What Italian men can teach us Brits about summer style

“We eat and dine outside in summer, and for certain occasions like that you need to look smart. So we’re adept at combining the two,” says  Cucinelli, himself a masterclass in summer sartorialism in a soft fit, cream linen suit. Suiting’s still a viable option – despite flash downpours and searing heat in Florence there were men in pristine suits looking unruffled. The trick is fabric and cut; linen gets a bad rep because it crumples so easily, but a cotton-linen blend has more structure and is less likely to look like you’ve just emerged from a tumble dryer. 

Italians tend to steer towards the leaner end of silhouette too – their suits tend to be less blousy than traditional English suiting – which doesn’t seem all that freeing in hot weather, but over the past decade softer fits have trickled in. And Italians, unlike us stuffy Brits, aren’t afraid of lighter shades – Carrara marble creams, macchiato caramels and gelato tones – to keep things more fresh.

Little details to cool things down

Yes, Italians are fond of a crisp, lean white shirt – it’s ubiquitous from Naples to Noto – but they switch things up too. Camp collars, spread over a jacket lapel, are less restrictive, and they aren’t afraid to undo a few buttons too. Just don’t go too far or you’ll look a tad “lounge crooner”. 

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