How to Dress Like Italian Women
Italian Fashion, Italian Women, Italian Attitude: How They Really Do It
Each of us certainly subjected to stereotyped associations when we tend to embrace the features of one or another country – don’t even try to deny it. First of all, we imagine huge eyes of the famous anime-girls, big set-mix of rolls and sushi at the restaurant of Japanese kitchen somewhere nearby, and inexplicably weird advertising that, sometimes, drastically seems out of having something in common with a savvy, when we remember Japanese. When it comes to baguette, snails and lover-Hero, there is an image of France looming out inside our mind, meanwhile, the lavender-fields pictures are becoming a leitmotif of every book or digital guide, or of the lavender scent shower gel stickers. Pasta is forever and ever branded onto a reputation of Italians, equally with their famous craving to food; Germans are punctual almost up to madness and will tear you apart if you come late at least for a minute; British are addicted to tea so much that even take baths in it, while constant rains and fogs appeared to become synonyms of London; every Aussie family is obliged to have a kangaroo as their pet, meanwhile Russians adopt bears as their beloved pets teaching them how to play the balalaika.
The same thing happens within the fashion sphere. There will be a fashion article or two somewhere in the online magazines flashed out by loud headlines such as: «How Italian girls dress up» or «French style – how to dress up to be perceived as a real French girl», or so – and this, honestly speaking, makes me not to laugh, but surely slightly raise the corner of the lip in a lenient – read – skeptical smirk. I don’t believe in dissimilarity of the styles depending on each country tastes that already seems a little bit strange (you can talk about everyone as you would talk about one person individually). I do believe the way every person applies a potential of garments in order to present yourself to the world, express your taste, and declare your fashion attitude as a manner of non-verbal communication and your own «myself» manifestation.
I suppose, all of you already know, or, at least, heard, read, observed the way women from four fashion capitals where Fashion Weeks take places to dress up. American girls prefer comfortable casual, jeans, and they aren’t afraid to experiment neither with their appearance nor with accessories, vivid colours and borrowed from the boyfriends’ shoulders oversized jackets. French (oh, heaven, bless those who spread rumours imagining French nymphs wearing black berets and sailor black and white striped tops that became a byword and a principal stereotype about French fashion) promote natural beauty and bare makeup, black total look and high-quality fabrics. Italian girls are totally in love with bright colours, high heels, and can’t even live without shopping (during writing this word my text editor replaced it with a «doping», and I really took thought), taking breaks for drinking a cup of espresso; whereas prim ladies from England can’t deal without classic beige Burberry trenches, addicted to dress-codes and willing to mix what, a priori, is impossible to be mixed.
Forget about it at least by the example of Italians. By living in Italy for four years, travelling around the country and observing Italian women (oh, you can’t imagine how charismatic and charming they are!), I found out some particular details in a relation of le Donne Italiane to their clothes and the way they look like.
As in the case of common national fashion stereotypes, cut out from our memory the whole street style from Milan Fashion Week where are the most stylish and good-looking women that fall under the scope of cameras of the famous street style photographers. At the same time, draw attention to two very simple yet curious points which are fundamental of the daily style of Italian women and their manner of dressing: age and province.
Young girls rarely take care of themselves and their appearance: it costs nothing to them to tight up the hair into a disheveled bun, put on a hoodie with regular or mom style jeans, brutal boots or white sneakers (Adidas Originals and nothing else), polish not the most notable outfit with a nauseous khaki coloured parka and hang on a hand a tout-bag of the dimension not less than a half of its owner height, where might fit a huge printed marketing manual, one litre bottle of water (Italians, both men and women, consume a lot of water during the day), a wallet, a top for change, a food container tack-welded from home, a Narnia… Without exaggeration, that’s a real truth. And as for me, a 17-years-old girl came from Russia where women and girls from 15 can’t leave a house to throw out garbage with their make-up on and high heels, seemed to be very… strange. Generally speaking, it wasn’t a thing I was expecting to see from the peers and girl under 30.
The principal spot of my observations took its place in Florence – Tuscany, the very middle of Italy, its heart and soul, and the most significant manufacturer of the best Italian wines, a place where a bunch of movies were filmed, which many books were written about, and where Dante confessed in love to his beloved Beatrice. Amusing fact: the more in the North you are, the more you’re close to Milan or if you’re already there, the more stylish and off-beat outfits the beautiful part of Italy embraces. If mostly I had to be observant of an indifferent attitude of my own classmates to their appearance considering the fact we all were studying in a university of fashion industry and design; the number of my peers dressed immaculately in Milan significantly had increased. Consistent pattern?
It’s a real pleasure to watch a nicely dressed woman who uses to the fullest a potential of the accessories in her look. Calm colour range, clear silhouettes, minimalism and perfectly matched suits are diluted by surprisingly harmonious combination of accessories, elegant silky scarves, straw in the summer and felt in the winter fedora hats, delicate jewellery, wide bracelet complementing wristwatch on the same hand, statement earrings dangling at each step, necklace with a peculiar pendant bought in the little shop of an unknown master, and a bag – necessarily made of real leather – and preferably expensive because they don’t want to skimp on the quality of their favourite accessories.
And you can’t even imagine how much I loved to watch genuine Donne Italiane – mature women –beautiful, elegant, sophisticated which I only ever had to see in my entire life. I will never forget that day when I and my mom sat in the café and watched enchanting Italian matrons joyfully tweeting at the next table who decide to spend their Saturday morning with a cup of cappuccino and favourite national pastries, discussing their children, grandchildren, news and sharing a recipe of the ravioli con tartufo. Dressed immaculately, with colourful yet exquisite coats, with delicate hats that don’t even spoil they very curls, as this silver greyness never damaged the way they look like. Their well-groomed hands sparkled with large semiprecious stones, the earlobes were decorated with clips and pearled earrings which every vintage fashion lover would crave for, and the reticule branded bags (it seemed I have noticed something from Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Fendi) lay neatly beside them on the comfortable sofas, whilst their mistresses were frantically laughing at something of their own.
At that determined moment, I realised I’m madly in love with Italian women. Not in the young girls who are in their trials to find themselves and set up experiments with their style, unisex and feminism refusing to dress nicely for themselves in protest against established rules of how a woman should look like. But in those mature women who already passed through a massive amount of years of the life experience, subtle and refined, unique and incredibly beautiful with their wrinkles that they don’t even try to cover up, with their grey hair that doesn’t need to be hidden under a layer of dye, in the decision not to give up on themselves even if the age is already a little bit above 50. Watching them, you already realise you’re not afraid to grow old, watching them such extraordinary, charismatic, with good-natured smiles and desire to feed you up not less than your own grandmother would do, I feel no less admiration as I would experience it delighting an artwork of the Michelangelo the Great. Watching them, I do realise that none of the flashy fashion magazine headlines and tips can’t help you to look the way these women do, genuine Italians, style icons who are willing to turn each of their outfits into something remarkable and dazzling not only by accessories and bags for thousands of dollars. Internal light emanating from them, natural charisma and incredible charm – here is a recipe of the Italian women style.
And no one of the street-style stars can’t even be compared to them, smoking nervously aside.