sprezzatura for women




Sprezzatura is an Italian word originating from Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by the author as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it". It's the ability of courtier to display "an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them". The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "studied carelessness". 


Studied carelessness, actually means that dressing is a skill. Especially when you listen to Neapolitan tailors talking, they believe style comes from knowing your physiology and dressing it. This requires understanding the lines, shape, proportion and visual weight that values what is unique to you. Dressing with sprezzatura means not being tossed about in the wind by trends, but staying true to what you know works for you. It is a heart mind and soul operation. Understanding what works for your body and knowing what touches and delights your soul. Of course, these Neopolitan tailors use sprezzatura to refer to men and how suits and shirts fit. But of course we all know sprezzatura when we come face to face with it. On men and women. Regardless of age, size or budget.  I took the above photo last spring near the weekly food market in the Brera area of Milan. This women is in her early 80's and so gracefully conveys a studied carelessness. Note how her jacket has a topstitched arrow right where the pleat starts. and more importantly right where the curve of her back is. it is a moment of truth that one often finds in sprezzatura. Because with clothing we are either cancelling or accentuating. accentuating is a powerfully truthful act. it is a statement to put the topstitched arrow there and say...I accentuate the curve of my back. this takes her jacket tailoring to the ext level allowing it to harmonise impeccably with her physiology. Doesn't she exudes a refined, uniquely relevant and distinct style? 


Marina, above manages the Moschino store in Capri. We met in the street and you can see how the weight and shape of her black items so perfectly harmonise with her physiology, huge smile and express a generosity and classy maverick heart and soul. At forty-eight, she has created a modern classic look. And we are reminded of the power of style to highlight your personality and creative life force.  I have chosen both these women and their black outfits to remind us that when clothing fits our physiology and heart....it transcends time to simply reprint who we are. In both these case sprezzatura shines in the

1. weight of the fabric

2. volume of the shape

3. length of the proportions

4. choice of the accessories in weight, line and shape

Did you meet someone recently who amazed you with their sprezzatura? Would you love to know up to up your own sprezzatura factor? I would love to hear from you.

Warm greetings from Florence. I am here for a creativity workshop and am looking forward to reporting on some amazing sprezzatura in the coming days.