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Brunello Cucinelli’s Top 5 Style Rules

Journalist Peter Howarth spoke to the Italian luxury designer to gather five of the finest style tips to follow for ultimate sartorial results

9 February 2024

Founded by Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli in 1978, the eponymous brand specialises in elegant menswear, womenswear and childrenswear in luxury fabrics. The brand has become a byword for understated elegance across genders and generations. We tasked men’s style expert Peter Howarth with finding out the designer’s five most hallowed men’s style rules. This is what he had to say…   


1. Always invest in a great jacket

According to Brunello, the jacket is the foundation of the men’s wardrobe and will make you look well-dressed if it is well-cut and of good quality. But, he says, it has to be comfortable. An unstructured jacket feels relaxed but looks smart and is easy to transport. Brunello Cucinelli jackets can fold up into baggage and then unfold on arrival to be worn immediately without creases. Match with trousers for a suit, or wear as a blazer. Navy blue and grey are core colours that match with most other colours.

2. Try a one-and-a-half-breasted style

Cucinelli has pioneered what would traditionally be called a double-breasted jacket style that is slimmer and less bulky, and so more flattering. It essentially has a narrower overlap at the front. This modern and elegant style makes you look well-proportioned, giving you a “V-shaped” silhouette.

3. Build a wardrobe around a core colour palette of neutrals, greys and navy blues

Even if you are embracing pattern, think of the base colours, says Cucinelli. If you do this, you will be able to add to your wardrobe with new things and incorporate your existing pieces. This way, you get longer service from garments, which is of course, a more sustainable approach, but also means that you can keep wearing much-loved garments for many years. 

For this to work, of course, the pieces themselves need to be classic in design so they don’t date. That is the key to Brunello Cucinelli – well-made pieces that don’t have an identifiable vintage. It’s like an ever-expanding jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces fit together. This also makes styling very easy. Jackets, knits, trousers, shirts and coats all work together effortlessly.

4. Embrace the idea of knitwear

Knitwear is a great way to soften an outfit – worn under a tailored jacket it gives a different impression than wearing a shirt. But it is also a great jacket substitute. Chunky knits, particularly cardigans, work as outerwear, especially in the summer, and have a relaxed and casual spirit. This look is particularly good for travel and driving, allowing for mobility of movement.

5. Think of accessories as ways of adding interest, and challenging convention

An open-necked denim shirt, or even a tie worn under a checked jacket or suit can completely change the look of a tailored outfit. Hiking-style boots with tailored trousers convert a city outfit into something much more interesting. A great quality holdall or backpack makes you look like a connoisseur of details, in the same way that a good watch or pair of shoes can anchor an outfit. Belts, socks, glasses – these are all important. The simplest outfit of a pair of jeans and a sweater can be elevated by simply adding great footwear or a suede backpack.


Find Brunello Cucinelli’s boutique for men, women and children at 159 Sloane Street, SW1X 9BT; 10-6pm click here to book an appointment.


Journalist Peter Howarth is the managing director of Brummell magazine and editor of The Times Luxx Men’s.

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