I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I decided I wanted to be Italian, I like to think it was when my Mum allowed me to wear an all-leather ensemble to casual day at school, which we had picked up in Verona. In reality, it was more likely last year when I moved to London and spent most of my travel time jetting back and forward to Italy hoping to meet my future husband or at least experience enough of the Italian way of life to be considered an honorary citizen.
While the French are famed for their figures and style featuring a certain je ne sais quoi, the Italians are largely overlooked. So when Debbie suggested I write an article on why Italian women always look stylish, both Mum and I took to it with gusto.
As I sit on the terrace of our beautiful hotel overlooking the Spanish Steps, I feel I could do a PhD on the subject and still be left searching for more answers. However, because you don’t have all day, and there’s shopping to be done, our research over the past week has uncovered these four main reasons why Italian women always look stylish:
1. They wear good sunglasses
Make that great. Italian women know the importance of a good pair of sunglasses adding an air of sophistication and mystery. They opt for classic styles – never too out there – that cover their eyes and, more importantly, eyebrows!
2. They do accessories well
Italian women understand the importance of accessories as a whole. Unlike the French who can be very minimal with their accessories, Italian women aren’t afraid to splash out with coloured handbags, silk scarves in beautiful bright prints, statement shoes and dazzling jewellery. One of the more fabulous women we came across in Lake Como was a lady who looked to be in her 60s, with neon orange nails, dripping in statement rings and bracelets with a fabulous printed scarf wrapped around her neck – inspirational to say the least.
3. They invest in fabrics
Granted, Italians are spoilt for choice when it comes to luxurious fabrics such as silk, leather, suede, cashmere and linen, so it is rare you will catch them wearing inferior fabrics. Not only do natural, high quality fabrics fall better on your body, they allow it to breathe – something polyester cannot. Take a leaf out of the Italian stylebook and, when you can, invest in fabrics that will flatter your figure rather than grabbing in all the wrong places. They’ll last longer too.
4. They choose classic clothes over trends
This isn’t to say Italian women don’t follow trends, but you won’t find them falling for fads. Anyone who has watched fashion’s fickle trends knows that classic is the best way to buy long term. It also goes hand-in-hand with impeccable grooming and understated style. After all, you can always knock them dead with your accessories.
One final thought, over the past week all the Italian women we observed seemed to pull off their outfits with an air of quiet confidence, comfortable in their own skin. This isn’t always easy for women, but something we should all work towards – it really does show when someone embraces their body, flaws and all.