As I write this, I am sitting in Capri at a beachside café overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, watching an Italian girl daintily descend the cliffside staircase that leads to the white sand below, looking like she just stepped out of a Sophia Loren movie. This is truly happening. Scantily clad in a one-piece Chanel bathing suit, she has thrown on a leopard-print sheer midi skirt over top and accessorized with strappy Jacquemus sandals, this summer’s iconic Loewe straw tote, an Hermès silk scarf wrapped around her hair, and Gucci sunglasses that I know from experience are doing nothing to block the sun. She is living, breathing, fashionable proof that Italian style continues to reign supreme.
As she lithely makes her way to the table next to mine and orders an espresso, I am reminded of the effortless manner in which Italians curate put-together looks that are sophisticated and refined. It is no wonder that the world envies their style, including me from the time I first visited Rome in fourth grade and discovered Vogue Italia. From the woman sitting to my left to the numerous Italian influencers I follow on social media, I’ll be looking to Italian style for the trends to follow this season and next. I’ve shared the conclusions of my observations below in the form of the key seven pieces Italians are experimenting with this summer. No one’s stopping you from pretending you’re sitting seaside in Capri as well.
Pink has made a surprising comeback among Italians, with their Instagram feeds littered with pops of the bold hue showing up in everything from pants to shoes, jackets, and more. While not typically partial to pink, I was intrigued by the pairing of the tone with an otherwise cold color palette of blue, orange, and white. Tropical and light, the overall aesthetic is a retro punch that feels like a scoop of raspberry gelato eaten while staring at the sunset on the Amalfi Coast.
Intended for the bold at heart, a miniskirt-and-feather combination is a trend it seems only Italians have yet been daring enough to explore. Consider me sold, though, as I’m pretty certain this is going to be my new going-out ‘fit. Any fashion person knows how difficult it can be to pull together a stylish and sultry outfit for a night out on the town, never mind finding the perfect going-out top. (There have been essays written on the matter.) Like with most things, however, Italian girls are ahead of the curve, as they have already solved the problem, worn it out, and have the Instagrams to prove it. Next time you see me on the streets of New York, I will be wearing feathers.
As if animal prints weren’t already bold enough, Italians have taken this trend to the next level by pairing it with high-high heels. You know, the kinds of heels you would never wear in the streets of New York unless you plan to Uber everywhere. Those kinds of heels. It’s the look that screams ferocity and femininity with just the right dose of fashion. Whether it be a leopard midi skirt (you already know I’m thinking of Réalisation) or a zebra jacket, grab a pair of heels and call a car.
The maxi dress–and–strappy sandal duo is a love affair that songs and poems have been written about. Italians have been strolling in their beach gowns (as I like to call them) from Capri to the Amalfi Coast. The elegant sway of the dress paired with a peep of a well-manicured toe is irresistible in the summer. Not only do I feel like an ancient Roman goddess, but it’s the easiest outfit to throw on when temps are reaching above 100ºF. I’m looking at you, East Coast.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.