You Asked: How Can I Work Gucci Into My Look?
Photograph by Mr Jonathan Daniel Pryce. Styling by Ms Ling Su
Ways to work the Italian label into your wardrobe. Should you go double-breasted if you’ve put on a bit of weight? And how can you use colour to take your outfit to the next level – MR PORTER answers your most pressing style questions.
We all know what it’s like to buy something a little outré – stronger in colour and/or pattern than we would normally go for – and then seldom wear it. It looks great on its own, but seems like a misfit with pretty much everything else in your wardrobe. Fear not. There is a way to add edge to your look without going overboard.
Some of us (yours truly included) also know what it’s like to have items that don’t fit as well as they once did. They, too, hang guiltily in our wardrobes. Is there still a way to wear them?
Such conundrums are the focus of this week’s questions, which we answer below. Keep your sartorial and grooming queries coming via our social media channels or, if you prefer, email them directly to email@example.com.
You’ve partly answered your own question here. Mr Alessandro Michele designs standout pieces that are designed to do just that – stand out. His Gucci is all about more-is-more maximalism. So, by definition, such garments are not going to become part of your everyday wardrobe. Unless, of course, you are a particularly bold (and particularly wealthy) dresser.
I understand what you’re getting at, though. Gucci is not the easiest brand to wear in everyday settings. I find that you either have to go all in, total commitment, like this. Or you allow one uncompromisingly Gucci item to be the front-and-centre hero, and ensure everything else is as plain as can be. So, if you’re wearing something daring on the top half, tone it down on the bottom half with plain black or navy trousers or shorts. And vice versa. If it’s a party down below, keep it muted and minimal up top.
For an even safer way to incorporate Gucci, pep up your everyday wardrobe with a lower-impact accessory by the brand: a pocket square or a tie, for a smarter look, a pair of these pool slides or sneakers for a summer/holiday look, or perhaps a wallet.
When you’re expanding your repertoire, it’s best to take incremental steps at first so you don’t leap too far out of your comfort zone.
I’ve hit that stage of life where I have noticed a certain ballooning around the midriff. My immediate pain relates to a rather nice double-breasted suit I bought some years ago when I was in peak physical condition. So, to my question: can you wear a DB unbuttoned? If it helps, the suit is linen, light brown with a blue window-pane pattern – think Pitti sprez.
**Simon Lumsdon, via email **
In warm weather, we often need some extra ventilation and from the sounds of your DB suit – light, linen, a little louche – I think it could be acceptable to wear this unbuttoned as the fabric will likely drape rather than gape. But one must always have the option of doing the button up on any jacket, especially a double-breasted one. Too-tight tailoring is just as unflattering as too big, if not more so. And given this suit’s statement cloth, you wouldn’t want to draw undue attention to an area that already makes you feel self-conscious. So my answer in this particular instance is: best not, I’m afraid. At least not for another two months.
Don’t throw the suit out, though. Use it to encourage you. Tailoring can keep us honest. I, too, have reached an age (*coughs* 39) where the metabolism is slowing down. I own several suits that have either been made to measure or altered to fit, plus a couple of bespoke. I find them to be a more effective incentive to stay in shape than any other form of motivation.
I’m worried that my outfits are getting a little too refined and losing character, despite co-ordinating colours and fabrics. How can I add a bit of edge without going overboard?
@onenewton, via Instagram
It is all too easy to go too far. We saw an example of that just this week at the first pre-fight press conference between Messrs Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. The latter wore a bespoke pinstripe suit. Unfortunately, the pinstripe comprised the repeated profane refrain “FUCK YOU”. Not a look MR PORTER can endorse.
There are less controversial ways to add edge to your look, however. You could change up the silhouette. Instead of straight-leg jeans or chinos, for example, look for wider-leg trousers that are cropped and taper a little towards the ankle, such as these from Norse Projects. At the Todd Snyder show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s on Monday, the US designer introduced wide-leg trousers.
Instead of wearing sneakers without socks (or with no-show socks), you could try wearing white socks, which, as we have mentioned previously in this column, are coming back into favour. Also try socks with shorts, preferably plain socks the same colour as the shorts and/or sneakers.
And you can also push your usual parameters when it comes to colour and pattern, which is easiest to do on the top half with a short-sleeved summer shirt, T-shirt, sweatshirt or jacket. Perhaps pick one “pop” colour that you don’t usually wear, such as red or pink, as the focal point of an outfit. Or try an elaborately patterned Hawaiian shirt. Good luck.