Campus Style: From Italy

It’s another gorgeous day in Florence. The Arno is speckled with gondolas and the air smells of lilacs — spring is coming. The cobble stone streets are flooded with moving bodies, half dressed for the approaching season and the other half dressed for fall.  In other words, half are tourists or students and the other half are locals.

As if it’s some unspoken American law, the first 70 degree day that the States experiences beckons every male and female to whip our their shorts, sundresses and gladiators. In Italy, however, the temperate air bears no effect on their choice of clothing.  Just as they dressed in the fall and winter, the Italians wear similar cold weather staples, minus the heavy jacket.

The striking difference of spring style creates a vivid distinction between those who belong and those who don’t.  Every study abroad girl has on her new Italian leather sandals and shorts.  Multiple Italians pointing and laughing at her feet will accompany her walk to class.  Elder Italian men will gawk at leg exposure, as if the student was wearing a bikini in a supermarket.  Despite ridicule and participation in Italian fashion taboos, students and tourists continually dress for a traditional American spring.

Italian fashion is distinct and an unknowing tourist may look foolish without the right information. (Carly Koziol / Columnist)

“Here in Italy we dress in winter clothes until May,” said Swedish Linnea Bergman, 22, who is both a designer and a style blogger who has lived in Florence for two years. “The Italian spring look consists of comfortable flats paired with jeans and a daytime T-shirt,” she explained as she rested by the Arno with her Milanese boyfriend.

Dressed in a simple black tank, a tailored black blazer, jeans and patten leather flats, Bergman’s look is completed with Ray Ban aviators and a timeless Louis Vuitton bag.  Her style exudes the classic European look that appears both effortlessly cool and exquisitely put together.

If you could blend the words conservative, classic, posh, tailored and black all together, you would have the definition of Italian street style.

“Men transition from winter cotton to summer linen,” said Bergman’s boyfriend, Emanuele Gastel, 22, pointing to his own stripped button-down.  During the spring, Italians wear a blend of the two fabrics and “man sandals” are avoided at all costs.

The combination of Bergman’s Swedish flair coupled with Gastel’s mastery of Italian menswear exudes to the public they are a power team when it comes to European fashion.  But it’s not just the couple whose look said, “I’m the perfect combination of sexy and smart, confident and European.” The majority of European natives are able to represent that statement through their ensembles.  They have an awareness of their body type, what looks good, what doesn’t, and are update on what’s trending in the exact moment of time.

This is what makes Florence such a stunning city — for both the sights and the locals are equally picture-worthy.

Want to see what the Italian fashionable lifestyle is all about? Visit Bergman’s blog at