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Spezzato - How to Mix and Match the Italian Way

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Section: Men's Style - Blog

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From football to food, it seems that there’s nothing our Mediterranean friends cannot do. But what irks inspires us the most is the apparent ease with which they manage to look so stylish while doing so. Of course, Italy has long been the birthplace of some of the fashion world’s most popular trends so when Italian men throw randomly coloured components of their suits together and call it Spezzato we’re rather inclined to take note. But what on Earth is it and do you think you can pull it off?

What is Spezzato?

If you’re like us and your Italian vocabulary is limited to the local restaurant’s pasta menu then you probably don’t know that Spezzato translates quite literally as ‘broken’. A strange word for a sartorial trend you might think but in actual fact it’s quite an accurate description of the style.

Spezzato style is when a suit jacket is paired with the pants from another suit that is of contrasting colour. This gives your once monochrome outfit a broken look that is incredibly individual and, if done right, extremely stylish.

Spezzato everywhere

You might not know it but Spezzato is all around you. Every time you pull on a blazer and a pair of jeans you’re dipping your toes ever so slightly into the waters of mismatched attire. Chinos and a sports coat? Yes, that too. Once you have a formal(ish) jacket and a contrasting pair of pants, then you are a practitioner of this vestiary art.

How to pull it off

If you are to truly master the look of a supremely confident Italian, then follow these suggestions

  • Contrast your colours – Your jacket and pants must be of significantly contrasting colours for this style to work. A midnight blue jacket matched with black pants will just look like you grabbed the wrong hanger in the closet. Burgundy and black, blue and grey, will all work but don’t limit yourself. It’s also possible to contrast shades and hues of the same colour so a powder blue jacket might go well with navy pants.

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  • Don’t mix fits – Interestingly the worst mistake you can make when dressing Spezzato is not related to colours but the fit of your suit. While you might get away with ultra slim fit pants and a slim fit jacket, the same cannot be said for regular and slim

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  • Be consistent in quality – Regardless of whether you wear off the rack or custom tailored suits, make sure that the items you are pairing are of equal quality. There’s no point in wearing a faded decade old pair of pants with a newly tailored jacket; it just won’t work.

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  • Know when to use it – If you’re a colourful sort of guy then you’ll have no fear of putting on a display of flamboyance à la Spezzato but don’t go overboard or you’ll risk the peacock Try it out now and then so people won’t know what sartorial delights to expect from you each day. And if you’re insistent on practising your new skills at formal events or in a business environment then try a more subtle form using neutral tones such as greys and blacks.

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  • Be sure of yourself – If you’re new to this style then people will surely notice the change in your appearance and when people notice things, they ask questions. Be confident and explain that you’re trying something new and once your friends and colleagues realise that this is an intentional mismatch of formal wear and not a dry cleaning malfunction they will most likely look on you and your outfit in a new light.

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Now to do this right, you’ll need more than one suit and ideally, a man that wears suits regularly will have at least three in his wardrobe. If however you’re a one suit man or your suits are too similar in colour then you can always pop into our showroom for a look at our range or chat about all things Spezzato.

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Simon Frazer

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