Twice a year, the style set descends on Florence, Italy for Pitti Uomo, the world’s biggest menswear event. It’s where fashion trends are born and set, whether they emerge from the runway or via street style. To help you navigate the top takeaways from the recent Spring/Summer 2020 shows, Via Cavour co-owner Santo DeRose shares the top trends of the season—and how to make them work for you.
Pastels were the definitive trend at Pitti Uomo this season, with three-piece suits in particular reigning supreme. Picture soft shades of blue, pink and yellow in both formal and casual silhouettes, dressed up with brogues and dressed down with sneakers.
Since head-to-toe pastels can be difficult to pull off in real life, Santo suggests tempering the look with a darker shirt. “It tones down the whole look and makes it a little bit more wearable.” When it comes to choosing a pastel shade, he suggests sticking to blue. “It’s much easier than pink or raspberry.”
A menswear mainstay, stripes may be a classic and traditional pattern, but this season, they’ve shed their strictly business reputation. It’s all about softer but bolder stripes, says Santo.
If you’re stripe-averse, he believes that the newer variation is easier to wear. “Because it’s a wider stripe, it softens it up,” he says. “It’s not in your face, especially with the combination of cottons, linens and silks blending together.” The subtle stripes also take a looser form for the summer, with button-down shirts featuring smaller collars and a shorter hemline. “It’s more of a shirt that you’d wear outside of your slacks, with a pair of shorts or one- or two-pleat pants.”
For the love of linen
From streets to showrooms, Pitti embraced linen with two different takes on the laidback material: There were suits complemented with pleated pants and soft cuffs, as well as more relaxed looks, like tops and shorts. The overall message: easy-going and comfortable.
When it comes to colours, the selection went beyond standard shades of white and beige, as soft solid colours like pink and green took centre stage. For a modern take on linen, Santo suggests choosing a long-sleeved button-down and rolling up the cuffs.
If you only pack your straw hat for vacation, it’s time to reconsider your approach to the versatile wardrobe staple. From panamas to boater hats, the stylish accessory was spotted all over Pitti. “A straw hat can work with anything you’re wearing from a dressy jacket to a casual shorts and sneakers look,” says Santo. “And it actually serves a purpose, keeping you cool.”
Luckily, there are plenty of styles to choose from. “You have to wear the style that suits your face,” says Santo. “Don’t force something that doesn’t work.” You may not want to wear one to your boardroom meeting, but you can definitely sport it at a garden wedding.
Seen in suiting, jackets and pants, light neutrals were another major trend this season, bringing a fresh elegance to dapper dressing. Some played with all-over beige, while others experimented with variations of the same colour, choosing tones like tan and caramel to break up the look.
If you’re worried about looking washed out in beige, experiment with different hues like tan and caramel. “Stick to tones that work with your skin,” says Santo. If you put it on and it makes you feel good, it’s usually the right colour, he adds.
From Brunello Cucinelli to Loro Piana, white made a big impression for 2020, with several collections showcasing the shade. White was the go-to colour for tuxedos, suits, sports jackets and even lightweight woven knits.
It’s the easiest colour to style because “everything looks fantastic with white,” says Santo. What’s more, off-white and creamy hues ensure that you’re not limited in your options. If you’re still worried that white isn’t for you, Santo suggests wearing a white jacket with a colourful top underneath it. The pop of colour will instantly transform the look and make it easier to wear.