January 7, 2011  ·  style

Bent cuffs: OUCH.

According to Wikipedia, Sprezzatura is defined by Catiglione's The Book of the Courtier 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." In terms of modern sartorialism we apply the term to the careful application of what appear to be casual touches—selectively unbuttoning, untucking, askewing, almost-mismatching, etc.

So if you're wondering what is the opposite of Sprezzatura, we'll suggest it's this business of bending back part of one's shirt cuff, blamed on J.Crew's professional Morrissey impersonator, Frank Muytjens (right) and subsequently adopted by L.L.Bean Signature (left) and the like. Unlike rolling up your sleeves, it serves no practical purpose and is quite apparently deliberately affected, and as a bonus, it reminds us of a bent-up toenail—painful even to look at. (shudder.)

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