Words by Nick Carvell
About ten years ago, it was hard to avoid the word sprezzatura in the menswear world - an Italian term to describe a “studied carelessness” in the way a man dresses, particularly with more formal attire. With automotive magnate Gianni Agnelli as the unofficial poster boy of the movement (the former Fiat CEO famously used to wear his Rolex over the cuff of his dress shirts), men across the globe began adopting little nods that Italians have deployed for centuries to incorporate a little nonchalance into their outfits: leaving the collar buttons of their button-downs unbuttoned, tying their tie with the thinner end to the front, leaving their linen jacket a little crumpled. Suddenly, you’d be seeing men on the commute to work who looked like they were on a detour from the Pitti Uomo trade fair (the spiritual home of sprezzatura), their navy suits popping with bright socks, pattern-heavy pocket squares and perhaps even a collar bar. A decade later, and the world has changed, with the rise in popularity of sportswear and a general de-formalisation of our day-to-day clothing thanks to working from home during the pandemic. However, at its heart, the concept of sprezzatura - the desire to make our attire feel less stuffy - has never felt more relevant, especially when it comes to tailoring.
For many of us who were formerly office-based from Monday to Friday, work has changed beyond recognition thanks to the events of the past year-and-a-half - most notably your physical location most probably be different from day to day thanks to the rise in working from home and hot-desking. While a suit used to suffice for all career-related occasions, now it can feel too formal for many - think how weird it looks to see a colleague dial into a Zoom call wearing a suit from his kid’s playroom. And yet, while we want to look and feel comfortable, it also doesn’t feel right to rock up to the virtual AGM in a hoodie, no matter how luxurious it might be. The answer, my friends, is the unstructured blazer - a holy grail piece that every man should have in his wardrobe. Why? Well, whether for work or play, an unstructured blazer has a frankly magical ability to feel laid-back (but never slapdash) in smart situations and feel smart (but never overdressed) in more laid-back situations.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that, as with sprezzatura, it’s the Italians that lead the way in this field. If you’re looking for a more traditional cut, investigate the offering Trunk has from Boglioli. Founded in Gambara in 1974, the tailoring label introduced its K Jacket at the turn of the century, with a completely unstructured design that gives it temporal versatility and has made it a house classic. Or how about Lardini? Founded four years later in Filottrano, a town around 230 miles south of Gambara, Lardini’s tailoring is as famous for its quality as for the signature flower lapel pins that come affixed to every jacket - like its silk-cotton unstructured blazer, which gets an added hit of loucheness from the texture of the jersey-like material.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer something that falls more on the workwear-inspired side of style, take a look at Weber + Weber, an Austrian label that has crafted a distinctly autumn-appropriate corduroy blazer exclusively for Trunk. Its superpower is that, not only can it be worn with the lapels down, but it has added burnt and brushed horn buttons so you can wear it with the collar flipped up too.
Whichever you choose, their partial linings, lighter fabrics and smart-yet-slouchy silhouettes make them versatile enough to wear with a shirt and tie, over a rollneck or with a T-shirt. Whatever the situation, or the temperature, an unstructured blazer will always have your back.