Perfect Italian Style—Summed Up in 7 Must-Have Items
Here’s how to look cooler than you ever imagined.
Fact: Italians are the most stylish men in the world. The key to their strong grip on that stylish title is what is often referenced as sprezzatura—or, for those in the know, sprezza. Loosely defined as “a certain nonchalance,” Italians follow some simple rules: choose quality over quantity, use a tailor (always), and be bold in an upscale yet understated manner.
And lastly, a slight embellishment—a loosened monk strap here, a bracelet there—is appreciated. It’s a way to let your personality shine though during the week as well as on holiday. Once you start adhering to these rules, you’ll be pulling off sartorial sprezza before you know it. Enthusiastic hand-gestures optional. Buona fortuna!
Paul Evans Burton Double Monk Strap With Cap Toe
$399; Buy now at paulevansny.com.
The double-monk is a favorite among many of the Italian “peacocks” you may see wondering around during particularly fashionable times in Milan, Florence, or Rome. (You know: Milan Fashion Week, or the ne plus ultra of menswear affairs, Pitti Uomo.) It’s a style that has been around for centuries and, while it was once reserved for only the most highfalutin of occasions, these have become a shoe staple that looks great no matter what you wear it with. Slip it on with your most beat-up jeans or your most buttoned-up business attire and you’ll be set. The only rule? Leave the top strap loose—this breaks the formality, and Italians don’t need formal to mean business.
Paul Evans McQueen Driving Loafer
$299; Buy now at paulevansny.com.
Crafted in butter-soft suede, these shoes are not, in fact, made for walking. Almost 80 years ago, these were invented for the Italian man who wanted to keep a sturdy grip on the gas pedal while driving—what else—an Italian roadster. Hence the name “driving.” These days, the style is less reserved for racing rebels and more seen as a status symbol. In other words, why walk when you can drive—or even better, be driven? ($299)
Brioni Stretch-Cotton Flat-Front Pants
$725; Buy now at bergdorfgoodman.com
Bold need not mean bright. You can make a statement just by wearing white, as long as it’s white pants. Think back to just about any stylish Italian film you’ve seen and, chances are, you’ll see the protagonist wearing a white pair of trousers at some point. They’ll be tailored to perfection, of course, and worn in extremely casual settings—to really hammer the Italian mien home. So, if you’re going to make the jump, follow suit, and pick up slacks from the Italian made-to-measure go to, Brioni. If you’re going to do Italian, do it right.($725)
Loro Piana Blue Mélange Virgin Wool, Silk, and Linen-Blend Blazer
$2,350; Buy now at mrporter.com
The Italians have practically turned wearing linen into an art form, and few folks do linen better (or softer!) than the design maestros at Loro Piana. By wearing linen—or in this case, a blend of countless luxury threads—you’re putting sprezzatura to practice. In the unofficially Italian color of choice, navy, you need this in your closet if you plan on fooling anyone into thinking you’ve learned anything from the Italian style guides. ($2,350)
Prada Braided Leather Bracelet
$250; Buy now at barneys.com
Stylish Italians don’t shy away from a little flare, so long as it’s just a little. Don’t think of that garish Versace gold dripping all over the place; think more along the lines of this simple yet stylish braided detail—a perfect pairing for your timepiece of choice. Made by Prada, one of the exalted designer houses in Italy, rocking this bracelet shows anyone who that you know exactly how to pull it all together, in a no-fuss, no-frills sprezza sort of way. ($250)
Berluti Leather-Trimmed Cotton-Piqué Polo Shirt
$440; Buy now at mrporter.com
A last minute trip to Lake Como calls for inimitable casual attire: bright white polo, bright blue blazer, and a pair of laissez faire driving shoes (see above). It’s the perfect outfit to rock while kicking back on a shorefront credenza—or a certain famous actor’s yacht. (Invites not included.) ($440)
Salvatore Ferragamo Logo Print Scarf
$340; Buy now at ferragamo.com
Wander around any Italian town for an afternoon and you’ll see more men wearing all-season scarves than you ever thought possible. This lightweight whisper of a wool-silk blend scarf, like this perfectly blue one, from Italy’s esteemed Ferragamo family, cuts the chill no matter what you’re up to—whether that’s sipping Pinot at an al fresco café or casually strolling through a history-steeped, moonlit street.($340)
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