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If, in general, Italians are elegant, then in Milan they take it up a notch. Here's how to blend in among the crowd and shop for the right accessories to be sure you head home with a trendy souvenir.
Milan is a trendy city, the capital of fashion, with its glittering shop windows in the city centre and crazy traffic during Fashion Week. So, undoubtedly, Milan is primarily made up of locals and their love for fashion. Whether it is haute couture or street wear, Milanese people stand out for their undisputable style… and their innate ability to detect “foreigners” at first glance. Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani were born here, but also the phenomenon of The Blonde Salad blogger. From the mornings in the metro to the evenings in the Navigli District, Milanese locals love to dress well, appropriately for the occasion, following the latest trends, but with a personal twist.
Neutral colours, heavy use of blacks, greys, blues. In Milan, colour is used sparingly, people prefer a classic look, whether it’s a pair of jeans underneath the blazer or a little black dress. Sweaters, white shirts, camel coats, simple cuts and neutral colours never go out of fashion. Sad? No, just minimal. Less is more.
Whether they are sneakers (so popular now) or high heels, in Milan you do not see past the season’s shoes.
From morning till sunset, sunglasses are used all year round. It is not trendy to wear them indoors, and never with coloured frames. Black or mirror lenses are used during the winter – they also need to follow the season!
The jacket, for both men and women, is a symbol of elegance. It works by day at the office as a suit, over a pair of jeans, and with a T-shirt at weekends or in the evening. Unstructured, according to Milanese designer Giorgio Armani. With the right jacket, you will never be plain.
Briefcases, business bags, backpacks. In Milan, people work hard, crossing the city whilst carrying their MacBooks, and thus, they need a suitable work bag. To be a true local, focus on Prada – a brand founded as luxury leather goods in 1913 as well as the first store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Leather or nylon, as long as it is chic.
A logo T-shirt is always useful. Underneath the jacket for a casual office look or for an evening with friends, on its own for breakfast at the bar on Saturday morning and during weekends. But it must be a designer brand.
In the summer, to protect yourself from the sun, in winter, from the rain. The hat is the most versatile accessory because it is useful and chic. Just one very Italian name here is Borsalino: the classic men’s hat (which looks wonderful on women too). When in doubt, go with black.
To break the monotony, add an eye-catching accessory that expresses your personality. A pashmina scarf, the pocket square, tie, watch, necklace or bracelet. Men (and now women too) dare with Gallo socks, an icon since 1927, striped or patterned.
Every garment has a story to tell, whether it’s a dress bought at a flea market in Marrakech or a precious item from New York’s famous avenues. You need a unique and exotic touch, making the look original… and also incarnates a story to be told.