Friday, April 9, 2010

Two Summer Essentials; Lots Of Ways To Wear Them.

Wow. It's been awhile since I've done a fashion post. I mean, a while. And I know what you're thinking-- 'You're in Italy, you idiot, practically fashion capital of the WORLD.' And you're right. But after the initial month-long period of integration here in which I snapped up every black/gray/dark blue, shirt/sweater/sweater-dress, wool/cotton/wool-cotton-blend in sight trying desperately to fill the holes in my wardrobe, blend in, and gain some semblance of warmth since I had been EXTREMELY optimistic in my first-non-Vermont-winter packing and so, was subsequently freezing when Italy ended up not being quite as balmy and sunny as expected...well, I kind of gave up. There's only so many times you can haul yourself out of bed at the ass-crack of the morning, shower, do your hair (15 minutes) and make-up (10 minutes) and then stand in front of your closet in your undies and bra, shivering, going, "Ok-- what's going to make me look like a chic Italian today?" (a totally unspecified amount of time before inspiration hits) before you find yourself hitting snooze to sleep instead of shower, putting your hair back in a bun and headband, smearing on Burt's Bees face cream and chapstick and slipping into (Italian) jeans, boots, and a basic t-shirt or, on my more homesick days, a plaid flannel shirt and walking out the front door like a gigantic "FUCK YOUUUU" to the whole Italian fashion-obsessed culture. Unless, of course, you are a New Yorker and already used to this daily beauty-and-fashion grind. You lucky, lucky bitches.

I daydream about the days I used to be able to put on sweats and drive to class in my slippers.

It's not like I haven't been shopping. (Oh, no-- my bank account balance and debit card statement will prove that I have been.) But it was just boredom shopping, happy-accident shopping, hey-whatever shopping. Nothing I was really thrilled about or really could get excited enough to post about. (Though if you need to know how to dress to look native, unspecial, and disinterested with life in Italy, I am your girl. Black. Lots and lots of black.) Until today, when, in the full sunshine-60+ degrees swing of summer's-promise bliss, I found the two essentials to my summer wardrobe. (And a few other incidentals that went along too well with them to pass up.)

First and foremost, a pair of shoes I've been dreaming about since I tried them on at Peluso nearly a month ago:
brown strappy wedges that are honestly some of the most comfortable things I have ever put on my feet while still being devastatingly beautiful. (Seriously. I feel like I could hike up a mountain in them, perfectly fine. And being a Vermont Girl who runs better in her stilettos than in hiking boots, I probably could. And they make this "Thumbellina" as a very tall soldier called me the other day, tall and leggy for once in her life.)

I have never, EVER bought brown leather shoes before, and was a little hesitant about what I would wear them with at first. Being an ex-American Eagle sales associate cult member, I had the denim notion down-- they'll work well with light wash skinny jeans or a denim skirt or shorts. But brown to me says "summer," especially brown wedges. So, what else to pair them with?

I was distraught that I would forever be a fashion Don't in my beautiful brown wedges and mis-paired outfits until I wandered, like by automatic pilot clothing hypnosis, over to H&M, wedges in hand, and Arielle there to guide me with fashion advice. And there, amongst the international low-price clothing, I found it. My Summer Look.

Starting from the feet up, I paired my wedges first with a pair of pseudo-destroyed, medium-wash denim shorts, with extra detailing around the hem and double-pockets. Then I found a loose-fitting see-through
white lace t-shirt, much like this one, that looks great either loose, or half-tucked into a pair of cuffed and relaxed boyfriend jeans or denim shorts with a good statement belt and the wedges. Or, take the wedges and the white lace t-shirt, and tuck the shirt into a brightly colored and oh-so-summery floral pencil skirt like this one,


also from H&M, which also HAS POCKETS and a gold zipper half-way down the back, and you have a flirty, fun, very seasonal look. OR, you could also take fun and colorful printed dresses (strapless is best at saying "summer"), and play up the dress by keeping the brown wedges practical.

Perfection. Everything was just as comfortable as my jeans/t-shirt/boots regimen (in fact, they're still the same jeans), but was so much more fitting for the new, nearly beachy weather and is almost disconcertingly fashionable with minimal effort. So feel free to mix and match-- you get a great Cost Per Wear with these summer staples that finally, FINALLY will be the happy-medium between my relaxed comfort and the end of the Italian's desire to throw me in front of a speeding moped for not trying hard enough with my attire.

However, I am now on a 50 Euro a week stipend because of my shopping, but I guess it will make me more frugal and also, hey-- if I have to do without food for a day or two, at least I'll fit in my new clothing better.

Ciao, bellas!


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