THE END OF PEACOCKING

What is peacocking you say? Well the dictionary traditionally defines it as….

Ostentatious dress or behaviour employed by a man in an attempt to impress women

Though in recent years with the explosion of street style this has been more utilised for men to out duel each other with their outfits. This is the idea of excessive stacking of bracelets on one’s wrist, wearing overly loud colours to garner attention, putting on obnoxious clothes for the sake of standing out during fashion week. (or just blindly mimicking your favourite sports athlete or entertainer style no matter how ridiculous they look for us mere fashion mortals).

There has been no better place to see the peacocking phenomena than at the Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence, Italy. This menswear trade show is held twice year and presents the world with the most obnoxious sites of menswear fashion. I’m talking suits in the most brazen of patterns and colours, paired with all manner of accessories. There are pocket squares, practically exploding out of breast pockets. There are scarves or ties in paisley and ancient madder and far more ostentatious modern prints, nestled just so around the neck. There are double-monks and fedoras and overcoats and bracelets stacked to the breaking point on wrists bedecked with watches that cost as much as a used car. Every once in a while, there’s a cloak. (Yes, a cloak.)

peackocking pitti

These are the peacocks of Pitti, and they are not isolated phenomena. You can find them in New York, Milan, Paris, London… anywhere you care to look. They are endlessly chronicled by street style photographers. Endlessly Instagrammed and tweeted and reblogged. And their days are numbered.

Because at this moment there is something to be said for doing more with less. The dandy is not dead—the dandy will likely never die, nor should he—but in 2016 he has given way to the sort of man who appreciates the intersection of ostentation and understatement. The sort of man who embraces the idea that one should not look like a character, and much less a caricature. The sort of man whose style doesn’t just seem effortless, but actually is.

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Now is the time for #TheNewStyle, which is just the ‘cool kids’ way of saying that menswear is due for a shot in the arm. We need men that dress with substance, not just ornament.

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