This is a blog for Dr. Andrea DeMaria’s Purdue University 7-week study abroad program to Italy. Each student will be writing two blog posts. Most of our time will be spent in Florence, as a partnership with Florence University of the Arts. We will be researching women’s reproductive and sexual health issues, immersing ourself in the culture, and creating lifelong memories. To learn more about our program, view the magazine pinned in the right panel.
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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:
·All types of sunglasses for all types of
·Clothes of quality fabric
·Slim cut clothing
·High heeled shoes
·Flip-flops are a huge no, regardless of where
you are; some tourists have noted being shunned for sporting a pair (The
·Too much skin showing (despite the heat, even in 105 degrees like
·Chipped nail polish
·Don’t forget the kids, they need to look nice
Also, here are some sites to get
ideas on what to wear during Italy travels: