In 2011, GQ Style Editor-in-Chief Will Welch penned a story about the rise of the overly-conscious street style man. Rather than dress for success, this man dressed purely for the cameras and some mild sense of Internet fame. At the center of this buggin' trend in style was Pitti Uomo, the twice-a-year radeshow that makes many of the world's best labels (and most stylish men) descend upon Florence, Italy. In the five years since Will's cautionary tale, street style photography has only gotten bigger and more accessible. Unfortunately, as a result, the outfits at Pitti Uomo have only gotten even more out there. Some of the peacocking at this year's show hovers very close to costume territory, as evidenced by few offenders (seen above and below).
Now, I'm not launching a crusade on personal style. Under no circumstances am I advocating some sad sartorial future where everyone wears the same lycra jumpsuit (why do sci-fi movies always put people in jumpsuits?), but there's a difference between self-expression and cries for attention— and the line isn't usually all that fine. In fact, we think it's pretty clear which category our lime green suit-wearing compadre fits into.
Italian men have long been known for being more daring than us stateside when it comes to sporting fashionable duds (just take a look at street style legend Lapo Elkann), but wearing bold clothing should be a sign of confidence, not a plea for reassurance. At one point during my wandering around the trade show grounds, I saw a woman walk up to a man dressed in an outrageous white topcoat and checkered suit with pizza slice-sized lapels. She tapped him on the shoulder, said "excuse me," and before she could say another word the man was posing, blue-steeling, and ready to be validated by her camera lens. Instead, she asked, "Can you take a picture of me and my friend?" No man should ever set himself up for that kind of embarrassment, even in the land that invented attention-grabby style in the first place.
- Source: GQ By: Jake Woolf