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What would my French or Italian countepart wear?

What would my French or Italian countepart wear?

Feb 27th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #1  
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What would my French or Italian countepart wear?

OK, I've learned from reading past threads that, with the exception of gaining admission to the Vatican, La Scala, and similar locations, I can pretty much wear whatever I want when we go to France and Italy in June (within reason) without encountering difficulty.

I'm wondering, though, what my French or Italian counterpart would wear as she goes about a day in the city, not working but perhaps visiting a museum, shopping, and dining at a casual restaurant. I am a 48 year-old professional and will be traveling with my husband and two teen daughters, who are far more beautiful and fashionable than I have ever been(my daughters, not my husband!)

Is the answer really black slacks and skirts, even in June?

Thanks so much for your input!

barbara33 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 06:47 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi b,

Wear whatever you would if you were going to NYC.

Upon arrival, go shopping.

Have a nice visit.

(PS your teenagers will be embarrased to be seen with you anyway. It's just the way they are.)

ira is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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No - it doesn't have to be black - you can do navy or khaki or beige or even white (if you're slim enough). The key is not just the color but the fabric the line and the cut. You should be aiming for simple but sophisticated in cotton, linen (I prefer the linen silk or linen rayon blends which don;t look like you've slept on a park bench) or perhaps silk for evening.

And it shouldn;t just be random slacks and tops - but things that are pulled together - with a scarf or a piece of jewelry or matching piping or something. If its just random slacks and top it will still end up looking like the local mall.

The hardest part is shoes. Unles its a busines trip I can;t force myself to wear high-heeled pumps all day - just too much walking. But if you can find cute flats - that can really double as walking shoes (rather then sneakers or even rockports - I save those for non-city touring days) you will look much more like the locals.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 09:47 AM
  #4  
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Thank you, Ira and nytraveler. It is a relief to think of something other than black. I live in rural Arizona
- I would not get a lot of use out of black summer clothing. And I'll look for comfortable flats for walking shoes!

Thanks again
barbara33 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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It's the buyers at the New York fashion shows who started the black trend. The ones who don't wear it are the biggies in the trade or clients $$$.
cigalechanta is online now  
Feb 27th, 2005, 10:14 AM
  #6  
 
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barbara33,

I'm 48, too, and I live just outside NYC, one of the world's largest black clothing capitals. However, when we visited Italy and France last summer, I was delighted to find that many of my counterparts wore designer-fashioned garments with bright colors-- and lots of it!

My advice is simply wear whatever you're comfortable in and don't worry about the rest, especially if you'e traveling with teenagers who will undoubtedly find fault with whatever you do.
Weadles is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Orange is the new black.
MrAmazed is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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Black is not just a fashion statement but to some degree a matter of practicality when traveling. It just does not show the dirt as fast as light colors. Unless you plan to wear items only once or twice anyway (which would mean you couldn't travel light - and that really is important) - or you like to spend your vacation doing laundry - then you need some fairly dark colors. Doesn't have to be black but do think about what the outfits will look like after several wearings.
isabel is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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When not traveling I love wearing linen, linen/silk, or linen/rayon and generally avoid synthetics. For my trip, though, I was thinking of getting some of those Travelers tops, skirts, and pants from Chico's, all of which come in black, drape well, and are easy care. It seems to me that these could add up to a flexible and put-together look.

Land's End also has a line of Matte Jersey clothing that could work. I have been wearing a couple of pairs of the trousers and find they are cut very well and they are extremely easy care. They also don't get baggy after you have been walking around and sitting in them for a while. Both of the above are aimed at a travel customer who is looking for something very presentable, not the syntethics you might see at a fast food place.

And www.travelsmith.com has a similar line that comes in black and other deep, practical colors; click on "women's clothing," then "favorites."
artsfan is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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But keep in mind if travelling in summer, black attracts heat. You'll not see anyone in Provence wearing black.
cigalechanta is online now  
Feb 27th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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artsfan, I own a few pieces of the Chico's line you are considering, and I love it. I often wear it for flying because it's so comfortable, but looks presentable when I get off the plane.

However, I wouldn't plan to wear it sightseeing during the day if the weather was hot. IMO it's not really a summer fabric.
Marilyn is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 11:39 AM
  #12  
ira
 
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Hi B,

Last May, in Paris, only tourists were still wearing black.

Color was in!
ira is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Marilyn,
Thanks for the tip re the fabric. Will keep thinking. Seems to me the Land's End jersey pants in a cropped version would work in the summer. They are silky.

Re black, there is lots of black in NYC in the summer and it gets very hot here. I don't really mind if people know I am from NY! Am going to look like a tourist with my camera and map, anyway!

I had great luck with pure linen one year in the Mediterranean. I would wash it and then let it drip dry at night. Very cool to wear. Wore black linen pants and a 3/4 sleeve linen shirt in a bright color.

Has anybody considered the hat question? I find I need to wear something on my head when walking around all day in the summer.

artsfan is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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Hats that don't squish up are a real hassle to travel with. I would buy an inexpensive straw hat in Italy (there are lots) and maybe ditch it at the end of the trip. Or get one of raffia that can be rolled up (although mine never look quite the same afterwards, no matter what the manufacturer says).
Marilyn is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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I bought a straw or raffia hat from Travelsmith and wore it for nearly 3 weeks on a trip a few years ago. It is an amazing hat! It does roll up tightly and then looks great afterward. But I thought I might look kind of idiotic wearing a hat like that on city streets. You don't think so?
artsfan is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Hmmm...I probably wouldn't be wearing a hat at all in Paris or Rome. Too much in and out of buildings, doesn't really seem necessary. I can't advise you, artsfan, except to say you can always wait til you get there and see what others are wearing.
Marilyn is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 12:42 PM
  #17  
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I love the helpful info in this thread!

I certainly am loosening up my ideas regarding color (thank goodness!) while still keeping flexibility and laundering needs in mind. Too bad I don't look good in orange...

Ira, I laughed out loud when I read that in Paris last May "only tourists were still wearing black."

Thanks all!
barbara33 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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It's funny, it's only the Americans who ask what to wear.
cigalechanta is online now  
Feb 27th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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I assume you're suggesting a hat to keep the sun off your face, but some of us don't like wearing hats (like me), so I wear a makeup with sunscreen AND a sunscreen for protection.

Of course, some women look great in hats, so if you're one of them, this certainly is a fun and inexpensive item to shop for.
artlover is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 05:17 PM
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Your Italian counterpart will be wearing little heels, no matter how rough the cobblestone street. I can't figure out why they don't all turn their ankles. My husband's Italian cousin remarked on all the clunky walking shoes worn by women tourists.
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