“Perhaps you can be a blogger who occasionally writes about fashion. I loved your segments on that blog bc they were relatable to me as someone who enjoys fashion but is a bit awkward.”
Oh awkward is my middle name. (Well actually it’s Mayforth, also kind of awkward). But her sentiment stuck with me although it still truly baffles me when anyone says they miss me over on “that blog.”
Does anyone ever book a trip and realize their home fashion style doesn’t match the person they want to present in another city/state/country? And, is anyone desperately afraid of being laughed at by Europeans because you appear hopelessly American ie. smiling too much and butchering the local language or is it just me?
Either way after I booked my trip to Italy with my brother (we’re embarking on a year of the “f it’s” – a blog post for another time) for November I immediately started piecing together my new Italian personality. Less Emily in Paris and more Meredith at Maggianos if we’re being fair. But, unlike trips of in the past when – for travel or writing purposes – I wasn’t going to purchase clothing I’d never wear again or clothing for the person I wish I was. I was going to dress for me – and Italians – but mostly me. Really I just can’t walk around the Trevi Fountain in sweatpants and a hoodie like a gremlin (that’s 90% my home aesthetic).
So I looked in my closet, discovered where the holes were (oddly enough, in non-distressed bottoms), ordered what I needed and got to creating some molto bello looks (look at that Duolingo paying off! I can also talk endlessly about fisherman. It’s great!) Let’s get into it…
Fashion for Italy: The Misses
Let’s start with the fails because they are funnier and I’m not concerned with making money off affiliate links! Also, it’s my blog…I can do whatever I want (pause for moment of realization).
A Tale of Two Trousers
Nothing and I mean NOTHING will humble you like trousers (or pushing an infant around Forever 21 when you’re a 25-year-old new mother – wow that was oddly specific). Trousers were NOT my friend and honestly an item of clothing I probably should have tried on in store.
The top pair were designed by a sadist or someone who has never born children. There is no clasp on the side zipper so these things are holding on by a prayer. Also, way too lightweight. The bottom I stupidly bought in a Medium (LOLZ – European sizes) and they sent me straight back to 4th grade when I would wear similar pants with a zipper up the back and people called me zipper butt. Thanks for the childhood trauma reminder, Mango!
While I would have liked a pair of trousers for Europe, it doesn’t look like it’s happening. Friends have recommended Zara and A&F for trousers so, if I ever want to continue that quest I know where I am shopping.
The Tops That Were “Almost” Right
The first blouse reminded me that ultimately my dream aesthetic is sexy librarian who puts out controversial book displays. I love it, but I won’t get enough use out of it. I’ll be too afraid of sweat stains and the color is not as off-white as I thought. It reads more pink.
This turtleneck isn’t bad for my 98 Degrees Reunion Tour audition, but it’s just a little too tight and a little too warm for Italy. I’ve completely changed my fashion silhouette in the last few years (wide jeans, tucked in shirts, etc) but I still don’t like my tops too tight.
Fashion for Italy: The Wins!
Finally! Full-Length Jeans!
How I ended up with a closet full of ankle-length distressed jeans I do not know (Narrator: She does). Coupled with slightly cooler temps. and the impression that ripped jeans are not a huge thing in Europe, I needed new bottoms. I was pleasantly surprised with the selection. The jeans on the left were what brought me to the website (I really wanted to find cargo jeans similar to the $325 MOTHERS) and these were pretty dang good. I LOVED the jeans on the right though. The front pockets are flattering and they are really soft. While I liked both, I ultimately decided to keep the ones on the right because I don’t need THAT many pairs of jeans (seriously my closet is embarrassing atm).
Do You Want to Destroy My Sweater
When I pulled out the top striped sweater all I could think is, “I would be perfect in the Sing Sing scene in The Producers.” I almost didn’t bother to try it on, but I’m glad I did. It is SO cute and cozy without adding bulk. I’m not bringing it with me to Europe (little too warm for the occasion), but it’s perfect for weekends away skiing.
The bottom olive green sweater is a sweaty kid’s dream. Listen, I appreciate everyone who has told me how cold I will be, but I can almost guarantee I will not. Hashimotos completely messes with my temperature regulation and I always run hot or run on the anxiety of FEELING like I might get overheated and then sweating. I would rather be slightly chilly than slightly too warm. This sweater is ribbed, light-weight with a cute neck detail. Plus the color screams Fall.
Outfit Ideas For a European Vacation
(That is the most boring subtitle I ever wrote with SEO in mind. Forgive me, I will never do that again. The readers that find me are the dedicated ones I will not come to them.)
Outfit 1: Leading Lady in a Nora Ephron Movie
Ok I am leaning into my Nora Ephron stage of life. I want quirky and cozy, like I’m rushing to my job at the local bakery after burning out in corporate America, breaking up with my boyfriend and moving to a small town where no one knows my name except the pithy new bestie I made when we were eying the same Magnolia Hearth item at the local Target.
These Fifa’s were a bitch to find, but I wear them daily. I am living for the dad sneak and white goes with everything. Now, this white tee is the best white tee I have ever owned. It’s oddly difficult to find the perfect, slightly slouchy, lightweight tee, but LoveTrust Brand nailed it. LoveTrust is the first (and only) brand I have worked with post “the other blog” and the owner is the kindest, most generous human ever. I’m not paid to wear their clothing, but I regularly choose it. Under a black blazer with my full-length jeans and some gold jewelry I am ready for sightseeing.
Outfit 2: A Morning at the Colosseum
I don’t shop Shopbop a lot, but when I do, it’s almost always pieces I end up wearing time and time again. I purchased this cardigan during an end of season sale and I always get compliments on it. It’s cropped, which works perfectly with the jeans (same jeans as the first outfit!). I always feel good when I put it on.
Outfit 3: An Outfit I Could Safely Spill a Red Sauce On
Packing for this European trip has been a welcomed reminder to go through my closet. Totally forgot I owned these MOTHER jeans with a baby flare. Soft with just the perfect amount of distressing at the hem I switched up the shoes for my trusty low-profile black kicks that I KNOW work for Europe because I wore them on my last trip! Finally, the top that is just enough of an optical illusion to disguise any dinner spills. Throw on a black blazer or a trench coat and off to il ristorante I go. Bring on the cacio e pepe.
I ended up finding clothing that doesn’t just work in my quest for European approval, but also at home. Funnily enough leaving fashion blogging full-time has allowed me to actually explore WHAT I like and HOW I want to dress, regardless of current trends. Without the pressure of sales goals in mind or with someone telling me what they don’t like about my outfits and having to embark on an editing process to fit someone else’s ideas of what fashion is. I’m doing fashion on my terms, more thoughtfully than before.
It feels good.