Made In Italy — Fall Style with Roger Mazzeo

By Loannie Dao 

While the chill of fall slowly dawns on us, the bustle of the fashion industry is just getting started. With so many influencers and experts out there, we are constantly changing our wardrobes to match the seasons.

Lucky for us, international model and curator Roger Mazzeo is here to advise on this fall’s must-haves. Mazzeo, a New Jersey-born Italian-American, first began his career in acting—focusing  namely on Broadway, off Broadway and TV commercials. Mazzeo dove into mainstream acting, but ultimately it was commercials that would bring him to Milan, Italy. Though he would go on to star in numerous commercials and shows on Italian TV, Mazzeo eventually transitioned into modeling.

roger mazeAfter his life began to unfold in Italy, he met his wife and learned to speak the language. “When I was in full immersion, that was when I really started learning about my origins, learning about the culture and learning about fashion,” Mazzeo explains. It was only until after he fully immersed himself in Italian culture that he understood the significance of “Made in Italy.” A phrase more than just prestige, Mazzeo defines it as investing in a lifestyle that pays homage to the quality of the trade.

Now calling Montclair, NJ his home and having experienced Italian manufacturing, fashion and culture firsthand, Mazzeo uses his fashion blog to share his passion for style—in its many forms. Equipped with his expertise, Mazzeo shared with VUE his advice on this fall’s fashion tips for men.

Two essential items every man needs this fall:
“There are certain staples of every closet that are essential such as a basic white T-shirt or a classic vest. You can never go wrong with a simple plain white T-shirt.” You can also  layer it underneath a dress shirt to add an extra layer of warmth. Look for something made mostly of cotton that has an interesting neckline. Mazzeo’s names Brunello Cucinelli as his go-to for excellent cotton T-shirts made with Italian care and quality.

“I love vests, you definitely need a vest in your wardrobe,” he says. “To give your outfit a little extra pop, go with a vest that has a bold color.” And when it comes to brands, Mazzeo suggests Altea, a company that has been around for nearly a century and handcrafts all their products in Italy. Altea is unmistakably one of the top textile brands with quality vests.

One finding the perfect fall jacket:
roger mazzeo
“The number one advice is to walk into a store and put a jacket on. You need to understand how it feels and falls on your body. There is a lot more that goes into making a piece than most people realize.” Ultimately, the drop of the fabric and the fit of the materials are all important factors; you have to know your body type and what feels good on you to determine if you need a little more space in your appeal.

Along with this, the fabric blend is important to consider as it affects the jacket’s longevity. Mazzeo explains, “I need a 1 percent or a 2 percent inside a jacket so it doesn’t fall apart. Jackets should have some synthetic fibers in the fabric blend to give it a stretch.” Find a combination of virgin wool, cotton and elastin because it can keep the fabric from falling apart, making it last longer. For a brand with a great fit, Mazzeo recommends Lubiam. All their apparel is made in Italy with the utmost attention to tailoring.

Don’t forget to accessorize.
Keep a reliable pair of sunglasses handy. Mazzeo recommends a good pair of bespoke sunglass from The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, a collection of handmade frames that are crafted by Italian artisans. Along with this, Mazzeo prefers to wear a chain to keep his wallet on. He explains, “I like to have a chain just for the simple fact that it stays connected to my body and I can’t lose it. It’s a fashion statement but it is also essential to me. I’m always on the run. I may switch my shoes to go from dress shoes to sneakers if I am cruising around the city to be comfortable.”

Make your transitions from work to nightlife easier.
“Wear a relaxed T-shirt during the day and dress up your outfit by throwing on a jacket to go out at night.” You can style a nighttime outfit by adding a tie or a button up shirt.  Pair your outfit with a pair of sleek slip-on loafers. “You can never go wrong with a slip-on. These are comfortable but also give a more formal appearance for your nighttime look.” A great brand for this transition is Santoni, which has been defining luxury shoe design since its inception in 1975.

Alternatively, you can make an outfit casual by pairing jeans with a T-shirt and a lightweight cotton-based jacket. “Something as simple as rolling up the sleeve will change the look. I like the splash of color. If I have something with a bold color like a red suit, I will bring it down with a black tie in the middle. I like to keep the shirt tucked in. If I go casual, I still want to be put together and clean – I like to see the lines.”