Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Italian Chic: One Canadian's Perspective

Hubby and I love to travel. But when we're away for a few weeks, we start to long for home. And certain things at home. Popcorn, mashed potatoes, tea and toast, the view of the river from our sun room when dusk falls and the geese are landing. And my wardrobe. Well, I long for my wardrobe. Hubby doesn't care one way or the other. Ha. And if we're away when the seasons change, well that just makes my longing even more pronounced. 

So while it was still a balmy 25°C in Rome last week, I was gazing in the shop windows at fall fashions and kind of whimpering. That, and looking wistfully at all the chic Italian women I saw on the street, on the subway, and in shops. My well-edited travel wardrobe was wearing a bit thin by this time, and I was right royally sick of black, white, and grey.

I've been itching to share some of my observations on Italian fashion with you. Very non-expert observations, of course, from the perspective of one Canadian woman... of a certain age. So, let's take a break from my travel narrative, shall we, to talk fashion? 

Gucci shop window in Rome
Gucci shop window in Rome
Italian women dress really well. That's the first thing I noticed. Even better than French women, I think, at least from my, admittedly very limited, experience. The second thing I noticed, with a sigh of relief, was that everyone, and I do mean everyone, was wearing sneakers. I saw sneakers on mannequins in shop windows, like this one at Gucci, above.

Women on the subway on their way to work, like this woman below, wore sharp blazers, crisp cropped or rolled pants, and sneakers. 

woman in blazer, pants, and sneakers on the subway in Rome
Sneakers and sharp blazers on the subway.
Women at work, wore sneakers with beautiful little dresses. Like this smiling saleswoman, below, who was happy to have her picture taken when I asked, even when I told her it was for a blog. So kind. And her dress is wonderful, isn't it? Here's the link to the dress on the Manila Grace website. I'm thinking I may go wild and order one. I saw tons of girls and women all over Rome in short or long dresses, with denim or leather jackets, and sneakers. 

girl in a dress and sneakers
Loved this dress with sneakers on an employee in this shop.
I saw women everywhere who looked fabulous. Some were younger but many were my age or older. Like the woman, below, with the lovely white streaks in her hair. In case you can't tell from the photo, she's wearing a two-toned green tunic which matches her cropped, wide-leg trousers. I love the anorak with the trousers, and those rope-soled shoes. Not quite sneakers, but darned close. She's well put together without looking like she's trying too hard. Is it the shoes, do you think? The shoes and the coat together?  I wonder if the Italians have a translation for "je ne sais quoi." 

woman and man on the street in Rome
Casual, je ne sais quoi, on the street in Rome.
Or this woman, below, whose grey hair was swept up and clasped into a loose chignon, and who looked like a model to me. In her loose khaki, silk (I think) sweat shirt, black cropped pants, black sneakers, and a chic belt-bag (that you can't see here) in a distressed-looking, butterscotch leather, she looked marvelous. I've lightened the shot so you can see her outfit better, making her sneakers look blue, but they were black. 

couple standing in a street in Rome

Here they are from a distance: the perfectly soignée, casual urban-chic couple out for a Sunday stroll round the shops in Rome. Sigh. Wonder where they parked their Vespa. You know, on closer inspection, they might not be local because I think he's carrying a map in his hand. No matter, they're still chic. 

couple strolling down a street in Rome
Casual couple chicness.
Even the families I saw had style. Like this family coming back from watching an early morning half-marathon event on Sunday morning. The dad, below, is in a navy and white striped tee, and navy track pants, with a yellow sweater around his neck, and the son who's moved a bit ahead wears his grey sweater around his neck, like his dad. The mum has her pink sweater tied around her waist and her navy puffa jacket crammed into her shoulder bag, which you can't see here. But it was the little girl who first caught my eye. In those plaid pants rolled up and worn with her sneakers, her crisp white shirt, and holding her own puffa jacket in front of her, she's the very image of Italian chic. And so cute. No Disney back-pack for her. Seriously, she looks better dressed most adults. 

Italian street scene
I saw lots of chic families on the street this Sunday morning
I saw all kinds of examples of chic little kids in Italy. I so wish I'd been able to take a photo of a certain toddler in Agerola one morning. He had escaped from his mum and was running as fast as he could down the street, his little white, cotton dress shirt buttoned up to the top and worn over jeans rolled up just so, with the cutest little sneakers, shouting "Papa, Papa," after a car that was pulling away. The car stopped, and Papa opened the door and got out. Yep. He was wearing identical sneakers, jeans rolled just so, and a white cotton shirt buttoned right up to the neck and worn out over his jeans. "Oh my god," I muttered, "I wish I had a shot if this." I could hardly stop from chuckling until we'd passed, and I said to Hubby, "Wasn't that the cutest thing?" And he looked surprised and said, "What?" Sigh. He was probably thinking about hockey. He misses hockey if we're away during the season. 

I must digress briefly to tell you about the day in Florence when we were eating lunch in a sidewalk cafe. I came back from the washroom in time to hear Hubby say in an exasperated tone to the man at the next table, "You're right, that was a terrible trade."  "Oh, my god," I laughed out loud. "You're talking hockey? You actually found someone in a cafe in Florence to talk hockey with?" Turned out that the couple at the next table were from Montreal. Montreal being a big hockey city, for those who don't follow the NHL, which I'm sure will be most of you. Ha. 

You know, all over Italy, I saw many more examples than I've shown here of the kind of simple, casual, yet polished looks that I aspire to achieve with my own wardrobe. Short jackets over dresses, long blazers or short coats over cropped pants with narrow or wide legs, or over jeans rolled to the perfect, most flattering, length. And everything worn with sneakers, sneakers, and more sneakers. Or the occasional chunky, low-heeled boot. Everywhere I saw restraint, a less-is-more aesthetic, with respect to hair, and accessories. The one exception to this was with make-up. I found that Italian women wear more make-up than most women I see at home in Canada. Not over the top make-up... just more. 

As far as my own wardrobe goes, I think I fared well with what I packed for travel this trip, aside from growing sick to death of it, which is to be expected. I reached most often for jeans, short-sleeved tees, scarves, and my black quilted sweater from Layafette 148. Once we headed into the Apennines, and in the evenings in Rome, I wore my Uniqlo vest a lot too. I felt great in my Moncler coat in Venice and in Rome when we had rain. And in Rome I wore my cropped Rag and Bone dress pants with my sneakers. After all, everyone else was doing it. My new Longchamp travel bag was light, comfortable, and looked polished. Surprisingly, to me anyway, I wore my Helmut Lang blazer only once; it seemed somehow wrong, not casual enough. If it had been cooler in the cities, I might have worn it with my hoodie and a scarf. But when the weather in Rome finally cooled at night I reached for my Uniqlo down vest instead. I should have left my black Stuart Weitzman loafers at home, though. I wore them once, and only because I'd packed them; I hate not wearing everything I've packed. The flat sandals, packed only in case of really hot weather, stayed in my bag. So on the whole, I wore pretty much everything, and was pleased with the variety, and with how comfortable and pulled together I felt. I wasn't going to win any fashion awards. Ha. But I didn't feel out of step with what other women were wearing. 

various shots of a woman in jeans, sneakers, sweaters posing while on vacation
What I wore in Italy
You could say that I really love how Italian women dress. Understated, soignée, polished, easy. They seem to love wearing clothes, but do not let the clothes wear them. I did see one or two women, tottering along in uber-high, wedge-heeled shoes, and too much jewellry,  who might as well have worn a sign saying "Fashion Victim." But this was in smaller towns where maybe the motto is "we try harder." 

I remember one year when Hubby and I were in New Zealand, as I was making comments on the street fashion we saw, he asked me how I judge a good outfit from a not so good one. That's a tough question to answer. Sometimes it's because I look at an outfit and think I would love to wear it. Sometimes I know that I'd never wear an outfit, but I recognize that it looks wonderful on the person wearing it. Sometimes I recognize the creativity that goes into crafting an outfit; this is often something worn by someone who has totally different taste than me. And sometimes it's because I admire the balance of texture, and shape, and think how perfect it is aesthetically. 

