It’s the life-changing Italian art of mixing up your suit.
We’re living in a time when stylish men wear sweatpants on late-night TV, leather blazers are cool and not in an ironic way, and the only menswear taboo is talking about menswear taboos. Is there a place for traditional menswear in this, the land of faux-fur coats and platform sneakers? You bet your brogues there is.
Take spezzato: a beautiful-sounding word for the Italian art of mixing and matching your suit jackets and trousers to come up with a new, mismatched suit. The word—which you might have learned from Armie Hammer this week—literally translates to “broken” in Italian. (Get it?) But this isn’t just for our double-breasted brothers. After all, what could be more 2019 than treating your suits like your workout clothes and assuming everything goes with everything? What could be more wild-style than taking your suit exactly half as seriously as your dad taught you to?
What we’re saying is: You can still be a Pitti Uomo guy and dress for our athleisure times. That’s because some menswear “rules” are actually secretly complete anarchy designed to make you look awesome. Here, three ways to let your spezzato flag fly, from Florence to Foot Locker and back again.
If you’re someone who worships at the altar of Gianni Agnelli, spezzato means mashing up two well-fitting suits in complementary fabrics and contrasting colors, then tying the two pieces together with a whole bunch of extremely traditional layers and accessories. It is an empirically handsome look, and one that takes a certain amount of conviction to stick in the @shiasoutfits era of menswear. Respect.
For something slightly weirder and more experimental, we dig a spezzato look that’s less fitted and formal, with a tinge of “this is my crazy snowstorm outfit.” A double-breasted jacket and pleated pants is always a killer move, especially when you throw an equally roomy overcoat on top. Or mix corduroy and tweed suits, then throw in some cashmere and shearling layers for a trippy experiment in texture.
Or, look, you can just very loosely interpret spezzato to include any “broken” suit. Ralph Lauren, the king of heritage, is over here wearing his tuxedo jackets with faded jeans. Street-style god Alex Badia, meanwhile, gave spezzato the sweatpants treatment by supersizing the fit and mixing in athletic wear. If the move speaks to you in spirit but you’re not someone who owns 100 pocket squares, do Italian style your way.