Top Menswear stops in Florence, Italy

I truly love this place, Florence. I love the balance of new and old and the river that divides the local from the tourist. Don't get me wrong I love all of Italy and I hope to give you more on it and the rest of the world to in the future. But for now here are some of the menswear stops I visited whilst here;

Otto Marchesi which you can find more info on is a pervious post HERE. Is located on Viale Spartaco Lavagnini, 26r , for the ready to wear store and Via di Serragli, 7, in old Firenze for made to measure and bespoke. 

Liverano one of the most recognised menswear boutiques in Firenze. You can go in and meet Antonio who will be cutting 6 days a week and if your lucky Taka if he's not running around busy.
You will find the store on Via de Fossil, 43.

Like an Italian version on Ralf Lauren but better and less preppy, make sense? Let's just say they love some colour and pattern in the mix! Location is Via della Vigna Nuova and also in Roma and Milano!

Gutteridge, is perfect for the man who has little in his pocket but enough to be able to buy. A great mix of colour and classic. Originating from Naples vis Scotland you can find their store also on Via della Vigna Nouva and most other Italian cities.

Another big name in ready to wear Italy for a average plus price is Boggi, these guys are truly everywhere I went in Italy. It's price pointed quality perfect and can be found yet again on via della Vigna Nuova....Can you see a pattern here of where you should be heading to menswear buyers?

Another famous boutique is manned by Simone Righi, formally "Tie your Tie", Frasi (Phrases) is full of sprezz, classic menswear and who else but the man himself! Very colse to Vigna Nouva and just around the corner from Liverano at  via de Federighi, 7.

A worldly name in tailoring and menswear Stefano Ricci, is very expensive and only for the rich and robust connoisseur of uomo sartoria. Via Faentina, 171, it is a must see apart from their ever amazing front windows!

For most of the high-end shopping and labels head down Via de Tornabuoni or head over the Fiume Arno into old Firenze for local artisans like Stefano Bemer etc.


Does being a smart dresser, make casual lesser?

“Style is the perfection of a point of view.”
- Richard Eberhart

It's the age old dress code that tends to cause a lot of confusion. What is smart, what's casual? And what on earth is smart-casual?

In my opinion it's up to the individual, what maybe dressed up and smart to someone could equally be casual or even dressed down to others. Here are the dictionary definitions of all three;

Casual - "A dress code than emphasizes the comfort and personal expression over presentation and uniformity."

Smart-Casual - "An ill-defined dress code that is generally of neat yet informal attire."

Smart or Formal - "A set of rules governing a certain combination of clothing; For example: Black Tie and Morning Dress. Usually set for formal social events, weddings, formal dinner/dance and races."

Note: Business attire is usually in-between Smart-Casual and Smart/Formal.

So where does today's outfit land? A sports jacket, shirt and jeans paired with a pair of classic suede tassel loafers - Is it casual or smart-casual? Personally I'd say that it's smart-casual, because when I think casual I think beach or resort attire, maybe a T-shirt and shorts or relaxed chino -  But I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas about what constitutes the three types of attire in the comments below.

Photos by Jo Stevens & Susan Jeffers 

Sports Jacket by Oscar Hunt Tailors
Shirt by Eredi Libero
Jeans by Denham
Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson
Loafers by Church's London


Barbour Town

To be noticed without striving to be noticed, this is what elegance is about.
                                                                                             - Luciano Barbera

As attention grabbing as a pup may be, man's best friend isn't just the latest fashion accessory and while I wouldn't wear a suit down to the dog park, I don't think a casual day off should stop us from toning down our style. 

The sign of a good quality garment is the construction and longevity. There's a sense of freedom when you wear something that can be beaten up and thrown around while still maintaining its shape. Italian tailor Luciano Barbera is a man who put that into practice with his famous quote, "Dress up your sportswear and dress down your formal wear." 

