Planning a city break to Rome and want to blend in with the locals? Italian style is less about having a uniform and more about a bold, in-the-know approach to fashion. Confidence is key. Consider well-fitting (not necessarily tailored), smart pieces such as a pencil skirt or a camel coat, always freshly pressed and snag-free. Wardrobes here are bold but not OTT – one showstopper skirt can be paired with a simple knit, a la Mrs Prada.
For a casual setting, think of understated but always-chic brands such as Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana, but for the more attention-grabbing gear, look to Rome’s big hitters – Fendi, Dolce, and Gucci – who put Italian fashion on the map. A simple way to dress boldly without overdoing it is to colour block. An effortless suit is given the wow factor in a statement shade, or try pairing similar hues for a more put-together look.
When in doubt, follow this rule – dress from the shoes up. There’s a reason there are so many Italian shoe designers – Ferragamo, Tod’s, Sergio Rossi, the list is endless. Well-made footwear is the mark of the well-heeled and is the foundation of any outfit. So whether you’re wearing a simple loafer or a va-va-voom stiletto, put your best foot forward and step into a new Italian wardrobe.
Feeling inspired? Book one of the best hotels in Rome, save some of the most beautiful places in Rome to your Google maps and spend your days wandering the city in these Italian items.
1. A printed dress
A bold printed dress, whether boxy or fitted, oozes Italian style. For a city break to Rome, choose one that will work for day-to-night and can be worn with layers if needed.
2. A classic handbag
When it comes to beautifully crafted leather bags and shoes, Italians always know best. The king of understated Italian style is Loro Piana. Case in point – the brand’s newly launched ‘Bale’ handbag, which comes in a large or micro size made of beautifully crafted plonge leather.
3. A pair of loafers
Milan is a beautiful city to explore on foot, so a pair of comfortable flat shoes are essential. To fit in with the classically-dressed locals, skip the dirty trainers for a pair of neat leather loafers.
4. A colourful suit
You can never go wrong in a sharp suit. Especially a colour-popping statement looks like Dolce & Gabbana’s pink style. Layer over a roll neck for caffe in the arty Regola neighbourhood, or with a smart pair of sandals for a gallery tour.
5. A printed blouse
A printed blouse will make a hard-working addition to light packing. Team with denim for daytime or under a suit for the evening and always wear tucked in and a little undone.
6. Flared jeans
For a grown-up feminine look choose a pair of high-rise flares. These can be dressed up with a printed blouse and blazer for the evening or worn simply with a t-shirt and flats for long daytime lunches or sightseeing.
7. A classic camel coat
If you’re travelling in the cooler months, an elegant camel coat will keep you warm and looking the part. For the ultimate investment, embrace Italian heritage brand Max Mara which is famed for its timeless camel coats.
8. A pair of colourful heels
There’s often a sexiness to Italian style like no other Europeans can quite master and what better way to inject a dose of this into your packing than a pair of stilettos? Choose a simple leather heeled sandal in bright shade and slip on with a shift dress for evenings out in the city. And be sure to add “get a pedicure” to your pre-trip to-do list.
Don’t even book your flight without a good pair of sunglasses. Embrace Monica Bellucci levels of glamour with a pair of oversized tortoiseshell frames, ideal for strolling along Via Cola di Rienzo.
10. A shoulder bag
Iconic Roman house Fendi first introduced its legendary Baguette in the late 1990s, conceptualised by the recently appointed Silvia Fendi and creative director Karl Lagerfeld. Since then its had countless iterations and makeovers, from fabrics and sizes and collaborations. This boxy version is the perfect cross-body for a day out exploring the city.
11. A statement skirt
Mrs Prada knows a thing or two about wearable high-fashion and nothing says Italian style like a statement skirt teamed with a simple block colour knit. This high-waisted skirt in powder blue will look beautiful on your next Roman Holiday. Pair with a light knit or t-shirt and flats.