Italian Style in Toronto’s Financial District

Italy is a state of mind.

Of course it’s a gorgeous country too, full of fine food, incredible vistas and unparalleled style. But “Italy” is something we can all experience, something we can all bring into our lives every day. If we sip our espresso at a standing bar or cook our dinner with the finest olive oil, we can add a dash of Italian style to our lives. The best way to do this, of course, is with your wardrobe. That’s how you can bring a bit of Neapolitan flair to the sombre streets of the Financial District.

 
  Our co-founder Fabio in a Stile Latino jacket & trouser, Barba Napoli shirt and Paolo Scafora shoes.

Our co-founder Fabio in a Stile Latino jacket & trouser, Barba Napoli shirt and Paolo Scafora shoes.

 

The best way to describe Italian style is “casual elegance.” You know it when you see it but it always involves quality clothing combined in a way that looks effortless. A shirt open at the neck, a lightly structured jacket and muted colours is an excellent start.

  Barba Napoli deconstructed jacket, linen shirt & silk tie.

Barba Napoli deconstructed jacket, linen shirt & silk tie.

When you do require a jacket and tie, however, Italian dash means more colour and a relaxed fit. A sharp collared shirt is a must, as it serves as the backdrop, the canvas for the rest of your outfit. A tie that is colourful and lightweight suggests you are here for business, but you also know how to relax. A softly-shouldered, lightly padded jacket brings the whole outfit together thanks to the authority of fine tailing combined with the panache of Neapolitan style.

 

 
  Our co-founder Santo in a Loro Piana 'Light Voyager' jacket.

Our co-founder Santo in a Loro Piana 'Light Voyager' jacket.

 

The Italians are also the masters of combining casual with formal to create a harmonious style that works anywhere, from the office to the weekend. A knit vest deflects some of the tie’s formality. Denim trousers combined with thick-soled monk-strap shoes are the perfect counterbalance to the sport coat and tie. A casual overjacket ties the entire outfit together, at once sharp and elegant while also relaxed and sporty. All the while, a harmony of colour, fabric and fit.

When it comes to footwear, nothing says “Italy” like loafers. From the streets of Milan to the beaches of Capri, loafers of every design and style dominate. One of the most iconic, however, is the tassel loafer. They sit perfectly in the sweet spot between formal and casual. They are slip-on loafers, with tassels instead of laces: pure casual. But they’re also shaped like dress shoes, crafted out of fine leather and stitched masterfully around the toe: formal elegance. And that’s why Italians wear them with everything from business suits to jeans.

 
  Jacob Cohen suede trucker jacket paired with a Brunello Cucinelli pure linen scarf.

Jacob Cohen suede trucker jacket paired with a Brunello Cucinelli pure linen scarf.

 

Italian men (and many women) have known this secret to stylish casual dressing for decades: the power of a scarf. Almost any outfit, from weekday business to weekend relaxation, can be finished off perfectly with a scarf tied loosely around the neck. The way to keep it Italian is that your scarf needs to be lightweight, it needs to accentuate the rest of your outfit (not fight with it) and most importantly, it needs to look like it just happened to rest on your neck, not obsessively tied just so.

 

Drop by Via Cavour and Fabio and Santo will share this little secret of Italian style with you. Along with many others, of course.

Marc De Rose