Italian fashion

4 ways to add some Italian style into your al fresco wardrobe

With summer finally making an appearance, here’s how to add a touch of Mediterranean glamour to your warm weather outfits…

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably grown tired of combing through reams of government guidelines, trying to work out the difference between the green and amber lists and rubbing your eyes in disbelief at the cost of all the Covid tests you’d need to take before setting foot on a plane.

However, that doesn’t mean we’re about to turn our backs on the thought of a Mediterranean summer… it just means we’re going to be doing it a little closer to home.

A key part of creating that at-home holiday vibe is making sure you look the part, which is why we’re looking to our Italian counterparts for a lesson in stylish summer chic.

Because when it comes to dressing for an al fresco occasion, nobody does it better than the women of Rome, Venice and Milan.

With that in mind, here are four key ways to introduce some Italian style into your outfit, whether you’ll be sipping drinks on an outdoor terrace or enjoying a lovely summer picnic somewhere with a view of the river…

1. Lean into linen


There’s a simple rule to Italian dressing – linen in summer, cashmere in winter.

The Italian summer is notoriously scorching, which is why the locals swear by this most breathable of fabrics – an essential addition to any summer wardrobe.

If you fear the dreaded creases, then a linen blazer is a good way to work the material into your look, as it’s the most likely item to keep its form – it’s also a good option to have with you for the evening, when the temperature inevitably dips.

Then when it comes to linen dresses, opt for a midi with a belted waist to avoid the fabric looking too shapeless.

Try to avoid anything too boxy and remember that linen-blend pieces are often a good way to go, as the material tends to be less stiff when tempered by cotton or silk.

The matching wine: Freixenet Sparkling Rosé

If linen is the ultimate summer fabric, then rosé is the ultimate summer drink.

This sparkling bottle is both fresh and fruity, with notes of red fruits, white flowers and apples 

Freixenet Sparkling Rose

2. Experiment with a head scarf


The easiest way to inject a flourish of Italian glamour into your ensemble is to swap out your sun hat for a head scarf.

“Choose a silk variety for authentic Italian style,” says fashion editor Donna McCulloch. “Wear it loosely in the hair, either in a low pony or a messy chignon.”

“If you’re wearing an unpatterned dress, then opt for a pattern with a pop of colour, or go for something more muted if you’re already wearing bold print.”

Instant Sophia Loren vibes, guaranteed.

The matching wine: Freixenet Prosecco D.O.C.

Picture a warm breeze lifting at your head scarf as you take a sip from a flute of crisp, fresh Prosecco, sparkling with notes of ripe lemon, green apple and grapefruit…

Close your eyes, and you could be on Lake Como.

Freixenet Prosecco

3. Sharpen up your tailoring


In Italian fashion, quality tailoring is a constant, and an al fresco wardrobe is no exception.

If you want to dress up your summer look, Stitch Fix Lead Stylist Rich Simmons, advises to “keep it sleek, chic and tailored to perfection.”

“Match a fitted trouser with a crisp white shirt, a classic blazer and some simple flats for a simple yet timeless look.”

Or for something a little bolder, perhaps the shorts suit is the look for you?

They started cropping up on last year’s catwalks and can now be found in a host of high street favourites, from Reiss to ASOS.

Formal meets fun, and we’re very much here for it.

The matching wine: Freixenet Chianti

Chianti is as traditional as tailoring in Italy – this light Tuscan number would be a perfect match for a bowl of pasta on a twinkly evening terrace.

Freixenet Chianti

4. Embrace neutrals


Summer might traditionally be the time to go big and bold with your colours, but to do as the Italians do, you’ll want to dial it down a bit.

“For that understated Italian elegance, keep to one colour palette of neutrals,” advises Joy Odunsi Aboderin, Director & Head Personal Stylist at Potential U.

“Think cream, camel, white or grey. You can always add some drama with a statement bag and a pair of oversized sunglasses.”

“Less is more” is pretty much the golden rule of Italian fashion – think clean cuts and muted colours. The plain white linen shirt is your friend…

The matching wine: Freixenet Pinot Grigio

An elegant white wine from the picturesque vineyards of the Garda region – just the thing to cool you down on a hot afternoon.

Freixenet Pinot Grigio

Looking for the perfect drink to sip in your new Italian-inspired outfit? Having long been experts in Prosecco and sparkling Italian rosé, Freixenet has now extended its 150 years of wine-making expertise to create a new range of high-quality Italian still wines, all of which will add a touch of Mediterranean joy to your summer. Shop the range here.