August 21st, 2008
Q: I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy for the fall semester. I don’t want to be another "teeshirt and jeans American." Any ideas on how to look stylish while immersing myself in this beautiful city? And what trends should I splurge on while I’m there (not to mention gifts for some of my fashion forward friends back home)?
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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant
A: You mention that you don’t want to look like the typical American in jeans and tee shirts. Agreed that worn and faded jeans with a sloppy tee is not a good look. That said, a nice dark wash jean with a colorful, clean tee and a ballet flat is a good classic look that transcends borders and cultures. You can go beyond this casual classic by incorporating more polished pieces into your wardrobe–tailored pants and skirts, sophisticated sweaters and dresses, and of course, a stylish coat.
What to Pack
As a foundation wardrobe, I would pack a couple of dark wash jeans, trouser pants, some basic colored tees, fitted button down shirts, and a couple of sweaters in bright colors. Splurge on a stylish jacket and a perfectly fitted trench to keep you warm. A couple of dresses for going out are also a must. Don’t forget some tights and long underwear, as it will be chilly in the autumn in Florence.
Gifts in Florence
Florence is famous for its gold and leather, which will make great gifts for your close friends. Check out Ponte Vecchio for a wide variety of gold and silver shops, but be forewarned that bargains are long gone. As for leather goods, Il Bisonte is a shop with beautiful leather bags, agendas, and wallets.
Should you have nieces, you may want to visit Assunta Anichini, which is the oldest childrens’ clothing store and offers beautiful hand embroidered and smocked dresses.
If you don’t already have a great leather bag, I would wait and get one in Italy. Same goes for leather gloves. Last style tip? Check out the lingerie boutiques in Florence–they have some beautiful shops. Enjoy la dolce vita!
Have a great tip about what to wear in Florence? Share it with us in the comments!