pitti says relaxWhen I got the invite to attend the 85th edition of legendary trade show/fashion week Pitti Immagine in Florence, Italy, of course the first question I had was "what does one wear to participate in such monumental affairs?" A quick Google search turned up a slew of "street style" photos, which depicted mustachioed and bearded men with all sorts of garish accoutrements from pocket squares, bow ties, interesting hats, and layer upon layer of outerwear. What had I gotten myself into? I just started shaving last year and my wardrobe is deplete of flair? I resigned to pack my normal uniform, a couple pairs of jeans and few jackets in hopes that maybe I could borrow a bowtie from someone in Customs, and off I went to participate in the great wide world of men's fashion as best I could. Well my friends, I've gotta tell you, I arrived in beautiful Florence and made my way to Pitti and it was nothing like I imagined! First of all, while there were a few dudes with beards and mustaches, they really weren't in the majority--most of these bros were pretty clean-cut, to be honest. It was amazing. There were fellas from around the globe, and the first thing I noticed was actually how super relaxed the vibe was. There were guys of all types and styles and for the most part, people were wearing sneakers. I noticed a lot of different variations of the sort of dressed-up lounge-wear trend. I mean, yeah, there were a few peacocky-looking gents with half-a-dozen pocket squares, scarves, and bow ties on, but really the crowd less buttoned up than Google foretold. Being an undercover sneakerhead, I was constantly distracted walking around the trade show's grounds, as every few feet I spotted footwear I'd never seen before. Everything from fresh-outta-the-box pristine kicks to incredible vintage models. My favorite look was a variation on the Richie Tenenbaum vibe, where a fair contingency of the guys were wearing sweats, track pants, or some sort of New Wave dress pants-meets-loungewear coupled with a button up or a jacket. The feel was very '80s, with rolled up loose fit denim or cropped slacks and running shoes. The fact that fellas were running around in sneakers didn't mean they were any less fashionable, either--it was almost the exact opposite. I for one was more inspired to step up my personal style after seeing the incredible number of variations on just how to keep super comfortable and twice as chic at the same time. The moral of this story, I guess, is that a handful of "street photographers" can make any affair look a little different than it actually is. Or maybe Pitti has just gotten a little more relaxed, but I'll tell you this...I had an amazing time. I'd encourage any dude that can make it out to this incredible event to take the trip--it's nothing short of the biggest celebration of men's fashion I have ever seen. Have a look at a few of the sneaker images I snapped and stay tuned for a full Pitti story. Check out more about Pitti Uomo on their website HERE and Facebook page HERE.
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