Styling like an Italian Gentleman

Undoubtedly, the Italians are true dandies and take pride and care in what they wear. Fashion is part of their being and the Italian style is perfect for pretty much all seasons throughout the year due to its professional and stylish look

    

      

Milan
       
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Take a tour of Via Gesu (the shopping street for men in Milan) on a Saturday afternoon and we promise you that you will see more well-dressed men than you have seen anywhere in the world. Attentive to detail, obsessed with tailoring and willing to spend plenty of fine garments, the Italian gent in Milan has an answer to any men's fashion query. Made to perfection, superb dressmaking is a religion in the fashion capital of Italy. The most important clothing brands in the city such as Canali, Corneliani, Ermenegildo Zegna and Pal Zileri are the pillars of men's fashion in Milan. If you want to dress with elegance like a Milanese have a look below to get an idea of the finest patterns and styles to complete your outfit.
      
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Milan is both the financial and fashion capital of Italy. There is an interesting and pleasant mix of fashion, business and leisure in this city with plenty of men who prefer to dress more daring whilst others who prefer to don a casual look. Not to say that any elegance or style is reduced in a casual look with the Milan gent.
The Milanese definitely use touches of the classic English styles with florals and paisleys, the traditional patterns that Englishmen prefer.
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The key is to incorporate trending styles into your own physique and style to create a unique and trendy getup at the same time. The Milanese are discreet and indeed fine gentlemen, opting to have functional and sophisticated wardrobes. There is an obsession with detail, multiple patterns and quality garments that defines their dress sense but functionality in every day life.
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As for colours, navy blue, brown, white, cream and black are essential. In terms of fabrics, the Italian mix between bold patterns and traditional fabrics is a fine art and creates a special balance of finely crafted styles that you can only find in Italy.
     
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A vest to match the suit is also essential, preferably in the same fabric and colour. Another way to offset the look and create that classic Italian look is to pair your getup with some crocodile shoes and a matching bag. A small, subtle detail that should not be underestimated is the type of socks you wear. This is your chance to add a little flair that goes against the grain and to add touches of colour the go well with other accessories in your outfit, from your tie to your shirt.
     
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The Milanese dressing style is classic by nature and pays special attention to the sartorial cuts of suits and fabrics. For example, if the outfit is for an event that is more casual a notch or peak lapel is appropriate. If the event is formal however, you can opt for a shawl lapel which exudes elegance given its simplistic cut. Pay special attention to the correct proportions of the cut of the lapel based on your own proportions and other accessories too.
      

Florence

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When completing your look the majority of your time goes into choosing the shirt, jacket, pants, shoes and other accessories. This key accessory and the one that draws the focus of attention is the necktie, which can make or break the entire ensemble depending on its design and fluidity with the rest of the outfit.

       

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The Florence style is neat, elegant and nearly always tailored. To emulate the Florence style you will have to be a bit more conventional and formal with colours and fabrics. Dress in a formal way by choosing classic paisley ties, clean cut suits, traditional patterns such as herringbone and solid ties. If you're ever in doubt and choosing between suit styles or men's accessories, go for the classic and traditional style if you wish to emulate the Florence style. If you are still unsure of what you should wear in Florence, approach a more formal look over casual style, as this is definitely appreciated amongst Italians.

   

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Italians tend to consider the whole ensemble as a single unit instead of individual accessories. Whilst one bold-patterned tie might initially seem misplaced, together with a clean cut suit and a simple white shirt the piece will speak for itself. The stylish Italian gent will not be too impressed by careless dressing or mistakes such as wrinkled shirts and incorrect tailoring. Rather, an appreciation is given to styling that has been carefully considered to match the individual's temperament and make a statement to the Italian flair.

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If you wear a suit in Florence make sure you put on a tie too. It is very likely that you should skip the tracksuit or the sports pants for your day to day travels and events, as they will look very informal and misplaced. Pack casual business clothes for your vacation if you're attending work related business and have your casual items when you're traveling and on vacation.

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Avoid loose and ill-fitting clothing too. A Florentine favours fitted clothing or at least clothing that matches the individual's aesthetic instead of a "one size fits all" approach. Although the stylish Italian gent wears other casual clothing for other occasions such as jeans or chinos, they carefully combine them with a classy shirt to add a slightly more formal look. When in Italy, an excellent styling choice is a white shirt, a black or navy jacket and black pants fitted with the darkest brown shoes and a silk tie. For daytime events, sunglasses will certainly add a stylish point of difference and a more laid back effect too.

    

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A light gabardine is often a perfect choice for unexpected weather changes. In the winter, you'll need a warmer coat in the north and you'll probably need a hat, scarf and warm gloves. A down jacket or vest can is probably your best bet if you're traveling to Italy in Winter, but there's no reason why you can't add your own flair to each outfit too. A pair of leather boots combined with your trench coat or down jacket can still be an elegant look to keep your feet and yourself warm during the colder months. Just remember to be comfortable and have clothing that is functional.

