Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Italian Men’s Fashion Fall – Winter 2006 Overcoats

Foto di Luca LazzariItalian fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Looks great, but I can’t spend the money.” Designers are cutting edge, buying everything with a label would be expensive and keeping up year after year would take several salaries. Fortunately purchasing the latest and greatest in Milan reduces somewhat the need to get the latest and greatest every year. The distribution of the new styles takes time. What is hot in Milan this year will be hot in the rest of Italy next year and will hit the rest of the world several years later. That new coat or sweater can be worn for several years, remain stylish and generally show that you care about how you look.

People buy clothes for different reasons. Some want to appeal to other people, some people choose clothes because of their job, some people choose clothes to express a concept such as, “look how fashionable I am,” some people buy whatever is on sale and some people choose their clothes to please themselves. I am part of the last group. Every year something new comes out and I may find only one thing, a shirt, a jacket, or perhaps one pair of shoes I like. I only buy what I like and what I could wear no matter what the current look is. Fortunately this year is right inline with my taste in clothes.

The overcoat is suffering from depression, feeling it is not understood. We walk out of the house, get into the car, arrive at our destination and immediately go into a heated building or establishment, often forgetting our poor overcoat in the closet. It is a shame that this piece of apparel is ignored. The overcoat completes an outfit. I am somewhat curious to see how little importance is placed on winter wear. We go to the gym, pump weights, run countless miles, spin on the cycles for hours on end yet we throw on some old ski jacket over our suits and ties, making us look like the Michelin man.

The 2006 Fall Winter collection of men’s overcoats is a marvelous opportunity to complete the business or formal wardrobe. The lines are clean and long. The textures are soft and the colors neutral. A good design will take 20 pounds off the man who has had the easy life for a few too many years. In many instances the overcoat is the first impression of who you are. Whether entering a business meeting or a bar, the first 30 seconds are with the overcoat. No overcoat on a cold day and you are shivering and shaking; wear a casual coat and you look like some hillbilly come to the city for the first time.

Foto di Luca LazzariWhile all of the designers are tending toward neat lines, double breasted or formal buttons, and uniform-like rigidity, they all vary in colors, fabrics and the finishing touches. Versace shows a v-neck lapel, perfect with a tie or turtleneck, and the austere double-breasted button down with a belt. While the light colored version is not appropriate for my age the dark forest green and midnight blue help me hide those extra 20 pounds giving a clean and professional look.

Foto di Luca LazzariValentino also uses the mid-calf length and v-neck lapel but plays more on the texture of the fabrics. The diagonal weave of cotton and wool reflects light differently creating the illusion of movement. The fabrics react differently to natural and artificial light. The same coat will appear to be something completely different if worn for both day and evening occasions. Sleek and elongating with the double-breasted buttoning this is the perfect compliment for any coat and tie engagement.

Foto di Luca LazzariRoberto Cavalli, another young designer, presented an interesting piece. I wish I had the gumption to try dressing this bright orange coat. My inner soul is telling me to buy this one but my conscious has pulled out all of the stop signs. Several years ago I bought a Trussardi cotton knit shirt of the same color and wore it often both with and without a coat. It still is hanging in my closet and may get out and about again this fall. For all those with the courage and flamboyancy to wear this, my hat is off to you. Please send me a picture.

Foto di Luca LazzariArmani is Armani. His designs are the usual traditional and classy. He has the ability to make the youngster seem a man and to make a man seem a youngster. The clean lines, natural colors and mid-calf length will compliment just about anyone. I get something of an old west feeling with these coats and perhaps some mystery. I don’t know, maybe, underneath the flowing white double-breasted coat hangs a sawed off shotgun or silver pistol. Add the thin, soft leather gloves and the image is complete. Maybe I will get this one for the next turn around job I take.

Foto di Luca LazzariFinally, Trussardi has an interesting overcoat. I could not tell from far away if it was leather or cloth. The look was definitely leather, but the way the coat moved made me think it was a heavy cloth. I was truly surprised when I actually tried on this coat. I like the belt tie-up. It is somewhat shorter than the Armani and Versace and could easily transform from a semi-formal to casual style simply by buttoning or just tying off the belt.

There are many great options out there. The overcoat completes any wardrobe. A good quality coat can be enjoyed for many years and will keep you from seeming like you’re the poor kid on the block.


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Blogger Miss Natalie said...

A man in a coat is tres sexy ;-)

12:08 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Cara Natalie I am not the best judge of what is sexy on a man so I will take your word for it (Raffaella agrees entirely).

I can say an overcoat cleans up just about any look, giving an air of distinction, perhaps even taste.

10:08 AM


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