Pitti Immagine Uomo 92

A Guide to looking like an Italian.

Words by Billy George
Photos by Enrico Labriola, David Nyanzi,
Chris Choi, Marco Marroni, Phil Oh, Robert Spangle, India Hartford Davis

Welcome to Florence, the home of the flamboyant Pitti peacocks, menswear's most coveted event in the calendar. It's a mecca, but not in the traditional sense - there aren't runways as such; it's more over a trade show for the latest in brands for buyers, designers and influencers to meet & greet. 

'Made in Italy' is what it's all about - the crafted designs are unique and easily spotted compared to the styling choices of other countries. There are many quirks and nuances that the Italians know best that influence the mens fashion world all across the world. This event is what inspired The Sartorialist, Mr Socott Schuman, to get started and kick off the world of street-style blogs, which then saw the rise of the digital influencer and street style stars. It's now over a decade since the rise of the blogs that bring you a front-row seat to the runways and fashionable events, yet what is the classic look into Pitti that make it so unique and stylish? What's the distinct Italian look? Lets break it down a quick second!

  1. Chinos & linen. Italian styling isn't about looking smart; you want to look good. Formality? Nah! Conservative? Nope, never heard of it! Cotton and linen jackets is something you tend to never see in British or Parisian tailoring, yet the majority of Italian styling is. It's this that gives of the relaxed impression.
  2. Tailored. You'll often look at pictures of well dressed men where everything just fits. Be it celebrity, model or street style star, everything just works. Why? Tailor. It's highly unlikely that the first time they tried it on, it fit exactly the way you see it in that photo. Trousers are hardly ever that perfect length. 
  3. Watch this. Literally. Wear a watch. Fellas. It's an obvious gentleman's choice. I'm not talking the bling bling kind, or something you'd normally see wrapped around a child's wrist. I mean something with character and class. Pair it with bracelets, rings or straps. 
  4. Dress code. Set yourself apart. Why wear what the mannequin the store clerks put together. Yes, I'm sure it looked good, but it's probably not going to look that great on you. Add your personal flavour. Mix the materials & textures, maybe the patterns too. 
  5. Blazed. A stiff, navy blue, double breasted blazer. A chocolate with a peak lapel. What ever your taste, you know what to do. 
  6. Workwear. Being Italian means being hands on. A bit too smart for full on workwear, but a knack for a piece or two in your outfit and you're set for a traditional Italian look. Think vintage waistcoat, cargo pants or military era shirting. It's instant insta-cool.
  7. Limits. Know them. It's easy to get ahead of yourself. Know when it's getting too loud, or too much. It's not always about being eye-catching, but mixing that piece that glimmers to the eye and putting it into the outfit. 

Whatever your devil, at least now you have an Italian idea of it.