Italians have a reputation for being extremely stylish dressers with a love for good quality garments. To be honest, we could expect nothing less from a country that’s home to some of the most famous designer labels. Of course, Italian style takes many forms. There are twenty regions in Italy and before unification in 1861, many of these were proudly independent. In many areas of the country, that independence can still be felt today, especially in Tuscany. Capturing Tuscan style can mean many things, depending on whether you’re dressing for the city or a rural retreat. What they have in common though, is glamour and elegance.
Although Milan hosts the twice-yearly fashion shows, it’s Florence that’s considered by many to be the birthplace of the post-war fashion industry in Italy. Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Ermanno Scervino, Stefano Ricci, Patrizia Pepe, and Emilio Pucci were founded in Florence and are still headquartered there. As well as the established fashion brands, there are also a number of new designers popping up in the city. As a result, industry insiders have dubbed Florence the “fifth fashion capital”.
Florence boasts a rich cultural heritage, with the Uffizi Gallery and Pallazzo Pitti two of the most popular attractions. Dominated by Brunelleschi’s famous red tiled cupola of the cathedral, Florence has one of the most beautiful skylines, particularly at sunset. So what do you wear for a spot of sightseeing in one of the world’s most stylish cities? Well, I’ve taken my inspiration from two Florentine fashion brands and put together a Gucci/Pucci dominated outfit that would have the street style photographers snapping away.
Those cobbled streets require sensible footwear, but that doesn’t have to mean boring. These Gucci loafers are perfect for strolling stylishly along Via Roma. Top tip: it’s very easy to DIY the heels of a pair of plain loafers: all you need is some cabouchon pearls (from a craft shop) and some strong glue. Make sure your shoes get the attention they deserve by wearing crop flare jeans, that way no-one will miss them! Add a classic black jacket, silk scarf and oversized sunglasses for a super chic daytime look.
If like me, your budget is more High Street than high end, I’ve found some fabulous affordable alternatives so you get can the look for a fraction of the cost. That said, you can bag some serious bargains by shopping in Tuscany; venture away from the city centre and there are numerous designer factory outlets. Many of the top Italian designer brands sell luxury items at a significant discount, including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Gucci. Sounds like retail heaven, right?