My outfit today is a mix of smart-casual with a little workwear thrown in for good measure in the form of this heritage Liddesdale Barbour jacket. Barbour is a great fit in Melbourne with its smart style and work wear foundries. This jacket isn't a heavy winter storm beater but a lighter version, great to layer in the cooler evenings and early morning chills. 

As for my companion Uschi, the French bulldog - She makes the dry cleaning bill it worth it.

Jacket by Barbour
Shirt & Pants by Oscar Hunt Tailors
Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson
Shoes by Carmina 


Denham, Denim

Denham products are the result of a development process, which balances a deep respect for work-wear history with a fearless intention to move garment designs forward. These twin ambitions are evident in every aspect of the collection from the approach to detailing to the choice of fabrics and the creation of shapes and silhouettes.

Before I set off to Europe a couple of months ago I was invited to check out Denham, a pop up space in Melbourne's new Emporium.

As I strolled up to the temporary store (Denham is now located inside Superglue), I was pleasantly surprised to see an old friend Marty running the show. He’s from the band Carpathian and I had been under the assumption that he was currently living in Japan.
It turns out that Marty has been working for a well known denim company called Big John and had become something of a denim expert – I mean, this guy knows denim like otaku know manga!

Marty took me through the history of the brand and it turns out that Jason Denham, a British guy based in Amsterdam, founded the company in 2008.

At that time Denham was pretty well known in the denim industry for mixing work-wear traditions with modern finishes, when he finally did start his own company his aim was to inject something new and different into the everyday staple.

With traditions reaching from the 60s through to the 00s, Denham is a non-stop reissuing and innovating machine. My favourite part of the current range is definitely the garments that have been “re-issued” from the Denham archives and made from recycled army fabric, from recycled French army linen mattress covers to the camo gore-tex swag shells.

The main concepts that differentiate Denham are:

  • The signature 7 point pocket, shaped like the hand of a worker
  • Drop yoke, delivering a lower rise with the feel of a traditional rise  
  • Cable connection, replacing traditional button holes with a clean finished closure
  • Tri-swing action back, doubling the range of motion at the back of the shoulders
  • Double stacked cargo pockets, double the storage of jacket pockets
  • Flip snap cuffs, allowing for a secure partial fold up of the lower sleeves

My Denham virgin Japanese ape cut denim.

My Denham cotton shirt jacket, off the peg version of the French Army linen jacket. 
(photo by Jay Lim of Plan B blog)


From War to Wearer

You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. 

- Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

First and foremost, please let me get this dad joke out of the way...No, you can’t start your car with these!

As a colour Khaki has rapidly evolved since Sir Harry Lumsden invented it for use by the British Army in 1846. Legend states that Sir Harry took cotton and linen pajamas and proceeded to colour them with mud and dirt.  Not only did this make soldiers less obvious to their enemy, but was also found to be cooler in the harsh desert heat.

British soldiers fought in scarlet tunics for the last time during the Battle of Gennis in the Sudan during late 1885. They formed part of a force sent by Britain to participate in the Nile campaign of 1884-85 and wore their traditional scarlet uniforms until someone came up with the brilliant idea of the Military adapting the more neutral tones, in an effort to blend in with their desert surroundings. Although they were a brutal force, it seems logical that they would want to avoid becoming obvious targets to the enemy forces.

Today khaki is a staple colour in many wardrobes, including my own. The suit that I’m wearing in these pictures is made of lightweight summer cotton (220g) produced by Solbiati, a family owned mill in Italy.

I took a more casual approach to the design and added a touch of Italian flair. The jacket and trousers could easily be worn as separates as the warmer months set in and although I’m not taking after Sir Harry and rubbing dirt into my clothes, I think this new suit is bound to keep me feeling cool as the temperatures rise here in Melbourne.

Cotton suit & shirt by Oscar Hunt Tailors

Tie by Noble Custom
Porchette by Dom Bagnato
Loafers by Salvatore Ferragamo