Failproof Everyday Outfit Staples: Weeks 2 & 3

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Mid day in Verona

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Girl's day exploring the Galleria in Milan

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Top of the Duomo di Milano at sunset with fellow photographer, Ben

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Lake Como at golden hour (after a treacherous hike up a moderately large hill)

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My 21st birthday in vintage Saint Laurent blazer

I've completed my third week in Milan, and I'm settling in quite nicely. During my time here, I've traveled to various cities in Italy, met new friends, gotten (more) comfortable with public transportation, and booked my first international trips. As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been loving the city of Milan, though I'm eager to travel in the weeks and months to come. My current travel plans include Switzerland this weekend and Barcelona in early March, though I'm also hoping to visit London, Paris, Amsterdam, and additional Italian cities by the end of May. I only attend classes three days a week, and my spring break is three weeks long, so I should have enough time to check off my priorities.

Since arriving in Milan, my sense of style has evolved slightly. Back home, I dress up most days, but here, I find myself more consistently inspired. Though I've treated myself to several Zara shopping sprees (it's sale season), I have fewer pieces to work with compared to my closet back home. While packing my suitcase, I anticipated the challenge of styling photo-worthy outfits with a minimal wardrobe. It turns out, styling looks with an edited selection is much more efficient and effective. I aim to put new energy into every look, but I couldn't get by without a few key items. 

1. Statement jackets: The weather in Milan has remained mostly cloudy and cool in the forties and fifties with the occasional sunny day. I won't complain, however, since the chilly yet bearable temperatures are ideal for cozy jackets and strategic layering. These days, I've been alternating my camel walker coat with faux fur and leather.

2. Updated denim: Though I'm totally down for a feminine frock from time to time, I basically live in pants. Especially when traveling, comfort and practicality are key. The past couple of seasons, trendsetters have deviated from the classic skinny jean style that has reigned supreme for years and are embracing stronger, trouser-inspired silhouettes. Lately, I've been loving my straight leg denim by Frame and cropped flare styles by 7 For All Mankind.  

3. Simple tops: While I look forward to sporting voluminous ruffled blouses once spring arrives, jackets are still essential for the month of February. As a result, I repeatedly reach for basic black or white t-shirts and turtlenecks. I used to gravitate towards bolder hero pieces, but you really can't go wrong with versatility.

4. Fun ankle booties: I won't lie; mid-heeled ankle boots are not the most practical shoes in the world, but a few close calls on Italy's cobblestone streets keep me grounded. So far, I've purchased three pairs from Zara (all under 20 Euro, I might add), and I've certainly gotten my money's worth. I'd been eyeing pointed toe patent styles for quite some time, but it's abundantly obvious that chunky combat boots are back on trend, reimagined this time with flashy embellishments and metal detailing.  

5. Luxurious (looking) crossbody bags: For the longest time, I imagined my first luxury handbag to be a small black leather crossbody with gold accents, but after visiting the Gucci flagship store in Milan, I couldn't justify spending so much on an accessory that could only fit my phone and wallet. Most days, I carry my DSLR in my ONA camera backpack, but it can be annoying to wear in crowded areas, so I'm considering a more practical option, a tote bag, instead. To replace my beloved vintage Fendi that has seen better days, I purchased a small studded crossbody by Piumelli, a leather goods boutique in Milan that specializes in gloves and handbags with interchangeable straps. I found this Valentino-inspired style for under one hundred euro, and added two interchangeable straps in addition to wrapping the chain around my waist to imitate a belt bag. 

Milan Fashion Week is approaching, and I'm more than excited to revel among industry influencers. Admittedly, fashion shows are nearly impossible to attend without connections, and surely, I'll be admiring the awe-inspiring street style from a distance, but any small way I can take part will be a win for me. Thank you for following my journey!   

xx Brooke    

Brooke Komas1 Comment