De Sica, the Humble Gentleman Posted on 18 Oct 12:47
Vittorio de Sica is one of the greatest Italian actors of all times, as well as of the most influential figures in neorealism, there is no arguing about that… “Bicycle Thieves”, anyone? De Sica is the perfect example of how you can become a gentleman, even if there isn’t a single drop of blue blood in your veins. De Sica’s humble origins might have been an obstacle, but this obstacle did not prevent him to become one of the greatest dressers in Italy.
Now, take a very close look at this ensemble: This picture was taken on the set of “L’Oro di Napoli” (The Gold of Naples) and it was in black&white before I personally colorised it. I LOVE the way it looks now. I’ve used a very dark shade of blue for that fantastic, slack, nails-head wool jacket with peaked lapels, and then I went for dark burgundy for the madder necktie, and light-brown for the vest. Moreover, I coloured the horizontal candy stripes of that sublime white shirt with contrasting white club collar. I left the pocket handkerchief in dark grey and white, because I didn’t want to add more colours. Also, I think it looks great with the ensemble.
I would like you to notice three things here: first the small four-in-hand knot, which is quite appropriate given this collar. Second, the arch of the tie: thumbs up to good-old De Sica for that. Third, the way in which the pocket handkerchief has been placed inside the pocket. What can you say about it? It’s just random and that’s how it should be. I see way too many types of folds in nowadays pictures. But the handkerchief is functional, it’s there because it serves a purpose, therefore it shouldn’t be used as a “peacocking” element. What else can you say about the ensemble? There’s a lot going on, right? Careful: if you’re a beginner, you just can’t pull this outfit off: you would look uncomfortable. It works on De Sica, because he’s a great actor and he’s used to dress like that.
But, you see? The micro nailshead pattern on the jacket works well with the checkers on the handkerchief because the difference in size. The same can be said about the figures on the necktie: they work well with both the candy stripes on the shirt and the checkers on the handkerchief for the same reason. More in general, the dark blue colour of the jacket and the other muted colours are a perfect match for the De Sica’s silver hair and his Caucasian skin tone. Finally, notice how the rounded collar of the shirt, worn without a pin, works wonderfully with both the ensemble and the peaked lapels and how it suits De Sica’s square face (it wouldn’t have looked equally as good on a round faced man). Anything else you notice?