How to Dress Like an Italian Woman, Part I
Hello Lovely Study Abroad Fashionistas! :) I received the most lovely message recently from Jackie, a young woman in love with Italian Fashion. Having recently been to Italy and having successfully followed my Summer Italian Fashion advice, Jackie now, and with good reason, wants Fall Italian Fashion knowledge! See her e-mail below:
“First, I must tell you that Italy was magnifico! I saw just about everything in Rome and the shops there are the most beautiful shops I have ever been in! Palermo was breath taking too. And I followed your advice about what to wear and I didn’t get that feeling that I looked like a typical tourist. So thank you!!
Since fall and winter is coming soon :(I was wondering about what the Italian women wear during those seasons. I won’t be going to Italy in the fall or winter but I would still like to just know about their style in those seasons.Thank you again for your advice and thank you for answering my questions!Jackie”
Of course, as Fashion by Felicia- it is my duty and solemn Fashion mission to oblige her request with the utmost piacere! :) Here is your guide to How to Dress Like an Italian Woman for Fall 2012-
Per Primo, In Generale:
#1 La Bella Figura For the Italian woman, her body is her canvas. Weekly massages are often cited as the perfect cellulite fix, for example, and not a luxury. Unlike other European women who find Fashion happiness in an unfinished look, Italian women enjoy paying attention to every detail of their outfit. This is impossible without a proper scrutiny of the body. While working out may not be their first plan of attack, vigorous walking, biking and healthy moderate life choices are the Italian woman’s preferred diet. Also, a tan is a must all year round. Indeed, long before tanning beds were an LA thing, Italian women were going in droves to their salons to take advantage of the heat lamps.

#2 Trucco Italian women see make-up as an integral part of their look.  The classic liquid liner, loads of mascara, and bronzer are never missing from her make-up bag. A nude lip with gloss is often what the Italian woman, no matter her age, chooses for day. No Italian woman would be caught dead without the nation’s favorite lip balm- Labello. A red lip or even something more daring such as a deep gold, is embraced for evening. 

#3 Molto Sexy The Italian woman is very much in touch with her sensuality. Even Northern women (think Milano, Bologna, and Torino) are voluptuous and passionate in their spirit underneath their preferred tailored look. An Italian woman will never shun a look simply because it is too low cut or clinging. She may decide not to wear it for other reasons (age, event appropriate), but never because of a fear of what other people will think of her. Embrace your inner Venere. 

#4 Taglia Fit is key for an Italian woman. She would rather die than wear something that was too loose or not form fitting. She has a body and is proud of it. Hiding is not her style. And anyway, clothes should fit. Punto e Basta. Find an excellent tailor.

#5 Tocchi di Colore The thing that makes Italian women look so put together in comparison to any other woman is the fact that they still match their clothes. The bag and the shoes. The collar of the shirt with the belt. The tights with the camisole. Jewelry. While we’re not talking head to toe monochrome, we are talking a comprehensive whole. Plus, it makes dressing so much easier if you work with a complimentary color palette. Questo e’ importantissimo!

Now, L'Autunno:
#1 Pelle Leather is the most important part of the Fall Wardrobe for an Italian woman. Not only a leather jacket, but suede skirts, pumps, gloves- you name it, the Italian woman has it- in leather.  

#2 Cappotto a Piume A staple of any Italian’s wardrobe, even men have the down jacket or coat in their closet (and with fur on the color no less!) The puffy down coat is also perfect for any study abroad Fashionista as it combats the lack of American strong heating in many old Italian buildings! While blue and black are go to colors, feel free to pick silver or gold- these are many Italians favorite coat color.

#3 Calze a Rete No Italian woman would ever be caught dead without her fishnets. They’re practically a national treasure! The best part about this accessory is they add texture to any outfit. Plus, there’s no way you’d ever forget the importance of your own sensuality with them on.  

#4 Sciarpa Invernale While scarves are de rigueur on any continent, the way an Italian woman wears her own shawl/pashmina is totally and completely unique. Taking the time to match the scarf to the shoes and the bag is a hallmark of an Italian woman’s Fall style. Worn draped over the shoulders, the sciarpa is a testament to days gone by when all of one’s cares centered around the evening passeggiata.

#5 Vest Country weekends are a hallmark of Italian Fall living. While during the week the city and work takes over, the weekends are for olive groves and picking, long talks around the chiminea at dusk, and roasted chesnuts. To keep the chill away Italians, Tuscan women especially, rely on their quilted vest. 

Ecco qua! Italian Woman Fall 2012 Fashion Tips- Ma Come Siamo Fashion! :)

Check out the latest from Cannes fellow SAFs!! Via Official Versace Doutzen Kroes is flawless in a white Versace gown on the red carpet at amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS Benefit at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival — at Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc.

If going out to a reception while studying abroad, take a cue from Doutzen with your hair. Wearing a magnificent dress yet casually knotting your hair back gives off a n'importe quoi, easy breezy feel to your outfit and self. European nonchalance is yours for the taking. :)

I believe that love that is true and real, creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And then the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face, like some rhino-hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave… It is because they make love with sufficient passion, to push death out of their minds… until it returns, as it does, to all men… and then you must make really good love again.
—  Ernst Hemingway, Midnight in Paris (2011)

Thanks to US Weekly’s Star Tracks we get the Fashion 411 on Miley Cyrus’ changing looks- and she’s rockin a pure 90s vintage! While it may be a little to “on” for modern taste, it brings back great memories of Beverly Hills 90210 circa 1994 and Marisa Tomei’s adventures in Italy in the movie “Only You”, which I remember watching at the Teatro Inglese in Florence as a little girl. Viva la fashion nostalgia!

Keeping it chic, 90s style,


There is nothing like a natural beauty to stop you in your tracks, Study Abroad Fashionistas. I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy Crawford at the Ocean’s 13 after-party in Hollywood in 2007, and she was just as beautiful inside as she was out - a fabulous conversationalist who bonded with me over my vintage Gucci bag she stands as the epitome of the curvaceous, savage woman of the 90s who lets her hair down and rules the world. 

Good bye waif, hello all woman-

Here’s to being all woman this summer, Study Abroad Fashionistas!

Molto Fashion!


Photo courtesy VOGUE (from June 1991)


Next Study Abroad Fashionista Screening!


Retro Glamour Alert, Study Abroad Fashionistas!!! :)

Anne Hathaway is totally taking a page from the Audrey Hepburn book! In her modern white gown with silver detail at the bodice, Anne recreates a modern version Audrey’s own lace décolletage she wore at her Roman Holiday Oscar win!

Can we say Deja Vu?! While no one will ever be Audrey, Anne is certainly coming in a close second!

Molto Fashion! :)


Remember when Brenda and Donna went to Paris on Beverly Hills 90210? Oh the joys of studying abroad fellow fashionistas- the food is just the beginning :) Although thanks to smartphones now we don’t have to waste so much time flipping through a dictionary :)