We Live in Italy and Swear By These Summer Staples

Let me paint a little picture: It’s summer, you’re on vacation, and you’re staying in Rome. You’ve just spent the morning winding through the cobbled streets while snacking on gelati. Or maybe you’ve been lounging by the beach in Sicily, and you’re now ordering an obligatory pizza to devour in a patch of sunlight. Dreamy, right?

There’s something about the idea of spending the summer in Italy and Italian fashion itself. Even though I’m a self-proclaimed Francophile and live in New York, I understand that the Italians embody effortless style. It’s why Italian luxury brands (hello, Prada, Versace, Bottega Veneta) hold such a prominent place in fashion, why we all dream of jetting off just for the chance to soak up the Tuscan sun, and why I've finished Stanley Tucci’s memoir in one sitting. The Italians know fashion, so it only makes sense that when searching for inspiration for the summer, we’d want to go straight to the source. 

Ahead, we reached out to nine stylish Italian women from across the nation to have them share the staples they swear by, what trends they’re loving right now and what they'd pack for a trip to Italy. Consider this your crash course in embracing la dolce vita.

Italian fashion influencers share their favorite summer staples

Photo:

@fedecarrie

WHO: Federica Carra, content creator

WHERE: Venice, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

Minimal and chic with an Italian twist. 

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

Relax, slow down, and enjoy the Italian dolce vita. In terms of what to wear, I recommend you pay attention to detail; we love to match our accessories for a timeless and elegant look. Also, try to avoid straw hats with long floral dresses—it looks like a stereotype of the Italian vacation and is very touristy. Instead, go with timeless garments in high-quality fabrics (i.e., a silk or a linen set) and elevate the look with accessories such as a headscarf, designer sunglasses, and dainty jewelry.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season?

While I love the Valentino Tango platforms, I think I will skip the platform heel trend since they could be very in right now but feel “already seen” by the following season. I am, however, very attracted to the wedges trend, as it’s the perfect alternative to a pair of heeled sandals for a minimal look.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

The staples I can’t survive without every summer are a linen set, a minimal white maxi dress in poplin, and a straw bag and designer sunglasses to add personality to my minimal looks.

Can you share what you’ve been eyeing for summer? 

Miniskirts are big right now, and I’m obsessed with the Prada draped panel satin one in pink. I think it will be my next purchase because it’s the perfect piece to pass down to my daughter.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

I have so many! But I love Gia Borghini—it is the ultimate Italian shoes fashion brand, founded by a woman and inspired by women. I love her collaborations with influencers such as Pernille Teisbaek or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and her style is original and minimal at the same time. I also love, The Attico. It’s a bold “modern vintage” brand defined by its creators, Gilda and Giorgia, perfect if you’re looking for a pop of color to add to your minimal look. 

WHO: Campadel Maria, Founder of the We Are Busy Agency

WHERE: Milan, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

I’d describe my style as colorful, casual, and sporty chic. My style is definitely a mix of everything—not only of styles but also all the different feelings I have on any given day. My mood certainly affects the way I dress.

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

This is a good question! I can’t recognize a real Italian style because most varied—there’s everyone from the fashionista addicted to the latest It item to a sneakerhead obsessed with the newest release. However, I don't know why, but as soon as we see someone abroad wearing a waist bag, any Italian thinks, "There's an Italian!”

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

Surely I could never live without thousands of sunglasses in a thousand different shapes and colors styled with a colorful scarf and bikini to complete the look.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season?

I love that the ’00s are back, especially the low-waisted trousers and jeans. I also love the prep-school aesthetic for summer and am a huge fan of polos.

I love getting matchy-matchy in the summer, and the fact that this Coperani bag comes with matching shell embroidered wedge sandals is everything.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

Diesel, obviously. It comes from my region, and I can’t help but love the king of Italian denim. We grew up with Diesel in our closets, and it is a must-have. I also love Blumarine. The brand, thanks to the creative direction of Nicola Brognano, has been completely reborn. With a 2000s twist, it has managed to create It-girl pieces.

WHO: Martina Tinarelli, content creator

WHERE: Perugia, Umbria, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

What a question! In my opinion, style is fluid; it can change based on many factors, but mine is always contemporary and feminine with a touch of boho.

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

I don’t think that there’s anything to avoid, you should always wear what makes you feel confident and powerful. But if you want to look like an Italian on vacation, wear linen clothes (shirts, dresses, co-ord sets). And don’t forget to bring flats, oversize sunglasses, and long boho dresses. Pack these pieces, and you’ll fit right in.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

One of my summer staples is Birkenstock sandals; they go with basically everything. In the summertime, I also like to layer many accessories like necklaces and bracelets because due to the temperature, you can’t layer clothes, so accessories can make the difference.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? Which one do you think you’ll skip? 

Against my expectations, I’ve actually come to love the low-rise pants trend. I’ve never been a low-rise girl, but I must admit that as soon as I got to see them styled by other people in the street or on social media, I changed my mind, and now I’m a huge fan, especially of baggier iterations. I’m not a big fan of wedges, I will always prefer any other type of shoes over this style and will be avoiding them this summer.

Can you share what you've been eyeing for summer? 

My shopping list for the summer is so long that it is difficult to pick a few things, but one of my favorite pieces on my wish list is this dress by Rat & Boa. Its dresses are perfect for every occasion in summer. From a beach party to a fancy dinner, they look so flattering, and I fell in love with the scarf detail of this one!

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

Bottega Veneta has obviously become so popular within the last two years, especially for their bags. But I’ve always liked how they are contemporary and revolutionary without being too much.

Italian fashion influencers share their favorite summer staples

Photo:

@glitterpeony

WHO: Antonella Di Santi

WHERE: South Italy, Campania

How would you describe your personal style?

I always try to stick with my own style, and I love mixing everything: masculine and feminine, chic and sporty.

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

Take inspiration from nature and the cities you visit; you should be guided by the colors and the architecture around you. I think it’s essential to avoid stereotypes and not overdress.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

You can’t survive in southern Italy without a micro bikini, some perfect black sunglasses, a beautiful pair of sandals, and a mini silk dress.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? Which one do you think you’ll skip? 

I’m obsessed with the comeback of the low-rise and, in general, with the Y2K trend. Also, I have a thing for maxi hemlines. I will pass the clashing-print trend. 

Can you share what you’ve been eyeing for summer? 

Platform sandals are a must-have for the summer, and I’m in love with these Coperani ones.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

Also, I love the eclectic aesthetic of GCDS, and of course, as an Italian, I have a thing for all the other luxury brands. My favorites are Prada, Miu Miu, and Bottega Veneta.

WHO: Elisa Sartori, content creator

WHERE: Rome, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is constantly evolving, but I think it would fall into the category of the city girl with a touch of rock elements and some colorful pieces. I love wearing staples modernly, styling them with fun little elements that make the outfit pop. 

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

The Italian style à la dolce vita is all about opulence and elegance. This translates to long white linen dresses, heeled sandals, and maybe a big straw hat in the summer. Little advice, anything from Cult Gaia is the best you can have in your baggage. To blend in, you should avoid packing sporty pieces and anything that can make you faint in warm weather (like a black long-sleeve top) because trust me—you will overheat. You’ll feel much better with a flowy dress, a miniskirt, and a tank top combo.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

In the summer, Italy gets really hot, Rome especially. The best way to survive this is to wear light and comfortable pieces. I’d say my staple outfit would be a tank top, shorts, and sandals, but this year, I’m really into maxi denim skirts, and black midi dresses too.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? Which one do you think you'll skip? 

The main trends I love this season are maxi denim skirts, chunky sandals, sporty sunglasses, and 2000s revival pieces. I’m so thrilled for the fringe’s comeback, and I have to mention the tie as a mini scarf trend because I think it gives off the coolest “I’m the girlfriend of the guitarist” vibes. I think I’ll skip the whole academic preppy look because it’s not really my vibe, and I also think that it’s not very inclusive sizewise.

Can you share the pieces you've been eyeing for summer? 

I’ve been eyeing this set by With Jéan for some time now, and I can't think of something more perfect to be that cool city girl even in summer.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

The Attico, a brand founded by two amazing women: Gilda Ambrosio e Giorgia Tordini. They’re always a step ahead. Recently, I’ve been obsessed with an Italian small business called Boredom Ravers; they make very cool pieces with the most original prints. I also love how inclusive they are with the models on their website—it’s great to see different body shapes when buying something. Last but not least, I love the rebrand of Diesel; he last collection is so daring and loud that it makes me smile.

Italian fashion influencers share their favorite summer staples

Photo:

@beelise

WHO: Elisabetta Gentili

WHERE: Viterbo, Lazio, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is minimalistic, casual, and comfortable but also very chic. I think my style is kinda “street style” with a pinch of evergreen clothes. I follow fashion trends, but I try not to buy too many microtrends because they go out of fashion after a while—I prefer to buy basic clothes that stand the test of time.

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

Less is better. Yes, cool and original fashion items are great but don’t try to overexaggerate. Yes, to colors, but make sure they match well. And please, no Crocs, Bermudas, or hiking boots.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

My must-have pieces for summer are any kind of hat, but also sunglasses and hair clips. Colorful accessories really make the difference with summer outfits!

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? Which one do you think you'll skip? 

I really like the resurgence of the 2000s in the form of sporty sunglasses, chunky sandals, and also low-rise hemlines. I don’t like the fringe trend, so I won’t be wearing that this summer.

Can you share what you've been eyeing for summer? 

Tube tops are an essential part of any summer wardrobe. And I love this one because it’s versatile enough to be styled in a sporty or more elegant outfit.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

Bottega Veneta is one of my favorite brands, and it inspires a lot of my personal style. But I mainly shop for thrifted pieces.

