5 Ways We Can All Be More Italian
Impeccable tailoring meets irrepressible flair.
BY Daniela Morosini | Oct 16, 2017 | Advertorial
Have you ever noticed how the most casually dressed men in Milan look like they're fresh off the runway? Sure, they may have good looks and coiffed hair, but we'd bank on the fact that the suave demeanour of Italian man may be related to their heritage.
Let's face it, we've all experienced an occasional pang of jealousy when comparing the effortless charm, confidence and style of our continental counterparts. Who hasn't imagined themselves having an Italian makeover, a la Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley? Hell, the Italians even have a word for that air of considered nonchalance they all do so well: sprezzatura.
If you really want to assume an Italian vibe, we'd recommend taking up residency in the country for a decade or two (we've heard Positano is quite nice). But just in case you're scared of commitment – or you know, have a job or a partner – there are a few subtler approaches you can take.
Read on for five ways we can all exude that effortless Italian confidence.
Image by Tod's
Italy is famous for designer fashion for a reason. The culture champions quality - you're won't find sloppy tailoring or poor-quality fabrics in a country that prides itself on being the birthplace of the dapper, debonaire gent.
That Italian way can be seen and felt in Tod's range of expertly handcrafted, unmistakably Italian shoes and accessories. Quality, tradition, seamless functionality and passion, are combined to produce the Winter Gommino Boot or Gommino Driving Shoe an essential daily staple - something that Esquire saw in action when we visited Tod's factory in Le Marche.
Just like the area itself, with its storied history and beautiful landscape, Tod's marry classic and modernity with a firm Mediterranean touch. That's not to say the Italians rest on basics: all of Tod's' signature accessories have an unmistakable flair.
The Italian man isn't shy and retiring. Effortlessly charming, brimming with charisma and bold (but never overbearing), you won't catch an Italian blustering and apologising upon stepping on someone else's foot.
Carry yourself with that air of confidence, make - and crucially, maintain - eye contact, and don't be afraid to leave an impression. The key to striking a balance is that Italian men, contrary to stereotypes, often listen more than they talk. It's not about shouting the loudest; it's about saying what you mean and meaning what you say, unapologetically.
Image by Tod's
Enjoy the experience
Italians aren't hasty. You won't spot them roaming the streets of Turin with a cup of coffee in their hands. No, an Italian man takes his espresso a presto, leaning against the counter, sipping while exchanging news with the barista. Likewise, wine is savoured, each sip enjoyed, chosen to complement the flavours of the meal, and never scrimped on. And - just ask any uomo da Milano - there is no such thing as a quick meal.
If you're really in a rush, you might not linger over food, but you'll still choose the boldest and best flavour. Like bread, olive oil, tomato, mozzarella and basil - simple, clean and classic.
Learn to relax
There's a reason why men on the Med has a high life expectancy - most of them are mellow. Stress doesn't seem to exist in the Italian language, and if tempers are raised, it's related to passion, rather than anger. Holidays are paramount, with many Italians taking the month of August off. While we can't promise your HR team will grant that request, taking a whole uninterrupted week is a good place to start - and stay away from your emails.
Also, maximize your lunch hour. The Italians generally eat al fresco, not al desko. There's nothing relaxing about inhaling mouthfuls of soggy sandwich in front of your computer - take this time to relax and have a stroll - all in 60 minutes.
Image by Tod's
Channel your passion
Relationships, whether platonic, familial or romantic, are important to Italian men. Unafraid to speak their minds or say how they feel (see point two), Italians wear hearts on their sleeve and make the special people in their lives feel, well, special.
Take some time out to acknowledge the importance of the people closest to you - a simple 'thinking of you' text does strengthen a relationship or a periodical greeting to your mum to let her know that she's on your mind.