While the event is most famous for the ever-more-outrageous peacocks that flock to it in search of people to take their photos, Pitti Uomo still functions as the world’s best barometer for what’s coming up in the world of men’s tailoring. Having recently returned from spending a week in Florence investigating on behalf of Crane Brothers, I’ve put together a list of the key trends to watch for - and nary a jewel-tone suit in sight.
Texture Is King
If there is one big takeaway from Pitti Uomo 90, it’s texture. If you are looking to invest in tailoring - particularly jacketing - a block coloured, textured piece would be a smart place to start. Linen for summer and shetland or Donegal tweed for winter are great places to start. If you’re looking for something more daring, something in a boucle or seersucker might be more what you’re looking for. Stripes are still the big story for men’s shirting, and by moving your tailoring’s interest to its texture, you free yourself up to pair your garments more freely.
Field and safari jackets have been working their way into the tailored wardrobe pretty persistently over the last couple of seasons, but I think that now we can well and truly call them a staple. Great as a piece on their own, but also as a light, functional piece of outerwear over more traditional tailoring, the field jacket gets extra marks for being a lifesaver if you’re travelling - so many pockets.
Natural Tones and Indigo
Two major colour stories came out of Pitti 90, that of natural tones and indigo. The spectrum of natural tones, from chocolate browns through to dusty ecru, is going to feature heavily for next season, for both tailoring and for more military-inspired shirting. Indigo dying is once again a big part of many offers as well, with washed-back denim shirting and indigo cotton tailoring will play a big part of many offers coming up, offering an easy and contemporary take on more traditional blue shirts and jackets.
It was only three short years ago that US Senator Ryan McKenna tried to ban seersucker on anyone over the age of eight - just goes to show you can’t keep a good thing down. Seersucker was the fabric du jour at this year’s fair, however notably while striped versions were represented, it was block coloured seersucker that reigned supreme, with many houses employing the airy, textured fabric in their shirts and tailoring.
Tailoring is Only Getting Softer
As men’s requirements out of their tailored garments have changed, so has their desire for softer, easier-wearing tailoring, better suited to more relaxed work environments and more appropriate for travel. Traditional suiting and jacketing still features a very natural shoulder, with little to no structure. Silhouettes, whilst by no means slouchy, are slightly easier in previous seasons, showcasing a natural line that’s tailored without being ultra-fitted On the more casual end of the scale, more and more makers are taking the lead of firms like Barena Venezia and Boglioli, and utilising knitted fabrics or loose hopsacks to create relaxed garments that still work over a shirt and tie.
Words and photos by Ben Saint George @bensaintgeorge