximum three. And possibly not too garish. In fact I have some pants that I don’t dare to wear anymore. They disgust me! And remember: the lightest colors should be worn in the morning, and then darken with the passing of the hours; until you get to the night where you give space only to solid colors such as midnight blue and or, in some exceptions, even the darkest gray. The dark gray should be worn even at funerals, with black shoes and white shirt and tie solid color, obviously never light.
5) the size and proportions of lapels: never lapels that end almost behind the back, so high they are. And never too wide. They must be proportionate to the person. Maximum 12 cm. And even on this point I made some youthful mistakes. Result? I no longer wear those exaggerated clothes I had.
6) Shirts: also in this case I have some shirts that now I use only on weekends. My advice is not to exaggerate with stripes and checks; play with weaves, checks and stripes but always staying in the small or medium size. White for ceremonies, and formal appointments and strictly without button-downs; the button-down collar is used more on informal occasions. Initials on the shirt, never on the cuff or collar. Buttons always and only in natural mother-of-pearl. And the cuffs of shirts must come out of the jacket a couple of cm. Same thing for the neck. Never short-sleeved shirt with the jacket!
7) Ties: never too big designs especially if the jacket is single-breasted. The double-breasted allows a little more because being closed often tends to bring you towards sobriety even if you wear something strong. But do not abuse it. Also in this case the ties I wore 12 years ago are in the drawer of memories. And I don’t even offer them to my clients anymore. Solid color or faux solid color on formal occasions.
8) Pocket-square: similar but never the same as a tie. White for the ceremony or for maximum elegance and formality. Fantasy for everything else. But it must not be a traffic light visible even at night. And of what size? It depends on the pocket and the thickness of the silk. 10 years ago I wore them nice and big, even 42×42; then I saw that they made my pocket too puffy. My advice is to stay between 36 and 38 cm.
9) Socks: I prefer solid colors or small patterns. The only eccentric concession I allow myself is the solid color red sock, maybe on a suede shoe. I would never wear socks with big patterns. Classic pants classic socks and never short. Pants “sporty” informal socks.
10) Shoes: here my friend Freccia Bestetti always told me that the darker shades always win and at any time. In fact he granted me only one pair of dark brown and whiskey two-tone shoes. But nothing more. Maybe it goes without saying but never use light shoes in the evening, even if they are bespoke and beautiful. It goes without saying that shoe and belt must speak the same language and thus have consistency in materials and colors.
11) Don’t care what you wear: this is the only way to be naturally elegant. The dress must be your submissive victim. Yes, because if it prevails over you, making you feel like a prisoner on the inside, it’s over for you on the outside. The risk of being plastered in public is just around the corner. And that can curb your elegance and your perceived poise to the outside eye.
12) If you’re a dandy, you can afford anything. Your great personality will lead you to uniqueness.