Monday, October 15, 2007

Ice Cream Men: Moda à la Mode

In general, I would say that most Italians pay a lot of attention to their appearance, they tend to iron their trousers and shirts, they usually shine their shoes, the unkempt look is rather hard to find 'round these parts. There is one group of people who, while far from sloppy, are perversely entertaining. In the summer, many middle-aged men (never the elderly and never young hipsters) walk around with well-ironed bright or pastel shirt and pant combos that are much better suited to ice-cream cones than pants.

Now. you'll say, That's mean spirited; what did that guy ever do to you?" And you'll be absolutely right, I felt terrible pangs of guilt at taking this guys picture just to publicly expose him as the personification of a black raspberry - strawberry ice cream cone. The black bar over his eyes is to, in some small way, protect his privacy.

And these two, were thinking I jumped in front of them to get a good shot at the cathedral behind them when in reality, I just was stunned by their color coordination. Here we have lemon ice cream two ways: with custard on the left and with "puffo"* on the right.

This guy had no idea I was snapping his fior di latte** - mango sorbet ensemble.

Here's the coup de grace: kiwi ice cream with watermelon sorbet.

*"Puffo" ice cream in Italy is made with an eye toward kids. Its intense light blue color is meant to remind them of the Puffi or Smurfs, as they're called in the States.

**Fior di latte is ice cream at its purest, just cream, milk and sugar.
Music to dress like an Ice Cream Man by: the quasi 1950's do-wop song, "Ice Cream Man" by Jonathan Richman.


Blogger ML said...

Too funny!! I work with a guy who dresses like those men in the pictures. Even his shoes match. So, if he's wearing a peach colored outfit, his shoes would be peach too.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Ml, Yep. You do really have to hand it to them, they put a lot of time and thought into their wardrobes. I imagine that if this were your norm, American men would look like a bunch of disgusting slobs. (and some women too, myself included)

7:46 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

Oh my.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Stelle in Italia said...

This cracks me up, because we've been noticing the same thing for quite some time. :) But I never really thought of it as gelato flavours--you're right though! Just another tribute to their love of gelato perhaps :)?

At my wedding in the states, our photographer took tons of photos of our Italian guests--mostly of their orange pants and lime green shirts (in fact, one picture is of one of the guys--from the waist down. he was wearing creamsicle orange pants!)

ah well, i'm sure my lack of ability to dress like an italian gets me laughs as well, but it's nice to have something to laugh AT as well :)!


5:16 PM  
Blogger Figs, Bay, Wine said...

hehehe such sprezzatura. What fabulous photos.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Maddy and Figs, He he! I felt like such a troublemaker taking these pictures.

Hi Jackie, Creamsicles! That's it! When my parents first came to visit I'd walk around downtown with my Dad and have orange pant sitings. It was the creamsicle orange pants that first got me thinking of ice cream fashion.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Funny! I had to call ECG over to laugh at it with me, especially since he just came back from Rome commenting on the same phenomenon.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh god that's funny. I really have nothing to say beyond that. Thanks so much for sharing Susan!

2:33 PM  
Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I noticed the orange pants last time I was in Rome. That is a bold color choice. ha

12:41 AM  
Blogger J at said...

While I'm not really liking the look, I still think it's nice that they aren't frumpy. Guess I'm tired of so many frumpy Americans! :)

12:36 AM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

yes, we have many men here in chapel hill who do the same thing. i often think they look like "dips."

9:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Found your site while looking for a Greek menu idea and loved the earlier video post on veggies - just checked back and got a load of the men's color combos - I'm afraid if my 70 year old folks saw this, not only would my Dad in New Jersey/States be wearing these colors, but my Mom would be color coordinated! AGGH!

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very funny post. I know I'm a bit late commenting :)

5:48 PM  
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