HOW TO PERFECT THE PANINARO LOOK
By Libby Banks, 29 September 2017
The style that began in a Milan sandwich bar is back. Inspired by Ivy League schools, but with a definite Italian twist, the Paninaros of the early 80s created a subculture that was brightly coloured and heavily branded. It’s hard to get your head around just how rebellious eating a sandwich could be, but the snack was a controversial symbol of Americanisation that trampled on traditional Italian values. The Paninaros’ fast food lifestyle and bold aesthetic served as a rejection of the drabness of urban life and political strife in Italy at the time.
Like any subculture, the signifiers of being part of the Paninaro can be imperceptible to outsiders. For the uninitiated, the look could be written off as an iteration of American normcore, but there are subtle markers for those in the know.
T-shirts should be high-necked, loose-cut, tucked in and boldly coloured with even bolder slogans. Jeans are stonewashed and finish above the ankle. To finish? Layer with an oversized puffer, obviously.
Today, we’re seeing a revival of Italian heritage sportswear brands like Diadora, Ellesse and Fila. A logo windcheater is a perfect nod to the look, especially when worn with white chinos, socks and trainers.