Isaia's 10 Style Tips for the Modern Man

Here are some fabulous style tips and wise words from renowned Neapolitan tailored clothing designer Gianluca Isaia.

I hear his name pronounced incorrectly all the time, so here's how to say it right: EE-za-EE-uh.

Gentlemen, take heed...


1. On Personal Style

"Personal style is exactly that: personal. It can be part gentleman and part dandy, but it is always unmistakably stylish. It’s important for men to wear what they are most comfortable in, but comfort does not mean messy. When a man is at a loss for personal style, there’s nothing wrong in looking for inspiration in the style of those you admire."

2. One Thing Every Man Needs

"The cornerstone of every wardrobe is a classic, well-tailored navy-blue suit. When paired with the right furnishings, this suit is appropriate for just about any occasion, from the boardroom to the dining room. And, if the mood strikes, the suit can be broken up into separates, providing versatile options that include a chic navy sport coat."

3. Choosing a Jacket

"Chances are, whether wearing a suit or a sport coat, most men have chosen a jacket that’s too big. Remember that jackets should fit like a second skin - moving with the body comfortably. There’s also a big difference between a machine-made garment and a tailored one, so it is worth investing in the latter. A man will know if he’s wearing a well-tailored garment because it is so light he won’t even feel as though he’s wearing a jacket."

4. A Variety of Jackets

"The first three jackets a man should invest in are single-breasted ones in solid navy, solid grey and one with a subtle pattern. Once he has those, he can add a double-breasted style. A double-breasted suit is really one of the most elegant looks a man can wear. Since it should always be worn completely buttoned up, the wearer will always look like a gentleman."

5. How to Wear Color

"A lot of men are intimidated by color, but that’s because they don’t realize what a tremendous asset it can be. The right amount of color in clothes can brighten your complexion and change your whole mood. For any man, an easy entrée into the world of color is a great tie, a pocket square or even a pair of socks."


6. Food and Fitness

"When I eat pasta or mozzarella di bufala, I chew extra hard to get in some exercise. I'm joking, but the point is I still enjoy food and I still look after myself. You need to be in shape, but don't be obsessed with your body. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy."

7. Wild Sex and Suits

"In Neapolitan dialect, there's an expression, fare una sciammeria, which means to have a wild, passionate, crazy night of sex. They don't come easily – you need to make a bit of effort. To get one you need to invest money – take a woman out to the right restaurant, buy her flowers, do vacations. The money spent will bring you pleasure. It's the same with a suit – you need to spend money to get the most from one."

8. Shoes and Elegance

"You don't always have to wear wing tips with suits. In the summer, I wear sandals, handmade in Capri, to make my suits a little less dramatic. As long as you wear something naturally, it can never lose its elegance."

9. Shirts on a Plane

"You can recognize a good shirt immediately on a plane. If a guy, after placing his luggage in the overhead storage, has to tuck his shirt back in his pants, then it's not a well-made shirt. A good shirt has a high armhole that fits right under your armpit. It gives you more movement and guarantees the shirt will always stay in place."

10. On Jewelry

"A man can wear a ring, a bracelet, or even a necklace – any jewelry he wants. What's important is that the object become a part of him, or else it's going to clash."