See the shot, below, of the Max Mara shop window in Rome? I love this outfit. But I'd never wear it. I'd never wear cropped wide-leg trousers like that. Nor the woolly toque, which would look ridiculous on me. But the layering of down coat under wool coat, over turtleneck, the monochromatic colour, the mix of texture, all grounded by those black boots... I love all of that. 

Cream coats, sweaters and pants in a Max Mara shop window in Rome.
Max Mara shop window in Rome
This is the shop window that made me really long for home, and my fall wardrobe, on our last day in Rome. I was missing being able to wear my wool sweaters, my Max Mara coats, my new burgundy loafers which I bought just before we left home in September. 

You know, maybe I admire the street fashion in Italy so much because my favourite designers have always been Italian. Max Mara. Fabiana Filippi. Brunello Cucinelli. Prada. Armani. Most of these I can't afford, with the exception of (some) Max Mara. And one Prada sweater that I bought in New York in 2016. But I've admired and loved them over the years. 

Autumn on the river.

All this fashion talk has whetted my appetite for outfit planning. I've turned my closet, but I haven't had time to do a thorough inventory, to see what I still might need to help me get through the rest of the fall. I'm thinking a pair of cropped plaid pants to go with my new burgundy loafers, my Uniqlo down vest, and my Akris burgundy turtleneck from last year. And maybe a dress? We'll see.

And writing this post has made me realize that I don't pay half so much attention to what women wear in my own city as I do in foreign cities. Maybe I should do a Canadian street fashion review? There's nothing like travelling abroad to give you a fresh view on your home town. 

What have you observed fashion-wise when you've been travelling, my friends? Do you find it better, worse, or just different than what women wear at home? Wherever home might be. 





Linking up this week with: Visible Monday#IwillwearwhatIlikeTurning Heads Link-upStyle Me WednesdayThursday Favourite ThingsFabulous FridayFancy Friday, #ShareAllLinkup.

53 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you and your excellent Italian fashion review! French women are very chic but Italian ones were completely underrated in the blogosphere-they dress sooo good,italian fashion is among my favourites. Frances will have more objective comments,but people here dress very well,sometimes too well :-) (and believe me,it was much better-in a stylish way,not in pricey brands way-before overconsumption age)
    One of joys of travel for me is people watching: from wardrobe,manners,food....
    Please,do a Canadian street fashion review-I loved this very much!
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with both you, Dottoressa, and with Sue, although I haven't had nearly as much opportunity to shop (even to window-shop) in Italy as I've had in France. But judging by the style on display even by the mamas and papas picking up their littlie ones at my granddaughter's daycare, even in the suburbs. . .(although I did also see some of the over-the-top dressing there as well, the Mama with serious make-up and stiletto heels at the Christmas concert. . . I'd love to see you do a street fashion review of the Ottawa scene --- of course your Canadian street fashion will be much different than what I see here, as you settle into your parkas and Sorels ;-)

      Delete
    2. I saw a few over-the-top dressers, but not many. Lots of under-dressed people, but they were exhausted-looking tourists who'd neglected to think of cobblestones and church dress-codes when they packed their short shorts and flip-flops. Good thing they were giving out make-shift gowns to help some of these women cover up at Saint Marks in Venice:)

      Delete
  2. A great write up Sue & all those cool chaps & kids too . We don’t usually get to see those . So much is made of the French style but style is pretty universal now . I think it is more city versus country style , plus there are women everywhere who don’t think it very important & that’s fine too . I saw lots of snappy dressers in Lisbon last month & that's one of the benefits of travelling with sisters - we notice & discuss . Here in the Scottish countryside just now it is fleeces , anoraks & boots for most of us but I’m sure there will be lots of stylish folk in the streets of Edinburgh . Looking forward to to seeing your local style . I wonder if there is a “ worst street style blog “ on the net ? Some of the richest celebs could be on there ��
    Wendy from York

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, I wouldn't bank on lots of style in Edinburgh! I feel I can say this as an Edinburgher of 33 years standing. But now that I'm living in fleece-land in the Scottish countryside it will probably strike me as stylish next time I get down there!

