Featured | Menswear | Shirts

How To Dress Like An Italian: Italian Dress Shirt Collars Deconstructed

Lloyd Hughes

A Study in Menswear: How the Italians Deconstructed and Remade British Style

To say Ital­ians (and by exten­sion Ital­ian dress shirts) are styl­ish is an under­state­ment. They’ve giv­en the world plen­ty to see on social media, from their non-cha­lant style apt­ly termed “sprez­zatu­ra” to their com­posed flair. We keep want­i­ng to see more and more. And right­ful­ly so. These rak­ish Ital­ian gents know a thing or two about push­ing bound­aries of menswear. For­get the world’s fash­ion run­ways, just plant your­self at Pit­ti Uomo twice a year and take in the sen­so­ry over­load of men’s style by the Pit­ti pea­cocks. You’ll nev­er come back the same.

To under­take an entire study on what Ital­ians do bet­ter would be mon­u­men­tal. We’d like to defer such things to the aca­d­e­mics in sar­to­ria. Mr. Hugo Jacomet of Parisian Gen­tle­man has a great book com­ing out this year called “The Ital­ian Gen­tle­man,” which I’m sure will attempt to decon­struct and analyse the Ital­ian style from the grass­roots up.

We’ve been so inspired by the sar­to­r­i­al scenery as of late that we decid­ed to jump on the band­wag­on too. Our offer­ing of col­lars have large­ly been tra­di­tion­al and very bor­ing — some­thing the Ital­ians would grave­ly frown upon. So we’ve tin­kered and toyed with some designs and achieved the holy grail of sprez­zatu­ra among our design team. A selec­tion of two choice shirt col­lars inspired by Neapoli­tan sil­hou­ettes and Flo­ren­tine tai­lor­ing. An Ital­ian spread and cut­away col­lar. If you should find your­self bask­ing in the sun­shine of the Amal­fi coast, a shirt with these col­lars will make you feel right at home.

So let’s break some tra­di­tions and add some sprezz to our style. What the worst that could hap­pen? You’ll just look more styl­ish…

Italian Dress Shirts: The Italian spread collar versus the traditional (read: British) option.

Ital­ians man­age to add flair to even more restrained looks. For this Ital­ian shirt, the col­lar band is a bit taller and has an elon­gat­ed spread — and decid­ed­ly so to break away from tra­di­tion­al spread.  Addi­tion­al­ly, the leaf length is longer which allows the col­lar points to tuck ele­gant­ly under a blaz­er.  The point here is to be noticed. Even though the gen­tle­man is dressed for­mal­ly, he’s wear­ing a large watch and his cuffs are unbut­toned. On his right hand, he’s wear­ing a sem­blance of a bracelet to acces­sorize. Sprez­zatu­ra knows no lim­its and even seeps into the cor­po­rate board­rooms of Italy. Such is the impact of a coun­try hell­bent on chal­leng­ing the sta­tus quo.

Our Take: Deo Veritas’ Italian Spread Collar

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Ital­ian Spread Col­lar shown with Tie

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Ital­ian Spread Col­lar w/ Blaz­er sans tie


The British Aristocrat.

Checks and bal­ances. Struc­tured cloth­ing. Heavy cloths. All dom­i­nat­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of British style. All forms of man­ner­isms trans­ferred to their garb to stay in bal­anced pro­por­tions. There is a qui­et ele­gance to all this but the bore­dom can kill you. Maybe the gloomy weath­er has had some­thing to do with it, or the effects of bureau­cra­cy.

The col­lar shown here is your stan­dard Eng­lish spread col­lar. A gets-the-job-done sta­ple in your wardrobe that every man needs. Noth­ing to think about and works in almost every occa­sion.

Our Take: Deo Veritas’ English Spread Collar

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Eng­lish Spread Col­lar w/ Tie

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Eng­lish Spread Col­lar w/ Jack­et & Tie

Italian Dress Shirts: The Italian Full Cutaway Collar vs. the Traditional Cutaway.


The Garish Maestro

The dis­cov­ery of per­son­al style has every­thing to do with how com­fort­able you feel, and how much of that you can out­ward­ly dis­play. Rather than opt for a restrained look, our Ital­ian friends sport vibrant col­ors, exces­sive acces­sories, and in-your-face insignia’s. Just take in this gentleman’s style. He owns it.

Ital­ian dress shirts such as this one has a col­lar that cuts away like a sharp blade, dis­ap­pear­ing into the lapels. It’s also a lit­tle taller, sit­ting perched a cou­ple of notch­es above aver­age from where the lapel ends. As is the case, with the Ital­ian spread, the Ital­ian cut­away has longer leafs, which result in the col­lar points tuck­ing under a blaz­er.   The point he’s try­ing to make is to have every detail of his out­fit noticed, and hard­ly ignored — even if it means break­ing the rules. This mae­stro has cer­tain­ly orches­trat­ed an out­landish style with his impec­ca­ble atten­tion to gar­ish detail.

Our Take: Deo Veritas’ Italian Full Cutaway Collar

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Ital­ian Full Cut­away Col­lar w/ Tie

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Ital­ian Full Cut­away Col­lar w/ Blaz­er sans Tie

Italian Dress Shirts

 The Uniformed Dandy

For the uni­formed mass­es, the dandy among them can still gar­ner looks. Sim­ple col­ors, bal­anced pro­por­tions, and a neater-than-thou appear­ance. All part of cre­at­ing a time­less look that exudes clas­sic ele­gance. Noth­ing wrong with that, espe­cial­ly if you’re a stick­ler for rules.

In this look, David Dandy is dressed in a tra­di­tion­al pin­stripe navy with peaked lapels and a cus­tom­ary white dress shirt. A stan­dard (British) full cut­away col­lar frames his face rather well, with a bal­anced tie knot to bal­ance out all the pro­por­tions. This style dif­fers from Ital­ian Dress Shirts in that the points are short­er, crisper (i.e. thick­er inter­lin­ing) and the lines tend to be more diag­o­nal. A walk down Jermyn Street may get you noticed and you’ll cer­tain­ly get nods of approval as oth­ers pass you by. And per­haps a hat tip or two from those that ask you for the time to sneak a glance at your old-world pock­et watch. Win­ston Churchill would be rolling over in his grave know­ing his prodi­gal style is still remem­bered and emu­lat­ed.

Our Take: Deo Veritas’ Full Cutaway Collar

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Full Cut­away Col­lar w/ Tie

Deo Ver­i­tas’ Full Cut­away Col­lar w/ Jack­et and Tie

Collar Details & Specifications.

For all the tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion and specifics on our Ital­ian dress shirt col­lars shown along with our British coun­ter­parts, vis­it our dress shirt col­lar page:

Some Sartorial Inspirational from Italy.

Italian Dress Shirts


Italian Dress Shirts


Italian Dress Shirts


Italian Dress Shirts


Italian Dress Shirts

Italian Dress Shirts