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How Menswear Experts Pack For Pitti Uomo

In the winter of 2024, Raphael and Jack, one of our writers, attended Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. In this video, Raphael will detail how he selected his outfits, what he brings when he travels, and how he packed for the trip, with input from Jack, who shares what he packed in this post.

Transcript:

[Raphael] Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette. Part two of our packing series with Pitti Uomo, Florence. Jack, you started first. 

[Jack] I did, and what you’ll see is Raphael’s wardrobe this time. So, what he brings and— you’ve had different circumstances than I have.

[Raphael] Absolutely, because I traveled. I went to visit my parents and my sister, and then we went skiing in Austria in the Zillertal in Tyrol, and so, you know, you need that kind of gear. And when I packed, I did not know what the weather would be like in Florence; so I could just, you know, see. I looked at climate diagrams from past years. I looked at what the temperature was, at the time, which was, you know, ten days of before when I’d be there, and so I just made a judgment call of what I’d bring.

So first of all, because we’re filming and I’m doing lots of camera work, what was important to me was to have jackets that had a side pleat. So, for example, here. This one, if you take a look at that, I wanted this kind of action back, so when I moved forward, I felt less restriction and I could fully focus on the work, right? So, I was like, this is a work trip. I need these to work, and of course, I wanted some winter fabrics because this is like this tweed, and it’s a jacket that has a really cool, nice buttons. I think they’re—what are they—little dogs, but they’re kind of semi-transparent, and then they have kind of a Kamasutra lining.

Now, I didn’t put this in. I bought this coat on eBay. It is a, you know, bespoke piece, and I liked it. The measurements worked for me, so I wear it. It has these like patch pockets, this Donegal tweed. Great for travel cause it has like the red. And you like Donegal tweed, too, right?

[Jack] I do, yes. It’s one of those fabrics that’s just really easy to wear and pair because the flecks of different colors within makes it easy to just bring different things with you and you know that it’s going to work.

[Raphael] Yeah, and then just a half belt, which is very typical with this kind of a jacket. But, so that was jacket number one.

[Jack] So, do you have more in your wardrobe with that style of shoulder?

[Raphael] Yeah, very. I mean, this one here, for example, this was my only full suit that I brought, right? It’s kind of a flannel—what does it say—Harrison’s? This one was made for me. It had the three-piece, kind of single-breasted vest, lapel-less, and then inward-faced pleats. You see the fishtail back here, so I can wear suspenders with it. And then yes, same thing. This is even more so, right? You have like a center pleat. You have the side pleats; and again, yeah, maximum movement. That was the name of the game.

Raphael packed a three-piece flannel suit.Raphael packed a three-piece flannel suit.
Raphael packed a three-piece flannel suit.
[Jack] So, do you find that those sort of vintage details are still very useful when it comes to packing for travel?

[Raphael] Absolutely! Because, you know, I’m not shooting pigeons, but I’m doing work that’s very similar and, for example, if I hold a gimbal, you can truly see like how you have to go up and down, left and right, and you’re much more likely to rip a seam in your jacket, right, or if it’s too tight, and so that was the goal, I think. I like it. Also, aesthetically, I think it’s just different than other jackets and, especially with this here, right, where it’s a suit like that with patch pockets, I don’t see that very often, right? And so, I’m like, “Well, if I go bespoke, I might as well do something that is not available off-the-rack,” because these pleats gap a lot more. I have, like, sloping shoulders, so my right shoulder drops, so typically, you’ll see more of a gap in the pleat. So, when you can go bespoke, you can really make sure you get it.

[Jack] You offset that. Absolutely.

[Raphael] Exactly, and then, in the same vein, this jacket here—this is like from 1978. So, before I was born. Vintage jacket from, I think, like Freeman, so it’s British. What I like about it is kind of has these bold lapels— very 70s—and even more so, here, I mean, look at these flaps. 

[Jack] That is a very bold flap. Was it these details that gave it away for you that this was a 70s jacket? The lapel width… 

[Raphael] Yeah, yeah, exactly when I saw it, then but, you know you, look inside, right? It says “custom tailored by Freeman.” You look inside and it has like a name tag, and it says “made in ’78.”

[Jack] But, the cloth itself, you wouldn’t necessarily go, “this is a’ 70s jacket” from looking at the style of the cloth because, this, you see in anything ready-to-wear, bespoke that’s being made now.

[Raphael] Yeah, maybe just like the finishing of the fabric is slightly different. I think the bright red is a little bold, right, but, you know, it has these football buttons in leather. They’re nice. It has this kind of, you know, belt that keeps the vents together, which I like cause I have like a big bum, and so my side vents oftentimes start to gap, so I think this is a really useful feature. And I do it on my own ready-to-wear things usually or made-to-measure or bespoke things cause it’s just super helpful.

So, these were the three jackets all with the pleats. This one, here, I brought because I just really like the look and it’s, you know, the matching vest. So, you can just have that broken up look between top and bottom. It doesn’t have the pleats, so I didn’t wear that filming typically. But, for other stuff, it’s still—you know, I can move, but I can clearly feel a difference to the other jackets.

[Jack] And this one’s a different style as well. You’ve got a three-roll-two.

[Raphael] Yeah, exactly. It’s a bit, you know, the cut, a bit longer because they’re like these English odd jackets. They’re usually cut a little roomier, you know, for some people. They might be like, “Well, that’s more of a grandpa style,” but, again, I didn’t have this made for me. I just saw this and bought it. I thought the fabric was nice. It’s interestingly—they’re, you know, unlined for the most part.

This has sleeve lining and a bit on top so, like, yeah, I like that. That’s going to work for me. Then I knew I had a Black Tie event, so I brought this velvet dinner jacket. You’ve seen it before, right?

[Jack] Yeah, no. This one is a lovely jacket. I think that’s a correlation that you and I have shared this trip. We haven’t actually done full dinner suits, so the matching jacket and trousers. We’ve done dinner jacket and dinner trousers to create more of an interesting look.

Velvet Dinner JacketVelvet Dinner Jacket
Velvet Dinner Jacket
[Raphael] And this is, like, you know, an event where everyone is like into clothing, right? Typically, when it says “Black Tie,” people are like glad if they have one tuxedo that they don’t have to rent. For us, it’s like, you know, we have lots of options so we want to show different things that we have and our take on it. So, I never bring a solid black or even solid midnight blue tuxedo or dinner suit to an event like that if I can have more fun, I mean.

You did it with your velvet slippers and your 70s jacket, and I just, you know, grabbed something that I knew was in good working order. And then I realized actually a button had come off; so, yeah, luckily, I brought a sewing kit with me. 

[Jack] Excellent!

[Raphael] Do you bring those?

[Jack] I typically don’t, no. That’s probably something that I need to learn for future trips though.

[Raphael] Yeah, total lifesaver. So, I always have like, you know, a Tide stick for like quick stains or like just some thread to sew something on cause it can always happen—that you just, you know, you carry something in your suitcase and something rips and then you can’t really wear it. Unless you to go somewhere, find it, maybe there’s a language barrier. So, that’s always good. Some people don’t travel with luggage at all, right? You, do you typically travel with a check bag or just carry on?

[Jack] Depends on the trip. This trip, definitely a check bag. It’s winter time. It’s Florence, Pitti Uomo. Therefore, I want more clothes to be safe in the knowledge that I can experiment with different styles. What you’ve seen in my wardrobe already, if you’ve seen that video, you’ll see the amount that I bring. I thought that I was packing relatively heavy. I feel like I was packing light in comparison to what you’ve brought.

Jack thought he packed heavy, until he saw Raphael's Pitti Uomo wardrobe.Jack thought he packed heavy, until he saw Raphael's Pitti Uomo wardrobe.
Jack thought he packed heavy, until he saw Raphael’s Pitti Uomo wardrobe.
[Raphael] And there’s also the element of, you know—when you pack, right, you could either say, “I pick very specific outfits and I will only bring that.” So that’s a very minimalist way. Of course, if something goes wrong, you know, if you got some tomato sauce splash, well, now what do you do, right? So, I like to have backups.

Also, you know, if I have to spend four hours of my time thinking specifically about each outfit very meticulously, well, I could work and make some more money, so it may be worth more to just pay, you know, for an extra bag and bring it. Because to me, if I check one bag or two, doesn’t really matter. Also, it gives me redundancy in case one bag doesn’t come, I still have another. Yeah, I can do something with it. I had that experience where, you know, I traveled to the wedding of my best friend. My suitcase was gone. I didn’t get it back until 100 days later, and still had the like priority tag on it, you know? They were like, “Well, what kind of priority is that, right?”

[Jack] Exactly. And talking about issues that you can have while you’re on a trip, like the sauce splashing on your clothes or whatever, you actually had that just last night?

How to Remove Stains from Any Garment

[Raphael] Yes, I was actually working with… I got a pomegranate, and, typically, what I do is I put them in a bowl of water and open it that way so it doesn’t splash on me. But, I must have done something wrong cause it still splashed on the shirt. But, in that case, you know, I was lucky enough to have a washing machine in here.

And that’s another thing, when I pack is, apart from the jackets and the function, for example, I think about where on this trip to have the opportunity to do laundry, right? And based on that, I pack any amount of underwear and socks. Because if I know, I don’t know if I have a laundry, and you know, I don’t want to go out and look for it, these are not very heavy so I’ll just pack more, right?

Boxer BriefsBoxer Briefs
Boxer Briefs

So, for this trip, I think I had like 14 or 15 pair of of boxer brief underwears. And recently, if you look in the past, we did the video about, you know, best boxer briefs, and I realized, for traveling and other stuff, I would always go back to the cotton ones. So, I got, you know, the cotton—like 92% cotton, 8% Lycra—and the brand doesn’t matter much. Just has to be comfortable. You have to like it. And so that’s what I went with. What do you wear, by the way?

[Jack] Typically, Sunspel. I did a bulk purchase a few winters ago. I think they had an offer on the website, and I just stocked up. That way, everything kind of wears at the same sort of rate, which is useful. And I do the same. I overpack on underwear because you never know, and I always make sure that underwear is in my cabin luggage, never in my check luggage.

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If there’s one thing that I want to be sure about is that I’ve got underwear, socks, and shirts, actually. They all go in cabin luggage for me. Everything else is easy. If that bag gets lost, I know that I’m safe. 

[Raphael] I do believe just bringing a pair or two… like have a little backup. Because, usually, if the suitcase gets lost, you get it in the next next few days. That is super helpful.

Like I said, I didn’t know where or what the weather would be like, so I brought this trench coat. I can see here that also needs some work. Yeah, maybe I can do at home. Basically, it’s a vintage Burberry trench coat, you know, made in England. It has this removable button wool liner. It has kind of custom buttons, which I really like. I got it from a gentleman. He was in a military. He had his military style on there, and it really makes it, you know, a different Burberry trench coat. It’s not your run-of-the-mill trench coat. It has these kind of buttons that are kind of weathered and old with that beige and the gold coming through. It’s kind of French, country, chic style. You know, has this kind of…

[Jack] Very nice. How would you typically wear a trench coat like this on vacation?

[Raphael] Well, you know, I like that it had the liner so, depending on temperature, right, I’ll take it out.

[Jack] So, like you’ve got two coats in one?

[Raphael] Exactly right! It’s super helpful. Turns out didn’t even wear it once so far. 

[Jack] There’s still time.

[Raphael] Yeah, true. But, sometimes, that’s just how it is, right? You bring something and you always think, “Well, I overpacked. Well, I overpacked,” but reality is, you know, sometimes you don’t know what happens, and you go to… We went to Munich in August. It was just rainy and cold all day, right, and you’re like, “Well, it should be warm,” but it’s not always like that.

[Jack] So, we went to a flea market yesterday. We checked the weather beforehand because we knew that we’d be outside a lot. It said that there was almost 0% chance of rain, and it drizzled the whole day so case in point.

[Raphael] You just don’t know. Then I knew had this Black Tie event, and I thought maybe, you know, this could be a cool coat. I also knew that Pitti Uomo would be really warm inside, but then, if you spend your day outside all day, it’s quite cold.

A heavy wool coatA heavy wool coat
A heavy wool coat

So, this is a heavy overcoat. It’s from Malcolm Kenneth. I don’t think they’re around anymore, but it was made for the local Minneapolis department store, Dayton’s. So, I found it at a local vintage store. I mean hold it for a second.

[Jack] Nice. Yeah, that’s a heavy coat.

[Raphael] Yeah, it’s heavier than yours.

[Jack] But do you find that it’s heavy when you wear it?

[Raphael] You know, it doesn’t feel heavy to me but, again, it has this nice kind of pleat in the back, you know? Very simple. But I was like, you know, it’s kind of black and white color scheme. I can wear with Black Tie. I can wear with other stuff. Just like you, you brought this one overcoat and wore it over everything. I was like, “I can wear this with everything.” It’s very kind of transitional. 

[Jack] And the herringbone pattern is particularly nice because it’s interesting without being bold.

[Raphael] Very common kind of pattern. It has these like flaps. I mean, if you look at them, they’re similarly large as that 70s one. But, overcoats typically have larger flaps, so this is not a’ 70s. This is older. 

[Jack] So, what other coats did you bring if any?

[Raphael] Yeah, Barbour quilted jacket, right? It was inspired by a horse blanket. I got this one, there’s a a cool vintage flea market in Berlin. And they always have Barbour jackets and I really like the color and it was in very good shape, you know? Sometimes, the old Barbour stuff is like in really bad shape so I brought this cause it’s different, you know? It’s not your olive, khaki, brown, black, navy color, but just a lighter blue; and surprisingly it works with a lot of stuff. And people see you, too, so definitely a bolder color.

[Jack] So, you run hot. I run cold. But, this coat has been the one that I’ve seen you wear pretty much 90% of the trip so far.

[Raphael] Yes, because, you know, it’s it’s super lightweight. It has big patch pockets. It has like a zipper pocket on the inside. So I like that. You know have batteries and stuff. It’s a good carrying option. I can take it off very quickly. And the overcoat was too warm for me most of the time, so I didn’t wear it. The trench, it’s also, you know, bigger. It’s more bulk. This is just an easier option that kind of won out because of that.

[Jack] And like you say ,because of the color, this thing is a really useful beacon. I’ve been able to understand exactly where Raphael is any point of the trip. I just look for this blue coat.

[Raphael] Yeah. But the only thing to to pay attention to is like the length, right? You want this to be longer than your jacket, so your jackets don’t poke out underneath of it cause, otherwise, it looks a bit dorky.

Next up—and I think you do that, too—I got some layers. This is a thin kind of Merino wool from like Spier & MacKay. My wife gave it to me. I buttoned it wrong here, whatever. And then here’s a Cordings vest—an old one. It’s these kind of gold buttons, so nice, you know. I think this is also a doeskin, I think they call it. Not moleskin.

Raphael packed a couple of vests, too.Raphael packed a couple of vests, too.
Raphael packed a couple of vests, too.
[Jack] And it’s remarkably easy to pair because it’s a a good color with a lot of the other pieces that you’ve brought.

[Raphael] And I have a lot of them, but you know, I was like, “Well, I could wear it like this,” you know, that would work. I could wear it with this jacket. I wore it with this jacket, right? Even though the reds aren’t the same. It still works and looks good.

And then I have like—I brought this evening scarf here cause I was like, “It’s going to go well with my overcoat,” right? It’s for evening scarf, hand-knotted fringes. It’s a really nice silk-satin—really high quality from Italy, really heavy and substantial, drapes beautifully. So, I was like, “You know, why not if you have a Black Tie event, go big?” In terms of neckwear, again, I don’t just pick my outfit exactly beforehand. I’ll just make sure I have a range of colors and patterns that work with what I picked, and then I can choose on the fly what I wear.

Fort Belvedere Evening ScarfFort Belvedere Evening Scarf
Fort Belvedere Evening Scarf
[Jack] Yeah, that makes sense to me. I think you can see that there’s a correlation in the scale of pattern, as well as the the sort of color feels. Do you pack accessories before or after larger pieces?

[Raphael] This time, I started first with a jacket because that was, you know, where I needed to function the most. Then, second, I packed my pants and trousers. Third, my shirts, and then my accessories. But, you know, I’ve now invested money into a nice closet, and I created this tie wall cause I think we counted once—it’s close to 500 ties. And, you know, when I’m out, I just buy one if I find them. And so then, you can just walk through and visually see this color I think works really nice with this, take it; this color works really nice with that, I take it.

And so you know, this is a Fort Belvedere tie, you know, vintage tie. This is like Robert Talbott old, you know. I don’t even know sometimes. They’re just like you know made in England, Polo Ralph Lauren, like some old Robert Talbott tie. This is, I think, a Purple Label tie. But, I’m really non-discriminant. It’s more about the color—do I like it or interesting. I brought some, you know, a velvet bow tie, and a silk bow tie. Both Fort Belvedere. This is a single end. I just didn’t know which one I would wear. I think I ended up with a velvet one, but it’s kind of a mood thing.

Raphael packed quite a number of ties!Raphael packed quite a number of ties!
Raphael packed quite a number of ties!
[Jack] And they’re small enough that you can afford to do that. I mean, these things pack to nothing, and I also see some ascots on here as well. Exactly, sometimes,  you know, if you want it more casual outfit, I also brought some like cardigans—or I do need cardigan with a jacket but it’s some sometimes it’s a, you know, not… Even here, not many people wear ascots. So, if you kind of want to stand out in a different way, that’s a good option. I brought a bow tie in case I felt like it; and knit ties, I think, I love for travel because they’re just, you know, at this texture… So, see I could have worn the yellow tie here probably.

[Raphael] Gone for the red one today.

[Jack] Exactly. Even if you a solid suit like yours, right, you could wear a knitted with it. No problem!

[Raphael] No problem!

[Jack] Easily! Especially I think like the brown; would wear quite nicely. Any of these, wonderfully. Match the lining. I’ve got uh some burgundy going on there.

[Raphael] And the other reason I like the tool cause, you know, you can either… I usually store my ties flat in my suitcase but you can also like roll them up. They’re sturdier than other ties, and so that way, you can just travel in know— you can put them in somewhere next to each other however you want, and you can can take them out and they’ll look great.

[Jack] Especially like, if you get hot during the day and you just need to catch a bit of air, take your tie off. You can just pop it in your pocket, and you know that it’s not going to crease and wrinkle and that’s really useful for travel.

Want superior quality ties?

[Raphael] Absolutely. Over here, I got the pants. So, I just brought this, you know; this is part of a different tuxedo like a midnight blue tuxedo. I brought one pair of kind of evening braces. I even left it on there so don’t enough to think about it, you know? Just like leave it on there.

[Jack] Because I always travel with braces separate, so is this a common thing when you travel you’d leave the braces on so that you don’t…

[Raphael] Especially for for these, yeah, cause I knew like this would pretty much be the only pair of pants I wear them with so there was no need to do that that way. I don’t have to look for him. less chance of losing stuff, and that’s just nice.

[Jack] Makes sense.

[Raphael] Then, you know, we, not too long ago, launched our Stancliffe corduroy pants. So, to me, they’re kind of the perfect winter pants, and so I was like, “You know there are these nice colors and I like combinations.”

I have one suit and one like Black Tie outfit, so I brought a lot of those. This is kind of our kind of British racing green, and then you know this beautiful yellow, that kind of blue. This is a very versatile color I think. You know, for first, a lot of people choose this. This is kind of a a prototype here. It’s a little lighter.

[Jack] I can see that the wale is different as well.

[Raphael] Exactly. I think this is like a twelve wale row. If you compare to this, it’s it’s quite obvious it’s different. Also, if you hold them, for example, you feel immediately the difference, right? 

[Jack] The ones that we went with are heavier. What’s the benefit of the corduroy being more substantial and heavier?

[Raphael] They’re warmer, right? I like this one, has a beautiful kind of sheen. I also like that eight wale. It’s just a very good size that you can wear with other things. You know you could wear a bolder stripe, you can wear solids; it works pretty well. This one, you know, it just came like that. I just wanted different weights; we tested different weights.

And sometimes, when it gets warmer, you know, I live in Minneapolis. Right now it’s, you know, -10 degrees F, -255 C so you want something warm but, you know, when I looked at the app and it was like, “Well, in Florence, it’s going to be know 55 maybe or like you know 12, 13 degrees. I’m, like, I may be too hot in these, especially if I work so I brought something lighter, and I didn’t wear them at Pitti so far, but I wore them early in the trip when it got warmer. So I think that’s super helpful

[Jack] And I agree. This particular pair, they’re almost like a chino replacement, like or you can wear these in place of khakis.

[Raphael] Yes, exactly, and these are obviously bolder, right? So, at a menswear trade show, you can totally wear that. It’s not for everyone, but if you already have these and the olive greens and the khakis and the browns and you want to do something different—like I wore these yellow ones with this outfit here—I’m wearing kind of the burgundy ones and as long as you pick up a color which is super easy with these kind of 3D fabrics. There’s green, you know, there’s yellow, there’s red, there’s brown—I mean, even navy. It will always look good together.

[Jack] Pretty much any of these work with exactly what you’re wearing the. It just makes it so easy. 

[Raphael] Yeah. I mean, when we launched this line, like every employee got up here. What color did you choose? 

[Jack] I went for the midnight navy. I’ve got some brown trousers—the moleskins, actually, that we saw in the previous video. But, I realized that I didn’t actually have any separate navy pants. What a great opportunity.

[Raphael] There you go, and because with the corduroy, you know you get a different look, depending on how the light shines on it. So, they’re easy to combine even with like a solid pair of burgundy socks or whatever because, somewhere in that gamut, there’s the right color that matches it.

Corduroy Guide: Pants (Trousers), Jackets, Shirts & More

Yeah, so for shirts, you know you can see, I mean, similarly to you, right, I had white shirts. I think, you know, one white dress shirt here. This is like an Eton shirt. I found Eton, you know, I I visited their their factory. They do a good job of having nice fabrics, high-quality fabrics. Their cut has always a long arm, so if I can pick them up, you know, I only pick them up on sale. I think their retail price is way too high. Sometimes, even on on eBay, right? They have nice patterns. I’m like, “Yep, I like that. I’ll go with that,” and they’re not so expensive on a secondary market. There’s no real handiwork in there. No like handmade button holes, like yours, but I don’t need that in my shirts.

Raphael is in his Eton shirt and likes it better because of its contemporary fit for longer arms.Raphael is in his Eton shirt and likes it better because of its contemporary fit for longer arms.
Raphael brought his Eton shirt.
[Jack] The details that are nice to have but not necessary to have, and if you’d like to learn more about Eton, we’ve done a video.

[Raphael] “Is It Worth It?” Exactly. So, this is like evening shirt. I just wanted something a little different.

[Jack] Oh, wow! Okay, so this is kind of a combination of… The cloth has got… Is this a Jacquard weave?

[Raphael] Yes, it’s like a fancy Jacquard weave, but you see, you still have pleats, right? Again, a little more unusual, not your run-of-the-mill, pleated, Marcella bib. Just something something different.

[Jack] And do you find this one comfortable to wear?

[Raphael] Oh, yeah, totally! Because, you know, unlike the Marcella, this is soft, and you can see it’s still backed but it’s soft. It’s like a really soft shirt.

[Jack] So, no nipple chafing on this one?

[Raphael] Exactly! And then yeah, here is one, you know, this is like a slightly pink shirt, and I typically try to go with some double cuffs and some that are just button cuffs, barrel cuffs. I have this shirt typically. It’s like a travel shirt to me cause it’s stretchy, right? It’s like a polo shirt. It’s like a knit. It’s a knit pique. So, I wear it traveling because, you know, I lift something the chance of ripping a seam or like, you know, when you sleep on the plane, it’s just having that extra stretch. Really helps me and that’s usually when when I wear it.

[Jack] So, it’s interesting because, similar to me, your casual travel shirt has a button-down collar.

[Raphael] You know, this is just the way they come. I think I prefer not the button-down collars, but it’s from Spier & MacKay, and they just have the button-down collar. And so, it’s like, okay, I want the functionality. It has this like nice mottled blue. 

[Jack] Yeah, for me, the button-down collar is useful because it means that you can wear the shirt with an open collar and know that it’s still going to frame your face nicely.

A travel shirt in knit piqueA travel shirt in knit pique
A travel shirt in knit pique.
[Raphael] Yeah, it should… I mean, this hasn’t been ironed, right? So, it’s not not ideal, obviously. I just traveled with it here probably and then, you know, washed it and didn’t iron it. Cause when you travel from one destination to another, there’s no point in ironing it in the very beginning because it’s going to be wrinkled anyways.

So, if your place has something that can, you know, you can iron, it’s great. If not, I like to pack fabrics that, you know, if I can’t iron them, I can still wear them and not look horrible. Cause there’s definitely differences in fabrics. So, put that one here.

I think this one is a Hundred Hands shirt. It’s a nice fine twill. Looks a bit almost like a denim shirt but it’s not. Just the things that are Eton. It has this just bold check. Typically, you know, I bring one check shirt, I bring a striped shirt, but it also depends on what you bring, right? Here, I brought a lot of you know houndstooth, houndstooth, kind of tweed, tweed, all kinds of, you know, rich fabrics a pattern of their own. So I don’t need super bold stripes, right? I go more with like the standard classics. I have plenty of stripe shirts, which if I had like brought a suit like this, I probably would have brought more, bolder pattern shirts.

Some patterned shirts in Raphael's Pitti Uomo wardrobe.Some patterned shirts in Raphael's Pitti Uomo wardrobe.
Some patterned shirts in Raphael’s Pitti Uomo wardrobe.
[Jack] Sure, the scale of the check of this one though, works with all of the patterns that you’ve brought.

[Rapheal] Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t wear this check with this. It’s too much for me, too much. Then just one striped shirt and I just wash it. That was the pomegranate shirt that I washed. So, yeah, I like it because it has more of a thicker fabric. It’s another Eton, I think an older one, and it has like a bigger collar. I think with two closing buttons on top but, you know, barrel cuff. So, I mean, it’s not technically barrel cause it’s kind of…

[Jack] It’s kind of it’s got the knitted edge.

[Raphael] Exactly!

[Jack] So, you’ve brought less shirts than I have. Although, your trip’s been longer. How often have you done laundry or do you wear undershirts or how does it happen for you?

[Raphael] Well, yeah, I typically wear a shirt every day. I don’t wear undershirts because I don’t like that extra layer and I get hot easily, so I typically don’t wear undershirts. But, yeah, washing. Understanding where I can wear. And then, you know, when you ski, I didn’t wear them for that week.

Men’s Undershirts: Pros & Cons and How to Wear Them RIGHT

[Jack] So, that’s the difference between you and I, cause I don’t wear an undershirt. Either I think that’s the European element in both of us. It’s kind of more of an American thing, the undershirts are worn. But I will pack a shirt for every day. It seems that you’ve economized on your shirts to allow yourself more exploration in other areas of your wardrobe.

[Raphael] Yeah, and I also, you know, I didn’t bring all the stuff I brought to Europe to Florence. I sent some of the things home with Teresa who went home earlier. So, for example, I had brought a lot of like sweaters, you know, like tennis sweaters with a deep v-neck. But I didn’t end up wearing them because it was too hot, and so I was like, “Here, I’m more likely going to wear my jackets. It’s also going to be warmer, so I don’t need those. We can bring those back already with all our ski stuff.” 

[Jack] So, did you bring any knitwear with you to Florence?

[Raphael] I did. I brought three of them here. Actually, so far, I’ve only worn this one in Florence. This one is more, you know, if the apartment is cold or something. It’s like thick but I probably wouldn’t… It’s very kind of, you know, off white, oatmeal color.

[Jack] Is this a cotton?

[Raphael] Yeah, this is a cotton.

[Jack] It’s a heavy cotton though.

[Raphael] Heavy, yeah. This is a little bit lighter. It’s a cashmere, but has this cool blue color so I like that. It’s kind of a vintage Polo Ralph Lauren that I got, and this is slightly newer. But, also, older. I bought it probably like 10-15 years ago. Kind of cable knit cotton sweater. I like those tennis sweaters. So, I brought those, but haven’t quite worn them yet here.

Otherwise, in terms of… I brought pocket squares, and of course, I picked the pocket squares after the ties. So, I kind of, you know, can see, okay, what ties I have. What would work well with a tie, for example, or other elements. But, again, it’s like 80-20, you know. I’d rather pick one or two more that I don’t end up wearing. And they’re lightweight. They’re not bulky. So pretty much, 

He, of course, brought pocket squares. Picking them up after the ties ensures harmony!He, of course, brought pocket squares. Picking them up after the ties ensures harmony!
He, of course, brought pocket squares. Picking them up after the ties ensures harmony!

I have a range of like Fort Belvedere pocket squares. It’s, you know, our kind of scarab one. I have the ones with the rabbits, you know, in blue and in red. I’m wearing it here right now. They’re very versatile, and then, I mean, you have those too, right?

[Jack] Yeah. I always bring less pocket squares but, the ones that I bring, I try to make sure I have a pattern in the middle and a border on the outside, so that I kind of get two for one.

[Raphael] Yeah, I think, for travel, I found I most gravitate towards the wool-silk blend cause I think it’s, you know, not too shiny. I can wear it with something more formal. I can wear it with something less formal, and they have multiple colors so it’s just easy to combine., I have one like silk and orange, you know, another scarab and yellow. Another one with like the green and this kind of, you know…

[Jack] Like a teal?

[Raphael] Yeah, it’s kind of a teal blue. It’s similar to this one here, right? It’s kind of sky blue azzurro, kind of, and then, you know, white linen. Some with like the embroidery, like for the tuxedo, I work with the four suits. You know, the hearts, clubs, and spades, and so forth. I brought some white ones with a contrast x-stitching. The same one that you brought, the blue one with a handcrafted linen. Some red ones. Some, you know, ochre yellow. Something blue, some orange. For shoes, I did it like you, and I brought just four pairs, and I traveled with the boots.

[Jack] These are quite an unusual style, especially for you. We were talking about these the other day. They’re like a hiking boot, right?

[Raphael] Yeah, if you look at the sole, right, they’re more like, you know, hiking boot-inspired. These are from like Idrese. They’re know Goodyear-welted but they have this like, you know, custom patina, they have thicker kind of hiking-style laces, they have this metal hardware, and I like them. They’re really comfortable and I knew, you know, if it rains. If there’s snow, the higher sole makes sure my feet stay dry all day cause that’s important to me. I’ve worn them before so I knew I wouldn’t get blisters.

[Jack] Yep. Important.

His boots were made to protect feet against the elements.His boots were made to protect feet against the elements.
His boots were made to protect feet against the elements.
[Raphael] Yeah, the only thing that’s not good when traveling with them, you know, usually they beep, so then, you know, you may have to take your shoes off at the TSA. It’s never fun. Yeah, and sometimes, you know, your shoe also has like metal in the shank that can be enough to beep. 

So, knowing that is helpful cause no one likes to take of their shoes at the airport. It always takes time. It’s kind of not a nice experience, so that’s the only thing. And, you know, I could check those but, yeah, it’s a good travel shoe. They’re not too tight so I can put them back on even after I take them off.

But, otherwise, you know, I’m in Pitti and just coming to Florence, there’s a lot of walking, lot of standing on your feet all day. So, I brought these bespoke shoes here cause they fit well. This is the pair from Amara Hark Weber, and we have a whole series about them, how they were made and why I chose them. So, you can check them out if you want to learn more about that. I love bringing burgundy shoes to travel cause I can wear it with a dark suit. I can wear it in the evening, I can wear it during the day, I can wear it with something brown. The most versatile color, in my mind.

[Jack] I noticed just these ones haven’t got any sort of shine to them. Is that because of the leather?

[Raphael] No, I just have never shined them. There was a time when I felt like, you know, I needed to have a mirror shine spit polish thing before I could go out the door. Just haven’t done it on those. Maybe I’ll get around to it and do it or have someone do it. No kind of intention.

[Jack] Sure, and again, the mirror shine is something that isn’t actually for everyone, and we’ve explored that more in this video.

[Raphael] Okay, yeah, next up I brought a pair of loafers. These are from Wayman Bespoke, and we also did a video with the founder of Wayman Bespoke, Simon, to learn more about the process of them. So, if you’re interested, you can check it out here. Basically, these are remote bespoke. They’re made in China, but Simon is in Germany and you communicate with Simon, and then you get something. And you know, loafers are hard, right, because there’s no laces here that can make it tighter. I have this kind of slim heel so that’s really important to get it right, and overall, I’m, you know, I’m happy with them. They fit as well, maybe a little better than my first bespoke pair that I made with an in-person shoemaker. So, you can get a good result, and you know, he had maybe a bit fewer options of customization, but I was still able to get this kind of butterfly loafer and different leather, and you know, I got that back here. It’s a nice heel. And initially, I was like, “Well, can you maybe do an x-stitch,” and that wasn’t possible. But, yeah, it’s great. It’s this kind of grained calf. They added a bit of a patina so the peaks are darker and the valleys are lighter. Something that I liked, and again, it’s kind of, you know, a slightly different color, and it was that was good for me.

[Jack[ So, I noticed that the both this and your other bespoke shoes have the lasted shoe trees in. Now, these are quite heavy.

Putting or bring shoe trees for Raphael is not a problem as ensures he has plenty of baggage allowance and space.Putting or bring shoe trees for Raphael is not a problem as ensures he has plenty of baggage allowance and space.
Putting or bring shoe trees for Raphael is not a problem as ensures he has plenty of baggage allowance and space.
[Raphael] Yeah, so if you can only bring 23 kilos or 50 pounds, I wouldn’t bring them. I would probably stuff socks in there or do it like you did and put plastic shoes trees in it. Because I can bring you know 32 kg or 70 lbs in each suitcase. I’ll put them in there cause, typically, I cannot, you know. The suitcases are in a size where even if I fill them up, they’re not 70 lbs, so putting smaller, heavier items in there is no problem. So that’s something you have to know if you can bring that when you fly or not. And you know, I had, for example, from the US, I was able to bring more luggage but I had a flight from Munich to Florence, and there, you know , full economy so it’s only 23 kilos so I bought another suitcase and then I put these in my carryon.

[Jack] Oh, got it. Okay.

[Raphael] So, when I need to kind of shift things around, I put really heavy items in my little carry-on. That way, I can kind of… I hit the weight. And that’s something like, this time, I didn’t bring it but it’s like a little scale. A suitcase scale. My dad has one, and he always travels with it. It’s really handy because then you don’t have to be at the airport, right, and either are faced with like $200 fine or upcharge, right, or unpacking it in front of everyone, you know? Not a nice experience. So, it’s better to be able to do that at home before you go to the airport.

And you see, right, I brought two pairs of shoe trees in the bespoke shoes. No shoe trees for the things cause I wore those, and also here, I just stuffed my socks in. Basically, you know, Black Tie pair, and these are more comfortable than the opera pumps. So, I skipped the opera pumps ’cause I was like, “I don’t know how much I have to walk.” So, I got the kind of, you know, Goodyear welted thin sole, capless oxfords. These were like a prototype.

This black bespoke shoe is better than an opera pumps as it is comfortable and still perfect for Black Tie.This black bespoke shoe is better than an opera pumps as it is comfortable and still perfect for Black Tie.
This black bespoke shoe is better than an opera pump as it is more comfortable and still perfect for a Black Tie.
[Jack] Yeah, they’re quite classic. They’re easy to wear for Black Tie. Interesting that you find the opera pumps less comfortable than the Oxford style. 

[Raphael] It just depends on, like, the particular brand, you know. Sometimes maybe your Born Elliot with a rubber sole are more comfortable. I don’t know. It just depends on what you got in your arsenal. But yeah, I did the, you know, this is like a grosgrain evening shoelace from Fort Belvedere. We have a great selection that matches your bow tie. So, it’s just that little extra thing that you can do to get your kind of average Black Tie outfit to the…

[Jack] Next level. 

[Raphael] Exactly, yeah. I mean, other than that, I brought socks. You know, a bunch of different socks. I love the shadow stripes. You can see just all sorts of different colors. I brought our kind of two-tone solids and some silk socks, ’cause I didn’t know which evening option I’d go for so I could kind of, you know, play it by ear. 

[Jack] Have you worn any of the silk socks during the day?

[Raphael] I have before; not I think, during this trip. I’ve worn the two-tone ones. I think you did, too. They’re just very smart and different-looking, right? Like with a suit like this, it kind of stands out and is kind of cool. So, obviously, you know, we make the socks. I have a lot of socks, so I just bring a bunch. And then I may not wear every pair.

Yeah. Otherwise, I brought three scarves, all like… I got the wool silk. Again, I like the material for travel. These are all lighter scarves, ’cause I knew it would be really cold. So, no need for like thicker cashmere. It just makes me too warm. I don’t like the heat. You, on the other hand, I mean you like wearing your scarves. 

[Jack]  I do like wearing scarves. I think they just add an extra element of depth and detail to an outfit. Personally,  I have a longer neck, so I really feel the cold when it whips up around the back of your neck. It’s a wonderful thing to bring. I actually have the same scarf. I was contemplating bringing the the green and red one.

[Raphael] Yeah, it’s a nice option. The paisley kind of goes with a lot, especially putting other wardrobe. I also bought some hats, you know. These were more like winter options, like wool. I like this like Donegal multicolor for travel. Super easy to combine and you see the again here in this flat cap, right? Same thing. I just thought, you know, this flat cap, for example, wouldn’t look good with this one. I mean it works but sometimes, if you have greens that are too similar, it seems a little off. So, just try to bring another one that’s, you know, maybe a slightly different pattern, so depending on what jacket I wear. And I didn’t wear it every day, but, you know, some days just a different look. Some people are like, it’s a grandpa look.

[Jack] But, then, I think you’re always going to get that with some element of classic style. Realistically, if you like the style of being more dressed up or like a flat cap, that’s absolutely fine, and it’s a good thing to understand the boundary as well. For instance, we went to a store and you tried on a cardigan, s Shetland knit cardigan, and we kind of both agreed that this was definitely a grandpa look 

[Raphael] Yes, exactly, it was too long and stuff. And, otherwise, in terms of accessories, I brought quite a bit a few things. Also, I brought, talking about shopping, I brought a bag just like a cheap kind of duffel bag. This one I brought, this is from like Rowing Blazers-Target collaboration, was like rather inexpensive. So, I wouldn’t be… It’s lightweight, so I didn’t want to bring a leather piece cause they’re heavier. It’s just an extra thing in case I find something cool. I want to bring home. I already have that built-in.

Rugby Stripe Weekender Bag - Rowing BlazersRugby Stripe Weekender Bag - Rowing Blazers
Rugby Stripe Weekender Bag – Rowing Blazers
[Jack] So, do you pack that in with the rest of your luggage?

[Raphael] Yes, exactly. It’s just, you know, a little padding, like, I leave space. I make sure I can bring stuff home. Because, often times, I find stuff I want to bring. You know, last time, I brought a little, like, wardrobe rack, clothes rack that you mount to the wall but it was longer than a suitcase, then you had to disassemble it and put it in like a tube, and so it’s good to think about that. You potentially may bring something and have space for it.

Accessories-wise, you know, I brought like a belt. One is kind of like a prototype, different calf leathers. The other one is like a matching belt to my Amara Hark Weber bespoke shoes. It’s the same leather, and I combine it with our Fort Belvedere buckles from our interchangeable buckle system.

By the way, working on a new… We’re going to launch some new belts here in 2024. So, more buckles, more belts. Stay tuned. I brought our prototypes, actually, for our 4CC card holder wallet, which are newly launched. I think you use them happily and you also use them for your business cards, right?

[Jack] That’s right because I don’t tend to carry whole of stack business cards with me. They’re great because it means that you can use one side for your own business cards, so kind of split them over a couple of slots, and then the reverse side, you can put business cards that you receive.

[Raphael] You know, this time was the first time I used card holder wallets, and it’s really nice because it’s so slim. You don’t even, like in a corduroy like this, you have it in your pocket, you don’t even see it. So, potentially, you know, pickpocket thieves also don’t see it, and it’s nice for the silhouette. So, I really like them.

[Jack] I also find, with regards to potential pickpocketing, if you’re in a strange country that you’ve never been to before, having that card wallet that goes further down inside a pocket means that, if you’ve got to work a little bit harder to get to it, someone else has to as well 

[Raphael] Yeah, exactly, and I also have my other wallet cause, you know, I’m I’m testing a bunch of stuff. We’re launching new, different wallets. Passport holder also, a prototype. So, you know, when we do stuff, we actually field test it. It’s not just, “Hey, looks good! Yeah, great! Let’s produce it!”

Raphael wears this new sunglasses he bought in case he goes skiingRaphael wears this new sunglasses he bought in case he goes skiing
Raphael brought this new sunglasses he bought in case he goes skiing

I purchased one pair of sunglasses this time, and I think I haven’t even worn it once. Normally, I, you know, bring them when you’re skiing or stuff. You may have something other than your goggles. In a summer, I typically bring more like three or so. How about you?

[Jack] My glasses have the transitions reactor lenses in them because I wear glasses 24/7, except when I sleep, of course. So, I like the ability to be in the correct lighting situation. Yeah, they can be a bit frustrating sometimes when you come inside and they take a moment to react, but throughout the years that I’ve worn them, I’ve gotten used to it.

[Raphael] Great, yeah. I just have usually a pair of like pool sunglasses, right, cause the chlorine and stuff corrodes it and I don’t want all my sunglass to be corroded, so I wear one at the beach, like the salt water, and then some others to just out and about.

Yeah, then, you know, I brought a bunch of boutonnieres, of course. They’re not ideal, you know, when you wear like an overcoat or over layer cause you squish them, and my overcoat didn’t have a button hole to wear them. So, that’s something to consider like I don’t want to squish them. But, you know, with evening wear and stuff like that. Otherwise, it’s a really cool way  to just add a little pop of color and add something different. I actually travel with them in the Fort Belvedere box. I put the foam in there and make sure they don’t move around.

Raphael keeps his boutonnieres in this lovely Fort Belvedere gift box.Raphael keeps his boutonnieres in this lovely Fort Belvedere gift box.
Raphael keeps his boutonnieres in this lovely Fort Belvedere gift box.

That way, they stay in good shape and I can just bring them like that. Also, a little travel jewelry box. It’s like an old… We rent them for a while, but we’re actually working right now on something better and different so stay tuned. But, I just got a selection of cufflinks, you know? Different colors like blue, you know? These are our lapis cufflinks, brown tiger’s eye. I think you like those, too?

[Jack] I do. I have the lapis and gold because they match my Cartier. It’s a yellow gold and, obviously, it has the sapphire on the on the crown.

[Raphael] And I mean, the tiger’s eye would work, too, because it has its tone like from brown like this to brown like this. So, you got the gamut of brown covered with those. Yeah, I also got a vintage set. I think it’s a Sulka set. It has shirt studs, and it has like cat’s eye stones that are domed. Pretty cool. So, they’re matching like cufflinks and studs. I could have brought fewer, right, but they’re so small and I have them and I enjoy coming up with something so why not? 

Cufflinks and shirt studs Raphael brought to Pitti Uomo 105Cufflinks and shirt studs Raphael brought to Pitti Uomo 105
Cufflinks and shirt studs Raphael brought to Pitti Uomo 105
[Jack] Exactly, and that particular cufflink set kind of brings people closer together because you needed some help putting those in your shirt.

[Raphael] Exactly right! You can always like put them in the first two holes, and I can always do it. It’s just when you’re in a hurry and you have someone with two hands rather than one, it’s typically faster. Yeah, I brought some pinky rings, you know? Some tie bars, some collar clips.

I brought six pairs of gloves or maybe even more. Basically, I got some you know touchscreen gloves in different colors that were all lined, and I got unlined gloves, too, because I didn’t know how cold or warm it would be and I just wanted to make sure I have the right kind of gloves for the right occasion. Plus, you know at Pitti. It’s nice to have a different pair of gloves every day and not the same, but if you travel, you know, and just for yourself, typically, you know, one unlined, one lined should be enough, especially if you get something like gray. I think you wore that gray pair of gloves.

Fort Belvedere gloves Raphael brought to Pitti Uomo.Fort Belvedere gloves Raphael brought to Pitti Uomo.
Fort Belvedere gloves Raphael brought to Pitti Uomo.
[Jack] Pretty much non-stop, yeah. I brought the green so the same green pair that you’ve brought. I’ve brought the gray peccery and I brought an old pair of yellow peccary. The yellow peccary really are quite delicate. I think I got some some food grease on them, so I’m going to need to wash those when I get home, but the green ones are wonderful. But, the gray ones have just gone with absolutely everything. So, yeah, great minds think alike.

[Raphael] Yeah, and then, I put my Dopp kit out there. We’re working on some Dopp kits. This was a prototype that we’re not going to do, but I still have it. The other stuff is going to come, so yeah, stay tuned. But I just… It’s something for, like, my toothbrush, Got2B Glued, CeraVe lotion, some deodorant, always a Tide stick, Roberto Ugolini sample sizes cause that way I can get, you know, ten fragrances, and I’m not going to go through one during a trip, so it’s much lighter, more effective.

I usually have an electric shaver. I have a DE shaver in there cause, sometimes, you know, when you travel for business and stuff, it just it’s got to be quick, right? I don’t have the time to shave a full DE shave and so that’s what I’ll do. I also can’t bring the bowl, so sometimes you go places and they don’t have a nice bowl just a glass, and it’s kind of awkward. It’s just good to be able to have options there.

Raphael's Dopp kit for his other essentials.Raphael's Dopp kit for his other essentials.
Raphael’s Dopp kit for his other essentials.
[Jack] So, I’m intrigued. There’s a small, metal case in your Dopp kit. What’s that?

[Raphael] It’s basically something for bar soap. So, when I grew up, you know, we only had shower gel, and I realized I hate that stuff once I had bar soap, so I only use bar soap at home. And so, when you travel, I know sometimes they don’t have the right stuff, and I usually bring bar soap, you know? Can be messy because if it’s still wet and you move on, it’s sticky and gooey and leaves residue all over your Dopp kit, so I found this little metal case has little holes at the bottom so I can put the soap in there and it dries and then I can travel with it. I don’t have to waste any bar soap and I get to use it.

One thing, just like Jack, I always have my travel shoehorn with me. It’s such a little thing, but it just helps protect your shoes. It’s great to bring when you maybe go shoe shopping and at the airport, you know? Had to take stuff off. Great, I have that, makes getting in and out easier. I’ll leave it in my kind of travel computer bag, so I always have it handy if I need it.

[Jack] Exactly, it’s such a small thing that you really can’t go without it.

[Raphael] Yeah, so that was it. That was packing for Pitti. I’d be curious to learn, you know, what tips you have, what you do differently, what your approach is. So please share comments below and Jack will read every one of them.

[Jack] I certainly shall.

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