Foreign Fashion

This article is less about fashion and more about clothes. Being a self-proclaimed fashionista, even I have to remember that the two are different.

To demonstrate how I came to this revelation, I will regale you with my clothes experience on a 10-day trip to Italy, one of the fashion capitals of the world. This experience started with what to pack.

I am, not so humbly, admitting now that I am a good traveler. I have traveled a lot and I pack well and can cover most clothing needs in the space of a mere backpack.

This most recent trip, however, presented me with a slightly new challenge. I had to be prepared for warmish weather, rain or sun, whirlwind acts of tourism, nice dinners and all-night clubbing. Not only that, but we all know that Italy is home to Versace, Prada, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana – just to name a few high-profile designers.

To address these multiple requisites, I decided upon a black palette with lots of layering options.

Despite Europeans’ general reticence towards jeans, I packed two pairs (after all, I am still American). Camisoles proved key in adding color to outfits and providing variation (they’re small, throw in a lot!).

Now, I thought, dress-es…the black turtleneck dress from American Apparel has proved to be my best option time and again, so I packed that. It’s one of the most multipurpose pieces of clothing I have ever bought, as you can wear it over jeans, leggings, tights, with belts, necklaces and bracelets (all of which I brought along).

Yet the most important item I packed was a trench coat. Trench coats are possibly the world’s choicest outerwear for traveling: great in the rain, works with jeans, perfect for over a dress…

Upon arrival in Florence, I decided that I had made good decisions. I didn’t stick out for style deficiency like all the other Americans in their black North Face fleeces and Ugg boots, but I also wasn’t style-excessive like the Japanese who wore stilettos to climb the steps of the duomo 375 steep feet into the air.

I had picked the right balance of clothes to blend into the fashionable world that is Italy. There is so much to write about Ital-ian style, and I definitely learned a few key lessons…so stay tuned for my next article!