“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Some days I just want to step out of the house and make looking like a million bucks seem effortless. There’s an Italian word for this idea: Sprezzatura. It’s an air of nonchalance toward something that is full of “chalance.” Or, as Castiglione says himself about the self-coined word, it’s “an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions” (1). And let me tell you, lookin’ this good ain’t that easy.
Ha. Kidding, kidding. This vintage dress is actually one of those garments in your closet that is easy to put on and easy to wear. The true sprezzatura—in the ease of this garment’s elegance—is the design, construction, and material. I bought the dress at a thrift store, without trying it on, thinking I’d have to alter it. It sat in my sewing box for probably a year before I got to it. When I put the dress on to see how I was going to have to alter it, I was surprised to find the dress transform me into a creature of simple elegance. That is the beauty of a well made garment, sprinkled with a little luck (since it was my perfect size).
The dress has no tags, nor remnants of tags, so my hat’s off to whomever made it long ago in a sewing room that was maybe a little bit like my own.
So, I still haven’t gotten the hang of how often I’ll be able to post—especially since I am half a week late from my projected date of posting. Ah well, as Ways of Vesture develops, I’ll keep you updated. That’s all for now!
(1) Castiglione, Baldesar. The Book of the Courtier: The Singleton Translation. Ed. Daniel Javitch. New York: Norton, 2002.