The Guy’s Guide to Effortless Italian Summer Vacation Style

The Guy’s Guide to Effortless Italian Summer Vacation Style

side by side images of men dressed in classically elegant "Italian summer" style

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Apr 30 2024 | 6 min read

In summer, there’s no use fighting the sprezzatura when it comes to men’s outfit inspiration. A certain nonchalant coolness, the term defines Italian summer style that’s both aspirational and surprisingly accessible. The goal? To look effortlessly put together, like you threw on a few choice pieces and strolled out the door ready to conquer cobblestone streets and devour plates of pasta.

Even if you’re staying stateside this summer, here’s how to capture that European vacation vibe in 2024.

Keep scrolling for stylish, Italian summer outfits for men

Wear a knit polo

This summer, embrace the breezy sophistication of the knit polo. The soft fabric drapes more than your standard cotton style, adding a touch of polish to even the most casual outfit.

Pair it with tailored linen shorts or a pair of chinos for a look that’s both comfortable and sharp. Think pastel tones for a Riviera-ready feel, or lean into bolder colors to amp up your outfit’s volume.

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Casual in cream

Embrace light colors for a quintessential European summer vacation vibe. You’ll find it’s a surprisingly versatile choice, offering a clean and sophisticated aesthetic that also works to keep you cool in the hot summer sun.

You could pull on an off-white linen shirt and trousers combination to exude effortless elegance, or pair a cream-colored short-sleeve shirt with your favorite drawstring shorts for a relaxed, “I’ll have another Aperol Spritz, please” effect. Don’t be afraid to add texture with a suede loafer or braided bracelet to complete the look.

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Elevate with accessories

chic man and woman holding hands, both in casual suiting
image: @anthony.knaape

A pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses, a beaded bracelet, or a statement chain can elevate your European summer vacation look without feeling overdone.

Remember, Italian style is all about striking the perfect balance between effortless and intentional.

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Button up a breezy shirt (but not all the way)

The unbuttoned dress shirt is a cornerstone of Italian sprezzatura. It adds a touch of casual coolness to an otherwise formal piece. I know venturing beyond the usual one or two buttons undone requires a confident hand. Here’s how to pull it off:

  • Context is Key: This look works best in casual settings. Avoid unbuttoning too low at work or formal events.
  • Layering is Your Friend: A plain white tee or undershirt underneath adds a touch of coverage and avoids revealing too much skin if it makes you more comfortable.
  • Fit Matters: Ensure your shirt isn’t too baggy. A slimmer fit will prevent it from looking sloppy when unbuttoned. Linen or chambray fabrics drape well and add a touch of texture.
  • Keep Proportions in Mind: Balance is key. If your shirt is unbuttoned lower, consider rolling up the sleeves or pairing it with slim-fit trousers to avoid a silhouette that’s too overwhelming.
  • Accessorize Effectively: Keep it simple. A statement necklace can look out of place with a deeply unbuttoned shirt. A watch or a pair of bracelets are enough to add personality.

Remember, the goal is to achieve a balance between relaxed and stylish. Confidence is the ultimate accessory, so rock the look with self-assurance and enjoy that summer breeze against your skin.

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The Unstructured Blazer: Your Throw-On for Any Occasion

The Italian summer answer to dressing up? The unstructured blazer.

Made from lightweight fabrics like linen or seersucker, a blazer provides just enough coverage for a daytime wedding in a tropical locale or evenings out without sacrificing comfort in the heat. The relaxed silhouette allows for layering over a crisp white tee or a linen button-down, making it endlessly versatile.

Opt for neutral tones like beige or navy for maximum wearability.

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