Much of the menswear blogosphere seems to be dominated by young men who like to wear tailored clothing like streetwear. Suits are paired with running shoes, unbuckled double monks are worn sockless, and sport coat collars often flipped up. Everything is also worn rather tightly and short. To be sure, this kind of style is very fashionable at the moment, but a lot of it feels unoriginal and repetitive. It also doesn’t speak to the sophistication and elegance that particularly attracts me to tailored clothing.
A few months ago, I found a new blog called Italian Industrialists’ and Intellectuals’ Style. It’s just that - photographs of Italian industrialists and intellectuals that the author deems particularly stylish. I was into it for a while, at least as a reprieve from the looks that other bloggers were posting. In almost every city I’ve visited, many of the stylish men I’ve met tend to be older gentlemen in the kind of conservative ensembles that IIIS likes to feature. After seeing hundreds of his posts, however, it has developed its own repetitiveness. His blog might as well be called “Italian Men in Grey or Navy Suits, White Shirts, and Blue Ties,” because that’s all he features.
I think there’s a middle ground to be struck in all this, and that middle ground is perhaps best personified by Luciano Barbera. Barbara wears clothing that’s classic, not “classic with a twist,” but also puts together ensembles that are more interesting and imaginative than what IIIS features. He clearly enjoys dressing, but doesn’t overreach by veering into trendy gimmicks. Most importantly to me, he never fails to look sophisticated and elegant in what he wears. I find a lot of inspiration in that kind of balance. Dressing like you enjoy clothing, but also remaining elegant. There’s more to classic, tailored menswear than “swag” and boardroom uniforms. There’s the stuff below.