Spring Inspiration: The Talented Mr Ripley

March is a great time to start thinking about the direction style will be taking this year. Drawing from trends over the last few summers, we’ve seen shorts get shorter and more fitted, sitting just above the knee for most men but for many more, the short short is no longer the no-no it was in the early naughties. Boat shoes have made way to more streamlined espadrilles and the baggy surfer look is looking more and more dated, like something out of a 90s American teen movie. To cut to the chase, things are getting smarter.

I can’t help but site Mad Men for making men get their act together and take a little pride in their appearance, for reminding gents that it’s OK to look smart again. A great place to take inspiration for a smart casual look is Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr Ripley.

Set around a 1950s Italian riviera, the looks are drawing from a mix of American and Italian chic. We see slight flamboyance in the oversized lapels, interesting use of cloth and pattern that you would associate with Italian tailoring and classic pastel colours and sportswear that was so prevalent in early American fashion amongst the affluent.

For those trying to achieve this look on the high street, fit is the most important consideration to pulling it off correctly. Make sure all tops fit smartly in the shoulder, and all shorts and trousers fit snugly in the thigh, hip and arse. Undo one shirt button too many (3 should do it) and a gold watch or bracelet will pop against pastel colours and tanned skinned. Remember, go for slightly extroverted pieces with a conventional fit. Yes this look is a little minty, a little European, get over it.

Finally, and crucially, get your hair tidied up every 3 weeks. It may sound excessive, but looking smart means no wispy stray hairs and a clean finish where your hair meets the back of your neck, so keep it tidy.

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