There’s something ineffably elegant about an Italian blazer. Distinguished and nonchalant in equal measure, it exudes that ever-elusive style ingredient; panache. Could it be the lightness of the cloth? Is it the trimly tailored fit? Perhaps it’s the unlined, unpadded construction — allowing for far greater freedom than the most Englishmen are used to.
Who knows. We sure don’t. In fact, if anyone could have explained the magic of the Italian blazer, it would probably have been a gentleman named Vincenzo Attolini. In the 1930s, Attolini was an apprentice with Gennaro Rubinacci in Naples. Neapolitan suits, at that time, still closely resembled their thickly-stitched Savile Row cousins. But not for long. At Rubinacci’s suggestion, Attolini took pity on his fellow Neapolitans — stifling and stuffed into hot woollen jackets— and redefined menswear forever. How? By creating the light, open, yet unmistakably elegant blazer style we know and revere today.
So, as summer beckons, you should be looking to buy an Italian blazer. It will subtly upgrade your wardrobe and add an air of European ‘cool’ to any outfit. Below, we’ve picked out the best to buy…
Stick with a classic, versatile colour
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if you’re going for a classic look, you can’t go wrong with black. Timeless and versatile, black is the epitome of suave sophistication, and a black Italian blazer will transform any ensemble from ‘merely stylish’ to ‘effortlessly elegant’. It’s a colour that has stood the tests of both time and trends — and has never looked better than it does below.
Brioni has answered our collective plea for a tradition, and delivered this single-breasted jacket. With trademark Italian shawl lapels, it oozes elegance from every thread. Ermenegildo Zegna encapsulates the air of the Italian blazer with this wool jacket; unlined, slim-fit and with superfine wool fibres that make it lighter than air. And then there’s the original — Rubinacci. This double-breasted cashmere blazer may be navy rather than black, but it’s the real, versatile deal.
Brioni Single-Breasted Jacket
Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Jacket
Rubinacci Cashmere Blazer
Try out a softer, more subtle style
If you’re going for a subtler, more everyday look, we’ve got some similarly stellar options. Suitable for both workplace formality and sleeker, cocktail-hour style, these debonair options transcend dress codes — while encapsulating all that makes Italian blazers iconic.
Massimo Dutti has, as ever, impressed us with its navy blue blazer. Thanks to a slim-fit and light, breathable cloth, it’s undeniably Italian. Brunello Cucinelli‘s grey linen blazer is impressively unstructured; another key element of what makes an Italian blazer. And Loro Piana have stolen the show with this quintessentially European option; unlined, and crafted from a cotton, silk and linen blend ideal for summer.
Massimo Dutti Slim Fit Blazer
Brunello Cucinelli Gray Blazer
Loro Piana Sweater Jacket
Take a risk with colours and patterns
Another style touch that separates Italian blazers from their British stiff-upper-lipped counterparts is a notable lack of constraint. Because it’s not just about physical freedom of movement — the Italian blazer encourages its wearer to embrace personal style. So, if you’re feeling flamboyant, here are some options in lighter colours, or with gentle patterning. Go on, take a risk — it’s almost summer, after all…
Boggi Milano got the daring memo with its eco-friendly patterned jacket, crafted from untreated natural wool from the Bottoli woollen mill. Canali offers the perfect summer option with this azure wool and silk blazer, made in Siena and is begging to be shown off at a garden party. And Pal Zileri has delivered an even more sleek take on the already-suave gray, with this blazer’s exquisite wool blend adding some slight texture to its single-breasted design.
Boggi Milano Wool Jacket
Canali Azure BlazerBuy Now
Pal Zileri Wool-Blend Blazer