Trend How-To: Italian Style

BY: Sonia Taylor

As much as I would never like to see another ‘Italians do it better’ t-shirt again, I’ve got to give the motto some credit. In a country as well known for its food as it is for its fashion, it’s hard to fault the authenticity Italians manage to pull off. Why do we get that certain satisfaction in having a label read ‘Made in Italy’? Because when Italians do things, they do it well.

A trip to Rome, Milan or Florence is a crash-course in just how right Italians can get it when it comes to fashion. Gli italiani aren’t bothered by trends, instead they epitomise the idea of classic style.

Just think of the Haute Couture influence, covering the likes of Pucci, Prada, Fendi, Missoni, Versace, Armani, Valentino and beyond. There is no argument that Italians and quality go hand-in-hand. So it is easy to spot the tourists vs Italian locals when sipping an espresso and watching passers-by, for the simple reason that Italians swear by their staples.

Here are a few tips to channel Italian elegance:

1. Know your body – the bits you love and the bits you loathe. Accepting your shape is the key to dressing it well.
2. Get a tailor – garments are made to a size guide, not made to fit you. A tailor will be the best investment (and makeover) you ever give your wardrobe.
3. Don’t skimp on quality – good quality fabrics sit better and last longer. Invest in a) a fabulous coat or jacket b) statement glasses (whether for sun or sight) c) killer shoes and d) a well-made bag.
4. Don’t wear thongs – ever. Even in summer. Italians don’t wear rubber thongs on their tootsies. Leather is for shoes. Rubber is for tyres.
5. Keep it simple – colours and patterns shouldn’t be overcomplicated. Black is perfect in winter, and white is ideal for summer.
6. Work your accessories – a beautiful scarf, a gorgeous watch, a statement necklace, a dazzling pair of earrings; accessories are key to adding personality to your staples.
7. Polish off your look – think of your hair, face and nails as another accessory, which shouldn’t be overlooked when putting together an outfit.
8. Be confident – you look amazing! Part of an Italian’s style comes from an attitude; the knowledge that, damn, they look good.

1. Hermes Silk Printed Scarf $550.00 at 2. Missoni Crochet Heels $350.00 at 3. YSL Muse II in black, $1495 at 4. Missoni Wool Crochet Dress $1,450 at

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Images: The Sartorialist


  • Reply yslyenom Monday 12th August, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Can’t totally live without thongs for summer.

  • newbie
    Reply newbie Wednesday 18th January, 2012 at 10:34 am

    great post!

  • Reply shell0606 Saturday 7th January, 2012 at 4:44 pm


  • Reply holly vals Saturday 7th January, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Love drooling over Sartorialist images -great tips too

  • Reply blackcab Friday 23rd December, 2011 at 8:26 am

    sahh italian

  • Reply hannahstoios Sunday 11th December, 2011 at 7:46 pm


  • Reply kimberlay Saturday 19th November, 2011 at 5:29 pm


  • Reply ellyloves Tuesday 18th October, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Love it!

  • Sonia Taylor
    Reply Son Friday 13th May, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    It isn’t really just about brands, it’s about good quality products and key pieces – about a look. Italian style doesn’t necessarily mean Italian-only garments 🙂

  • Reply Valeriem Friday 13th May, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    yikes! Hermes & YSL are French brands…should they feature in an Italian story?…hhmm

  • Reply Katie Thursday 12th May, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    “Leather is for shoes, rubber is for tyres” – love it! Though a difficult mantra for Havaianas-loving Australians to come to terms with…

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