"https://nothing2wearnovello.com/" nothing 2 wear : When In Rome

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When In Rome

Do as the Italians Do

Last time I was in Italy, while visiting the ruins in Pompeii I spotted a statuesque, well-dressed woman wearing five inch Louboutin heels. Hobbling around on what I can only describe as the best way in this world to simultaneously break both your ankles she did not seem at all phased that her red soles were being ripped apart on shards of stone and pebble. Why would anyone visit an archaeological site in a pair of $1,000 pumps? My only reasoning was she must be Italian. So, naturally, I stalked her for a lil while with the intent of listening for an accent or a clue as to where she was from, and suddenly, there it was, “Voglio una limonata” she blurted out to the also overdressed male who accompanied her. Translation: “I want a lemonade.” BINGO, she was Italian!

Being of Italian decent I feel like its OK for me to admit that Italians have a reputation for over indulging in fashion, actually, let me lay this out for you; we would basically sell our first born to afford the latest Gucci hand bag. 

Most Italian’s have a closet full of designer clothing and an empty bank account. Living beyond our means is perfectly acceptable, while wearing the same outfit twice is highly frowned upon. I don’t want to say Italians are superficial but…have you ever had the privilege of watching the Italian news?  Watch it for half an hour and you will see there is more focus on what the accused was wearing rather than the crime.

I was lucky enough to be in Italy when the royal wedding took place two years ago; I say lucky because the local news channel provided hours of entertainment for me and my mother.  The details of the nuptials were lost on us Italians; rather, a close up shot of Pipa’s butt in the infamous McQueen column gown took center stage. If I had a Euro for every zoom in butt shot they flashed across the screen I would have had a field day in Missioni!

In light of all this, one question remains. How should you dress when you’re in Italy? Have you ever travelled some place and had a really hard time packing? This is how I feel every time I visit Italy so I am by no means an authority on the subject, but I do have some tips based on my own experiences. 

Be cognizant that your outfit choices depend on whether you are in the South or the North. Trust me on this one.  Southerners embrace the fact that they come from humble means, they have a passion for food, family and gossip and are more laid back. So what I'm getting at here is, you best not be wearing sky high heels or a short skirt while walking through  a small, rural, mountain town in Southern Italy, trust me I've done it, I was gawked at, and comments were made, all of which I don’t care to divulge. 

In the North all bets are off, think Milan fashion week, but imagine a world where EVERY week is fashion week. Northerner's passions include dressing to the NINES every single day, wearing tons of make-up and bad mouthing Southerners. 

If you’re in the north for vaca and you don’t want to look like a stinking tourist then please put your fanny pack and Nike’s away and fix your hair and do your make up while you’re at it. In the north, especially in Milan, fashion rules supreme.  Even our police officers are all 6 feet tall, with chiselled features and decked out in black Armani suits, no wonder they are so easily confused with models.  I'm sure many of us would gladly be taken away in the back of one of their shiny Mercedes sedans. But I digress….the average women is waif-like with gorgeous hair and so well put together she appears to have just stepped off a runway. It’s unrealistic for foreigners but perfectly acceptable for Italians. 

In case you didn't catch on last week, I am headed to Italy in a few weeks myself. My husband asked me a while ago what he should pack and I very sincerely told him that if he brings his Crocs I am going to have to pretend to not know him, or I can possibly try to convince my Pisano’s that he is my chauffeur, not sure how well that will work.

Me in Rome in 2011 with my Miu Miu purchase

I would say that as a rule of thumb when packing for Italy think about over dressing slightly, you will still be under dressed compared to the home-grown Italian women prancing around. Don’t wear runners unless you are visiting an archaeological site or taking a morning jog. Embrace trends, if you want to pick up something in Italy that will set you apart when you return home then this is what you gotta do. The last time I was in Italy “hideous” wedge sneakers were trending, I thought I’d never see them back in Canada, and I was quite unimpressed with Italian women in general for falling for them. Low and behold take a look at THIS,this this annnnd this, the trend has exploded! (p.s two years behind the Italians, who are definitely already OVER IT!) You get the point? 

Lastly, save room for food, I am consciously trying not  to pack too many pairs of skinny jeans because I know I will be pigging out every chance I get. If you travel to Italy and avoid carbs, gelato and salami then you are pathetic, sorry, I had to say it. Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh but I wouldn't be Italian if I didn't defend my love for food, bad mouth someone, and try to boss you around, so please forgive me. Instead, please share with me what you pack when you visit somewhere far, far away and any conundrums you face when trying to narrow down what to bring with you.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, I can totally relate to the Italian woman walking around the ruins in Loubs. I think for me, whenever I'm going on vacation, I think about what the pictures will look like. I'm a photographer, and I have a fashion blog, so it's important for me to be dressed the parts. So I've totally been in the situation wehre I've worn high heels and walked around on cobble roads. Let me tell you, it wasn't comfortable. And I got stares!! So for my Christmas trip, I decided it was important to be both fashion forward and comfortable. I'm most comfortable in pants, so I invested in ultra chic, fashion forward (read Prada) pants that would still look hot when paired with garbage bag. And invest in a good pair of flats that will compliment an outfit.

    I think you look perfectly chic and comfortable in your attire! Oh, and I too hate those goddamn sneaker wedges. Who the eff outside skater chicks would want to wear them? *shrugs*

    P.S. wanna follow each other on bloglovin?