Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, Unless It’s in Italian” – Francesco

Although the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” has a relatively short history, being widely popularized in 1947 by Cary Grant in the movie the Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, the concept actually dates back to the days of antiquity.

Consequently, in most languages and cultures there exists some way to express the admonition. Despite its widespread use and popularity, however, the fact of the matter is that most cultures do judge books by their covers!

What differs, however, are the values that each culture applies in judging any given book. When it comes down to the books of fashion, apparel, and dress, the irony cannot be truer!

Throughout my life, I have lived in eight assorted countries and I have worked in a dozen others. Time and time again, I have been confronted with the same question: “Why are Italian men so stylish?” The answer is quite simple.

The reason lies in the degree to which Italian society judges the covers of their “books.” When it comes down to the books of fashion, apparel, and clothing, Italians place a very high value on outer appearance as compared to other countries, such as the US.

Fortunately I am acquainted with the buying patterns of both Italian and American men. I worked in retail for some time in the US, while I ran my own showroom in Italy.

So, hopefully without transgressing into stereotypes, I will point out the major differences in values between Italian and US men and the degree to which each one judges outer appearance by its cover.

Photo Copyright Men’s Fashion by Francesco.

(1) Judging

(2) Formal

(3) Frilled but not Frilly

(4) Fashion-ability

(5) Fear

(6) Fine Tuned



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