      Delete
    2. I usually travel in fleece-land as well. But there's fleece and then there's fleece. Some of it can look smart with the right boots and jeans. Then again, what I used to view as quite normal now looks overdressed to me. I may need to change the name of my blog to "comfortable, medium height heels in the wilderness."

      Delete
  3. I was in Italy in June and agree with you, those women are snappy dressers. Please do a Canadian review, it would be very interesting to those of us overseas. Jules

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm kind of looking forward to the idea. I must admit that I don't usually pay a lot of attention to what women are wearing when I'm at home.

      Delete
  4. I think the Italians call it bella figura - a concept on how to live with not only style but grace and integrity. I like it very much and I do think it expresses itself in the way Italians dress. What has always fascinated me is the way Italians - and I am probably referring more to city than country - seem completely at ease, all the time. A kind of confidence that is almost bred in the bone. So when they are walking about, well-dressed and stylish and gorgeous it looks very effortless. Plus: mostly they are not overweight and their clothes fit. I don't think you can over-estimate those factors. It has long fascinated me, this sense of well-being, and I have taken the time and effort to study it via the street bar and cafe, sitting in the sun and observing closely. Now that is dedication. And yes, I would love to see Canadian style so please get snapping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and Wendy are probably right about city versus country. But the problem is I never see/notice other women when I'm in the country. I must sharpen my skills of observation.

      Delete
  5. A wholehearted yes to your view of Italians and their style. And we also noticed the comfortable but cute shoes. I was able to spend a day shopping with my daughter in Rome last year, and she bought the most adorable pair of blingy sneakers. I wanted them, too, but they didn't have my size. :-( That said, I found a few amazing pieces that I can't wait to wear, including a bright red puffer coat that I love, love, love.

    LOL at the hockey discussion found at a sidewalk cafe. My ex is a Canadian that played hockey at a high level when we were young. Somehow that connection isn't surprising to me. Last year on a winter getaway to warmer climes, one of our traveling companions was chatting with a Brit in the pool area and made the mistake of asking him what he thought of Brexit. An hour later, we went back to get ready for dinner while he was still trapped "listening" to the answer. Hockey is a much better topic with strangers, no? Ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That bright red coat sounds wonderful. Puffa everything was everywhere in Rome. We had lots of those kinds of conversations with Brits. They all seem to want to weigh in on Brexit, just like Americans we chatted with all wanted to weigh on you know who. Hubby loves to talk politics when we travel... and to listen to what others from other places have to say.

      Delete
  6. When I lived in Brescia just outside of Milan I noticed the Italian's women style. So classic. At that time though many of them wore heels, so that has obviously changed. They stick with white shirts, cashmere sweaters, silk scarves and everything that is the typical timeless wardrobe, very similar to the French, although lately I've noticed the French are slipping. Needless to say, I stood out like a sore thumb in Italy. Like you I can appreciate style on someone else without feeling the urge to change my personal style. I do feel that they can blend in with each other, looking too similar.

    If you are bilingual you should watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IRtRnV92AM Cash Investigation a French documentary on high end fashion in Italy. They speak of your much loved Max Mara brand and it isn't pretty.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I had enough French to be able to watch that video, Suzanne. I'd be sad to have to abandon Max at this late stage in our love affair:)

      Delete
    2. Merci Suzanne! This documentary is really "choquant".
      Julie

      Delete
  7. In all our travels I love to look at what women of the area wear...people watching becomes a sideline hobby! In every location whether in France, Italy, Russia or even a small village in Wales I have noticed women who have a sense of personal style...those women who don't follow the fashion 'rules' but have nailed their personalities with their wardrobe choices. Then again there are those women who appear to have thrown on the only items in their closets that are clean and can be done up...there is a lack of colour coordination, no sense of what looks good from all angles or wearing items that look totally uncomfortable. While France and Italy are known for beautiful clothing it is possible to find it everywhere...you just need to look harder in some places! For me a big part of looking polished is having clothing that fits...your body shape AND your personality. With those two things addressed a person can walk with confidence and appear to own their own skin. Yes, you might be tired of the three colour wardrobe by the time you got home but rest assured you looked well put together...black, white and one other colour has always worked well for a travel wardrobe for me and in all photos seemed to work like a charm for you too! Travelling always makes me yearn for our home, garden and my closet! Looking forward to your take on Canadian street fashion...here in Winnipeg it will soon be time for winter coats and boots...just bought a gorgeous pair of black suede boots that are waiting for the first snowflakes! Cheers, Alayne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was quite happy with my black, white, and grey, and the three scarves I packed to go with everything. Until the last few days. But that always happens to me. I'm looking forward to my self-inflicted mission this fall... fashion in Ottawa... or whatever part of Canada I happen to be in. I may have to start down east, since I'm off to my Mum's for two weeks soon.

      Delete
    2. Fashion in NB! Should be interesting. I lived in SJ in the ‘90’s and worked in the Regional hospital , I noted that the French from northern NB were very chic dressers.

      Delete
    3. That's what my Mum has always said.

      Delete
  8. Love your postings, particularly since it's also from a Canadian perspective. Thanks for your tips on what they're wearing in Italy. Hope you don't mind me sharing your blog with my own readers of boomerbroadcast.net?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind in the least. Thanks, Lynda.

      Delete
  9. I loved my time in Italy last year precisely because the women were so well dressed! More so in Florence and the smaller towns than in Rome. I enjoy knowing women are wearing sneakers!! One of my last fashion posts was about sneakers, so brava! I'm right on! Now I just need to find some that will fit my narrow feet. The Italian designers are my favorites... always have been, but Brunello's prices have gotten to be absurd, to the point he's made me angry! I couldn't begin to photograph the women where I live. For the most part, they have no style, taste or pride. Very depressing. xoxo, Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never actually purchased any Brunello Cucinelli pieces... I just love the looks and try to imitate them with more reasonably priced items. Not sure what makes one piece of cashmere so much more valuable than another. I know there are different grades of wool... but sometimes the prices are nutty, I agree.

      Delete
  10. Yes, while women in Paris in general dress well, I think they tend to be conservative. For the last few years short leather jackets with skinny pants have ruled, except for high summer. I think both Italian and Spanish women and men dress with more individuality and are much more creative with colour. We have been in small cities in southern Italy for the last fortnight and enjoyed people watching. On the weekend we go to Rome where I plan some window shopping with maybe some buying, but as the winter range is in the shops and we’ll be going home to an Australian summer It will be months before I can wear any purchases.
    I’d love to see post on Canadian style.
    Lilibet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... good luck with the shopping in Rome. I wish I'd had longer to be able to do some. But then again, I never shop when I travel with my husband. Unless he has another activity that he can do for the day. My best travel shopping was when we were in Melbourne; he visited the aquarium and I shopped. We'd been away from home for two months and I was starved for fashion talk. Had such a great day!

      Delete
  11. Loved your post. I wear sneakers to commute to work now and sometimes I do wonder why bother to change to heels when I'm there. I should just put on a badge to say 'my other shoes are heels,' haha. I long for my clothes when I'm away but also look forward to taking what I've bought back to my wardrobe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine that if I were still working some of my former colleagues would not get the sneaker thing. The kids would have loved it but I'd probably garner some strange looks in the staff room... and some smart alecky comments about forgetting to change when I came back from the gym.

      Delete
  12. Hi Sue
    How interesting your take on fashion abroad. I love the look in the pics! I know you put a lot of thought into your clothing and you always look so smart and put together.
    My travel destinations are very casual. Nelson, BC in the winter is ski clothing, jeans, sweaters, Blundstones .. very comfortable clothing on the most part by everyone.
    I will purchasing Blundstones this fall. My family members swear they are very comfortable.
    In the spring we will travel to Kauai and again that will be a very casual atmosphere.
    Now...when my son moves to Belgium in a few weeks, for sure, I will need to rethink and up my game for that trip...perhaps sneakers to start. ;-)
    Robin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll bet there are sneakers all over Belgium:)

      Delete
  13. Great post, Sue! Love all the intel you bring to the style conversation we're engaged in.

