Originally Posted by LeonM
Italians have been doing this for years, wearing down vests/ padded gilets/ bodywarmers over suit coats/jackets.
I always thought it looked silly but seeing it a lot, i am changing my mind.
Should i get one?
I know what you are talking about, and yes, Italian men do this quite a lot. I saw this everywhere when i was in Napoli and Roma last year.
Why do they do this: Because italians ride their Vespe and motorcycles a lot! It is usually their motorcycle jacket. It is for practicality more than anything else. Having said that, the people who wear this do it because they don't have a proper overcoat. Having a car in Southern Italy, versus a motorcycle or scooter as your primary mode of transport, is a big status symbol!
Now, there is a different look of wearing the sleeveless gilet over a shirt/sweater....Italian guys of "higher class" do this a lot for a cool weekend look, and it works really nicely IMO. Especially when the gorgeous girls on the guy's arm run their hands down the guy's cashmere-sweater covered arms...I saw this a lot in Milano and Roma.
An aside on the way Italians dress: It is totally natural for them to dress well. When i was going to visit some family there, my mother gave me the third degree to make sure I took "decent" clothes, out of respect for that country more than anything else.
Even when dressed well, they still scamper around the fish markets stepping on filth, walk in the sand on the beach in Gucci suede loafers, then take these loafers off to go for a dip, then come back and dust the sand off their feet and put them back on....etc. It's a very organic existence with nice clothes--as if they are part of their body.
It's very different for us in north america IMO...where I wouldn't even wear suede shoes if it was raining...forget walking about a slimy, wet, floor covered with dripping water fish market trying to pick out the best cozze for dinner.....