Its birth was in Italy, naturally, and it was an attribute that courtiers must inhibit to excel, as fellow courtier and author Mr Baldassare Castiglione wrote in his guide, The Book of the Courtier. Its meaning differs slightly definition to definition but its core connotation has always walked a straight path. The oxford dictionary defines it as “the studied carelessness” and its roots trace back to the 16th century. The author Mr Castiglione defined it 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”.
You can see how “Sprezzatura” has lent itself to the world of fashion, glamour and style.
As I began working on Street Sensibility, I inevitably became greatly aware of what others wore and also what I was wearing. Trends are ever evolving and so is personal style and I do not claim to be at the pinnacle of my sartorial game but one thing I’ve observed is no one likes to look like they’ve put in the effort to look as good as they do.
The idea is that regardless of the amount of time or money spent on creating your appearance, ultimately your personality, style and originality will make the look even greater and even harder to imitate because you have wore it effortlessly.
Ladies and gentleman, this is Sprezzatura!
I want some Sprezzatura in my life I hear you say! I got you covered, I’ve outlined a few ideas below and if you wish to take them on board, you may find yourself becoming a modern day courtier.
It’s all about confidence, the Street Sensibility way. Whatever you throw on, do it with self-assurance and you’re half way there. Like I mentioned before, don’t try too hard. Pocket squares don’t have to match your tie and arranging everything you’re wearing with complete perfection isn’t necessarily so perfect.
Golden Rule: Never talk about where you made your purchase, bragging or gloating is beneath you. Appear forgetful or even ignorant about ones clothing, nothing will rile your fellow comrades more.
A few ideas: The trick is to appear like you’ve been forgetful or made an inspired mistake that you’ve pulled off without actually knowing. You can start small and work your way up the ladder. A personal favourite is brightly coloured socks with suits or in fact with any outfit, giving the whole look some added character, for the warmer months pair your shorts with a blazer and shirt.
The combination of formal with casual is also a winner in the Sprezzatura stakes. Mixing slim chinos with a shirt and a blazer or a gilet with your shirt and tie. I’m just giving a few examples, what I would advise is look through your wardrobe and find some items you may not normally piece together and try it out, think out of the box, actually just remove that box completely.
Oh, and always remember, if anyone asks or compliments you, your reply should be along the lines of “Oh this? I just picked up the first thing I saw.” That my friend is true Sprezzatura behaviour.
Words by Mr Ifza Khushnud