Italians are famous the world over for their uniquely stylish sense of fashion, which is not only unmissable but also seems to be completely effortless. In fact, Italians are so good at this that there’s even a word for it, ‘Sprezzatura’, which literally means to make difficult things seem easy!
Looking great is a central part of the Dolce Vita, or the ‘sweet life’; and creating a ‘Bella Figura’, or a ‘beautiful figure’, is something that comes naturally to both men and women in Italy.
That said, if it weren’t for all the superb fashion brands at their disposal this might not be quite so easy! This means that if you want to incorporate some genuine Italian flair into your own wardrobe you should start by understanding the best clothing brands that Italy has to offer.
Rubinacci – Best For Extravagant Neapolitan Style.
This ultra indulgent fashion brand specializes in producing items that epitomize the very peak of Neapolitan flair, extravagance and luxury. Founded by Gennaro Rubinacci in the early 1930s, Rubinacci creates masterful items that will really stand out when you hit the town!
With everything from Belgian loafers that are so soft you’ll feel like you’re walking on air, to triple pleated trousers and Bacchanalian pocket squares, from elegantly detailed shirts to silk lined blazers; if you really want to make a splash at a special event then you can’t do better than to trust in this Napoli based fashion house.
Brunello Cucinelli – Best For Luxury Cashmere.
In 1978, Brunello Cucinelli had recently dropped out of university but instead of feeling defeated, at the age of just 25, he reinvented himself and the entire fashion industry by becoming the first to start dyeing super soft luxury cashmere. His success was meteoric and so it’s no surprise that in Italy Brunello Cucinelli is nicknamed the ‘King of Cashmere’!
Today, Brunello Cucinelli’s designer cashmere sweaters and clothing are worn by everyone from Hollywood A-Listers to royalty all over the world. The items are pretty pricey, so you might have to save up a bit, but they make a great investment and are your best choice for a top quality item of luxury cashmere.
Ermenegildo Zegna – Best ‘Ready To Wear’ Selection.
Ermenegildo Zegna is a luxury fashion brand that first opened its doors in 1910, and has since gone on to become a legend in the manufacture of stylish suits, trousers and even shoes.
However, as well as their more boutique designer suits and shoes, Ermenegildo Zegna also have a ‘ready to wear’ line of clothes that are perfect for daily use. The brand produces over 1000 different lines of clothing each year which means there’s an excellent choice available, even if you’re on a budget.
Ermenegildo Zegna also has a good range of accessories that you can use to add some Italian flair to your outfits, including watches, wallets and belts.
Tod’s – Best For All Round Footwear.
Owned by the Della Valle family, Tod’s produces the finest footwear in the Italian fashion industry. Tod’s Gommino driving shoes are made with their own signature ‘pebbled soles’, and although they’re not great for wet weather, they are ideal for taking a promenade with your loved one along the chic canals of Venice!
Most of Tod’s shoes reek of indulgence, and despite not being designed with practicality in mind they are the perfect way to complete an outfit inspired by pure, undiluted Sprezzatura! However, Tod’s also makes a good range of tougher, sturdy shoes, including their Chukka boots; so even if you’re looking for something more practical, Tod’s is your best option for fashionable Italian footwear.
Aspesi – Best For Tough Utilitarian Outerwear.
Producing some of the toughest, long-lasting outerwear since 1969, Aspesi should be your go-to source for expertly made shirts, field jackets, trousers and coats. With peerless stitching and precise craftsmanship, Aspesi usually designs its items without any outer logos, which perfectly represents its understated approach to producing sturdy outerwear.
A lot of their clothes have a slightly military feel, but this is because they are designed with utilitarianism as their top priority. This makes Aspesi superb value for money and ideal for road trips, traveling and year-round versatility.
Armani – Best For Classic Double-Breasted Suits.
There’s nothing that speaks of confident style more than a classic double-breasted suit to complement your chinos or suit trousers. Armani, founded in 1975 by the enigmatic Giorgio Armani, is a luxury fashion house that has an incredible range of clothes, shoes, accessories and other items in its men’s collections.
However, despite all their offerings being absolutely world-class, if you’re looking for a double-breasted suit jacket then you should look no further! With surprisingly competitive prices, Armani’s double-breasted jackets are elegant, versatile and are guaranteed to give you a ‘Hollywood A-Lister’ look the moment you put one on.
Gucci – Best For Playful High Fashion.
As one of the world’s top fashion brands, Gucci is best known for haute couture garments that have a fun and playful feel. With groovy, bright patterned jumpers, baroque blazers and jackets, as well as princely shoes and a huge range of accessories to add points of interest to your outfit; everyone should have a few Gucci items in their wardrobe.
Some of Gucci’s collections are, to say the least, a little outlandish, but for late-night parties and high-end fashion shoes, you’ll be right in your element!
Incotex – Best For A Versatile Selection Of Trousers.
Incotex is an iconic Italian brand that should be your go-to source for versatile trousers which are suitable for any occasion. This Venetian label is part of the larger Slowear collection and is famous for making long-lasting clothes that buck the modern trend of creating ‘disposable’ fashion items.
The clothes, and especially the trousers, that Incotex make are designed to be durable and unbeatable value for money. These timeless, understated items never go out of fashion and their chinos are perfect to match with a blazer, shirt or jumper. Incotex chinos are a staple in any true Italian wardrobe and are a good way to start incorporating some genuine Italian style into your daily life!
Prada – Best For Retro Colors And 70’s Style.
Founded in 1913 by Mario Prada as a luxury leatherware shop, Prada rose to prominence when it was selected by the Italian royal family as their primary producer of court clothing. Today, Prada has a great range of ‘ready to wear’ clothes, shoes and fashion accessories, including leather bags and travel items.
However, despite Prada’s superb range of items the brand really stands out for its fun, retro colors and 1970s inspired clothes. So if you need a 70’s style suit, a Cuban collared shirt or some strikingly fluorescent sneakers, then make sure Prada is at the top of your list!
Persol – Best For Sprezzatura Eyewear.
When it comes to Italian sunglasses, Persol is the only brand you need to complement your outfit. As one of the world’s oldest eyewear companies, they were founded by Giuseppe Ratti in 1917 and specialize in making high-quality sunglasses and optical glasses frames.
These ruggedly refined glasses are the hallmark of the Dolce Vita, and it’s even said that Persol were the only sunglasses that the Hollywood legend Steve McQueen would wear! All of Persol’s glasses are well made with quality finishing’s and sturdy frames in a wide variety of styles. Persol sunglasses are the perfect way to look fantastic as you casually stroll through the dusty streets of downtown Rome in the heat of the summer sun.
Live The Dolce Vita With The Best Of Men’s Italian Fashion.
Italy has some of the world’s top fashion brands that retail at a whole range of prices, from outrageous to affordable. This means that with a little creativity you can put together some astounding outfits that embody the Sprezzatura attitude that pervades the very essence of the Dolce Vita.
It’s vital that you know where to source your clothes from though, but once you find the leading brands you can start to put together your own Italian inspired outfits. Dressing well, in the Italian style, will create a timeless image that will leave you feeling confident and suave.
As you begin to master the unstructured style of Italian fashion it’ll soon become second nature; and before you know it, you’ll be turning heads every time you step out of the house!