Monday, September 6, 2010

Italia Trip Report #5 – Italian Fashion

by: the Admiral

In general, Italians are traditionally better dressers than Americans. For example, while your toddler might just wear a Disney sweatshirt, the Italian child will wear his Mickey Mouse gear with a collared shirt, bow tie, and a pouty face.


And despite the 90+ degree weather (I guess technically it was 32.2 degrees C in Italy), gentleman could be seen wearing 3-piece suits and hats.


And the ladies wore respectable and fashionable dresses.

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And even their birds dress better than ours do.


But despite the fact that most Italians traditionally dress better than we do, it does not mean that they all do. I witnessed and captured quite a few fashion faux pas.

Capturing these fashion disasters was actually pretty tricky. Its difficult to point a camera directly at someone walking or standing on the street, take a full frame photo of them, but simultaneously make them believe you are photographing some non-existent landmark directly behind them. After quite a few dirty looks and bewildered photo subjects I discovered that the best technique was to walk very far ahead of the person, turn around, zoom in to get the photo, and then stand there uselessly aiming the camera at the same spot until they’ve been out of frame for 6-8 seconds.

I went from being blatantly obvious that I was photographing people to being so incognito that I could start moonlighting as a photographer for the show ‘Cheaters.’

Now, the first fashion faux pas was witnessed everywhere. There was rampant flaunting of the color pink as if pink was the new black. Those in the know in the fashion community will tell you that pink went out in 2008 and all of these people need to go back to the drawing board.

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Pink golf shirt, white shorts – FAIL


Pink button up, blue jeans – FAIL


And this guy can try and sell you on the fact that these pants are peach and that its a generally respectable outfit, but by my interpretation they are pink and the result is - FAIL

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As if these pink pants were not bad enough, there is no way this guy on the left can tell me he is carrying a European Carry All. That sir, is a purse. And even if someone out there wants to argue that this is not a purse, there is no question that the below gentleman’s bag contains makeup, tampons, and other purseworthy items.


Kudos to this guy for trying to match his girlfriend’s pink hat, but


just because you marry it with black and white stripes, it does not make your pink striped shirt any better – FAIL


It wasn't so much the pink color that made me have such as issue with these pants, but I don’t want to say anything mean. Let’s just leave it at – FAIL

I could go on with the dozens of other photos of Italians with pink mistakes, but I would like to show you one pink piece that I approve of.


Not so excited about the knickerbockers, but as any Stanley Kubrick / Tom Cruise film can tell you, this pink number is your ticket into a secret wild debaucherous party at a far off mansion, as long as you have the password.

Is it just me or did the scene where Cruise says the password is “fidelio” and they ask him for the second password that he doesn’t know remind anyone of the time Steve Sanders tried to exchange an egg to get into a rave.

The next faux pas that I saw literally hundreds of, but was too grossed out to take too many photos was the old sweaty Italian man with only two, one, or zero buttons secured on his shirt. To keep this blog PG-13 I nixed the zero button photos and just included the small sample below to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.



Now, when it comes to accessories Italia offers very fashionable options. I saw nice cuff links, and these respectable ties, shoes, and belts shown below.


Despite these options, somehow this gentleman


decided it would be okay to wear aqua blue socks with strap on sandals. And as if this guys orange shirt and


and purse were not bad enough, he chose to accessorize it with a girl on his arm wearing saggy boxer shorts and a top that accentuates parts of her that don’t deserve accentuating.

This isn’t to say that I did not see anyone wearing accessories that I approved of. In particular, I liked that fact that every direction I looked someone was wearing an Admiral hat.


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Admiral Fans2

It’s just flattering to know that despite the fact that I can’t get one reader to participate in “Make Your Own Caption” that I do have fans across the globe that show their support for my blog so openly.

I originally was going to use these two in the fashion report, but things got a little hairy when I walked up to them and say, “hey fellas, want to be in my blog.” Turns out they were not fellas; honest mistake.


Now the top 5 worst fashion mistakes I witnessed in Italy.



Booty shorts. I understand that it is a cultural thing that Europeans where Speedos at the beach, but there is no reason for a gentleman’s ball to make an appearance when sitting down at a cafe or walking down the street.



I can forgive the bright orange color and the use of the tank top, but when did it become fashionable to wear a pregnancy suit under your clothes?



I was surprised by the Italian reemergence of ‘Hammer’ pants. Everywhere I looked someone else was dressed as a genie and I suspect was moments away from yelling, “oh oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh” then side shuffling to their next destination. And while subtle Hammer pants can sometimes work on women, some people were just bringing it to a whole new level.



Number 2 is questionable shirts in general. Some of the lowlights include this


tangerine top with ruffles, which I have to say does not do anything for this woman.


There is this old man’s plaid shirt, which I don’t have too much of a problem with, but when you are 90 years old, do not carry a 600 pound backpack, that is just a emergency, whether fashion or otherwise, waiting to happen.


The Hawaiian shirt, which alone is acceptable for a person of this man’s girth, but I can’t support when paired with highwater workout pants.


The ever popular, purple on purple. Also a dud.


The “I eats my spinach” shirt.


And the, “Yes, I do get beat up at school, how did you know?” shirt.


The #1 fashion faux pas I experienced in Italy needs no commentary. Just look at this guy and be as shocked as I was when I turned the corner and spotted him. There are so many things wrong here that I would need a book, not a blog, to give a proper rundown.


As an honorable mention I’ve included this guy. The funny thing about him was that his clothes was actually very fashionable. The problem was that on him they looked awful because everything was 3 sizes too small and while the picture may not show it so well, he was standing on the water metro so proud of himself looking like the most confident man than ever lived. A man was never so proud of his look since John Travolta was getting dressed to go out in Saturday Night Fever. God bless him. I hope he stays happy and the Bee Gees continue to play in his head, at least until he walks in front of a mirror and his self image shatters into a million irreparable pieces.



  1. LMAO!! Brilliant, just brilliant Mario. You are so funny. You should write for the post. btw you need to take a college class to figure out how to post something on here. u must make it easier. We are not all as smart as you are.

  2. Thank you for your kind words Mystery Commenter.

    Also, thank you for the suggestion regarding commenting, but I assure you that no pHD is required to comment since some of my most sloped foreheaded fans have been able to figure it out.

    To post you can log into Google, AOL, AOL Instant Messenger, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, Open ID, OR post Anonymously.

    Since you posted Anonymously, I assume that you have not experienced this new web site fad called "logging in". It utilizes very technical IT terms called USERNAME & PASSWORD. I believe everyone under the age of 107 has heard, intrinsically understands, and is capable of mastering these terms and techniques in the post dialup age of logging in.

    BUT, if not, as you have discovered, you can just choose Anonymous in the dropdown menu.

    I'm also happy to report that they have the internet on computers now.


  4. So, if these were, in fact, all Italians and not just an aberration of transmigrated, displaced, quasi-meretricious individuals of other questionable EU or other origins, do you think that Italians are ready for the primetime of fashion faux pas, the Walmart catwalk?