At Union 22 we love everything Italian, from the food, the cars, the wine and more importantly the clothes. With its roots deep set in manufacturing, Italy has been the mecca of menswear since the 1950’s with the iconic ‘Made in Italy’ seal of excellence now known all over the globe.
It all started with Brioni who put on the first menswear collection on a catwalk in the early 1950’s and since then it has been a snowball effect which transformed the world of tailoring and gives us the biggest houses of fashion we know today.
How to dress like an Italian
The Italians know a thing or two about how to dress, they revolutionised the tailoring world with deconstructed suits, clean cut sartorial designs and completely handmade suits. This heritage of high-end suit making that we have come to know doesn’t resonate as strong anymore, but the Italian style has never been as strong.
When putting an outfit together to dress like an Italian, the first important thing to consider is the fit. The Italians have made slimmer fitting clothes the norm rather than a trend, whether that be tailored pair of jeans or pants paired with a crisp slim fitting white shirt. There’s no better feeling than putting an outfit on that makes you feel like it’s made exactly to your size.
The made to measure suit is something the Italians have perfected, a higher drop in a suit (shoulder to waist ration) means a more fitted silhouette. We see this now in the ready to wear collections from shirts, polo’s, t-shirts to jeans and knitwear. Slimmer fits also give the feeling of a more tailored piece and looks a lot more aesthetically pleasing.
Start with an Italian shirt
The absolute must have for any man in their wardrobe is several (ideally) or at the bare minimum one go-to white shirt. There are so many different types of shirts from cut away collar shirts to buttoned down collar shirts, concealed buttons to dress shirts but in our experience the must have shirt is a white slim fit semi-spread collar shirt.
Brands such as Corneliani, Canali, Brioni and Zegna all have perfected and modernised the white shirt. The new development of stretch fabrics made with a combination of cotton and elastane means you can rest assured that even if the fit is slim, you will still have mobility, movement and comfort in the shirt without any nasty splits or surprises.
Pair with tailored Italian jeans
One of the easiest smart casual outfits to put together is the jean and shirt combo, a crisp white shirt matches perfectly with blue denim shades. The great thing about matching jeans and shirts together is that they can be worn to work and paired with a blazer for a smart casual look, or the combination can also be worn for an evening out with friends or a partner.
We take pride is selecting the best brands for our customers and when it comes to jeans it’s no different. The brands that are most notably known are Jacob Cohen and Tramarossa, each are arguably the best specialists in men’s jeans. Both brands have a variety of fits and Tramarossa has the following: the Leonardo (slim) fit and the Michelangelo (regular) fit. Jacob Cohen has the low rise (Nick) and the mid-rise (Bard) with slim fit and comfort (regular) fit styles.
Some of the best picks from these brands are the 24.7 Super-stretch slim fit collection from Tramarossa and the dual stretch range from Jacob Cohen. The added stretch fabric in these ranges makes them extremely comfortable and has helped push the slim fit trend even more forward as a result.
Finish your look with Italian shoes
One of the most important parts to any outfit is footwear. You will spend most of your life on your feet so it’s important to look after them and get quality, comfortable shoes. TOD’s is one of the biggest names in the footwear industry and holds its origins back to the 1920’s. Formally establishing in 1983 it has been a powerhouse brand that has set the bar for quality and design.
From the classic formal shoes and the legendary Gommino, to the new No_Code sneaker range which have been created by Korean designer Yong Bae Seok, TOD’s are masters of design. The new No_Code range is a contemporary sneaker which has been created to match the modern life of the man on the go, combining city and work life with the daily challenges we face. A pair of TOD’s No_Code sneakers matched with slim jeans and a shirt or polo is an easy to wear look that’s smart and comfortable.
Another Italian powerhouse that is Ermenegildo Zegna, also has its rich heritage in shoes and their range of footwear is of equal measure. The triple stitch couture range by Ermenegildo Zegna is luxury at its finest with clean cut design, robust construction and a style that goes with many outfits. A pair of the triple stitch sneakers combined with a white shirt and slim jeans is a great ‘city life’ Italian look.
Last few words…
Finally, to conclude dressing like an Italian has to be timeless, there’s a reason why Italian garments last the ages, and it isn’t just all about the quality of the clothes, it’s the design of them. Each season the likes of Corneliani, Brioni, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna will produce collections with many pieces that can be worn time and time again. Their designs are timeless and don’t go out of style after a season or two like many others.
We always tend to buy clean cut garments made from soft fabrics with modern designs based on classic looks. A prime example of this is the Corneliani Textured Polo which comes in a button version and a zip version. The fit is slim, the fabric is soft and the textured finish changes ever so slightly season to season, but the style is timeless and this is one of our core products that we buy season on season.