    And I too would love to see your take on Canadian street style -- realizing, of course, that "Canadian" is not a homogeneous appellation.

    I also agree with someone's comment above that there's "city" style and "country" style. Living in the country as I do I find myself dressing differently when I go to town, to the farther away "big city" or to an actual Big City.

    Finally, I so admired the look of the Italian couple you drooled over. Oh, to have the courage never to try too hard!

    Ann in Missouri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Ann. It does take courage NOT to try too hard. Or just plain giving up works too:) Still we don't know how many Euros that woman spends on her hair every month so that it falls silkily and can be just caught up in a clasp and look fabulous.

      Delete
  14. Really enjoyed this post on a Canadian's take on Italian fashion and in my limited experience would totally agree. I can never understand why there is always so much written on French chic and the rest of Europe never mentioned. Glad to hear that your packing worked out so well and you did look very appropriate, comfortable and stylish in your pics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear from Dottoressa and Frances over at Materfamilias Writes that Croatia is pretty chic, too.

      Delete
  15. Could not agree more about your observations about Italian women and men! So well dressed and I prefer their style to the French. Underrated in my opinion. I also admire their love of color, as well as neutrals - they have fun with their clothing. And yes, before they wore sneakers, I always saw them in Hogans, which is an offshoot of Tods and what I often wear to travel and walk around cobblestone streets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chic flat shoes, sneakers or otherwise are my favourite thing.

      Delete
  16. Yes, yes. Let's hear it for the italians and la Bella figura. At the risk of repeating myself I do find the overly deferential attitude to French style and the "how to be chic" industry that has grown around it tiresome. The italians while taking their style seriously are way more interesting in the way they dress. They manage to look stylish while also appearing to enjoy life. Love that. Interesting that the sneaker trend is every where now. A sign of our more connected world maybe? Enjoyed reading the comments and of course your observations. And yes I'd love a Canadian style post. Iris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Iris. I remember someone telling me when I was stressing about dressing for Paris back in 2015 that Italian women were better dressers than French women. Maybe it was you?

      Delete
  17. I just love this post. I have been trying to find the time to write a similar one. And I wanted to thank you. When I started packing for Rome, I was most concerned about shoes. I felt that I had to have more polished shoes and invested in two patent leather (burgundy and navy) loafers with rubber soles. Then I read your post where you noted that you were mainly bringing sneakers. I was puzzled that your look seemed so casual for such refined cities. But you pushed me over the edge to get a new pair of sneakers to take along. And then I arrived in Rome and saw EVERYONE wearing sneakers of all kinds. I wore the loafers just one time each and put them in the bottom of the suitcase because the soles were so inflexible that I felt like Frankenstein walking on cobblestones. I bought another pair of sneakers - fluorescent orange_-at Campers by the Spanish Steps and lived in them every day. My feet were so happy.

    I saw many pair of brogues, especially on the exquisitely dressed Asian women but alas, my ankles are too thick to make brogues look like anything but nun shoes. I really owe it to you that I brought two pairs of jeans and very simple black wide leg pants. The experience has made me reassess my own wardrobe at home and begin streamlng And my favorite Max Mara window was the one with the blush pink wool reefer coat, pants, and leopard accessories. Thanks for helping me make my wardrobe more youthful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh, you're very welcome, Loretta. I was so happy that I brought both pairs of my sneakers with me to Italy. I'd intended to wear my running shoes mainly for walking, hiking etc. but it turned out that I wore them everywhere. All of a sudden they just looked right with jeans and a blazer. Funny how our "eye" changes, isn't it?

      Delete
  18. Great post, Sue! As much as I like seeing the sights when we travel, I also love to observe the people and what they're wearing is very much a part of that.

    I love wearing sneakers, but until last Sunday I'd never worn them with a dress. I actually wore them to church and then wrote a blog post about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOh... I'm off to read that, Elaine.

