As I browse my days away on the various menswear or lifestyle centric Blogs on which I regularly lurk, I have come across this word “sprezzatura”. It seems to be used to describe a certain kind of Italian style, slightly flamboyant, conventional but highly personal and individualistic, a flower in the buttonhole, a splash of collar at the ankle or in the breastpocket.
I tried to translate it but it didn't help, ("sprezz" translates as contempt).
The word is coined by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of The Courtier (written 1508-1528) where he says
I have found quite a universal rule which in this matter seems to me valid above all other, and in all human affairs whether in word or deed: and that is to avoid affectation in every way possible as though it were some rough and dangerous reef; and (to pronounce a new word perhaps) to practice in all thing a certain sprezzatura so as to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.
In this translation sprezzatura is read as "nonchalance". I’m not sure that’s how the word is now being used or even if that translation is accurate. I suspect that sprezzatura is one of those words like gestalt or zeitgeist that have no immediate equivalent in English, representing as they do a concept or idea as much as a single, knowable entity. Still, I’m striving to achieve it (as are we all, I suspect). When and if I get there, I'll let you know...