Style / January 2019

The Old Guard Of Pitti Uomo

Being of a certain age has its benefits. Not only can you get away with more, but over those decades of learning the tenets of men’s style, you become a master.

“Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed,” said the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. Wise words indeed. What really is old age except a number? Sorry to rub it in, but I’m a long way off it. However, from what I understand is that once the hair follicles evolve you can get away with more in life and you become more assured in yourself. That sounds like good fun, don't you think?

Today, grey hair has never been cooler and you can't put a price on wisdom earned over many decades. At Pitti Uomo, the showstoppers were ‘The Old Guard', men who proved with panache that old age is emphatically cool. They've most likely been attending Pitti Uomo for so long that the novelty has worn off for them, but they show up in droves and serve-up a lesson in how to dress in an unintentional way. It’s these subjects that The Rake set out to celebrate and make the notion of growing old relevant and cool.

It’s hard to know whether they were journeyed buyers, cloth merchants, sales directors, brand owners or there for a jolly, but the common denominator between them all was an understanding of how to dress. Tones were subdued shades of brown, camel, and tan, while patterns and textures were fairly subtle but perfect. They didn’t seem like they intended on making a statement, rather just go about their business in a laconic, stylish way. They dressed sensibly for the cold, in heavy double-breasted overcoats, and accessorised well with handmade peccary leather gloves and cashmere scarves and beanies. The older you get the more you understand that the simpler the better and also that understanding proportions are crucial. There’s been a shift towards oversized clothing in recent years, but this hasn't reached the Old Guard. However, some did push the boundaries and haven’t let old age hold them back from making a statement in other ways.

Like you were always told as a young child that you should listen to your grandparents as they’re probably not going to be around for much longer, you could prescribe that to looking at these gentlemen and taking a leaf out of their books thanks to the reliable eye of Milad Abedi.

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