Giorgio Armani, Italian Football and the Perfect Summer Suit

·3-min read
Photo credit: Chris Ricco - UEFA
Photo credit: Chris Ricco - UEFA

Strolling up to the media podium on Sunday evening, Roberto Mancini looked more like a man who had just polished off a particularly satisfying bowl of Pasta alla Gricia at his favourite trattoria, rather than one who had overseen an impenetrable Italy’s 1-0 suffocation of a ‘plucky’ Wales at the Stadio Olimpico.

Going through the post-match motions, Mancini looks almost comically suave. Mr Sprezzatura with his powder blue-grey blazer slung casually, and totally unnecessarily (in the best possible way), over one shoulder. Style and flair: words you don’t normally associate with the modern football manager, a job more often occupied by nerds and slobs (forgive me Big Sam) than guys who can pull off a shirt and tie in a Roman summer. It was refreshing: a man in a Big Job wearing a Big Outfit. Who’d have thought?

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Despite the occasional Pep Guardiola flourish (but more often than not a rubbish hooded cardigan) the modern football manager as style icon feels relegated to a bygone era. Mancini’s opposite number on the night, Robert Page, was dressed in black polyester, giving off the impression of someone who might approach you in a Caerphilly power lifting gym car park and offer you some discounted HGH in a Ziploc bag: "will get you smashing that deadlift by next Wednesday!"

While Mancini’s own sense of good taste deserves applause, the architect of the Italian’s new and improved summer suiting is a certain Mr Giorgio Armani, a man and menswear doyen who has made a few suits in his time. He ushered in the very notion of power dressing in the Eighties with strong shouldered, swishy grey and navy tailoring.

Photo credit: Claudio Villa
Photo credit: Claudio Villa

Trying to create a uniform that was both contemporary and in keeping with the long tradition of Italian men looking really good on the side of football pitches, Emporio Armani created team tailoring, a super light seersucker jacket and soft black trousers, inspired by Enzo Bearzot, the legendary coach who led Italy to World Cup glory in 1982 while rocking all pale blue seersucker Armani. Please, let us take a moment to admire the kick of the trousers and the loafers. Come on!

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

"I am proud to dress our national team at this time of general restart, and for such an important championship, says Giorgio Armani of his work with Gli Azzuri. "I worked on an idea of elegance that is spontaneous, sporty and authentic. I created a suit that is light but dignified, as dignified and proud as our spirit should be at this time."

Walk through any grand piazza in high summer and you'll see a host of local men dressed in a style not so dissimilar to Mr Mancini's: unstructured blazers in flattering, light, sun-reflecting colours and comfortable trousers that don't cook your legs like little Italian sausages. Men of the continent understand that you can wear a suit in summer, but fabrication is essential. There's a reason Armani went for seersucker, both back in 1982, and in its modern iteration of the Platonic ideal of an Italian summer suit.

After months and months and months of being stuck inside in shorts and tracksuit bottoms, the great Getting Dressed revival is now upon us, so don't fear the summer suit. Look to the Italians. Broken tailoring, light-as-air seersucker and the attitude of a man who knows exactly how to pull off smart clothes in the sweltering heat.

*Football tactical genius and good hair sold separately.


You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting