by Holly Adam

During these challenging months of the pandemic, escapism has taken on new meaning. Social media is loaded with “who binged what?” and working from home usually involves some background noise for necessary distraction. For those of us with short attention spans and no interest in following a storyline for hours on end, enter Stanley Tucci and Searching for Italy. Just knowing that at 9:00 pm every Sunday night on CNN I have a “date” with him provides an anticipatory assault on the senses. Oh, to be back in Italy!

The fact that Pitti Uomo is scheduled to happen in-person this June is surely the highlight of the year for (exhausted) retailers worldwide. They deserve this, as do the suppliers who suffered through the past year with their retail partners. If the universe cooperates this summer, Florence and Milan will once again be overflowing with fabulous style, wonderful restaurants, fully-booked hotels, and streets teeming with fashion icons and iconoclasts. And, of course, Stanley.

Holly at cooking class in Italy, a few years back.

A former menswear exec recently told me he’s looking to buy new slim cargo pants and a couple of shirts. I told him to watch Searching for Italy and get back to me. He admitted starting a list after the first episode noting what he needs in order to emulate Stanley’s style. Not that there’s anything earthshattering about it: it’s mostly elevated classics that fit perfectly. A slim but not tight ankle-length twill pant, a desert boot or loafer, a soft-shouldered knit blazer, a layering half-zip. Rainbows of open-collared linen shirts. A simple belt. The ubiquitous scarf, in a subtle cashmere plaid for fall, an ombré or quiet tie-dye for spring. Persol sunglasses. Perfect shades of blue. But no denim jeans, no logo-laden anything. Not one superfluous touch, just simple pieces in fine fabrics, flawlessly tailored and seemingly effortless. Sprezzatura perfection!

If you’ve not yet watched this show, it’s a brilliant combination of food, scenery, history, and human rights. It’s smart, stylish, and sexy, a must-watch for retailers with great taste. Until we get to the Fortezza da Basso, follow my friend’s lead and start your list. See you in Florence!

Holly Adam is a former independent retailer and men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s. She can be reached at


  1. HA- exactly my sentiments to the show and Stanley’s effortless style. So well done!

      1. Great piece Holly…..those formative years spent trawling the Pitti aisle a d the Florentine restaurants, show a depth of feeling and experience many erstwhile erstwhile experts can only dream of! Go girl…….

        1. Thank you, MG! It’s truly an assault to the senses. If you can watch, DO!

      2. Fantastic!! Have so many great memories with you at Pitti!
        Great article.
        Ciao Bella

  2. Very well expressed Holly. Simple, flawless, and not superficial. Stanley Tucci has a personal style and flair for understated elegance. It all makes sense with his low-keyed deminer and the presentation of Italian food and lifestyle. The show intertwines this perfectly. I look forward to it every week.

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