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How To Dress Like An Elegant Italian Woman This Summer (While Staying Cool)

By Chloe Plummer··  8 min read
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This summer is almost in full swing. With the temperature increasing and the romantic warm breeze returning to our lives, what better time to recreate the beauty and grace that’s portrayed in the idealized Italian scenes showcased on social media.

Just picture it now, a glass of white wine in a vineyard with some olives scattered on a plate as you gaze over the pastoral environment surrounding you. With the gorgeous, elegant Italians exuding class, it’s no surprise that many of the summer trends seem to hark from this European hot spot. Italian style can be deemed classic; with the short-lived trends constantly filling our “for you” pages, it seems more sustainable to invest in timeless and reliable pieces to make your summer wardrobe enviable.

So, whether you’re planning on visiting this romantic country and want to fit in with the stylish locals, or just want to feel classy and sensual from the comfort of your hometown, let's pick apart how to achieve the Italian look this summer.

A Day to Night Look 

As the Italian heat can sometimes be quite intense, it’s notable that many locals choose to cover up to protect themselves from the sun. This is effectively achieved with a maxi skirt. Now, maxi skirts have been having their moment universally in fashion, with the increased love of maxi denim skirts and the fairy core style of a white linen skirt, but it can be argued that Italians simply do it better. 

Their love for wine continues in the color palette chosen by many Italian women, namely a deep rouge color seems to be popular amongst locals. The deep maroon is a classy color, and matched with the silhouette of a maxi skirt, it can be breathtaking and elegant, as well as comfortable and breezy in the warm heat of the summer. If you don't own a cabernet-inspired skirt, other rich tones like brown or olive will work just as well.

In terms of day and night, the maxi skirt is widely versatile. During the day, pair it with a graphic t-shirt and a pair of sandals coupled with a cute wicker crossbody bag for exploring the ancient city of Rome. At night-time, you can wear the same elegant rouge maxi skirt, contrasted with a black lace bodice, a red lip, and a pair of strappy black stilettos. Italian style is easy, yet beautifully executed. It takes away the stress of maximalism and micro trends, and strips back fashion to a place of harmony and romanticism. 

Can’t Go Wrong with a Co-Ord

Coordinated tops and bottoms have been a hit since the 1970s, creating such ease and cohesion in an outfit that’s hard to fault. However, in Italy, they’re not exactly dressing in Juicy Couture tracksuits. 

Instead, the coordinates of choice are executed with class and simplicity, which is a dominant theme in Italian fashion. Co-ords are loved by Italians as they are just that, simple. For many fashionable people, the clothes that they pull from their wardrobe each morning are a representation of a characteristic, a mood, or even a nod to their heritage. Therefore, the importance of fashion can’t be stressed enough. So, on those days when you feel a fashion block or finding a full outfit that is stylish and making a statement is too much work, try a co-ord. 

To emulate that effortless Italian style, choose a matching set in neutral colors. Mirrored in the scenic surroundings of rural Italy and the picturesque ports of Lake Como, natural colors really do thrive in the Italian fashion world. Namely sea foam green is a gorgeous color to explore in a co-ord; paired with gold jewelry, the shade utters a certain sense of richness and minimalism which is what Italian style boils down to. 

Another shade that can be seen on Italian fashion influencers and locals alike is an oatmeal cream. Not only does this shade complement all skin tones, but the white undertones mean that the Italian sun will be reflected and keep you cool on long hiking days in the sublime hills of Italy. Ribbed and textured fabrics are also popular for matching sets.

Similar to maxi skirts, co-ords also share the idea of comfort and versatility. Not only can co-ords be an easy thing to pull on in the morning with a pair of Birkenstocks and a claw clip to go to the farmers market, but they can also pack a punch and fool people into thinking you have put in meticulous effort by simply adding dangling earrings or a statement pair of heels with your hair cascading around your shoulders for an impressive brunch look. 

Make a Statement 

Despite this article talking about the love that Italians have for simplicity and good basics, they certainly do know how to make a statement with fashion. From Dolce and Gabbana to Versace, Italian fashion is saturated with rich colors and clashing patterns that can’t be found anywhere else around the globe. There is no denying that Italians have a love for bright colors, namely fuchsia, reds, and oranges. 

Now the beauty of statement pieces in a wardrobe is that the pairing of items makes all the difference, and outfits can be altered to reuse those beautifully checked dress pants or those perfectly fitting pastel trousers that get you compliments time after time. Trousers are the perfect piece to make a statement with, especially when thinking of Italian fashion, because trousers allow you to play with different silhouettes on top. 

Tops are the perfect place to play with shapes. Take a milkmaid top paired with your statement trousers – the trousers evoke a boldness, a certain confidence that is assumed with the brave pattern on your bottoms. However, a milkmaid top gathered around your bronzed and highlighted collar bones oozes sensuality and a romanticized look. Playing with the dynamics of focus in your look can always be a fun way to push boundaries, especially in the capital of rich and exuberant fashion. 

Clashing patterns are also very Italianesque. Mirrored in the mismatched doors along the cobbled streets of Italy, it’s clear the Italians can be playful and daring with textures and colors. So, whether your comfort zone is pushed with a pair of statement pants and you want the rest of the outfit to be feminine, or whether you want to turn up the maximalism, making a statement is nothing new to Italian women. 

Keep in mind that an essential part of pulling off a statement piece is that it must fit you perfectly. Investing in clothes that fit and flatter your body type can’t be stressed enough, as a piece that looks like it was custom made for your body is worth the investment of going to get a pair of trousers altered. Because, like the Italians, if we invest in well-made and perfectly fitting clothes, the summer pieces can be worn for years to come. 

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

Accessories don’t get as much credit as they deserve when trying to achieve the romanticized Italian style. Glasses and scarfs are an absolute must when emulating the charismatic Italian ladies gracing your Pinterest feed. Accessories are also a cheaper alternative to buying statement pieces for your wardrobe, and they’re a more accessible way to dip your toes into the gorgeous style of Italy. 

Now it goes almost without saying that sunglasses are a must, practicality-wise, and have a chic appeal. Your eyes do need protection from the rays of the Italian sun, and there are some instantly recognizable shapes of sunglasses that connote Italian fashion. Cat-eye sunglasses are a classic shape that effortlessly compliments all face shapes and exudes an attitude and confidence expected from Italian women. From Audrey Hepburn’s oversized cat-eye glasses to the modern sleeker rectangular shapes, sunglasses are a perfect addition to any summer outfit, adding sophistication and class to your summer wardrobe. 

Another accessory worth an honorable mention is silk scarves. Scarves have had their moment in fashion for a while now, and always spike in popularity in the spring and summer months, but that is for good reason. A silk scarf is a versatile item. Whether it’s tied around your neck with a white V-neck t-shirt tucked into cream pants, tied around your head with your hair loose and a white button-down, or just simply tied to a tote bag, silk scarfs add another color, pattern, or texture to an outfit, which is fun and playful and in line with Italian fashion. When picking a silk scarf, think rich jewel tones. Emerald, ruby, and amethyst hues compliment all skin tones and can be perfectly paired with a basic outfit to add depth.

Closing Thoughts 

Some may say that Italians do many things better: food, views, and of course, fashion. Women are easily able to emulate Italian style due to the combination of classic reusable pieces and the rich effortless additions of a pop of color, pattern, texture, or simply a chic pair of shades. Italian fashion is timeless and inspiring, and through this article, I hope my insight has inspired you to use your current wardrobe staples or purchase some Italian romantic items to live the fantasy of an Italian renaissance this summer.

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