When I was in Sicily last month I noted a lot of buttondown shirts, albeit with high(er) collars. Also, their oxford cloth is pretty light; from when I lived in Emiglia-Romagna I don't recall heavy, gnarly oxford cloth. A shame, really, because that stuff is great. Broadcloth buttondowns are pretty common there, and of course linen, as Greg mentions.
Tonal/low contrast looks are awesome. Go for it.