Non ci sono piu’ le mezze stagioni! This has, by now, become a standard expression among Italians to express the fact that the ‘mid-seasons’ of spring and autumn don’t seem to exist any more. Especially in Florence, freezing winters seem to turn into hot and humid summers without pausing to let us enjoy the mild temperatures of spring.
However, it is important to consider that even when the weather is scorching, Florentines, either male or female, will never be seen under-dressed or showing inappropriate amounts of skin. Italians love layers, and they, unlike many tourists, always keep in mind that Florence is an elegant, fashion-forward city, not a seaside town.
For men, the latest and greatest trends in Italian men’s casual fashions are to be found at the next edition of Pitti Uomo, June 18 to 21, 2013, at the Fortezza da Basso (www.pittimmagine.com).
In the meantime, here is a brief guide to the best Florentine summer looks of the season for women. But remember, the most important thing this spring/summer is to create your own look, adding touches of personality with accessories:
COVER YOUR FEET: Choose ballerina shoes or sandals to complete your look, but please note that flip-flops are considered appropriate only for the pool, the beach or the lake. Florence’s stores offer any number of pretty summer flats and sandals at all price levels. On chilly or rainy days, under-35s can sport a pair of cool boots: Italian women love light spring and summer boots and there are plenty in the shops around town.
COVER YOUR BODY: When the heat is intense, choose a dress of flowing linen or cotton, and always carry a light blazer or cardigan. These are essential if you want to pop into one of Florence’s beautiful churches (remember: the dress code in Catholic churches requires that you cover your shoulders and knees.
For a professional look, match classic pants with a flowing blouse, or a fancy dress with ballerina flats. For a day at the museum, nothing beats beige paired with a blue and green flowered shirt, or polka dots for a 50s lady (or 70s hippie) look.
For an open-air aperitivo add some wedged sandals to your outfit and use bold jungle prints or an all-white, lacy look.
On cooler days try a two- or three-piece look, such as a big printed T-shirt with below-the-knee leggings, or classic, cotton pants with tight legs paired with a wide, ruffled blouse, which will make girls of all ages feel feminine and comfortable.
COLOURS AND PRINTS: Pastel colours are the highlight of spring/summer 2013: powder pinks and water greens with touches of creamy yellow. Romantic flowers and lace inserts are also a big hit. Contrasting this gentle look are geometric patterns with folk or tribal influences—something of a novelty this year— as well as very bold tones. Also try the more masculine, nautical style: polka dots and stripes in white and blue or white and red.
ACCESSORISE: Don’t be afraid to accessorise to create a truly stylish Italian look. Choose from neon belts with studs, beaded earrings, floral headpieces and more to suit your personal style. A colourful scarf made of light cotton or silk will, even in summer, give the final touch to any outfit. (On a practical note, scarves are handy for the times you find yourself in an air-conditioned building, where temperatures may be dramatically lower.)
TOP IT OFF WITH A HAT: Unless you want to look like you’ve stepped out of a 50s movie, avoid those huge, flowery straw hats. Those are for tourists, and the only summer hat allowed in the Italian style rulebook is the classy, feminine version of the panama hat.