    

Rome

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If you are in Rome then you better know how to choose the right clothes and outfits. Rome is one of the places where you have to learn to coordinate your clothes to look neat and styled well. The selection will depend on the occasion and the place you go of course, given your day to day activities. Dressing well for a casual outing will not be the same as for a meeting that would demand elegant and formal attire. For a night out in Rome the choice is yours - go for a formal, tailored look to be safe no matter what.

 

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One of the most common confusions and points to ponder when dressing is choosing the right shirts that will complement the tie. You can either coordinate the shirt to be white but with touches of colours that appear on the tie to be throughout the shirt (such as a fine pinstripe shirt that has the same blue that appears on the tie) or you can always safely go for a plain white shirt. This is your best bet if you're unsure as pairing the wrong shirt and tie can create a conflicting array of colours without a clean focal point. 

      

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You must also know how to correctly pair a shirt with or without a tie. Some shirts have the brightest, bold patterns and striking colours that work best without a tie. If your shirt it for a formal event and you still need something to dress up your look, opt for a tie that is a solid colour in a darker tone to the rest of the shirt. For example, a dark navy tie will work well with a bold coloured shirt as it will not draw attention away from the shirt but add a touch of formalness without overpowering the shirt. Also look at the width of the tie and if you can, try to match up the width of the tie approximately to the width of the lapel on a suit jacket. It can create a more balanced look in a subtle way.

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Classic ties are not the only accessories you can use to complement your look. Bow ties have made a remarkable comeback in the men's fashion scene and now they're are thousands of patterns, colours and styles to choose from that can make your outfit look complete and classy. Bow ties are ideal for relaxed occasions, outdoor weddings and other casual events. When combined with blazers and coloured shirts and a vest, the bow tie does it's job to stand out from the rest of the garments and provide a subtle touch of difference to the eye. If you pair a vest, a jacket and pants with a self tie bow tie you would definitely have gone the extra mile to create a look that is elegant, classy but also still stylish.

       

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To always dress like an Italian gent, a suit should always be finished with a pair of cufflinks. It is one of the basic garments for men that can go forgotten, but when paired up with the right outfit, it adds an accent of class that is difficult to leave out once you start wearing them. Always make sure they're not too large and not too small, as once it grabs your attention they can make or break the overall look.

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When tailoring your suits, a rule that you should keep in mind is that the first of the two buttons should be over the navel. When you have a three button suit, the middle button should be around the navel area to balance out the look. It can also be a bit above. You should not just use any type of sock with the suit you wear. Although they're generally hidden, when you walk or sit down your socks will inevitably show. You should generally choose socks that have the same colour as the pants and with sufficient length so that the leg is not visible when you are sitting. The care you give to the choice of your socks is important for extremely formal events or work meetings, however if you're out and about or infusing your own style, a bright coloured sock or fun sock will be your best bet.

    

If you want to dress like an authentic Italian, you must take care of the accessories you choose: a pocket square in your pocket, a scarf on your neck that replaces a tie, a bag or backpack to carry everything - these other accessories are vital for the function of your day-to-day activities and should not go forgotten. Always try to pair up similar tones and be consistent (e.g. dark brown shoes for a light brown pant and black shoes for a navy or mid-toned blue suit).

        

We also insist on checking the fit and flair of the pants that you choose to wear - you have to choose the correct width and length to dress elegantly but also choose one that also matches your look. Wearing very wide pants that are ill-fitting will not only look imbalanced but will also make you look shorter than you actually are. The pants must be adjusted to the waist too so that you can wear them without the belt. The width of the legs needs to ideally be snug in the derriere and slightly looser in the thighs, without squeezing too much. When suits are too tight, the fabric pulls too much on the seams and it can begin to look ill-fitted for your body. Always tailor your suit to match your body. As for the length of the bottom of the pants, they should fall a little on the back of the shoe, perhaps less than an inch. The front can be a little bit higher than the shoe if you wish to show off your socks, however generally pants that just sit on the top of the shoe but not too low is ideal, as anything that is too long can immediately look too ill-fitting.

     

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Conclusion

     

 These are some of the recommendations that you should follow to see yourself dress as well as an Italian gent. However, they are not the only tips and tricks, there are other things that you should also take into account.

                                     

Have you heard about these guides above and any other tips on dressing like an Italian gentleman? Tell us what you think about them and if you would like to add any more to the list.

Peter Marshall is a legend amongst the men of OTAA. Sharp dressed to a point, only his wit has more edge.
An English gentleman, lover of business and an avid blogger