While I’ve been on vacation in Italy I’ve wrestled with what to focus on for this week’s post. There’s been so much to see, mull over and write about!
But what’s most influenced me this week is Italian style. Not fashion, of which there is MUCH, but style.
My friend, Harlow, and I were talking about Italian style yesterday on our boutique crawl (like a pub crawl but with less booze and greater expense). We Austinites like to think of ourselves as “laid back” in terms of style. And while that’s certainly accurate, it could also less generously be called sloppy, careless, lacking. Not that I would ever apply any of these adjectives to my friends and neighbors.
On the other hand, when Italians are in the public sphere they’re going to look their best. Just now, an electrician came to the house to investigate a little issue and he was in designer jeans. That’s commitment, folks.
In my not-so-humble opinion, people here have an impressive sense of style. Harlow, who has lived in Italy for well over a decade, sees Italians as more conservative compared to, say, the French. But from my “laid back” perspective the effortless yet stylish way they put themselves together is a refreshing change from what I generally see at home.
I snapped a couple of pics while out and about to illustrate my point. In one photo, an older woman is wearing a fairly conservative blue blouse. Chanel, I think. Worn with a navy or black skirt and pumps, it would be part of a very conservative, predictable ensemble. Instead? She’s wearing it with white jeans and tall black boots. To me, she is the opposite of conservative and predictable. Her style is classic and timeless without being prim and proper.
In the other photo, another, also older, woman is wearing an on-trend long cardigan. If she’d worn it with loose-fitting trousers and loafers, she would be the epitome of prim and proper. But she’s wearing slim-fitting trousers, flat sandals, black sunnies, and a scarf tied at her neck. Her style is sophisticated and chic.
These ladies might be nonnas but there’s certainly nothing granny-ish about their style.