While perusing the marbled museums, rolling countryside or cobbled markets (need more adjectives?), I don't want to scream tourist by how I dress! Let's try and pretend for just a minute we live here and today is any normal day for us in spectacular Italy. I've dressed like a complete fashion novice in the EU before and it feels... lame. But don't worry if you find yourself missing the style bullseye oversees, you'll be surrounded my plenty of inspiration. Let me give you a few suggestions for what to tote along for a beautiful meander through Italy or back home this summer.
1. Pack light.
OK, I know this is relative, but take less than you think you should. I'm a notorious over packer. Try not to do it this time. While packing, lay out all your clothes and create max. 5 outfits that all coordinate, hopefully giving you even more outfit options. Leave room for new clothing to return home with you. There will be plenty to make you wonder how you can get it, and then, get it home.
2. Make each piece count.
Pick pieces that are versatile and coordinate with other patterns and accessories ensuring each pants, shirt, shoes can go with more than one thing in your bag. In other words, do not bring anything you are not totally sure you know how and with what you will wear it. Be very deliberate in what you bring along.
3. Think sleek, understated and feminine.
European fashion is not flashy (well, unless you fancy D&G, which is awesome), but rather tailored and effortless. For example, leave the linen at home - it does not breath well in humidity, requires ironing and quickly looks rumpled and unflattering. Instead, channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with slim crop black cotton pants, a fitted white button-down shirt, big sunglasses and leopard print flats. Or consider Briget Bardot with a patterned circle skirt, belted at the waist with a scoop neck top.
4. Think chic, yet comfortable.
Do not, I repeat, do not bring your yoga pants and nike cross trainers unless you hit the gym in the hotel. They are comfortable, but not appropriate for exploring Sienna or Venice. You will regret it the moment you leave your room, or I hope you will. Pack your maxi dress and flat gladiator sandals instead. You'll look and feel gorgeous while you walk, walk and walk through the piazzas.
5. Accessorize wisely.
Blah fitted white-button down shirt you say? That's where the pink patent leather belt comes in. Bring your sassy sunglasses, a good roomy tote, a small clutch for evenings, a few belts of varying widths, and a patterned scarf, or pick up an inexpensive pashmina at the market. These simple, lightweight items have the potential to create maximum impact and polish off an outfit nicely without a lot of fuss or overthinking.
My dream suitcase would look like this:
If you made it this far, don't forget to bring your camera and an extra large memory card.
Soak it all in and enjoy every moment, especially the lost-in-translation-backward moments that hopefully you'll laugh about later over gelato. Be open to a wonderful exhiliarating experience.
Now, how about we talk about what to see and where to go?