The weather has been heating up quickly over the last few weeks, but Italians are slow to shed their puffer coats and thick scarves. As a New Yorker, I’m finding the early onset of warmth incredible. My tolerance for snow must be at an all time low after an entire winter here. With May right around the corner, it’s easy to stand out for dressing incorrectly for a Florentine spring. I often find myself sweating already while wandering along the cobblestone streets, when the Italians beside me are donning a beanie. Yes, beanies in the heat.
Spring is a time to shed some layers and fold up your sweaters for a season. You can finally pull out your white pants, though you have to be careful for those sneaky springtime showers. The shop windows are calling for me to grab a few items, and I know just what I want.
Lightweight printed pants are a perfect go to. Though in the touristy areas, you can find people in shorts, locals stay away from bearing barely an ankle. Whether wide legged or tight at the bottom, printed pants have a just there feel, perfect for a warm day.
A midi dress is a great length for an Italian spring. A little longer which is nice for the classic Italian style, but it doesn’t hit the floor, making it easy to walk laps around the city streets.
Since Tuscans are immune to heat, it’s helpful to have a light jacket so that you aren’t quickly categorized as ‘an outsider.’ Is a lightweight jacket too much to think of? An oversized button up is a good tradeoff. Chambray always keeps it casual or a sharp, white dress shirt looks great with the sleeves cuffed for a light extra layer.
A super light but super big scarf is also a perfect addition. If you underestimated the temperature, you can throw it over your shoulders, or if you’re burning up, you can tie it to your bag. A smaller scarf can double as a head wrap if your hair, like mine, begins to grow in the heat and needs midday containment.
Fabrics such as lace, mesh, laser cutouts and super thin cotton mixes are my solace. Wear some extra layers; looking oh so Italian while also feeling light and breezy.
My New York roots have made my body far too warm to wear a sweater year round, but I do try to fit in while in Florence. The heat already has me questioning my jacket, grabbing it to fit in and then walking very slowly in the hope that I won’t overheat. You have to give and take to dress like an Italian while also beating the heat. In bocca al lupo!