Dressing Like an Italian 101

A lot of Americans describe “the Italians” as being extremely well-dressed. I’d like to challenge this statement by saying that the Milanese are fabulous dressers, while the rest of the country could use some help. Nevertheless, there are a few timeless staple items that fashionistas (and fashionistos) from Milan and elsewhere in the country wear day in and day out that give them their uniquely Italian vibe. Check these out below and stay tuned for updates on more of-the-moment trends.

Casio Watches

Oh. My. God. Italians cannot get enough of these things. Wearing one automatically signifies that you are a local, even if you come from the opposite corner of the globe. I love them for the fact that while being a practical time keeper, they are also delicate enough to function as a more decorative bracelet. Not to mention, they’re cheap AF.

These timepieces are appropriate for the office, beach, class or anywhere life takes you that day. Wear one with everything…literally, everything. P.S.: When I say “Casio watch”, I’m referring to the style pictured below, which isn’t deemed with a proper name, and not Casio as a whole brand.

All available on ASOS for under $50.


This seems a bit generic and basic but I noted sneakers for their ubiquity. In other words, Italians wear their worn-in tennis shoes with everything (just like their Casio watches). Leather or fabric, high-top or low-top, you’ll see dozens of brands represented on the streets of Milano and elsewhere. Pair them with culottes for a relaxed end-of-summer look or with a maxi dress to achieve a pre-fall, “off-duty model” vibe.

I love comfy kicks. What styles are the best investment?

The Adidas Superstar isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Available online and at major retailers, most styles are under $100.

For a truly Italian vibe, go for Superga, also under $100.


The Nike Air Huarache is all the rage in Milano right now. Expect to pay at least $120 or more if you want something custom.


It would make sense that Italians love their sunnies seeing as the Italian giant Luxottica, located just outside of Milano, owns 20+ eyewear brands. Think your Ray Bans are the epitome of the American lifestyle? Think again. This iconically “American” brand is owned by Luxottica, along with the eyewear divisions of fashion powerhouses such as Chanel and Prada.

Italians are not faithful to Luxottica brands, however, as you’re likely to see a wide range of styles, shapes, colors, from both established and up-and-coming designers on city streets. When it comes to throwing shade in this country, bolder is better (I could go on a rant about Italian politics with that line, but I digress). Opt for playful hues and ornate frames to keep the look fresh.

Always worn effortlessly, they can be the statement of a look or a complement to an already impeccable outfit. Here’s what the Milanese are using to shield themselves from the sun in Fall 2016.

All styles pictured above available from Neiman Marcus.

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