How to Dress Without Trying Too Hard...
So you want to look good. More than that you want to look cool. More than that even, you want to look cool effortlessly.
Now, there are of course many ways to achieve this, but if you’re talking easy chic, a relaxed bearing, a light machismo - that, dear heart, is Sprezzatura.
For the definition, we have to go all the way back to the 16th century, and to Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier. Essentially a guide as to how young noblemen should conduct themselves in polite spaces, it contains sage advice that modern men would do well to heed -
“...conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought…”
So we’re talking about style, about presentation. Essentially it’s about conducting yourself with a certain nonchalance, a bearing that hides the conscious effort that went into something. A louche, effortless cool. The art of making difficult things look easy. You want to inhabit the clothes, not let your outfit wear you. Studied carelessness. You almost want to look like you’re accidentally the most stylish one in the room. A man should look slightly scruffy in a suit.
Essentially you want to avoid flashiness, affectation, artifice, or God forbid, trying too hard (shudder). You want to look confident and easy, with just the little touch of swagger that implies you know what you’re doing.
Now admittedly this sounds like an intimidating line to walk; know what you’re doing without showing it, don’t try too hard... The truth is, and whisper it - it isn’t that hard a style to pull off, so long as you go with it. It’s a quiet confidence, a suggestion that you are comfortable just being in your own skin. Believe it yourself, and you will be believed. Trust us when we say the proof will be in the final result. Loosen that collar, mismatch that suit and lean back. The art of Italian cool is all in the attitude.