Interview - talking style with the Suited Traveller

Interview with the Suited Traveller

We have long been an admirer of Luigi also known as @thesuitedtraveller.

His style is his own, unique and always interesting. He uses a variety of colours and tones but always with an overall consistency of style and taste.

How does he do it?

The Suited Traveller
Photo: The Suited Traveller

We've chatted with Luigi about shoes and style over the years.  Luigi owns several pairs of Thomas Bird shoes. He likes our wholecut oxfords, and always chooses the more unusual colours, like plum, olive green and blue.

This goes back to a time a few years ago when we already had about 8 colour options, and we decided to try a bright plum.

It was a little wild.

We thought at first that maybe it wouldn't be too commercial, but Luigi showed it was and soon we had to plan in a second and third production run.

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird plum wholecuts with a blue pin-striped suit

Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird plum wholecuts with a blue pin-striped suit.

Of course, shoes are just part of the story. We have been inspired by his whole
style. It encourages us all to be a little more bold, adventurous and expressive.

We wanted to find out more about:

  • how he got this style and who had inspired him
  • how we goes about putting together a new outfit
  • how he mixes colours and  fabrics
  • how he chooses his accessories, down to his socks and pocket squares
  • are there any useful tips for the rest of us?

So we decided to ask. 

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom purple wholecuts with medallion toe
Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom purple wholecuts with medallion toe.

Suited Traveller, who were your style inspirations when you were growing up?

Suited Traveller: "I have never had a specific person as a style inspiration. Maybe because I tend not to imitate others. However, I was fascinated by characters that use elegance as a way to express their cool personality. Actors like Marcello Mastroianni, Roger Moore or Jude Law."


Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird green wholecuts with a brown suit

Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird green wholecuts with a brown suit.

Can you tell us a little about how your sense of personal style has developed over the years?

Suited Traveller: "My sense of style has developed with the aim to reach as much as possible the Italian concept of 'Sprezzatura'. Important is that you feel relaxed in your outfit even when you wear a formal suit: you can even cook pasta wearing it."

"Made to measure suits brought a huge improvement in my style as I could express much better my style and taste. Another improvement factor is the introduction of patina for shoes: an outfit can dramatically change by using more interesting patinas. The last and not least, the use of accessories like pocket squares, lapel pins, cufflinks or socks gives the possibility to modify the total outfit."

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom blue wholecuts with a red prince of Wales suit

Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom blue wholecuts with a red Prince of Wales suit.

Do you have any rules for combining colours or does anything go?

Suited Traveller: "The main rule is to combine colours that are 'friends' in a chromatic way or that are able to create an interesting contrast. This combination depends also on the patterns and the fabrics as well."

Detail - Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom blue wholecuts

Photo: Detail - Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom blue wholecuts.

Is there a process or checklist you go through when you put together a new outfit?

Suited Traveller: "It depends on different elements: the weather, the mood, the occasion and the location. Because it is not only a question to combine colours, but also the pattern and fabrics. All of them play an important role in building an outfit."

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird plum wholecuts with a pale green suit

Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird plum wholecuts with a pale green suit.

How do you decide which accessories and colours to use, like socks, a pocket square/handkerchief and shoes?.

Suited Traveller: "There are different ways. The most usual is to start from the suit and the shirt. Then I can create a contrast by matching the colours of shoes and the tie. The socks can be combined to the trouser colours or to the shoes one, or even both by using 2colours socks."

"The pocket square must not be exactly the same fabric and pattern as the tie! This is so 80s. The pochette colour can remind the one of the shirt, or the one of the tie. I love contrast collar shirts, therefore my pocket square can refer to the the collar/body shirt colours. Even cufflinks must follow the mood of the entire look."

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird green wholecuts with a pale blue windowpane suit

Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird green wholecuts with a pale blue windowpane suit.

Do you have any tips for people who want to up their style, but have a limited budget? For example should they spend more on the tailoring or the quality of the fabrics? Any advice?

Suited Traveller: "Big advice is : avoid the big brands. You just pay for the brand and not for the quality. Regarding suits I would go for made to measure suits. It is affordable but the result can be excellent. This is a very good compromising of quality and tailoring. Same advice for shoes. Do not bother about brands. Good quality shoes with a cool patina can make your outfit unique."

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom blue wholecuts with a grey/blue windowpane suit

Photo: Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird custom blue wholecuts with a grey/blue windowpane suit.

How many suits do you own?

Suited Traveller: "More then 40...".

You are The Suited Traveller. Where is your favourite place that you have travelled to?

Suited Traveller: "Excluding Italy, my 2 favourite places are Greece and Portugal. The 2 countries that still keep their tradition in the society. Anyway, I avoid places for mass tourism."

And where is still on your wish list to visit?

Suited Traveller: "Too many countries: for sure Japan, Mexico and Brazil."

 

Suited Traveller wears Thomas Bird

Suited Traveller wearing Thomas Bird plum wholecuts with a blue windowpane suit


Grazie mille to @thesuitedtraveller for sharing his thoughts and tips.

And thanks to for reading. We hope you enjoyed it.

If you have any comments please let us know below.

All the best till next time,

Sprezzatura!

Thomas Bird

All photo credits: instagram.com/thesuitedtraveller

PS: If you liked this post, please share it.

And you can see lots more photos of our shoes and boots being worn on:

Instagram: instagram.com/thomasbirdshoes

Pinterest: pinterest.co.uk/thomasbirdshoes/pins

Other sources/links : wiktionary.org/wiki/sprezzatura

2 comments

Daniel Richardson

Italians instinctively know how to look dapper. You’ve got a new follower on Insta!

Toby

The guy’s an inspiration for sure!

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