STYLE. GROOMING. INSPIRATION. ADVICE.
HOW TO PERFECT THE PANINARO LOOK
By Libby Banks, September 29, 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 colored 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 Americanization 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 normcore, but there are subtle markers for those in the know.
T-shirts should be high-necked, loose-cut, tucked in and boldly colored with even bolder slogans. Jeans are stonewashed and finish above the ankle. To finish? Layer with an oversized puffer, obviously.
Cult of the logo
The Paninari developed their own status symbols, and worshipped at the altar of sportswear labels or bygone cult brands like By American or Best Company. Eventually, the look traveled north, where it was adopted by the British sports fans of the late '80s and early '90s.
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 sneakers.