Even if getting older isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a lot of people hate celebrating their birthday…I, on the other hand, make it a point to have the day off to do the things and be with the people I love, but to each his own. Also, I’m usually in the mood to debut new garments on the occasion.
This time around, it all revolved around green, one of my favourite shades and unfortunately, one of the most underrated out there. There’s a reason Boglioli is considered by many the epitome of Italian suiting, you need only take a look at the blazer to recognized its traits: washed finishing, unstructured, lightweight, fitted and featuring a superb herringbone pattern. One of the most interesting things about this look, besides the color and texture schemes, is the fact that despite each of the most striking pieces: suit, vest and tie were bought separately, they all matched perfectly in the end.
Details: herringbone cotton/silk suit by Boglioli, houndstooth tweed vest by Purificacion Garcia, dress Shirt by René Lezard, waxed derby shoes by Buttero, Shades by Linda Farrow Luxe, striped tie by Purificacion Garcia, houndstooth pocket square by Tie Rack.
The price of minimalist sneakers has really gone through the roof in the last few years. Common Project’s low top Achilles, for example, used to cost somewhere between $250 and $300, but you’d be lucky nowadays to find them at that price on sale. On the upside, with their growing popularity, more and more companies are coming out with their own designs, which means there’s a lot of options at a wide range of price points.
If you’re considering some minimalist kicks, here are some of the non-CP options, from most to least expensive:
APC ($355): APC's sneakers are nearly just as expensive at full retail, but given their distribution, you can easily find them on sale. Totokaelo Man, for example, has them on discount right now for $249. Similarly designed and priced are Wings + Horns and Svensson.
Buttero ($325): A much more original, but still tasteful, take on minimalism. Depending on what you plan to wear with your sneakers, these could be a better option than your standard sleek or sporty designs.
National Standard ($270+): A relatively new label that I unfortunately don’t know much about, but they’re sold at reputable and fancy boutiques. Check them out at L’Exception, Ikkon, and The Corner.
Erik Schedin ($238): I’ve unfortunately never handled these, but have always admired their design. The listed price drops down to $238 once you deduct for European taxes.
Twins for Peace ($200): A minimalist sneaker with a cheeky pair of shoelaces. If you don’t like the laces, I imagine you can easily swap them out for something simpler.
Garment Project ($192): A Danish company doing basics such as shirts and sweatshirts. Their sneakers have an inverted “V” at the eyelet tabs and a more exaggerated toe cap. Available at MKI and Wardrobe19.
Nikes ($105+): Granted, Nikes will always have that big swoosh, which goes against the spirit of minimalism, but they have some great designs at relatively affordable prices. Check out the Air Force Ones, Dunks, Air Jordan 1 Mids, and Blazers. You can get these in all white if you go through Nike’s ID program.
My last trip to Florence was one of the most exciting and prolific so far. Besides Pitti itself, the myriad of surrounding events and presentations I had the chance to attend, made my stay all the more special. Undoubtedly, the highlight of week was the opportunity to talk and experience Mr. Simone Righi at work, while he styled and fitted me a couple of outfits from his store Frasi. A big shout out to my friend Martin, talented photographer, Master of Arts and founder of the blog Guaizine, for arranging and documenting the rendezvous.
Witnessing Simone’s natural gift in person is nothing short of outstanding: from the passion and know-how with which he addresses garments, fabrics, cut and fit, to the nonchalant styling of accessories such as scarfs or pocket squares, everything fluidly unveils as an artwork. The first look was comprised by a superb single breasted, 3 button, cotton/linen suit by Kiton, featuring a perfectly balanced fit with a tailored jacket and slightly wider pants for extra comfort and breathability. The final touch was given by the beautiful Japanese print scarf, adding an extra visual element and play on length.
As much as I like leather hard-bottom shoes, summer is really a great time for sneakers. They go well with chinos and madras shirts, jeans and t-shirts, and even the occasional casual button-up with shorts. I mainly rely on five different models for my rotation.
German Army Trainers: If German Army Trainers (GATs for short) seem new but familiar, it might be because the two brothers who invented them would later go on to launch Adidas and Puma, two classic sneaker companies that often make shoes bearing a familial resemblance to GATs. They were also used by German soldiers for indoor exercises during the 1970s, which is how they got their name.
You can find GATs today at a pretty affordable price. They’re about $30 if you’re in Germany and can get to a military surplus store, but if you’re not, you can find them between $60 and $90 on eBay and through German proxy sellers. Jesse wrote a great article on how to score them here.
There are also a couple of slightly modified designs by Svensson and Maison Martin Margiela (the second of which issues them in a number of different colors every season). I have the black pair you see above, the grey ones here, and the classic white leather/ grey suede combination. The last is probably the most popular among style enthusiasts, but I find myself wearing the black and grey pairs most often. You can get Margiela GATs for about $250 on eBay or during sale seasons.
Hydrogen-1: A few months ago, Hydrogen-1 offered to send me a free pair of sneakers to review. I was skeptical, to be honest, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to give their black Oxygen high-tops a try, so long as they knew a positive review wasn’t guaranteed.
I’ve been happily surprised with them and find they’re just as well made as my Common Projects or Margielas. The slightly pebbled black calf leather doesn’t show creases easily and the padded collar makes them exceptionally comfortable. The sole looks chunkier online than in real life, but they do give the shoe a nice casual look. Like the aforementioned minimalistic options, the simplicity of these high-tops makes them very versatile.
I also like these grey chukkas. Hero, the founder behind the company, tells me they’ll be doing an end-of-season sale in a few months, and that both models will be coming out in different colorways and materials this October or so.
Billy Reid: Billy Reid has a collaboration line with K-Swiss that I really like. It’s a very sporty, slightly retro design that goes well with a grey sweatshirt and pair of jeans. A bit more “designed” than the other options on this list, but in a way that still feels simple and basic.
Canvas sneakers: The great thing about sneakers is that they don’t have to be expensive. If you’re on a budget, aim for something classic and made from canvas. My go-tos are Superga 1705s in white and navy, but you can read about a number of other options in this old post I wrote a couple of summers ago. It’s hard to go wrong with any of those models.
“Suede” is one of those words used to describe a group of different things that most people think of as all the same. Like “Africa,” or “blogger.” Suede generally refers to any leather that has a “nap” to it – that is, loose fibers that give the material a soft, velvety feel, and a deep color. There are three different ways such a finish is achieved.
There’s a common misconception that shorts have no place in the world of dapperness, that showing a bit of leg immediately throws a well put together look to the ground. If there’s one thing that Italians have shown us as of lately, is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Granted, shorts aren’t appropriate for every occasion, say work for instance, but they’re a great alternative for these relaxed Summer months when having a drink after work becomes a routine. Make no mistake, when paired properly, shorts can elevate an attire to a whole new level while portraying that special seasonal feel. Just remember to leave the socks at home, put on a pair of suede loafers/boat shoes and top them with a shirt/blazer combo. Accessories earn you extra points…
Details: double breasted cardigan by Purificacion Garcia, white dress shirt by Paul Smith, chino shorts by H&M, fringed crepe sole boat shoes by Buttero, tortoise shades by Linda Farrow Luxe, vintage pocket square, rope bracelet by Add-On, leather bracelets by H&M, watch by Rolex (GMT Master II)