Are You Ready for Spezzato?

Spezzato, which literally means broken in two, is the Italian name for mismatching jacket and trousers masterfully.  Where but Italy would men push the envelope with combinations considered so daring?  One would hardly find green trousers with a checked jacket in a window on Seville Row!  Nor would the traditional American navy blazer with khakis or jeans really qualify as spezzato.  No, Italian men seem to know just how to push the envelope and not look ridiculous.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Brunello Cucinelli stated, “Men are comfortable mixing fabrics and patterns in Italy, and they embrace this style in both casual and formal situations.”  Mr. Cucinelli often displays unstructured jacket with casual trousers in his own window displays.  To quote the article, Mr. Cucinelli “favors lighter, subtler tones; even the bold colors in his latest collection are speckled with beige or gray for what he describes a ‘dusty’ effect….We believe in wearing one bright color at a time, and complementing it with more neutral pieces.”  Alan See of the Armoury, a men’s shop in Hong Kong asserts that the suit is not necessarily needed in the modern workplace, opening up many possibilities with separates.

Gioanni Bianchi, product manager for another Italian men’s wear label, states that one should start with a well tailored jacket of fine quality fabric even though jackets used for the spezzato look are deconstructed, without the full lining and shoulder pads of traditional suits.  The article cautioned that it is preferable to let the jacket be the stabilizing element in this look, using brightly contrasting trousers to add the punch.

As you can see from the pictures, this look takes some finesse in choosing combinations that work together harmoniously.  The bad news is that It may take a year in Italy to learn how to “Spezzato” effectively.   Hmmm.  Not a bad idea.

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