“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”.