other worlds

Why should your pen match your outfit

In some previous posts, we talked from time to time how the combination of things is determining the success in life. And the combination of the different elements in our outfit is determining if we look awesome or awful. As we love to say, the devil is in the detail. In this case, let’s analyse 3 outfits and the respective matching writing instruments. More important, why these writing instruments suit the one or other style.

How to chose

First of all, let’s start with some basics on how to determine what to wear in general. Our outfit is just another way to communicate. I remember a novel written by the Swiss poet Gottfried Keller and published in 1874, “Kleider machen Leute” (literally translated “Clothes makes the man”). The story is about the tailor’s apprentice Wenzel Strapinski, who dresses well despite his poverty. He arrives in a foreign city called Goldach and is believed to be a Polish count because of his appearance. After he has failed to clear up the confusion out of shyness, he tries to flee. But then a young lady, daughter of the councillor, enters the scene. The two fall in love with each other, whereupon the tailor continues to play the role of the count that was forced upon him. A spurned rival ensures that the alleged impostor is exposed. A scandal breaks out at the engagement party. Strapinski flees, but his bride finds him, saves him from freezing and confronts him. When she has convinced herself that his love is genuine, she confesses to him and enforces the marriage. The tailor founds a studio with her fortune and brings it to prosperity and prestige, thus proving the proverb “clothes make the man” to be true.

What have we learned? It’s important to consider what do we communicate through our outfit. And this is heavily dependent from our “audience”, in other words, by the activities we’re supposed to attend and the people the will surround us. That’s the reason why we avoid to be under- or overdressed. And, believe me, the line between being well dressed or under- or overdressed is very thin. Think of it as a scoring system; the more you add to your outfit, such as colours, patterns, accessories like watches or jewels, the more points you add up and by consequence, the more you could do wrong. So it’s very important to keep the harmony between all the elements. With this in mind, let’s go through 3 outfits: formal, business casual and casual.

Formal – where less is more

The Formal outfit is for sure the one with the most elements in terms of stuff you wear. Jacket, tie, “pochette” and so on. So therefore also the one where you could potentially be overdressed if you put too many accessories on or the accessories are too colourful. For example, you would avoid to wear a Hublot Big Bang Ceramic and Rose Gold with a pinstripe suit as well as a colourful tie and a patterned shirt, wouldn’t you? Same principle applies to the pen. When you have to wear formal the most appropriate writing instruments are the simplest ones, such as a Caran d’Ache Léman slim black ebony, a Pelikan M1000 or a Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Macassar Medium. In this case, the fountain pen is the absolutely most judicious choice since your outfit and your pen will communicate the same message. As well as your watch will probably do being a lovely vintage piece or in any case “thin” watch with ideally a leather strap that will underline the formality of the occasion you have to attend. Another important thing to keep in mind when you are carrying your pen being dressed formally, is that the pen has to be as light as possible. Otherwise it will deform the perfect lines of your bespoke suit since a heavy writing instrument will pull down the inside pocket of your jacket.

Business Casual – nerdy doesn’t mean sloppy

Nowadays, even in very conservative businesses, the usage of the suit and tie in the office has been vastly abandoned even if I personally think, that this it’s a pity. Fact is, that with less elements in the outfit, you have less possibilities to set an accent of color or a patterned pocket square. However, you can still set a point with your the accessories you wear or carry with you. Starting from a nice sporty watch such as a Audemars Piquet Royal Oak 41mm, a Rolex Daytona or a Patek Philippe Nautilus, make sure that your outfit reflects your mood entirely. It might be more dynamism or rather creativity. Or, even better, optimism. Even if we all use our computers or tablets to work, a nice notebook and a nice pen will set you on another level in the boardroom. Try to believe it. In this case, we can dare a little more and use more colourful pen or a more sophisticated one compared to a formal outfit. Also, even if I prefer to use also a fountain pen in the office, a rollerball will also do his job in this case, particularly if your colleagues are not yet used to see fountain pens *smile*. So why not go for a Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire Gold Leaf Fountain Pen, a Aurora Cento or a Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Demonstrator Fountain Pen? In particular this last one, a so called demonstrator due to its transparent body, will be an eye-catcher for people interested in mechanics.

Casual – courage changes everything

As my friends at Porsche love to say, courage changes everything in life. Sometimes in life we need to leave our comfort zone to get to the next step. And this is exactly what happens to many people when they combine the words “casual” and “fountain pen”. We have to admit, that a fountain pen might be seen as too much, or to use the words above, overdressed, when we are in our free time. But there are without any doubt fountain pens that will suit our casual outfit simply as many sophisticated watches do. Sometimes we just need to be a little bit braver. Or do you really want to tell me that you wouldn’t wear your Hublot Big Bang, Panerai LuminorDue or your brand new Omega Ploprof 1200M on a ride with your motorbike, on your boat or at the beach? Of course you would! And exactly for these occasions and many more, let us suggest you some beautiful fountain pens that will make your casual outfit. Let’s start with an incredible piece, the Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock Limited Edition 3000pcs. A massive instrument that has a finish that I have rarely seen on a pen. The Edelberg Tachys with its titanium nib and, last but not least, the Montegrappa Spirito di Stella Limited Edition.

Send the right message

I would like to thank Sartoria Amarcord for the collaboration on this post by giving some precious inputs on how to properly set up an outfit for every occasion. Remember the novel by Gottfried Keller, you send out a message with your outfit and with every detail that belongs to it. Make sure it’s the right one.



Pelikan M1000 – EUR 630.-

Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Macassar Medium – CHF 695.-

Caran d’Ache Léman slim black ebony – CHF 540.-

Business Casual

Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire Gold Leaf Fountain Pen – CHF 1’840.-

Aurora Cento – EUR 2’180.-

Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Demonstrator Fountain Pen – CHF 260.-


Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock Limited Edition 3000 – CHF 3’480.-

Edelberg Tachys – CHF 1’000.-

Montegrappa Spirito di Stella Limited Edition – CHF 700.- (sold out)

where to buy: styleofzug.ch, Graf-von-faber-castell.ch, carandache.ch, montblanc.com, aurorapen.it, edelberg.swiss

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