While good taste and impeccable style might be intertwined within the ladder-like strands of your DNA, it never goes amiss to have a solid reference or two to draw inspiration.
In this case, that spark of elegant brilliance comes from the Milanese men of Italy’s industrial north. These suave sartorial coffee-sippers are the experts at combining immaculate tailoring with the contemporary fashion to create a blend superior to that in their espresso cups. And no more so than in the Winter months, when keeping frostbite at bay while still looking smart, can be beyond many a working gentleman.
Stay warm, stay stylish, with our five-point plan to achieving the Milanese look.
Build around a classic
The foundation block of the Milanese look is tailoring, with no compromise on quality. Italy’s second biggest city might have some of fashion’s finest companies, like Pal Zileri and Ermenegildo Zegna, but you can do as well, if not better, with flawless British suiting, such as New & Lingwood. This gentleman’s outfitter specialise in beautiful and timeless tailoring, and have kitted-out the lads of Eton since 1865.
Suit by New & Lingwood
Select a stylish coat
Whether going al fresco with a copy of Il Sole 24 Ore at your favourite coffee haunt or strolling through the Piazza Affari, no Milanese man’s wardrobe is complete without a classic camel coat. Originally worn by polo players and made from the hair of actual camels, these days a soft blend of wool and cashmere is the norm, like with this fine number from Hackett. And the only polo in sight? The one to freshen your breath.
Camel Coat by Hackett
Master the mid-layer
From vintage military over-shirts and chore coats through to down jackets, the Milanese man’s understanding of ‘layering’ is truly exceptional. Our favourite example has to be the quilted gilet, and the way its modern nylon fabric creates the perfect textural contrast with the luxury cloths of tailoring.
Not only does this artful execution look excellent, it’s functional too; adding warmth without bulk, keeping your lines elegant and your movements free.
Gilet by Brunello Cucinelli @ Mr Porter
Accessorise like a Don
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, except louder this time, accessories aren’t additions, they’re essentials. The Milanese are famous for their eye for detail and meticulous use of accessories. Make sure to pay particular attention to sourcing and matching the finest pocket squares, cufflinks and timepieces you can lay your hands on.
And of course, a mandatory note, sunglasses aren’t only for summer. A seriously stylish pair, like these from American designer Thom Brown, are the ideal partner for this look.
Thom Browne @ Browns
Finish with a flourish
If the nonchalant and perfect execution of sporting a scarf is an art (and it is), then it’s fair to say that the Milanese are the Michael Angelo to the rest of the world’s child-like cut-and-stick. Whether it’s as understated as an addition of a small neckerchief or as grand as a blanket-sized scarf, they are masters.
It’s this big-boy of a neck warmer though that we really love, to be worn either loosely thrown around the neck or draped over the shoulders; it takes an outfit from good to great.
Aaron Tartan Scarf by Begg & Co.
Need some on-trend boots to complete the look? Read our edit of the best hiking boots for climbing the style ladder.