When it comes to dressing up, Italian men are the perfect sartorial measuring sticks in judging your personal style. It’s a known fact that Italian men have an enviable style, which is not only seen on the runways at Milan fashion week, but on the city’s cobblestone streets. One cannot miss their bold use of color and slim-fitting clothes. Quite simply, it’s conditioning, and it’s in their blood. They grew up going to tailors and are familiar with everything from cut to fit to fabric.
Style “is more important to Italian men than it is to men of other countries,” Saks Fifth Avenue president and chief merchandising officer Ron Frasch told The Wall Street Journal. “They’re raised from a young age to appreciate quality and design.” With that in mind, here’s how you can dress like a stylish Italian gentleman.
1. Know your fit and know a fantastic tailor
Forbes notes that perfect Italian style is all about fit and being unafraid of tight-fitting clothes. The seams on their blazers and shirts connect precisely where their shoulders end and their sleeves join. If you’re trying to perfect the art of wearing clothes that fit well, here are a few tips: Shirts should fit close enough to your body but not so tight that the buttons pop. There should be no billowing or muffin top when you tuck your shirt in, either. And when it comes to pants, Italian men have the fantastic habit of having their pants hemmed properly. Often, they’re hemmed to touch the top of your shoe or just an inch above your ankle. You can also opt for just past your ankle.
If you’re having a hard time finding a great fit off the rack, try custom tailoring with all pieces. Trust us, it’s worth it.
2. Try some unconventional accessories
The pocket square is not only the quintessential confident man’s accessory, it’s also the Italian man’s go-to. Although basic pocket squares are white, we recommend trying ones in different colors, patterns, and textures for a more fashion-forward look.
Try this quick and easy guide from The Art of Manliness on how to fold a pocket square. Make sure they show at least an inch outside and above your pocket. If you’re looking for more accessories to add to a casual look, try wearing a Panama hat in the summer and switching to a fedora or newsboy cap for the colder weather months.
3. Try the shoes, no sock look
Staying on the topic of tailored pants: Having them hemmed an inch above the ankle is the perfect opportunity to try out the Italian shoes sans socks look, as featured in Esquire. It is an instantly chic look to try. If you’re going to the office, try wearing a pair of thin-soled derbies, or if you’re going out for the weekend, try a penny or horsebit loafer. Pair both perfectly with tapered pants.
4. Embrace color
Finally, you have the option to go bold or opt for hints of color in your outfit. Although you may not be able to pull it off with the ease of an Italian man just yet, start small and work your way up to a lot of color, whether it’s by means of a tie or a belt. If you’re feeling particularly brave, try a bright pair of loafers or a color blazer to throw on with a neutral color pant.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be dressing like an Italian gentleman in no time.