Italian fashion influencers share their favorite summer staples

Photo:

@sara.rhodio

WHO: Sara Rhodio, content creator 

WHERE: Rome, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

My style depends mainly on what I'm inspired by at the moment. I find inspiration everywhere—it can be a person, a city, a cool brand, Pinterest, or a celebrity. Of course, I prefer a minimalistic aesthetic with simple silhouettes and colors, with a ‘90s revival, but I’m open to whatever sparks inspiration. 

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing?

Take it slowly and enjoy your days in Italy. Go for an espresso and cornetto in the morning. Enjoy the famous dolce far niente (sweetness doing nothing) at the beach, and you must order the Pizza Rossa after a swim in the sea. In terms of what to pack, try to wear natural fabrics and light colors and avoid wearing synthetic clothes; they will make you feel warmer!

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

Italy, especially the South, has a sweltering summer that you can survive only by eating tons of gelato and enjoying the day at the best beaches. Be prepared to sweat a lot, and wherever you stay in Italy, ensure there’s an air conditioner or a fan in your room! Of course, you’ll need hats, good sunglasses, a good SPF 50+ sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, and bug spray (mosquitos are very popular here). Always choose a comfortable pair of walking shoes, if you want to discover the most beautiful places in Italy you will walk a lot!

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? Which one do you think you'll skip? 

Actually, I am a true fan of the mid-90s-2000 revival fashion. Ultra low-rise miniskirts, midriff-baring tops, and low-rise bottoms are definitely on my summer list. Colorful shoes styled with a white tank top and low-rise jeans will be my uniform for the season! In terms of what I’ll be skipping, fringe and over-layering are not my personal style, so I won’t be buying into those trends.

Can you share what you've been eyeing for summer? 

How could you not love this Jacquemus hat? It’s a masterpiece perfect for my everyday beach life!

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

Of course, brands like Prada, Versace, and Valentino have my heart, but I am in love with the brand Benedetta Bruzziches and her endlessly dreamy bags. Each bag is a work of art; you can feel the care and love put into each bag because experts handmade it.

WHO: Valeria Alborghetti, content creator and creative strategist

WHERE: Milan

How would you describe your personal style?

I have a minimal and refined style. I always try to buy timeless pieces in neutral colors, something you don’t get tired of and can always pull out for a last-minute outfit. I always try to appear chic and not ordinary but always without any exaggeration.

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

The secret is: Less is more. A big no to big straw hats is a very touristy thing. Instead of wearing pieces with elaborate patterns or too many logos, go for a minimal and plain outfit, as you can never go wrong with neutrals. And don't wear too high heels as flat sandals are always the best choice.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

Linens are my favorite thing to wear in Italy. It’s an easy fabric to dress up and down; whether it’s a dress, shirt, or pair of shorts, it’s that nice material that doesn’t make you feel too hot—a perfect summer wardrobe staple, in my opinion.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? 

I’m excited to wear knitted and crochet dresses—long, mini, midi, minimal colors, rainbow-hued. Give them all to me. A knitted dress is a must-have for this season and is perfect for a summer in Italy.

Can you share the pieces you've been eyeing for summer? 

This super sensual red midi dress is ideal for Italian nights and is at the top of my wish list. Picture wearing it at dinner on the beach, wine, cocktails, and dancing with friends all night.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

I love La Reveche because they create wonderful swimwear that matches perfectly with my style. They always try to create unconventional pieces to be (and to feel) on top at the beach.

WHO: Elena Impieri, content creator

WHERE: Calabria, Italy

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is sophisticated with a bit of fun. I love a clean outfit, my go-tos are usually neutrals, but sometimes I do love to add a pop of color depending on my mood. 

For those of us dreaming of traveling to Italy this summer, what do you feel is the secret to blending in like a true Italian native? Anything we should avoid packing or wearing? 

If you want to blend in like an Italian on your travels, enjoy the food, enjoy the wine, try the language (it doesn’t matter if you mess up—that’s the fun part), try the little local shops and restaurants rather than the usual tourist places. When it comes to clothing, the summer is so hot, so try not to pack heavy fabrics or uncomfortable footwear. You want to be prepared for a lot of walking as there’s usually a lot of that involved in most places in Italy.

Are there any staples you swear by to survive summer in Italy every year? 

Linens are my favorite thing to wear in Italy. It’s an easy fabric to dress up and down; whether it’s a dress, shirt, or pair of shorts, it’s that nice material that doesn’t make you feel too hot—a perfect summer wardrobe staple, in my opinion.

Which summer trend are you most interested in for the season? Which one do you think you'll skip? 

I love some of this year's fashion trends; my favorite is anything the ’90s-inspired and maxi skirts. I’ve always been a fan of longer hemlines; being only 5’3”, I find it helps make me look a little taller. I think I’ll skip the back-to-school trend this year, as I just don’t feel like it gels well with my style.

Can you share the pieces you've been eyeing for summer? 

I am in love with this Loewe basket bag. I feel like basket bags come back every year and are a staple piece to the summer wardrobe.

Are there any Italian fashion brands you love? 

I have so many Italian brands I love! But one brand I love at the moment is Borsalino. I am starting to get into my accessories this year, and the hats are stunning. Plus, they’re 100% handcrafted, which I love most about this brand.

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