When it comes to men’s style icons, a lot of familiar names get thrown around. Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Johnny Depp and Ryan Gosling are just some of the few that come to mind. The thing all these guys tend to have in common is that they have celebrity status within the entertainment industry or media. However, the truth is, there are a lot of guys out there who have great style and don’t appear on the big screen. In my opinion, the cream of the crop of these ‘underground icons’ is Lapo Elkann.
Born October 7th 1977, Lapo is the manager of brand promotion at Fiat Automobiles and someone who is considered as one of the heirs to the Fiat fortune. His grandfather was the Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, a man who is the personification of Italian style and sprezzatura – and Lapo can often be seen in one of the many suits he inherited from him.
Lapo makes regular appearances on international best dressed men lists due to his love of quality tailoring and never ever appearing under dressed for an occasion. And that really is the key when taking inspiration from Lapo’s style. Invest in plenty of well tailored pieces such as suits, blazers, waistcoats, quality shirts and ties then simply wear them everywhere. Style demi-god Glenn O’Brien once said ‘always try and appear that you have somewhere more important to go afterwards, wherever you go’ – and this is something Lapo appears to have taken to heart.
With ANY item you purchase, always make sure it fits you properly. Fit is king. This is something that Lapo gets right every time and therefore allows him to be more adventurous with his clothing choices. Why not wander out of your comfort zone a little bit and buy a suit or blazer in an interesting colour like red or green? Maybe just invest in a few double breasted suit jackets. Or how about simply going bolder with your lapel choice and opting for some with seriously big peak lapels. As long as it looks like it was made for your body, you can’t go wrong.
As for what to pair it with, take the lead from Lapo and stick with the classics. Blues, whites and grey will always go with any outlandish colour or style you pick, while also helping to anchor it within the outfit as a whole.
Another trademark of the Lapo look revolves around coloured shoes, which predominately come in the form of tassel loafers. This is a trend that is really starting to pick up in all price ranges and is something that Italians have been doing for a while.
Greens, blues and reds are all fair game and look especially good when made from a slightly more luxurious material such as velvet or suede. Integrate them into your monochromatic looks (such as navy trousers with a camel blazer) to add a nice accent to what you are wearing.
If you are a more conservative dresser then why not just invest in some navy footwear? It’s a great alternative to brown and goes with pretty much everything your usual shoes would. At the very least drop the black shoes and move into the wonderful world of brown hues.
Even when he’s dressing casually, tailoring still plays a large part in Lapo’s wardrobe. However, he tends to opt for an unstructured look with unlined blazers, denim and tailored shorts playing a big role.
He is a big fan of white jeans and you should be too. They are perfect for summer or winter and due to their neutral colouring they go with everything, especially if you’re a fan of wearing navy, grey or camel blazers.
If you’re not a fan of white, try a really faded pair of blue jeans and they will still perform the same role. Even if you’re only heading out the door in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, try to up your game by throwing on a blazer and nice pair of shoes to maintain a put together look. And don’t neglect the fit. Lapo’s basic tees and jeans are all slim and fitted, creating the most flattering silouhette possible at all times.
For the days when it’s just too hot (or you’re too hungover) for jeans and a tee, a simple pair of chino shorts and a chambray shirt can still look classic (and individual to you) when they fit properly and you accessorise them with a straw hat and suede shoes.
So there you have it guys, hopefully a few lessons and inspirational looks you can take from one of my favourite style icons, Lapo Elkann. However, I would like to point out that the Juventus tattoo is optional. Unless, you know, you’re a Juventus fan. In which case, go for it.
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