First off, Italian fashion.
Italians look sharp! Yeah, I saw some frumpy folks, some "what was she thinking?" folks, and some just-plain-sad dressers. But many Italians--at least in the areas I visited--have a flair for fashion.
Please forgive the occasional fuzzy shot or poorly framed shot: I was taking these pictures on the fly, and trying not to be discovered. Occasionally, I got the Stink Eye for photographing people. This well-dressed Nonna (below) really let me have it. The Stink Eye AND the pointing finger. But honestly, isn't she awesome in her black-and-white ensemble?:
I'll begin with the men. It was HOT in Rome, and yet despite the weather I saw many, many gentlemen in suits and ties. And they dressed with such flair.
I caught this silver fox, in his double-breasted, pinstriped suit, strolling along near the Borghese Gardens:
These two were having a chat on one of Rome's many city benches. I love the lilac shirt of the man on the left and the unexpected shoes and socks on the guy on the right:
This handsome dude has what I call "Euro hair"--it's cut longer than most men in the U.S. would wear, if they are a suit-and-tie kind of guy. But on him it's fantastic:
Okay, I'm not crazy with all the Italian smokers (apparently the number of smokers is way down from 10 or 15 years ago). But I do love the skinny silver tie and messenger bag on the smoker, and the pocket handkerchief and unexpected pants and shoes on the bald dude:
Italian men have a sort of casual elegance in their dress. Here's a slightly rumpled, but nonetheless dapper gentleman who's Doing It Right:
And here's another, who's pulled off the look even without a tie. Maybe it's the unexpected color of his suit--somewhere between khaki and yellow:
And this guy, who could be Charlie Sheen's older brother, was strolling in his washed-out-red pants near the quay at Positano, a small seaside town:
Another example of a man wearing dusty red pants and looking great (even though he's scowling at me). I like his turned-up cuffs, and his gold bracelet and necklace, which are quiet and restrained. Uncharacteristically, he is wearing tennis shoes. I hardly ever saw any natives--men or women--in tennies:
Look at the effortless way these two are rocking their sweaters! I snapped them on the Isle of Capri, where they were hanging out at one of the cafes ringing the main plaza:
Omigosh. A man in a beret, and a backpack-toting priest. LOVE!:
Okay, the guy in the polo shirt caught me snapping him, and he doesn't look too happy about it. But the lavendar shirt, white pants, and leather sandals? A winner! I also love his companion's crisp blue-and-white look, accented with straw hat and cane:
I was trying to catch this guy's shoes, which are dusty red (you can just barely see his right foot). But what I caught instead is a double portrait of man-and-woman casual elegance. Love his black tucked-in tee and aviators. Love her loose cotton tunic, slender leather bracelets, and cropped gray pants:
Here's another fashionable couple, at Rome's "Spanish Steps" I almost didn't show you this one, because the woman is a little over-the-top. But her sense of color is great. And I love how her companion's muted tones and yellow tie echoe her colors:
It seems it's a tradition for recently married couples to get their photos taken at St. Peter's Basilica. This cute pair was having a fun time posing for their camera, which he set on a tripod and time-delayed so he could run in and join his bride in the shot:
Ohh, how I love this photo. The guys look terrific, and the woman is boffo. The sleeveless gray sheath, the classic bag, simple necklace, and pretty pumps. Bellisima:
Fashion sense doesn't fade with age in Italian women, it seems. Here's a colorful interpretation of the same classic look: Simple silhouette, classic jewelry, great shoes and bag:
Another charcoal-gray sheath, accessorized perfectly with jewelry, bag, and shoes:
And yet another one! It's a look with endless variations, all wonderful:
As I said, it was hot in Rome. This woman in taupe wore a long-sleeved shirtdress and scarf, but she looked cool and composed, because the dress was lightweight cotton and the scarf was airy, not heavy:
Even Italian women who aren't size 4 can pull off a great look. This woman combined oversized dark glasses, gold sandals, and a light-yellow scarf to elevate her look:
Okay, five main people in this photo, below. Three are natives, two are tourists. (Guess which two.) The young man in brown shirt and jeans is nothing too special, but the senior guy next to him is totally rocking the tone-on-tone cream look. And Pretty in Pink? Omigosh. She looks fantastic. I saw women like her over and over again. Great bone structure, great haircut. Always in a pretty dress, pearls or gold jewelry, terrific handbag, and heels. Just to go shopping at the market.
The pair in the background are sporting a look I don't like: a sort of Eurotrash-meets-Flashdance thing. But the woman in taupe in the foreground? Che bella:
I have no doubt--not a shred of it--that this lovely woman's Chanel bag and shoes are the real deal. She looks, every inch, fantastic:
Even wearing just a simple summer dress and ballet flats, this woman looks great:
Obviously, this cutie has youth (and a fantastic figure!) on her side. But what I really like is how, even when walking the dogs, Italian women simply do NOT wear tennies. Ballet flats in a pretty color is much more stylish!:
I've concluded that it doesn't really matter what they're wearing: Certain Italians just know how to pull it off, like these three city workers across from the Colosseum. They just seem to ooze self-confidence:
And one last pose, reminiscent to me of many Roman statues we saw, to show that, with the right attitude, an Italian can make anything look good:
Even a fuschia-and-orange sanitation worker's uniform.