There is really nothing that could have prepared me for the beauty of Italy. Perhaps it is because beauty is a subject that Italians are well versed in, but from art to architecture, everything holds an almost unreal beauty in Italy. This also applies to the wardrobes of the people who inhabit this beautiful country. The everyday fashion of Italy is very different from that of America, and when you get here you may feel—like me—that you need to kick it up a notch. It’s not that Italians dress to the nines every time they leave their homes, on the contrary their outfits seem quite basic, but they have an ability to add one simple touch to make their look pop, and—of course—they always have the best accessory anyone can have: confidence.
One of the best parts of becoming a student at LdM is that I am really able to feel like a local while living here in Italy. I get to eat like the locals, live like the locals, and best of all: shop like the locals, and let’s face it, who would not want to do a little shopping while in Italy? Luckily, one of the greatest things about Florence in particular is not just the great selection of places to shop, but also the plethora of locally owned vintage shops that pop up on most streets.
It was clear in my first few weeks in Florence that this city has a love for vintage, as there are not only shops, but also festivals dedicated to Vintage clothing. The festivals that Florence has for vintage fashion are particularly fun. Some weeks ago I have been able to go to the ‘Tutti pazzi per il Vintage’ fair, held in the Giardino Dell’Orticoltura Park just outside the city center. These kinds of festivals are great to spend the day at, as there are always interesting people to meet, awesome clothing and accessories to look through, and (usually) live music paired with cold drinks and great food. The festival was a great outing for my roommates and I when we first got to Florence. We were able to get out of the summer sun and talk with some great people, while finding some great clothes.
Vintage stores in Florence give me a taste of true Italian fashion, and it is also a chance to acquire some really high quality wardrobe staples, as designer labels can often be found lurking in these small, overstuffed shops. One of my best finds was a high-waisted green skirt that buttoned up the front. This is the type of thing that I had always envisioned beautiful Italian women wear as they drove around on mopeds. Needless to say, I bought the skirt to make my vision of Italy all the more real for me. These vintage stores are full of treasures and are just waiting for a creative mind and sharp eye to walk into them. And there is such a pleasure in walking out of a store with a new top or lovely silk scarf knowing that no one else will have it! It is to these shops and festivals I would steer anyone new to Florence, who is looking for some fabulous Italian clothing that is one of a kind.