When it comes to men’s style, Italy sets the standard. Armani, Gucci, Prada, Brioni, Borsalino, Mauri—that’s a lot for Italian Americans to live up to. You need to cut la bella figura with impeccably tailored suits, high-quality accessories, and the manners of a gentleman. Beyond that, Italian men have a gift for demonstrating their good taste with a unique attention to detail. It’s in the blood, after all. If you’re looking for some direction, use these tips for defining your personal style as inspiration to take your look to the next level.
Choose a Signature Piece
Focus on what makes you you and the clothes that make you feel that way. You can crystallize that identity with one accessory that tells the world who you are. If you have a reputation for designer shoes, embrace it. If you inherited a timepiece that means something to you, make it a constant for your style. It can be anything: a distinctive hat, a wallet chain, or a collection of vests from the heyday of the three-piece suit. Make it a symbol for your personal brand.
Identify a Style Icon
True style is timeless—like that of Cary Grant, Marcello Mastroianni, or Al Pacino and his Havana-chic ascots in The Godfather Part II. They still have a lot to teach us about fashion. It might have been decades before your time, but Richard Gere’s wardrobe in American Gigolo is well worth a rental. A young Giorgio Armani defined swagger by dressing Gere in linen suits, skinny ties, and light neutrals. If you see a look you admire, you don’t need to steal it outright; just personalize it for you.
Commit To a Color
Once you’ve built a foundation of quality wardrobe staples, you can add to it with more adventurous items—luxurious details and accessories that bring it all together. As you invest more money into your appearance, a signature color can ensure that your outfits always coordinate. A shirt, a pocket square, ties with different patterns—keeping them in the same color family will maximize their impact. The color of the moment is royal blue, with every designer working it into their collections in one form or another. But if you want to wear fuchsia socks, wear fuchsia socks.
Italian fashion is always comfortable, punctuated with the finest leather, somehow suit-inspired but effortlessly casual—sprezzatura. Use these tips for defining your personal style to remind you where you came from and face the future with confidence.