Pitti’s Nitty Gritty: Stylist Tom Stubbs on Italy’s 5 Supreme Menswear Marques

Every June and January Florence throngs with every tribe of menswear. Thousands of us, hypebeast bros and peacocks alike, are all drawn to the Fortezza da Basso, where Pitti Uomo presents the most comprehensive display of top notch threads available for ogling in one place anywhere in the world. If you want to see a spot of cutting-edge conceptualism, or take in a dose of environmentally directional sportswear, or lose yourself in the shape of next year’s slacks, then this is the place to be. And of course Pitti also presents shows, with this season’s edition boasting Grace Wales Bonner as the big ticket.

Personally, I don’t go to Pitti for any of that malarkey. My mission when in Florence is more akin to that of the gazillions of other tourists who visit this capital of Tuscany all year round: I’m here to see capital A-art and to digest locally produced, vertically distributed consumables of the highest caliber. To put it simply, I am here for the very reason Pitti started in the first place: Italian menswear.

Edgy fashions involving asymmetric pant shapes and radical manifestos might make for good copy, but they don’t half make you look a bit insecure when you actually wear the stuff. And as a stylist my job is to dress my roster of clients to look as successful as they are.

Nowhere else do you find as many examples of perfectly fashioned farm-to-table menswear brilliance that’s wearable in the real world as Pitti Uomo. Italians are known for innate, apparently effortless style, usually involving ‘sartorial’ prowess, sophisticated fabric, and fastidious taste. Here are the five houses whose work combines everything great about Italian menswear—call it the Nitty Gritty of Pitti—and whose garments are nailed on to make almost any man look like, if not a prince, then most certainly a grown-up.

Photo: Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli

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