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The archenemy of elegance – except when it’s used with wisdom and awareness – is excess, whether it concerns one’s attitude or clothing habits.

First of all, let’s bear in mind that excess was the driving force behind some of history’s most outstanding figures as well as its crucial cultural and artistic trends. Some examples of the ominous effects of excess on clothing habits can be found in the Seventies, when those oversized collars, lapels, ties and bell-bottom trousers marked the darkest years in men’s dressing after WWII. Needless to say, the elegant man got through that age without being scathed in the slightest by the awfulness around him.

Let’s admit it, though – some of those over-the-edge beige suits with countless thin stripes, huge lapels and bell-bottom trousers actually worked within the context of certain American films; and worn by Robert Redford and the likes they had some sort of perverse charm.

After all, elegance depends on overall balance. If you wear something conspicuous or unusual – something quite common in an elegant ensemble – the other items must balance it out and therefore be unassertive.

Lord Brummel, a.k.a. Beau, was considered the elegant man par excellence. And even though he lived in an age of puffed sleeves, brocades and embroidery, he strove for simplicity in the shape and colours of his outfits.

He was, however, fastidious about the craftsmanship and the perfect fit of his clothes, ensuring they were just right for his own shape and measurements.


Tommaso di Benedetto

Taken from A Proposito di EleganzaUna Guida allo Stile Maschile, Mondadori


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9th December 2015 • #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #