the MIX

Word of the Day: Sprezzatura

I’m currently sitting at my desk eating half a bar of Belgian chocolate (that cleanse will have to wait another day) while repeating the Italian word sprezzatura over and over. To borrow a term from my 4-year-old, I probably look a little “cray-cray” right now but there is something so joyful about rolling that Italian “r” and letting it’s voluptuous vowels fall off the tongue. Sprezzatura is not only sexy to say but its definition always resonates with me: studied nonchalance, rehearsed spontaneity, and practiced effortlessness.

Sprezzatura

I know the common usage of sprezzatura usually refers to a man’s effortless style but it’s a bit deeper than that. It’s about appearing as if elegance and sophistication are something you are born with (effortless style is just a by product of this). Think: more Gianni Agnelli, less Kanye.

It takes a bit of practice to achieve sprezzatura (it’s the irony of it all) but a few tips to get you on your way:

1. Wear a pocket square but don’t line it up perfectly.

Rumple the hankie into a ball and then shove it into the front pocket. Let the edges fall where they may.

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2. Wear a beautiful watch but tone it down with a rope bracelet or some other item that feels sentimental.

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3. Wear clothes that never scream expensive and new, just well tailored and lived in.

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4. Have a personally cultivated quirk that says to the world you were too busy to notice.

Gianni Agnelli used to wear his watch over his shirt cuff. I had a friend who dressed in gorgeous YSL suits but would always wear his belt off center. That little detail is perfection.

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