How to harmonize separates

Disenchanted with wearing a suit every day, coordinating separates requires a certain dexterity to achieve the right balance and as Josh Sims examines there’s many more fusions to envisage than people might think.

Photo by Nick Tydeman.
Tailoring is, no doubt, the apex of smart dressing for men. It’s hard to maintain any degree of formality to one’s attire without it. And yet the suit, specifically, while enjoyed for the craft, can leave one feeling a little corporate. It is, in part, why the idea of sprezzatura exists - the art of dressing with a certain considered nonchalance to affect individualism. But it’s also why a less well-known, equally Italian philosophy of men’s style also exists, that of spezzato.
That’s the splitting up of a suit in order to wear the jacket with the trousers of another suit (or vice versa). And while that might conjure outlandish images of a houndstooth worn with a bold check - risking that you look rather more like you’ve simply muddled your suits than rearranged them in some creative melange - this is not as crazy an idea as it might as first sound.
It works easiest with plains in complementary shades - a plain navy jacket worn with mid-grey or khaki trousers, for example - and likewise in complementary fabrics - lighter cottons with linens, wools with moleskins or other heavier weight cloths. Or when the pattern, or perhaps just the more textured cloth, is confined to the jacket. Indeed, that’s when your houndstooth or your bold-check might best come into play. Picture, for example, the jacket of a brown check suit from B Corner with the trousers from a charcoal grey suit from Cifonelli; or the jacket from Sciamat’s double-breasted suit in sand, worn with light grey trousers from a suit by Daks.

Published

March 2020

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