Trying to add "a sprinkle of flava" to your wardrobe is the most dangerous game this side of hunting Ice-T. Get your sprinkle from a designer who wisely avoids dumping entire flava dumptrucks on its clothes: Rare. Though far from conservative, Rare's tailored pants, button-downs, knitwear, etc, all show admirable restraint, especially for a company based in Italy -- where the current patchwork trend is so jumbled-looking, its adherents look like kaleidoscopes of stupidity. Everything's made from top-notch materials, e.g. the knits, which use a wool/cotton/stretch knit combo to maximize comfort while minimizing sheep nudity. To this foundation, Rare adds subtle touches, ranging from miniscule, colorful breaks in otherwise solid patterns, on up to insignias, patches (e.g., the "Air Peace 1965" w/ eagle), and a skull-and-bones adorned with wings and flyboy goggles -- honoring Italy's rich tradition of wartime pilot fatalities. Because they can't help themselves, some pieces in Rare's catalog cross back over into a Euro-garishness appropriate only for the discotheque, or to warn hunters of your presence. Unless, of course, the hunted is you.
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