There's no doubt about it, Italian men are incredibly stylish. From their expensive leather shoes to their well-tailored suits, there's just something special about the way men dress in Italy. If you're traveling to this fashion capital of Europe and want to blend in with the locals (who wouldn't?), you'll need to heed just a few dress code caveats. Among them, wear fitted clothes and neutral colors, ban T-shirts from your packing list and learn to embrace button-downs and accessories.
What to Wear on Top
In general, Italian men favor fabrics like cotton and linen when it comes to shirts. Fitted is always best; shirts should be close to the body but not too tight. Jacket-wise, a blazer is one of the best things to wear if you don’t want to feel out of place. Go for a light, neutral tone like tan or white, or add a pop of color with navy. For Italian men, a navy jacket is a wardrobe staple. Visit a tailor before your trip to alter your clothing and check that your shirts aren't too big by tucking them in and ensuring there isn't too much excess material hanging off the front.
A Stylish Bottom Half
Whether you wear jeans, chinos or linen pants when you visit Italy, if you're shooting for style, it's all about avoiding the baggy look and wearing trousers that are perfectly fitted to your frame. There's also a specific hem to keep in mind: Italians like for pants to barely touch the top of the shoe or to be an inch higher than the shoe. Dark denim is much trendier than light-colored jeans, and cargo pants with tapered legs are also considered to be very stylish.
Italian Summer months are notoriously hot, so it’s not uncommon to see that many Italian men wear shorts. Aim for an inch or so above the knee for that classic Italian style, and you can pair it with a nice leather sandal or stylish but comfortable pair of shoes to tackle those rough cobblestone streets of Naples and Sicily. A light pair of capris could also hepl you combat the summer sun of the Amalfi Coast, just make sure to grab the sunscreen and leave your flip-flops for the beach.
Tips for Dressing Like an Italian
One thing to keep in mind, is that even if you are trying to look your best and match Italian fashion, you should still have pack some comfy options for the time of year. Comfortable shoes and a tank top are perfect for going sightseeing (except at the Vatican), or to the beach or park, and a pair of sunglasses will save your eyes a lot of strain pretty much year-round. Make sure that if you plan to walk straight to or from the beach in your swim suit that you bring a cover up, and bring a nice rain jacket just to be safe.
Don't be afraid to accessorize. Italian men favor wearing accessories like sports watches, necklaces, light scarves and fedoras. Embracing color will also help you fit in; you'll see many men on the streets of Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence wearing orange belts, purple loafers and salmon-colored shirts with the rest of their neutral-toned outfits. Loafers without socks are in style, as are pocket squares. And if you really want to go all out, the best thing to do is have a tailor make a few nice custom pieces (like pants and shirts) for you. Though this can be costly, you'll have confidence knowing you're walking in step style-wise with those great-looking Italian men around you; you'll have great, long-lasting additions to your wardrobe when you return home; and whenever you wear them, you'll be reminded of the beautiful country you once visited.