      Delete
  19. I think nohatnogloves has put her finger on it when she says it's as much about the confidence with which the clothes are worn. There is a particular way of moving, a graceful, confident movement that French and Italian women possess that certainly we Scots just don't have. You can observe it in the teenagers of the two countries. The women do actually walk differently. It's all helped enormously by having a different body frame. I am thin to the point of having been tutted at by the practice nurse at a recent health check and advised to put on a few more pounds, and yet my body shape as far as French clothes is concerned is on the sturdy side, and I know I walk with a 'striding across the heather' purpose which lacks any grace. Oh to absorb some of that fluidity of movement and poise!
    And yes please, a post on Canadian city style would be fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... me too, Linda. I'm totally a striding across the heather kind of walker. Must learn to glide instead of stride. But I fear it's way too late for that. :)

      Delete
  20. I love people watching, it passes the time when I am waiting for my daughter. I have 3 ratings - good, not bad and oh dear! Not that I'm a connoisseur, in fact I have been seen in the supermarket wearing scruffy gardening gear. I recently had a 4 day trip to New York and managed to pack everything I needed into carry on luggage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find that it passes the time while sitting in airports too.

      Delete
  21. I thought most of the women in the photos looked frumpy, not chic. Sneakers are just plain frumpy. Athletic shoes are for athletes....or at least for doing something athletic. There are many, many shoes that are comfortable for traveling, sightseeing and walking that are NOT sneakers. I wear my athletic shoes for power walking or yard work - that's it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, there are many other comfortable for walking that are not sneakers. But I'm happy to wear my sneakers since they fit my orthotics and my very narrow foot. Plus I hate to ruin my good loafers etc by walking miles and miles in them. As for frumpy versus chic , I guess that's all a matter of opinion. I think the old floppy, wide leg jean looks frumpy with sneakers, but a trim pant leg nicely cuffed, I think looks great.

      Delete
  22. Just catching up on my blog reading now, and a few days late to this post, but...I'm always puzzled and a little frustrated by the number of negative comments (not just here) in response to wearing sneakers with "regular" clothes. Fashion sneakers, and athletic shoes look fantastic, current and comfortable with all kinds of ensembles , and it has to be about wearing them with intent, the way you'd chose any pair of footwear to accompany an outfit. It's not about putting on your neon coloured running Asics with a dress, or your worn and tired white gym shoes with dress pants - its about picking up texture, design and detail . Black suede sneakers with a pure white sole are graphic and chic. Clean white Stans ( I know you have them too, Sue) look great with a navy suit. Red or mustard leather sneakers with a print dress - etc etc. The combinations are endless. There, rant over:) And another vote for a Canadian fashion report, although I'm not sure anything interesting will be gleaned from here in Winnipeg ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how you said that, Lisa... "wearing then with intent." Exactly.

      Delete
  23. I just bought a new pair of sneakers today:). Not a frumpy bone in my body. Lots of tomboy bones, old hippie bones, but no frump. I get they aren't for everyone but certainly in California they are by now as much the fashion as jeans are. And I totally agree about the style of women in Italy. So soigné.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No... there's not a frumpy bone in your body... that's for sure. Just chill, cool, soigné ones:)

      Delete
  24. I have never felt more scruffy than when I visited Milan in Italy. It must be the most stylish city in Europe. Romans have a great attitude to go with their style - we love that! It's so true, that we can pay more attention to style in other cities. London is very free with fashion so anythings goes and all fashion is celebrated. I've always felt I'm a Parisian at heart. Weirdly my dna test and ancestry has recently backed this up! Love how you have dressed for Rome - I think you got it just right xx Maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only time I've felt scruffy on this trip was when we finally arrived in Amalfi after walking down 30000 steps (Hubby calculated the approximate number:) from Agerola, and then inching along 2 km of narrow, bus-clogged, sidewalk-less road. I was sweating for all kinds of reasons, my make-up had disappeared, my mascara had run. And there was a big stain on my tee shirt from something I encountered along the way. Ackkk. The perfect time to run into crowds of sandaled, pretty summer dress-wearing people... NOT. Ha.

      Delete

All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.