Sprezzatura and the summer wedding

'Summer wedding' are two words that often invoke dread in the psyche of the average male, primarily because they trigger dress-code panic, but that really needn't be the case. We recently took our summer tailoring collection for a spin around Arnold Circus in Shoreditch, channelling wedding vibes and smart but relaxed summer events. Unstructured and cut with a soft silhouette, our suits are perfect for casual weddings, whether you're a guest or the groom. They're designed to be worn in a relaxed way that doesn't presuppose a classic shirt and tie, but looks equally at home with the duo.

 Fairway Jacket Minack Navy

Fairway Jacket
Minack Navy

Drawstring Trousers Minack Navy

Drawstring Trousers
Minack Navy

Grandad Shirt Carbis Blue

Grandad Shirt
Carbis Blue

Linen and cotton blends in neutral tones are ideal for summer weddings, because they're lightweight, breathable, and have a subtle textural finish that evades any notion of formality. And yet you still have the traditional suit silhouette with a notch or peak lapel to make you feel elegant and sophisticated.

Tailoring has long existed on the formal end of the menswear spectrum - at least in most people's minds - but it hasn't actually always been the case. The British were some of the first to take the classic blazer silhouette and mix it with sportswear. Think of the rowing blazers of the mid 19th century - these were used as warm-up jackets by Oxbridge oarsmen, who then had the sheer audacity to wear them to social events too! And thus a trend was formed. From there, the blazer's relationship with sportswear became lifelong, with players of those most noble of sports - cricket and tennis - choosing to don the softly tailored (and sometimes knitted) blazer atop their respective whites.

Double Breasted Jacket Trinitey Brown

Double Breasted Jacket
Trinitey Brown

Drawstring Trousers Trinitey Brown

Drawstring Trousers
Trinitey Brown

Solovair x Oliver Spencer Black Suede Loafer

Solovair x Oliver Spencer
Black Suede Loafer

But if the British invented sports lux way back when, the concept did not permeate into everyday suiting. The British have traditionally approached tailoring like it's a suit of armour, all structure, power and bravado, but for the Italians modern tailoring means something else entirely: unstructured sophistication that is less about 'smart' and more about casual sophistication. They even invented a word for it: 'Sprezzatura' - which first appeared in Baldassare Castiglione's 1528 The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it."

For casual summer weddings, it's this equilibrium between smart and casual that almost always strikes the right note. A sartorial basis with casual tweaks, be it with a collarless shirt or pair of suede loafers , offers a much more easy-going interpretation of smart, and feels altogether more modern.

Fairway Jacket Wigmore Light Grey

Fairway Jacket Wigmore
Light Grey

Fishtail Trousers Wigmore Light Grey

Fishtail Trousers
Wigmore Light Grey

Grandad Shirt Longstone Navy/Red

Grandad Shirt Longstone
Navy/Red

We've always approached suits and separates with a relaxed nonchalance, preferring the soft drape of an unstructured blazer and the contemporary finish of a cropped trouser. Tailoring for us is about casual elegance and versatility. Just because a blazer conforms to the traditional shape and cut, doesn't mean you can't wear it with a t-shirt or polo and a pair of rolled up drawstring trousers.

Solms Jacket Mylor Sand

Solms Jacket
Mylor Sand

Fishtail Trousers Mylor Sand

Fishtail Trousers
Mylor Sand

Tabley Polo Shirt Morval Cream

Tabley Polo Shirt
Morval Cream

Perhaps the reason why the Italian sartorialists have stolen a march on us is simply the weather. Predictably warm days for the best part of the year does help somewhat when it comes to dressing down tailoring. Suits fabrics become lighter, with less and less structure, and separates really come into their own, allowing you to integrate a multitude of different linen and cotton options on both halves of your body. At Oliver Spencer, we design all of our tailoring with this in mind. Even our suits often have more than one style of matching trouser, whether it's a drawstring, judo, or fishtail style. But the beauty of the tailoring collection is in the way you can mix and match the blazers and trouser styles. 

 

Finsbury Jacket Ives Indigo

Finsbury Jacket
Ives Indigo

Drawstring Trousers Ives Indigo

Drawstring Trousers
Ives Indigo

New York Special Shirt Pool Blue

New York Special
Shirt Pool Blue

This summer, we're thinking about the blazer as a smart-casual layer to wear with polos, tees, and shirts with a soft roll in the collar (the type you'd wear on a weekend, not to the office.) We're also thinking a lot about incorporating different textures into our tailored looks, which is why we've created suits in both organic cotton and a beautifully soft and slubby Irish linen. Both are extremely tactile and thus give your look that something else, especially if you're sticking to a muted tonal palette without much colour contrast.

Double Breasted Jacket Calcot Cream

Double Breasted Jacket
Calcot Cream

Drawstring Trousers Calcot Cream

Drawstring Trousers
Calcot Cream

Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt Bridford White

Riviera Short Sleeve
Shirt Bridford White

Also don't be afraid to throw some curveballs into your tailoring this summer with the addition of shorts instead of trousers. Womenswear has stolen a march on the men by being so much more flexible and experimental in the way they have appropriated traditionally male tailoring tropes. There's no reason why you can't add a pair of linen shorts to a blazer to create a slightly bohemian tailored look. Ultimately, tailoring isn't there to hide behind. It's not that suit of armour anymore. It's a far more fluid and dextrous genre of menswear and that's why we continue to love making it.

Shop Summer Tailoring

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published