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I can't stand italian clothing - Page 8

post #106 of 111
Horace, you can say that sack suit/american trad is good, is better, etc.. I will not argue about that; I just say that it's not gone International; and there's a reason; it's not part of an international classic tradition; british cut and italian cut have gone International. Hitchcock: look how is dressing Cary Grant. Look Bond's films ('60). Also I agree about an "understatement style"; many italian suits are part of this style; british style is father to this, not american: look at american flashy jackets, colors, and combinations; I think american style is associated to "comfort", a long distance from "understatement". You say: "(Buttonholes are another matter -- I've had bespoke from Saville Row and from the USA, and from HK -- and I actually prefer machine-made buttonholes).". This closes our discussion. PS I just bought that Alden shoes: they're beatyful.
post #107 of 111
What I object to about the Italians (or many of their products) is that they go to the trouble of producing handmade shoes that are as big as gunboats. What's the point? A prime virtue of a handmade shoe is that it looks small and elegant.
That's a question of aesthetics. For a more casual shoe, to be worn with flannel, moleskin, or corduroy pants (or even jeans) I prefer something significantly heftier looking.
post #108 of 111
I have to agree that Alden makes incredible shoes. Here, I shall compare my Alden cap toes to my new Grenson cap toes, which I recently antiqued using a similar method to that used by Montecristo. The Grenson's styling is much sleeker -- better antiquing out of the box, easier to antique with polish on one's own, more chiseled toe, less clunky sole, channelled sole, narrower waist. But the Alden leather in terms of feel, softness, thickness, etc. just beats the Grenson Masterpiece. Period. The Aldens will, I think, last longer, stay softer longer, etc. (though both shoes will last an incredibly long time if taken care of). Now, one may dislike the styling of Alden -- I did at first. But I say put them on your feet an wear them with a melange trouser or suit, or flannel, or tweed. I am betting that their shape and simplicity will actually look quite dashing. Sounds strange but true. When you are wearing a $3000, sometimes wearing a less flashy shoe can be just what the doctor ordered. [The exact opposite of non-flashy IMO -- Kiton shoes.]
post #109 of 111
post #110 of 111
post #111 of 111
Wow, fascinating post.  I feel obligated to add a few comments representing the impoverished grad students who aspire to a few pieces of quality English or Italian footwear.  IMHO, I would place Italy slightly ahead of England for ready-to-wear and dead even for bespoke.  Then again, England would get the nod if reputation was weighted heavily. So here's my logic: Edward Green, Lobb Paris, Grenson, and C&J all make wonderful top quality products, but their distribution is extremely limited in the United States.  Production is limited almost exclusively to Northampton. The Italians offer top notch shoes from a wide number of manufacturers--almost too many to even list (Lattanzi, Santoni, Lidfort, StefanoBi, Stefano Branchini, Mantellassi, etc.).  Their shoes generally retail for around x1.2-3 more than top notch English products.  Disregarding cost for a moment, the Italians offer a larger selection with a greater volume.  I stress the volume.  Why? For semi-broke students like myself, tasteful Italian shoes can often be found at significant discounts that match or undercut the "real price" of their English counterparts.  FWIW, I've paid around $350 (average) for Lobbs and Greens, and less than $250 for anything Italian in my closet.  This includes a Santoni handmade and a mid-tier Lidfort I picked up for $125 at the February warehouse sale.
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