The much-coveted title of ‘most stylish country in the world’ is a point upon which many disagree. The British, Americans, Scandinavians and French have all impacted menswear greatly, influencing the choices of the style aware and style conscious. However, for me, the men of Italy storm away with the title. Their ethos is an amalgamation of simplicity, quality, eccentricity and tradition. The resulting factor is an extremely recognizable and definitive fashion, which has remained relatively unchanged for decades.
Firstly, the essentials of the Italian wardrobe are to be regarded. The starting point for me is a slim cut, single-breasted navy suit. An essential for any man’s wardrobe, this extremely versatile staple is the focal point of Italian formal wear.
When accessorizing, the ethos is simplicity. Block coloured, dark ties, and simple pocket squares sharpen the look and complete this Italian uniform. For shoes, dark brown tasseled loafers or monk straps are favoured.
When dressing down, the Italian’s inject a measure of eccentricity to their outfits. The colours, although relatively sedate, become brighter, with splashes of red, purple, orange and yellow surfacing. Lightweight knitwear when teamed with slim cut cotton chinos, and suede loafers or driving shoes, is the recipe one is to follow to achieve the dressed down Italian look.
The matter of style is subjective, with differing tastes resulting in differing opinions of what looks best. What I believe is the most appealing factor of the Italian style is its longevity. It is very much a style, not a fashion. It remains unchanged, with the male uniform being extremely similar throughout generations. Their focus on fit and quality, rather than current trends makes for a far more suited and tailored look, in which the men look comfortable and confident. It is the resulting confidence and style that I think sets the Italians above the rest.