“Sprezzatura” is an Italian word that has long been used in men’s fashion. But - perhaps because of the 2021 film House of Gucci - it has recently caught more ears and eyes than is typical.
By the sound of it, “sprezzatura style” may sound like a lofty goal to achieve, yet many gentlemen already have it! Here we will define the term and share some easy-to-accomplish sprezzatura examples.
What is the Meaning of Sprezzatura?
First things first: let’s pin down a sprezzatura meaning that will clarify this nebulous but wonderful 500-year old word.
Pronounced “sprettz-a-toora”, the term refers to the effortless elegance and nonchalance that comes with “studied carelessness.” It’s an individual’s calculated and also carefree spin on the classics. If it sounds like an oxymoron, you’re not far off!
What Is Sprezzatura Style?
So, what does it mean if someone has sprezzatura?
Gentlemen - and women - with sprezzatura enjoy an ensemble that includes elements that are open, relaxed, and unexpected.
Sprezzatura style shows up in looks that are a little rough around the edges. It’s slapdash mixed with dapper. A little rebellious; imperfect. Here are some frequently seen examples of sprezzatura:
Unbutton for an Open Style
An accessible way to achieve sprezzatura is to unbutton or unfasten - within reason, of course. Note that the style requires consideration of comfort and function.
- Unbutton shirt cuffs
- Unbutton collar points
- Forgo the tie keeper loop
- Partly unbuckle shoes
- Leave a tailored jacket unbuttoned
Keep it Relaxed
Gentlemen with sprezzatura are a bit laissez-faire - the opposite of uptight. They like to look “just so” without concern for judgment. Some choices even lend to a gentleman’s signature.
- Allow space between the shirt collar and jacket lapel
- Roll up shirt sleeves
- Allow the back tie blade to be longer than the front
- Wear a longer tie - even tuck it in
- Tuck the belt end under instead of through the loop
Play With the Unexpected
Confidently mixing styles and boldly accessorizing is definitely an aspect of sprezzatura. Consider the features of specific pieces, and also categories of accessories.
- Juxtaposition - vintage with new; casual with formal
- Color - bold socks, bright laces, vibrant garment, eye-catching belt
- Character - worn, scuffed, patinated accessories
- Fabric - sweater vest, denim shirt, corduroy trouser; never polyester
- Eyewear - unusual shape, bold frame, tinted lenses
- Neckwear - knitted necktie, ascot, novelty bow tie
- Jewelry - bracelets, leather cuff, statement ring
- Footwear - work boots, casual or athletic shoes
Sprezzatura Style Advice
Permission to color outside the lines is liberating. But doing so successfully requires intention and care. Follow these guidelines and you will likely achieve sprezzatura!
Layering and mixing has its limit. Pushing the envelope too far may turn heads for the wrong reasons. Before walking out the door, remove one or two pieces.
Elements that feel forced will betray the essence of sprezzatura. Incorporate pieces you truly like or that are meaningful to achieve a look that is complementary, not contrived.
If you are self conscious, it will show. Having high spirits as you dress is a good indicator that you will keep pep in your step once out. Worry you appear overworked? Edit.
Complex necktie knots, bow tie knots or pocket square folds can seem performative and over the top. Opt for easy knots and effortless folds, like the Magic Fold.
With sprezzatura style, grooming is in the eye of the beholder. If you enjoy wearing your hair or your beard a bit longer, keep it! If stubble is fair for the occasion, leave it!
Have sprezzatura? Show us! Share your effortless elegance by tagging us with #RHanauer on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Want to add novel pieces to your personal collection, or need style advice? Connect with us - we are here to help.