The Shoe Snob Blog

July 12, 2012

Written by , Posted in News

What I Am Wearing – The Italian Way

I know that I have touched on this before, but I will repeat that one of my favorite things about the way in which Italians dress themselves, is the constant use of suede shoes in their outfits. For me, a brown suede shoe (in the shade of my shoe here or darker) pairs more beautifully with a blue suit (whether it navy or mid-blue) than any other of shoe. Something about the texture of suede in a brown color really seems to go perfectly with blue cloths. And you see this everywhere when you go to Italy. I mean, just look at The Sartorialist, and more than likely the majority of shoes that you will see are suede. Granted, they may wear suede for different reasons that I happen to believe in, most likely because the weather allows for it, but nonetheless, I do feel that around the rest of the world, suede shoes are very underrepresented. For instance, in England, they are virtually nonexistent. You see them on the shelves but rarely on the feet. But then again, the weather here is atrociously wet, especially this year, which does make it hard to justify wearing them, let alone buying them…….

Shoes: Stefano Bemer RTW
Suit: Gieves & Hawkes MTM
Shirt: Primark
Tie: Gieves & Hawkes

  • Anonymous

    Justin, what youre wearing here actually looks GREAT (im sure this will come as a surprise after prev comments)! the suit fits you very well as you would expect with a SR MTM, the birdseye cloth looks nice and adds texture, nice slightly lighter blue colour gives it a bit of a interesting hue. suede shoes i agree look fantastic with the lighter blue suit, i personally prefer a more chocolate suede but the tan suede is nice. shirt is only let down imo .. you need to step this part of your game up as the collar in particular sticks out and looks a bit cheap & nasty but at least you havent paid a lot for it from primark (try on the row with summer sale at the mo where you could pick up some nice shirts for 30/40 quid? H&H etc do a nice job & and can be found in this price range at sale?).

    on the question of why men in uk dont wear suede shoes/boots, you hit the nail on the head with weather. when it rains 1/3 of the time often with no warning even in summer months like these, the perception is that suede shoes will become irrepairibly ruined. perhaps you could share some tips for protection of suede shoes in a future post.

    DAVE

    ps i hope you dont find my constant commenting annoying, i really am just interested in style and clothes and dont mean to offend actually.

  • Anonymous

    Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Justin,
    Ok, to my eye you look better today. Yet if I may dare make two – just two – remarks:

    1. a white or light blue shirt would have worked better;
    2. As to the tie, great though, I would suggest to done this kind when your outfit is squarely country oriented (tweed, moleskine, etc.).

    Important to remember is that any items you could pic out of your wardrobe both open and close at the same time the range of possibilities to match them within a given look.

    There is a very interesting piece written by Michael Drake related to the V spot that is really worth reading in this context. You could retrieve it from Permanent Style.

    I hope these lines could be helpful.
    Cheers,

    John

  • Dave – yes, the shirt is not a proper match for the suit, but I just cant justify spending a lot on shirts as I do ruin them, and even at 20, I don’t want to ruin it just to have to get a new one. The day, I got dark tan polish all over my shirt, and i will be very surprised if it actually comes out. Luckily it was a Primark one, because if it wasn’t, I would have been extremely mad. When I leave the shoe polish game behind and just do my shoe thing, then I will step up the shirt game.

    As far as your commenting goes, well, you see I never mind honest commentary, even if it is critical, but what I don’t care for is people taking jabs at me for the sake of trying to get a rise or just because they want to take the piss. At first I thought that this is what you were doing, but if it is not, then I am more than happy to receive your comments whether in agreement or disagreement with my own personal style.

    Anon – Thank you!

    John – As far as the shirt goes, I know that a white one would be better, it’s just that I make the conscious choice to not go with the obvious and do something a little different. But that is just me.

    I will have to check out that piece by Mr. Drake. An intelligent man he was, so I won’t take his words lightly. Thanks for posting.

    -Justin

  • Anonymous

    Looks great, Justin. Love the taper on those pants. Completely flattering for the profile of the shoe. As far as the tie? I dig it!

    I’m all for your eclectic mixing up of elements.

    – ERL

  • Nice! Great minds think alike….just this morning I ordered a pair of suede AS chukkas on sale from afinepairofshoes. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    All right, Justin. But you simply can’t call this outfit “the Italian way”. Can you?
    Cheers,
    John

  • Alex B

    That’s definitely quite a short pair of trousers too!

    I’m not sure this whole thing is quite smart enough with suede, and more so with a suede chukka (two kinds of casual in one of you ask me). It all looks perfectly nice and trendy, but unless you’re in advertising or work in Burton’s, I don’t quite buy the package as professional attire.

    It does looks perfectly nice despite that caveat, though, and to each his own.

    I would reiterate my previous advice about the crap shirts, Justin: you wear an apron for polishing, so your big risk is the sleeves. Wearing black over-sleeves (remember like old-fashioned printers and some other artisans wore?) would protect your (nicer) shirt, and actually complement that image of traditional and timeless craftsmanship that you like to present.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Justin,

    yes I have three pairs of suede shoes but won’t wear them if it is likely to be wet. What with the ‘Summer’ we have been having so far, polished leather shoes are always first choice!

  • Alex B

    I forgot to add: the fabric of your suit (and the tailoring, although too trendy for me), is fabulous. I do like the colour and I’m partial to a pinhead.

    I suspect this one’s too heavy for my needs (extremely hot climate), but could you give us the source and specs, please? Sorry for the digression from shoes to suits, but I do keep my tailor busy and I’m sure your landlords at G&H would appreciate the plug!

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic look, I love it! The suit has an amazingly flattering cut.

  • ERL – Thank you sir! That’s very kind of you to say…..

    Joseph Lo – Nice one!

    John – Why can’t I??? They just words anyway…

    Alex B – How about you send me a pair of those black over-sleeves and I will wear them just for you!

    Anon – yea, I unfortunately don’t get to wear mine as often as I would like to also…since moving to England…

    Alex B – It’s a super 100’s 11oz medium blue birdseye from G&H sale cloth…from Dugdale’s….glad that you like it…it’s a nice color.

    Anon – Thank you very much!

    -Justin

  • Anonymous

    Matching that tie with those shoes seems too deliberate especially with the casualness of the gingham. In my opinion this could be improved with either black shoes and a solid white shirt and the same tie, or the same shoes, and a knit tie.

  • Anon – It was deliberate actually. This is usually how I match…just the thing that I like to do even though from a Dressing The Man standpoint, this is considered too obvious. As far as a solid white shirt, yes you are right, it’s always the nice, safe option, but I try to switch it up, as I don’t mind being a bit abnormal. For black shoes, that would have defeated the purpose of the post, which was about wearing suede shoes….

    Thanks for your observations nonetheless. This post is really not about trying to show people how to dress, as I know that many of my readers are stylish already, but more so for giving inspiration to those who may not be as sartorially savvy, and our looking for another viewpoint…

    -Justin