The Italian term Spezzato — or "broken suit" — is used to describe the technique that involves the subtle substitution of the jacket or trousers of a suit to another similar item that blends the uniqueness of a suit with another type of fabric. The best forms of broken or mismatched suits evoke enough similarity that they don't stand out but enough difference in material or color that they add a beautiful twist. As with all facets of custom men’s clothing, there are ways to perfect your look and ways to mess it up, and if you want to learn if a broken suit is right for you, then learn a few tactics and tricks to pay attention to when building your broken suit.
Color Coordination for Broken Suits
Color coordination is the number one way to make your broken suit stand out, and you want to know how to coordinate effectively, so you don't stand out and look foolish. There are some wonderful color combinations you can choose from that stand the test of time and give you a head start. You can then play with different shades, patterns, and combinations that suit your style.
One of the best casual looks involves a stylish colored blazer with casual white trousers that make for a fashionable summer look for all occasions. A navy blazer and neutral trousers are a perfect combination, and you can also pair them with formal shoes that complete your look. Black blazers and gray trousers don't ever look like you're trying too hard to match and allow you the freedom to add brown shoes or a pattern on your pocket square to mix things up.
A few other tips can help you color coordinate your broken suits and ensure that your combinations stand out without looking tacky.
Contrasts are the name of the game, and creating contrasts allows you to experiment with different colors throughout your suit. A dark-colored suit can incorporate pastel colors on a few smaller items like pocket squares or accessories. You don't want to look like you tried too hard to match colors and failed to, so when in doubt, lean towards more contrasting colors.
Use One Color to Tie Your Peace Together
One of the best ways to tie your entire suit together is to create pieces that incorporate one singular color in some facet. This approach helps you incorporate patterns as well, as you can have a gray suit jacket with blue grid patterns that you accentuate with a navy blue pair of trousers or vice versa.
Coordinating the Materials of Your Suit
Materials are the other factor determining the quality of your suit, and the materials you use impact how pleasing and comfortable the outfit will be for you. The first thing to consider is seasonality, as this determines the materials that work best to keep you comfortable. You don't want to mix a wool jacket with a linen pair of trousers. Choose materials that keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, similar to how you would with any other suit.
At best, your materials should complement each other well and, at the very least, shouldn't be a nuisance in terms of comfort for your body. Your best tactic would be to mix materials with the same weight. For example, worsted wool jackets and pants look good together, provide a complementing texture and still allow you to customize color and patterns.
Tips for Success in Spezzato
You need to know the basics to succeed with a broken suit, but don't forget that there is always a bit more to add to the equation. Before settling on the perfect Spezzato for your wardrobe collection, keep in mind a few of these tips to help you create the ideal suit.
The one thing you don't want to do is try to make a broken suit out of formal and structured jackets. Jackets with flap pockets, peak lapels, or padded shoulders usually scream suit on the first impression. Looking down and seeing different colored pants will likely throw off the viewer. When mixing and matching, consider the top half of houndstooth suits or stick with sports coats and other jackets with unstructured designs.
Don't Forget the Fit
Within the world of broken suits, there can be so many factors to consider that you end up forgetting the importance of the proper fit. Especially with your jacket, you don't want to have a blazer that doesn't fit comfortably or looks too tight or loose. A proper cut will ensure that you can maximize the look of all the colors and patterns you choose.
Choose the Right Occasions
Stick to casual occasions where Spezzato would be welcomed. Job interviews and other formal events are not the right locations for broken suits. Wear a full suit in a neutral color for these occasions. It's good to enjoy yourself when embarking on your journey, but don't forget menswear basics on your path.
Confidence is key when embarking on any journey, especially when stepping into realms requiring you to make a statement by being different from tradition. Pulling off a broken suit requires all the tips we stated above, but don't sugarcoat the importance of adding confidence to the equation. Wear your creation with confidence, and no matter the color suit or the material you choose, the right attitude is the final touch for an outfit you are sure to make a statement with.