Joe Rigotti Keeps Things Classy With His Always-Growing Suit Collection

Too much is never enough for this event designer, who’s not afraid to shake things up with a loud floral print.

Occupation: Event Designer, Accent On Cincinnati
Style: Always suited

Photograph by Ryan Back

How does your career in event planning intersect with your style?

My personal style is a little crazy. If it has a bright color and louder pattern, [I’m] instantly attracted to it. I came to Cincinnati via [UC’s] CCM through musical theater, so I’ve always had a very performance-based mentality. My personal style is my way of performing, so I’m kind of always putting myself on stage. This is going to sound horrible—I don’t mind people looking at me.

How do you want people to react?

I just want people to enjoy it. I love things that make people do a double take. I sometimes dress a little too over the top for a situation. Like at a black-tie dinner, I’m wearing a giant floral tuxedo. It’s two-fold. One, because I know I look good. Two, if I’m producing an event, people can find me. Instead of being one of 600 men in a black tuxedo, they’re like, Find the guy in the floral pants.

You own a lot of suits.

When I bought my condo, the one prerequisite was closet space. My wardrobe is like my kids, my pets, that kind of thing. It’s a huge hobby. I have 150 suits and sport coats, and probably 200 pairs of pants. If I like it, I’ll buy it. People [will ask], Where will you wear this? I’m like, I’ll find a place. I’ll wear it to Kroger; I don’t care as long as I have it and the spirit moves me.

Do you have a favorite suit?

I don’t. You can’t have a favorite child. I do mentally keep a record of where I wear things, because, God forbid, I have some friends who will remind me they’ve seen [an outfit] before, which is part of the reason why I’m always adding to my wardrobe. I go to so many different events and I want to make sure I look new and fresh.

Are you always dressed to the nines?

Sometimes sixes, sometimes nines. If my friends and I go out on a Friday or Saturday night, even if it’s just a neighborhood bar or restaurant, I like to wear a sport coat. Mine just happen to be a little louder, shinier, or sparklier than most people’s. But I also do it because I have no shoulders, so wearing fitted clothing, especially sport coats and suits, gives me a shape that I don’t have. It gives me shoulders and just makes me feel better in my presentation.

Does dressing up get uncomfortable?

I feel more comfortable dressed up than I do dressed down—jeans and a sweatshirt [is] obviously not my ideal look. I think people mistake comfort for sloppiness, which is a huge thing that drives me crazy. Like airplane travel. Why do we have to wear our pajamas on an airplane?

Are you ever afraid your style is too loud?

There’s nothing wrong with showing off a bit as long as it’s appropriate. I don’t mind walking into a sea of conservative people in one of my loud suits. There are all kinds of gawkers and people who think it’s over the top. I don’t care; you’re never going to change those people.

Facebook Comments