Per my previous post, I mentioned that Florence is now being heralded as the 5th fashion capital of the world (according to Vogue) and the menswear didn’t disappoint. I took pictures the entire time to document and get inspiration for my clients! Similar to the women’s fashions, menswear in Florence is very “street-wear” focused and very utilitarian. Layering and outwear reigned supreme! Below I’m going to delve into some of the most prominent trends and looks for Florence, as well as a few tips and ideas for achieving this cool Italian streetwear aesthetic.
(Notice above this man has a topcoat on top of a blazer, which is layered on top of a puffer vest and a button-up. **Also, Italian men wear gorgeous leather gloves! A MUST!**)
Layering is key to Italian Menswear Styling
What I was most struck by in Florence was the visual merchandising in the stores, as well as actual streetwear; textures and fabrics were mixed and layered to create a nuanced ensemble, sharp and polished, yet not formal. For example, a woven button-up underneath a marled wool shawl collar sweater, layered underneath a charcoal blazer, underneath a heather gray wool topcoat, topped with a beautiful cashmere gray scarf tucked into the blazer. UMM, YES. This is a major do in my book – don’t be afraid to layer different textures and fabrics, and the palette in Florence was very muted and subdued.
(Camel wool turtleneck sweater + double breasted plaid suit coat + merlot nubby topcoat (the merlot coat pulls in the merlot stripe (very subtle) in the jacket)
This dude is rocking it! Fingerless gloves?! Puffer vest layered over a sports coat? Winning.
I love how this man has a sweater coat layered over a vest with a printed silk scarf – scarves are a great way to inject some color and pattern into your outfit, while always showing off your personal flair (you can be as sedate or flamboyant as you want)!
Cardigans and sweaters donned the front windows of the boutiques in Florence, and I loved seeing the departure from the old standard crew and v-neck styles. Shawl collar and cardigan styles were everywhere, and heavier knits like cable knit were seen instead of plainer fabrics. This is another way to add visual interest and texture into your outfit when styling! Take a risk with your knits this season; don’t be afraid to diversify and look for subtle design nuances like leather covered buttons, suede elbow patches, contrasting collars, leather accents and varying textured fabrics.
Cable knit = a do (just keep your eye on the bulkiness level)
Cardigan = yes. Can the cardigan please make a comeback, guys? Do as the Italians do.
Love this shawl collar cardigan layered over a vest. Creative use for a sweater as opposed to wearing the matching jacket/3-piece suit.
I wish more men were willing to wear scarves! Nothing looks sharper and more polished during cooler weather. It’s the perfect accessory to any ensemble, and hardly requires a second thought! Keep it easy by draping it over your coat, or loop and knot it for some visual interest. Quality over quantity is important here – look for cashmere and wool (blend) scarves; not only do they keep you warm and serve a utilitarian purpose, they look high-end and expensive, and they will last you season after season. I always encourage my clients to think of adding a “third piece” when dressing; this can be a scarf, hat or jacket.
Also – it should be noted men were ALWAYS wearing pocket squares in their suit jackets. Don’t be afraid to play with some pattern and COLOR!
Everywhere I looked, men had on gorgeous topcoats – beautiful wool blends and cashmere, contrasting colors, double-breasted pea coat styles and streamlined, single-breasted styles. I was struck by all the different textures and fabric variations: houndstooth, herringbone, windowpane prints, marled wool, and even color-blocking. Investing in a sophisticated and versatile topcoat for winter is a must in my book. Make sure you leave a little room to layer over lighter jackets and sweaters!
If you asked me what two essential winter coats a man should have, I would enthusiastically insist a navy double-breasted wool pea coat, and a neutral single-breasted knee-length wool coat (in charcoal, black or camel).
We made sure to do some leather scouting in Florence, and both my boyfriend and I invested in quality leather jackets. I love a bomber style for a man; in fact, when investing in leather jackets, I would encourage any male clients to keep it simple and clean. This makes it easier when it comes to outfit versatility and maximizing your outfit possibilities. Of course you can’t go wrong with black, but unexpected and equally neutral & versatile color choices are camel, cognac or light brown.
Boots, Sneakers, Loafers = Essentials
The birthplace of Ferragamo happens to be Florence, so it goes without saying that the loafer selection was off-the-hook,. I was fascinated by all the beautiful cap-toe lace-ups, Oxfords, and most of all – the beautiful loafer variations. Tassels, patent, embroidered, studs; a style concoction and panoply of styles for any man. Sneakers were no less pervasive for men than women, and the sneakers were unusual, eye-catching and unique; definitely not generic. The fashion is risk-taking in Florence, and men aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones. I also saw some beautiful ankle boots for men (Chukka, Chelsea, lace-ups and slip-ons) and it should be noted that Italian men cuff their jeans and chinos. LOVE. My boyfriend wasn’t a fan of this, but I could style my clients in cuffed pants and sockless in loafers for DAYS. Tres chic!
Sneakers with jeans AND chinos – no show socks, cuffed pant legs. YESSSSS.
Men went sockless (or wore no-show socks) everywhere, especially in Capri** (stay tuned for my next post on Southern Italian style).
Which styles and trends resonate with you gents the most? Hope you picked up some inspiration and helpful tips for looking dapper this season.