Having an endless wardrobe is the dream of many, many people. Contemplating shelves full of clothes, shoes and accessories sends almost every fashion lover into ecstasy.

Style is elegance, not extravagance.

Giorgio Armani

The dilemma of What to wear: the answer according to Italian fashion

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Style, extravagance, elegance: these are three words that each deserve a book. Knowing what to wear and how to combine an outfit with shoes and accessories to give our look a different impact is not trivial. I'm sure many of you have opened your wardrobe and stood there looking at its contents as if you were faced with an incomprehensible riddle: "What shall I wear now?". Machiavelli indeed! And yet, especially if you have a lot of clothes, you should always find something that fits, right? It depends. It depends on whether you have the right things or not, but the good news is that to have a wardrobe ready for anything, all you need are 10 must-have items that will change your life. So, ladies and gentlemen, perk your ears up. 

10 must-haves for the woman who wants to dress well with a fiew simple items

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Having a well-stocked wardrobe is not for everyone, but being stylish is.
Here are the 10 must-have items of Italian Fashion to always know what to wear, for her and him.

1. White shirt

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A white shirt is like your best friend, ready to come to your rescue in any situation. You have no idea how many situations it can solve: indispensable for more formal looks, perfect for casual ones too. You can wear it with jacket-and-trouser suits, with jeans, shorts or a skirt. If you want to create a more unusual outfit, you can wear it under clothes with thin straps. In addition to the classic version with a collar and long sleeves, there are thousands of variations with different necklines, longer or shorter sleeves, and turned-up cuffs.

2. Little black dress

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The little black dress is an evergreen that never goes out of fashion and is suitable for many occasions. It's best to keep it basic and then change it up with different accessories to give it a completely new style. The sheath dress version, short or below the knee, sleeveless or with straps, was invented by Coco Chanel in 1926 and became a style icon in the 1960s when Audrey Hepburn wore it in Breakfast at Tiffany's

3. Blazer

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The blazer looks good almost anytime: over a shirt, lace top with high-waisted trousers, skirt or jeans, heels or trainers. Certainly, if you choose black, navy, or a light solid colour, it will be easier to match than patterned prints, but you will find that this garment will serve you well in all seasons. 

4. Trench

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The trench coat is a double-breasted mackintosh with more than a century of history, timeless in beige and camel shades. Perfect for autumn and spring, it can be long or short but is important that you choose the one that suits your physique. One small tip to bear in mind: if you wear it with a skirt, it should be at least the same length, not shorter.

5. Jeans

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Invented by the tailor Jacob Davis in 1871 and patented in 1873 by Levi Strauss, they are now present in every wardrobe in the world, and rightly so. Whatever model of jeans you choose, they must enhance your shape and are not uncomfortable. Then it's up to us to match it with the right top and accessories for a more casual or smarter look and, with the right heel and a jewel to effect, it will also be perfect for a glamorous evening.


I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.

Valentino

6. Midi or knee-length skirt

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The great thing about a skirt like this is that it's suitable for any type of physique, never vulgar and always sexy.The important is to choose the right length and model: pencil skirt, longuette, with a front zip or side slit, in stretch fabric or leather. However, you must always remember one thing: it must be worn with a heel, either low or high, but strictly with a heel.


I can give up everything but high heels.

Donatella Versace

7. Pumps with stiletto heels

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What can I say... heels (and shoes in general) are a real craze for many women - including myself, I admit - also because the heel is a symbol of femininity par excellence. The right ones can give our outfit that extra touch that was missing to make us feel like Superwomen. Even if some women don't like them or don't know how to wear them, at least one pair of classic stiletto pumps is a must in every wardrobe.

Elegant, sensual and hyper-feminine, they make us look more slender than any other shoe and are equally at home in the office or with a casual look with jeans and a jacket, or even on a night out or at a ceremony. Of course, black or nude are more versatile and the evergreen model is the one with thin heel and tapered toe. But what about the allure of red?

To back up the thesis that heels change lives, here are the words of two women of excellence: a great Italian designer and a famous blogger


High heels. Very high indeed. Because life is too short to spend it on the ground.

Veronica Benini (Spora)

8. Trainers (Sneakers for the US)

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If you don't like heels, you'll certainly love these. They always manage to give us that girly look, of someone who wants to enjoy life in freedom, walking lightly on the world. If you choose white, they will go with everything, but in this case it's a shame to put a limit on your imagination. Trainers, especially in recent years, have crossed every style barrier, in fact they can now be seen paired with outfits that some time ago we would never have dreamed of wearing them with. If you don't want to be too daring, they are the perfect allies when it comes to casual looks.

