Italian Style

[Interesting post by Scott Schuman over at GQ on ‘Italian Street Style’](

> Now, some people will discredit this and call it “effortless style,” or write it off by saying, “These Italians are just born with it.”

> But it’s quite the opposite. There is nothing effortless about their style, or their look. What’s unique is that they put an extreme amount of effort into their look when they buy the clothes, when they have the clothes altered by their tailor, and when they put them on in the morning.

It’s true, Italians *do* dress better than other nationalities. Even if Rome isn’t the centre of Italian fashion, and they don’t dress as nicely as they do in, say, Milan, the basic level of casual dress is so much higher than the basic level of casual dress in DublinAlthough maybe this isn’t saying much. Before we moved to Rome, I was living in Stoneybatter in Dublin. A place where people would go shopping in their pyjamas. In fact, I saw one girl walking down the street still wrapped in her duvet. My theory behind pyjamas-as-casual-wear is probably best saved for another post. Shirts are more common than hoodies on twenty-something men, and tracksuits are almost non-existent. And Schuman is completely right in what he says about the care that people give to their clothes here. Instead of spending €200 each on a few good-enough suits that will look ratty in a couple of months, Italians would rather spend €1000+ on one fantastic suit that will last them for yearsBut then, they do this with all of their possessions, not just clothes. Theories behind this also best saved for another post.

But there’s one thing that Schuman misses. Perhaps he can’t see it because it’s being obscured by his enormous boner for Italian style. Yes, the men clearly spend a long time making their style look completely effortless, and their shirts are never anything less than spotlessly clean and perfectly pressed – something you rarely see in Dublin, where crumpled, uncared-for shirts are the norm – but you know what? It’s not the men who are putting in the effort. Their clothes are perfect, but that’s not a challenge when you live with their mother who cleans and irons for you and generally make sure your clothes are perfect for youI know this isn’t true in all cases, but as George Clooney says in [Up in the Air](, “I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.”. I see this a lot at the various functions I go to. I see men whose clothes look fantastic, like they just stepped off a catwalk, while I’m there looking like I woke up in a ditch in my suit and rolled along to crash whatever reception I just found myself at. But you can just tell that these men have no idea how an iron works. They just open their wardrobe and see whatever *Mama* has left for them.

As great as Italian style is, there’s also something to be said for people who usually look like a dog’s dinner and then suddenly put in a bit of work. Yes, Italian style is effortless, but sometimes, knowing the wearer has put in a little bit of effort can look good too.

*This post brought to you with a healthy dose of Irish begrudgery*.


Fuck imperial. I’m measuring everything in Danzigs from now on.


Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

Is it just me, or are modern ads starting to resemble the kind of ads we see coming out of Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce on *Mad Men*? Pretty soon, the only way you’re going to tell an ad is current is the presence of a URL.

I can’t decide if this is a bad thing. I *love* these hand-drawn technicolor illustrations, but I don’t know if they work for everything. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. For a beer, it works because the ad is aspirational, it makes me want to be a part of that scene. For a sports equipment company, it just makes me wonder if your company is still in business.


Great interview, but lots of spoilers for Portal 2. Favourite line of the whole thing: “I’d really like to make a really credible comedy game. People seem to be skipping straight to the pure art, and yet nobody’s made the Caddyshack in games yet, right? So I’m like, woah woah woah, let’s put on the brakes – let’s make Caddyshack, and then we can make Anna Karenina or whatever.”


I watched two Val Kilmer movies this weekend while I was sick – Top Secret and MacGruber – and I honestly had no idea he was this insane-slash-amazing. E.g.

Time itself is a concept. It’s just because we’re lame, because we can’t see that fast, because we can’t imagine that fast-we think that fast, but it’s hard for us to articulate it. That doesn’t mean you misapprehend it. It just means that you can’t diagnose it with the same language. The human language is lame. It’s lame, I say! That’s as deep as I can get without dinner.