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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It’s All About Serving Looks

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Rachel  Zoe. I feel as if this quote represents me throughout multiple stages of my life. I can clearly remember my mother telling me the issues she had getting me dressed in the morning as a 3-year-old girl, because, “No, Mommy, I don’t want to wear that, I want to wear this.” After arguing for a few minutes, she reluctantly gave in and let me wear my blue skirt even though she had picked out blue pants. Since before I could truly comprehend style, it’s been something I’ve used to express who Jalynn truly is and how she feels inside. Today, I will wear a pop of color like red or a flashy necklace to represent my daring personality. I feel that this parallels with Italians and how they choose to carry themselves outside of the household. During a debriefing with Umberto (our professor for Cultural Introduction to Italy) during our first week, he explained to us that Italians always care about their appearance and are known to put on a complete outfit to simply walk down the street. Italians are very conscious about their outside appearance and deem it a direct reflection of themselves. In the United States, we would simply wear sweatpants and a t-shirt to the grocery store, but in Italy the norm is “Italian Street Style”. This could include a blouse, some jeans, a pair of heels, a scarf, and always sunglasses.
Italy is a place of expression and fashion freedom as there is really no such thing as over-dressed. It is common to see a woman walking down the uneven streets in a dress and a pair of heels. Street style is about fluidity of an outfit from head to toe and is not opposed to turning a few heads for a second look at your outfit. The phrase “la bella figura,”meaning a beautiful figure, ties into the importance of fashion. Fashion, and specifically Italian fashion, is about the way you present yourself to the world, the uniqueness you bring, and the beautiful figure that you portray. Basically, presentation is everything. The way you present yourself shows that you care about the occasion and the perception people have of you.
As stated in a GQ article on Italian Street Style for men, “fashionable people-watching is a major source of inspiration” (Corsillo, 2016). This idea further emphasizes the importance of being aware of appearance. Fashion is an art and it’s important to inspire others with what you wear as well as having the ability to be inspired by other people’s choices of clothing which are styles you could incorporate into your daily looks.
It should be noted that Gucci, Armani, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace are all Italian brands that are well-known around the world. The impact that these labels have is reflected in the following quote: “Italy’s importance in the history of fashion truly cannot be understated. You would have to have lived under a rock your entire life not to be even vaguely familiar with the broad lineage of Italian brands, designers, fashion houses and high-end labels that have each contributed to the shape of style today” (Foley 2017).

Here are some guidelines on Italian street style:

Do:
·       All types of sunglasses for all types of occasions
·       Clothes of quality fabric
·       Leather goods
·       Tight jeans
·       Slim cut clothing
·       High heeled shoes

Don’t:
·       Flip-flops are a huge no, regardless of where you are; some tourists have noted being shunned for sporting a pair (The Local.it)
·       Too much skin showing  (despite the heat, even in 105 degrees like today!)
·       Chipped nail polish
·       Don’t forget the kids, they need to look nice too
·       Baggy jeans
·       Tennis shoes

Also, here are some sites to get ideas on what to wear during Italy travels:

This post was written by Jalynn Evans, a junior in the Honors College majoring in Public Health. She is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare administration.

Corsillo, L. (2016, January 14). Your 4 Step Italian Street Style Guide. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://www.gq.com/story/italian-street-style-how-to-guide
Foley, G. (2017, January 17). 23 Italian Brands Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/01/17/best-italian-brands/
Brenna. Study Abroad in Florence, Italy. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://chicstreetstyle.me/study-abroad-chic-outfit-log/

Rakhit, B. (2016). Italian Street Style – Florence. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://thestyletraveller.com/florence-street-style/

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