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I have just returned from a two week holiday in Italy (I live in Virginia, USA) and had a fantastic time. Time was spent in Rome, Tuscany and Venice. Having visited Rome before, I was eager to return as I'm intrigued by the fashion and rhythm of this city. I'm not any expert on men's clothing, but for those interested I'll try to share some observations.

* Side vents are all the rage, which is just fine by me.
* Most jackets are 3 button, flap pocket. Nothing too surprising there.
* I'm digging for the term but can't remember, but the point near the top jacket button where the front comes together, is rather high -- almost comically so. The lapels look miniaturized and nearly as wide as they are high. While the Italians pull it off with flair, I tried on a few jackets and thought better of it and stuck with shirts and ties.
* There are numerous shirt stores that carry clever and beautiful patterns that I haven't seen in the states. Some were garish, but most are perfectly tasteful, if eccentric to the white shirt crowd.
* The shirts mentioned above are cut trim around the waste and they seem to have more "stages" of sizing in the neck than most American shops. The collars are also more stiff. Spread collars are the norm. All of these factors pleased me.
* Decent ties can be acquired for about $25 USD and very good ties for about $50.
* In general, the quality of mid-range clothing ($500 suits, $65 shirts, etc) is higher than what I find in the states. One can buy with more confidence in Rome than in any US city I've been in. In other words, I feel like I need to separate more wheat and chafe at home than in Rome.
* Rome itself is a dream -- well dressed men all over the place who wear it with confidence, but then that is Italy.

As an aside, I was puzzled that tie shops didn't often sell pocket squares (even though they are often worn) and shirt shops didn't sell cuff links (not even silk braids). The mode seems to lean toward specialization.

What a country! I treasure several shirts and ties that I brought back.
 
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