9. Clutch

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Here we come to another obsessive-compulsive syndrome written in the female DNA: bags and clutches. You know when people ask you what you're doing with all those bags and you just can't understand the meaning of the question? That's it. Let's just say that it might if, amid so much abundance, you don't have a clutch for the evening and a maxi-bag for the day (but more on this in the next paragraph).

You need a clutch or a pochette for the evening because you can't match anything else with certain outfits, but also because they are the sophisticated and always fashionable accessory that turns your style upside down, giving it taste and character, even if you are wearing jeans, heels and a blouse tucked into trousers or a short top.

My advice is to have at least one of a shade that goes with everything and in a solid colour, to avoid getting into trouble.


10. Maxi-bag

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A maxi-bag, preferably black, is useful in almost all circumstances, especially during the day. We can fill it up like Mary Poppins' bag and carry our whole world with us, and there are a thousand different models, practical, comfortable, and trendy. Alternatively, you can choose a medium-sized bag, so that you can fit your essentials in it, but it's not too big to be bulky.

The 10 must-have items in a man's wardrobe


To be elegant you absolutely mustn't look like you've dressed to the nines, i.e. you must have studied yourself very well, you must have coordinated yourself; you must always have a rather casual air, which doesn't mean being sloppy.

Giorgio Armani

Of course, a woman's look can play on many more variables than a man's, but even a well-stocked male wardrobe has its cornerstones. More precisely, there are three: the fabric that makes the difference, the colour that turns an outfit into elegant or sporty, and the versatility that makes a garment suitable for different occasions.

Jeans

Among the 10 essential items for men, there are certainly, as for women, jeans, a must-have garment suitable for many occasions, preferably dark for more formal occasions and light for more casual ones. 

Polo or t-shirt

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A second must-have item is a Polo shirt or a cotton t-shirt, preferably plain and without flashy prints or bright colours. A sporty Polo shirt can be a good substitute for a shirt in your free time. 

Oxford shirt

Obviously, a shirt is a must in the wardrobe of a man who wants to call himself a man, and choosing an Oxford cotton shirt will allow you to feel all the comfort of a light and breathable fabric suitable for both the most impeccable outfits and the most informal ones.

Double-breasted jacket

We have arrived at the fourth item: the double-breasted jacket. One of the classics par excellence, over time it has lost that excessively "uniform" flavour that it used to have, and has become an accomplice of the man who wants to be elegant and never banal in the frenetic metropolitan life. And, if a nice watch comes out of the cuff, even better... 

Spring trench coat and leather jacket for the mid-season

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Over the years, the spring trench coat has been worn by men of extreme class such as Humphrey Bogart, Alain Delon and Peter Sellers. I don't see why today's boys shouldn't wear it. For mid-season, I would also add a James Dean-style leather jacket, an informal and casual garment with a lot of style, especially if it is a simple black jacket with a zip and no-frills.

Caban

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And for winter? Definitely the caban, with all its variations in terms of fabric, colour, lapels, length, cut and pockets. Designed to keep British sailors of the Royal Navy warm in the eighteenth century, it has passed through the hands of many Italian and foreign designers.


Split suit

The split suit: elegant, versatile, chic, but with a touch of personal creativity, it is a real must in Italian style and is made by combining a jacket (or blazer) and trousers in different fabrics and colours.

Trainers and lace-up shoes with a matching belt

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In terms of shoes, men too cannot do without trainers, which today are even worn with elegant suits. Among other footwear, lace-up shoes with a matching belt are a must-have accessory on our list. As they say: details make all the difference.

Fashion can do magic, but only we can do the real one. We can have the most beautiful dress or accessory in the world, we can follow the stylists' advice to the letter, but nothing can replace true elegance, that "which" which all the biggest names in the world of fashion, journalism and show business have always tried to define. There are hundreds of quotes online, but I have chosen one from a wonderful Italian actress: Claudia Cardinale.

I remember the class and elegance of David Niven: more than an actor, he was a gentleman that every woman would like to have by her side. A man who opened doors for you, who had the elegance to always walk one step behind you, who would offer you his arm at the slightest difficulty on the road.

Claudia Cardinale

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