Monday, January 7, 2013

Not a What I Wore...

I was going to post a What I Wore Sunday or possibly a What I Wore on My Anniversary Dinner Out (WIWOMADO), but today turned into more of a What I Wore to Urgent Care kind of day, so I decided to take things in a different direction. You may have caught this post. If you didn't, check it out.   A good (and well dressed) friend of my husband and I, a certain Vinson, made some interesting and insightful comments on said post.  I will reprint them here for your enjoyment. And, for context, he currently calls Vienna home.

Vinson wrote:

I think Italian men have more of a masculine sense of style then the Austrians. In Italy they call it sprezzatura. It's a like an intentional casualness in their dress. They know they could look better, but they restrain. Look at the gentleman in the third picture with the grey suit and the sneakers. The juxtaposition is prime example of this. Good blog Mary! Love it!

I responded:

Thank you for commenting, Vinson! I've noticed sprezzatura, but I could never put a name to it; thank you for that, too! How would you classify your style? How has it changed since living in Europe exclusively?

And Vinson replied:

Mary, thanks for the comment to my comment :-) I would say that my style can be defined as modern classic. I love men's style in which you can't pinpoint the eact time period. In addition I would throw in the word Americana. I think that living in Europe has actually given me a greater appreciation of classic American style (i.e. repp ties, Levis, navy blazers), but with the European fit (tailored and cut to fit close to the body). Can I use the term, modern-classic-Americana?

I think since living here I have also come to respect dressing for the occasion and venue. This is obviously assuming you don't wear flip flops and t-shirts everwhere (unacceptable in Rome). I have noticed that Europeans (esp. Italians) tend to do better is wear appropriate attire for the right place and time. For example, if you are in the country you wear tweeds and flannels and heavily brouged footwear. If you are in the city, you stick to dark, simpler and slimmer fitting pieces. I like this mentality and it brings you back to a time where gentlemen dressed like gentlemen and life in the ascetic sense was (in my opinion) a bit more refined and beautiful. :-)

And then I said:

Wow, what a great answer... so many things to respond to! I think you have summed up your style quite nicely! I like how you give a nod to the best of American style. It seems to me that these really good "Americana" elements have been popping up more in European fashion, and the more European streamlined silhouette has been gaining traction here in the States - a melding of sorts seems to be occurring between the two extremes of men's fashion. I love it. 

Dressing for the occasion is a great topic! It seems to me that much of the youth [ re-reading this, I realize how old this statement makes me sound!] here view that as an imposition and offense against self expression, where really it is just the opposite! I too, love dressing according to environment, occasion, and "what is in the air." I sense a post topic here...


  1. Mary, thank you. I am indeed flattered :-)

    1. Thank you for being a good sport, Vince!


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