It was my second time to Rome last weekend after visiting the Eternal City a couple of years ago for just 24 hours before a wedding; it was July, swelteringly hot and humid, meaning I didn’t enjoy dressing as much as I usually do. This time however, again visiting Rome for wedding (I know, my friends are relentlessly chic) I packed with excitement to dress for this beautiful city: linens, button-down mid-lengths, fiery colours and frills.
Linen is the cool, crisp and often creased fabric that I associate with my Dad and summer weddings, but this season it has hit the style headlines as the fabric to wear. I love the ease of this outfit, Monsoon’s blue and white linen shirt with the sleeves rolled right up, tucked into their button-down navy linen skirt. It’s elegant, it’s cool and in Rome it’s appropriate should you be visiting Vatican City (FYI: knees and shoulders must be covered.) I love to style a navy outfit with navy accessories from the shoes to the handbag and the bow in my hair. This handbag is a perfect city style and fits everything I need: water bottle, wallet, sunglasses, phone and that emergency red lipstick.
What did we do before the Bardot? It’s feminine, it’s pretty and it’s a bit sexy, plus this navy and white design feels wonderfully Roman. The flouncy frills add a bit of romance to the neckline and the belt means I can accentuate my waist; I prefer tying a bow at the back like I did when I was a little girl in smock dresses. With a Bardot neckline I think simple accessories work best, a simple gold chain or gold hoops and hair tied back to draw attention to your collarbone and shoulders. For the footwear, a block heel or espadrille wedge would lengthen the legs but saying that I adore these embellished slides; then just add a round basket bag.
When I go on holiday I always pack a standout dress, something bright or printed that I can wear for the evenings… or the day! This stunning maxi dress is my kind of red; bright post box red, a colour I wear a lot and am known for. There’s something in the simplicity of this kimono-style that makes it such a striking piece, it makes a loud statement without being garish, it’s simply elegant and unfussy. The shape of these sleeves is so flattering; their wide cut means your arms appear slimmer. It’s a brilliant design if you have big boobs because the deep-v neckline will balance them out. I love to mix and match colours from the same palette, tonal dressing, wearing one colour head-to-toe but in slightly differing shades. Here the dress, the lips and these adorable bow sling backs all work together to make a chic look, oh and styled with an Aperol of course!
My Rome in 24 hours!
When you’re next in Rome you absolutely must visit the city’s most famous gelateria Giolitti, a Roman institution near the Pantheon. I couldn’t decide between the many delicious flavours so naturally tried as many as I possibly could: white chocolate, pistachio and banana.
If you are scaling the sites (which can be thirsty work) and near the Forum and Colosseum, I recommend you have lunch and a cold Birra Moretti at Edoardo II, a restaurant off a little side street and not only is the food some of the best I’ve had in the city, the waiter is wildly eccentric and often delivers your salad singing; it’s not like anywhere else.
Another great spot for food and real Romans is Santa Lucia (where I am sitting outside with an Aperol spritz, above). After inhaling their wild mushroom rigatoni I was told this is actually the restaurant from Eat Pray Love, you know the one. Don’t forget to try their homemade tiramisu!
And last but certainly not least, Vatican City. I was expecting something magnificent and it was exactly that – in fact – more. The architecture of St Peter’s Square and the Basilica are truly breathtaking; I guarantee you would never have seen anything to this skill and scale. Do as we did and buy tickets to skip the queue, you don’t want to wait 3 hours and the you need that time to properly absorb how incredible Leonardo da Vinci’s Sistine Chapel is.