Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Summer May Belong to the Italians

(Lounging researching at home in white 501’s, a Polo RL piqué shirt and striped espadrilles from Ropeysoles.)

Italians always seems so very chic despite the heat. Our climates are much the same. We even over air condition (something that Europeans do not). So why do we give up, sartorially, when the mercury begins to boil? I chanced to check in on The Sartorialist and was immediately struck by four images of men who are well and interestingly dressed (even this guy who is the one in a million who might pull this look off). Sure style genes count for a lot, as does caring what image you present, but there has to be a way to bottle that and ship it over here.

One of the longer lived trends that I’ve noticed is the white jean worn with a sportcoat or blazer. This is a very easy and elegant (to my eye) alternative to the khakis and polo shirt on which we rely so heavily. Easy because we are talking about jeans or the five-pocket cut trouser, and white is always an elegant alternative in season. I like the cut of the 501’s shown in the photo, but they can be a bit heavy. J Crew does a nice white cotton/linen jean that is considerably lighter with a narrower leg and peg.

Pair your white jeans with tan monkstraps, a very pale blue shirt and a slimmer linen or cotton blazer. Or try keeping it more monochromatic with a wheat coloured sportcoat, white shirt and tan suede loafers.

I like to see something a little unexpected in casual settings. The paisley shirt, the Lily Pulitzer trouser, the Madras plaid sportcoat are all fair game when things get sticky. White jeans might just become your go-to casual item this summer. Along with the big tub of Oxyclean.

8 thoughts on “Summer May Belong to the Italians

  1. Ah, yes, the Oxyclean. I can’t even keep my dirt colored trousers clean. What’s one to do.

    I do like the espadrilles. I may need a pair of those.

  2. What a terrific look! What a great pose! What a wonderful photo! Those candy stripe espadrilles…WOW!

    Very true that Italians stay incredibly chic in the heat and they are excellent sartorial summer role models.

    A touch of the unexpected, such as something by Pulitzer is always welcome. I just found a terrific pair of vintage Lilly Pulitzer trousers…panda bears in lime green, yellow and white. This year is the 50th anniversary of the designer. As stylish as the Italians are, nothing says sophisticated Palm Beach Americano like a brilliant pair of Pulitzers.

    Great post!

  3. Well Done P-D!

    T. Benoit aka SwF, Thanks. And I agree. Wish I could find a great vintage pair of trousers. I have a smart casual even tonight.

    Turling, I use the spray and the powder…. and sometimes carry a little bleach pen.

  4. I say, Easy, I know you’ve been a fan of espadrilles for some time now. I once had a pair several decades ago. I’m leaving for Tuscany in a week and a half and think I must order some. The Ropeysoles ones, how is the sizing? I remember the espadrilles I had years ago stretched out quite a bit. Please advise…Many thanks, Reggie

    PS, if you get the chance, stop by my current posting on Belgian Shoes, you might find it amusing, I hope

  5. Hullo Reggie! They do stretch a bit. I ordered about a half size small and they “broke in” inside of a day. Wearing them now as a matter of fact! Enjoy Tuscany and those marvelous wines!

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