Twice a year, the world’s #menswear “elite” (not trying to stroke any egos here, hence the quotes) pack three weeks worth of sprezz and head out on a European expedition that begins in Florence and ends in Paris, the “Hajj des Hommes,” if you will. During this time—all the while Instagraming, Tumbling and Tweeting their way into their friends’ “Never Call This Doucher Again” books—said Illuminati find themselves subjected to hundreds of the most exorbitantly #wealthy brands on God’s green earth, from the hand-stitched shirting and natural shoulders of Pitti Uomo to the black leather and drape of Milan and Paris.
This is enough to drive even the steeziest of steezsters insane. It’s just too much to take in over a mere 21-day period. So, for your reading pleasure, we’ve come up with a ten-step guide on how to act as if you’ve been there before.
- Sunglasses Are Your Friend - It’s tough to maintain a grimace that indicates you are too important to care about, and uniformly unimpressed with, anything and everyone that comes within your periphery (we call this the “Lapo May Care Glare”), so make sure you have the requisite eyewear to hide any indication of positive human emotion.
- Wear Navy, But Not THAT Navy - Navy should be a staple color in your Hajj rotation. It is the most basic and versatile color to style, and no one will talk behind your back about your judgment. However, add a little flavor here and there to ensure that discerning street style photographers notice that you’re different and more interesting than those around you.
- Purchase Life Insurance Before You Begin Smoking a Pack a Day At the Fortezza - Premiums are cheaper for non-smokers, and you’ll have a really, really difficult time proving a clean bill of health to Met Life if you walk in there a couple of days after your journey smelling like a Phillip Morris family member’s automobile after a road trip around the continental US.
- Outerwear Kills: Keep It Simple - Sure, you want to look fresh day in and day out, but outerwear just flat out destroys your luggage square footage. Are you ready to devote an entire suitcase to a single Bastian top coat and Nigel parka? Right, thought so. So stick to the sleek stuff (moleskin, cashmere etc.) and travel with the hard body karate (read: super warm) shit on your back.
- Spend One Day Wearing Something That Even the Italians Would FindSimultaneously Ostentatious, Strange and Crispy - Now, no one’s suggesting that you show up in a Rick Owens women’s veiled ski mask (GOD WE HOPE SOMEONE DOES THIS), but what we are suggesting is that you take some time to think outside the box and do something unconventional and decidedly American, we’re thinking double-breasteds and beanies.
- The Jawnz-Copping Budget - Set aside a definitive amount of cash (no, not credit, because everyone knows that credit is not real money, and by the time you get hit with the conversion rate and foreign transaction fees, you’ll be buying your gear at double-mark-up) as a reserve fund for copping extra gear while abroad in the event that a connecting flight loses your luggage or someone spills a coffee on your suede tassel loafers at a late night Gilli session.
- Don’t Worry About Windchill: Rent a Vespa - Just imagine the looks on their faces when you pull up to the Carrousel du Louvre in 18 degrees Fahrenheit, double park, toss your keys to Karl Lagerfeld and tell him “IF THE COPS COME, JUST MOVE IT DOWN THE BLOCK. THANKS, BRO.”
- Learn At Least One Thing About Everyone You Meet - And bring it up in conversation when you see said person in another city. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with strangers and bumping into people in all sorts of different venues and cities, so, it’s good manners and karma to give off the impression that you care.
- Dainite Soles - To the extent possible, go with Dainite (or a veritable substitute thereto). Italian and French cobblestone has WREAKED HAVOC on many soles in years past, and you do not want to be a statistic.
- Carbo-Load - We all know Italians love their pasta, so use this séjour as an opportunity to glutton-the-fuck-out—believe us, you’ll need the energy.