I regret missing Milan fashion week, as my trip ended the day before fashion week started. However I did not need couture shows to help determine the style one of the greatest fashion capitals of the world. All I had to do was open my eyes and look around me. From the lady sitting next me on the tram, or the guy walking through the Duomo Square, to the bunch of teenage girls strutting down the designer Galleria; fashion in Milan proves to not just be a vital business, but also a way of life.
Milan is definitely Italy’s most cosmopolitan city, where historical buildings are set against sleek, modern boutiques and big-brand high street stores. Walking down the grand streets leading off the cathedral, one can feel the essence of splendor and decadence when admiring the baroque architecture which frame the abundance of shops, cafes and restaurants. Together with plenty of transport options such as trams, trains, cars and the classic Italian moped, or strutting down the street in Gucci loafers; the 24-hour hustle and bustle atmosphere brings the city to life.
What to wear in Milan? Well, there are a few staple items that are a must. Firstly, it seems compulsory to carry a statement bag, be it Louis Vuitton, Prada or a cleverly stylish Zara number; a decent bag speaks volumes when completing an outfit. I feel that one could easily get away with buying a simple, elegant and stylish bag that would class as a classic, timeless piece to go with everything. Therefore I agree that quality is better than quantity when it comes to bags, as one that fits all saves time and effort than having separate bags for different outfits.
Sometimes we keep our noses too high and forget to look down, especially in a fashion conscious city like Milan, one has to be dressed at their best head to toe. Shoes can make or break an outfit and I think it is possible to make a tracksuit look like couture by ditching the trainers for a pair of Louboutin stilettos. But if heels that defy gravity seem just plain impractical to browse around the sea of shops all day, loafers are the next best thing in my opinion. Being raved about in recent magazines, men and women can enjoy the effortless style, of the classic slip-on shoe. I love the look of lace-ups, but I hate constantly re-tightening them during the course of the day, so loafers seem like the more practical option. Gucci might own the right to being original Italian loafer, but I believe that well made Italian shoes can be found in small independent stores for a fraction of the price.
Eyewear will always make an outfit look runway worthy. When wearing a decent pair of shades, it brings celebrity status and the mystery factor to an identity. No time for eye-makeup? Or are last-nights hangover eyes refusing to disappear? Look no further than a timeless pair of Wayfarer Ray-Bans or the bug shaped stunners from D&G and Guess to hide insecurities and release fabulous style confidence.
To conclude, I consider the high street to be the true catwalk of Milan, as one can feel that fashion is at the heart of Italian culture, from the way in which the locals dress in their day to day business. Whatever the occasion, from work to leisure by paying attention to these three necessities, anyone can look like an Italian fashionista.