French-girl style can go ahead and take a back seat, because it’s the effortless Italian vibe I’m deadly serious about channeling for the foreseeable future. Before you yell “
Blasphemy!” (I see you, Who What Wear readers—don’t think I don’t know your insane click-through rate on French-girl stories), just scroll through the six looks below and try telling me this isn’t exactly the polished-casual vibe you’d like to achieve all summer long.
Italian-girl style is just a little more *fun* than that nonplussed Parisian vibe. Yet it really doesn’t stray too far from those highly wearable, lightly tailored staples that keep things feeling polished (you know, blazers and shirts and such)—but now we get to flirt with Bright Colors(!) and Prints(!) that catapult our looks into the fun zone French-girl style could never quite reach.
There are three ingredients one needs to lock in a modern Italian-girl vibe: Start with a
classic Tod’s Gommino loafer, add a cute top-handle bag, and then it’s just about having yourself a really great, Aperol spritzy time. Details below.
I believe I’ve long since established that it’s never a bad thing to aspire to dress like an Italian dad in the ’70s, yes? This outfit should really solidify your support of what is truly my happiest way of dressing: a relaxed-fit trouser belted to perfection, chic leather loafers, an ever-so-slightly-obnoxious shirt, and a whole lot of linen. Feel free to ease into this whole print-and-color thing with subdued tones that feel particularly elevated when paired with lots of super-bright whites (a very important Italian-girl staple).
Speaking of bright whites, here’s your six-second tutorial in how to take one of this season’s biggest trends and wear it the Italian-girl way. Locate your recent purchase of a tie-dye tee, tank or bodysuit, and pair it with light-wash, relaxed-fit denim, and the brightest, whitest linen blazer you can find. In terms of accessories, complete the look with an unashamed pop of color south of your ankles (that feels intentional by working with whatever color you have popping in that tie-dye situation). A structured white bag keeps things extra tidy, and the bamboo clasp reminds everyone it’s summer.
So I can’t pinpoint exactly which ’60s movie this Italian-girl look was inspired by, but I feel like it starred Sofia Loren, and I’m almost completely certain that this outfit is better than the original. It’s the combo of the modern take on that prim belted skirt reimagined in an on-trend green, paired with a cropped little blouse that’s buttoned up yet undoubtedly FUN thanks to what at first appears to be a fruity print but is actually a healthy dose of vegetables. Italian driving shoes are really key here, reflective of Loren’s affinity for practical footwear that allows her to jump on Vespas with devastating American men at the drop of a hat. Note the Medusa-inspired earrings, and—oh look! It’s another excellent white bucket bag.
Brown is a whole big thing for S/S 19, and it’s the perfect trend for those of us who feel like wearing anything other than black is a huge leap from our comfort zone. Even if you simply start with investing in a leather loafer in a friendly, summer-ready shade of tan instead of black, and experience the joy of a warm brown perfectly complimenting your lighter shades of denim, I applaud you! For the more committed, feel free lean into head-to-toe looks like this one—also, this polished-yet-relaxed belted safari-inspired shirt by Albus Lumen is such a winner if you love the vibe of a blazer, but it’s also 85 degrees out and you just can’t.
A floral maxi skirt is one of those summer staples that can be styled so many more ways than we often give it credit for. The modern Italian-girl vibe would have you wearing this vintage-inspired staple with other classic-meets-modern pieces that ensure it feels ready for 2019: This adorable Nanushka bag is basically this summer in a nutshell, timeless Tod’s driving shoes reimagined in a print feel cool and modern and just a little unexpected, and this relaxed-fit Khaite white shirt is ready to be worn in a million different ways. The only other thing the Italian girl asks is that you find a pair of square tortoiseshell sunglasses that are slightly bigger than you’re comfortable with and just let them happen.
If you’re secretly still a 16-year-old at heart and a denim skirt is your go-to all summer long (let me note, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this), it’s just a matter of adding those slightly elevated touches that let you get away with wearing it as often as possible. Tidy it up a touch with a softly tailored top (like this one from Maggie Marilyn), but keep it fun by embracing the kind of color and slightly aggressive earrings that Italian girls give us permission to blindly pair with absolutely anything. This chic (Italian-leather) bucket bag is a great contender for your go-to summer handbag, and the fringing on these driving shoes is really just another nod to my love of Italian-dad-in-the-’70s style, which probably deserves its own story at this point… to which I say, keep your loafers on hand, and rimanete sintonizzati! (Google Translate assures me this means “stay tuned” in Italian. Don’t @ me.)