What I Wore, When in Rome

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! 

Giolitti, Gelateria

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.

Edoardo II, Vicolo Margana

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.

Santa Lucia, Largo Febo

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!

St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

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.