If New York women have mastered power dressing and Parisians have effortless elegance down to a science, then Italian women should be credited with excelling at dressing like bombshells, and oozing with easygoing sex appeal—the kind that has you do a double take and wonder “did she wake up like that?”
Although you may not call Milan or Rome home, that doesn’t mean you can’t take style tips from some of the best-dressed Italian women around—including Anna Dello Russo and Margherita Missoni. Here, 7 tips to memorize—from how Italian women go about getting dressed, to how they always manage to look sexy yet simultaneously elegant.
1. Build outfits starting with a statement piece—be it sassy stilettos, or to-die-for chandelier earrings—and go from there.
Some of our favorite Italian style-setters know the secret to any great outfit is starting with a statement piece, and then building an outfit around it. Fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia told the blog I Want to be a Battaglia: “I go only with my instinct. I wear what I like in the moment. Sometimes I start from a pair of shoes, sometimes from a shirt or a skirt or a pair of big earrings. It is a natural process. I know what is good on me and what is not good. I prefer to a more elegant look than a wild fashion look, even if I like very eccentric pieces. I would say I have an eclectic look.”
2. Invest in quality basics that you’ll have for a lifetime.
Italian women know to splurge on basics that will last a lifetime. Jewelry designer Gaia Repossi told WSJ. magazine: “My everyday style involves a lot of basics like black pants and white shirts from Céline and Christophe Lemaire’s collections for Hermès. I also like the Row’s backless loafers from this season; they’re handmade.”
3. Sometimes the simplest things in your closet are the sexiest.
Realize that looking glamorous doesn’t always involve a lot of pomp and circumstance, sometimes a pair of perfect jeans and red lipstick is all you need. According The Blonde Salad blogger Chiara Ferragni, her essentials include” a little black dress, Levi’s 501s, a white T-shirt, white Converse and red lipstick,” as she told Lucky magazine.
4. Don’t overdo it—being a bombshell should look easy!
In keeping with the less is more philosophy, remember that you aren’t going to look like a sexy glamazon if you are uncomfortable in what you are wearing. Socialite and model Bianca Brandolini D’Adda told Swide of her style secret: “I like to wear what I have fun with, and feel at ease in. And then I had examples like my grandmother who was always elegant and comfortable at the same time.”
5. Don’t save the good stuff for special occasions. Each day is special!
Ever wonder why some of the chicest Italian women always look utterly flawless, no matter where they are going? It’s because they don’t believe in saving the best pieces in their wardrobes for those special occasions (which let’s face it, don’t come around that often). Fashion editor Anna Dello Russo wears couture out and about during the day (and sometimes even to work out in). “Why must I wait till the night-time to wear a fabulous evening dress?” she told UK’s Cosmopolitan. “The fashion bloggers aren’t there at night—so they won’t be able to see me!”
6. A little bit of glamour—sequins, glitter, gemstones—goes a long way.
Look for those pieces with a little something extra. Blogger and concept store owner Eleanora Carisi told Who What Wear of her style secret: “A woman should shine for every occasion, whether it’s with the help of a sequin skirt, glitter shoes, or opulent accessories, such as necklaces with gemstones and dangling earrings.”
Whether it is a black gown and red lipstick, or an off-the-shoulder caftan and drop earrings, have a signature glamour look on the ready. As for fashion heiress Margherita Missoni’s? That would be “Lurex and lipstick. A turban is another way to feel instantly glamorous,” she told The Zoe Report.