Let me preface this by acknowledging that I know I’ve written about Milan a lot. So much in fact, that you might be wondering why I just don’t rename this blog something like “Milansick & Spending all of my Time There.” But I can’t help it! I’m infatuated. And my most recent visit was probably the best one to date!
There’s something about September in Milan that’s akin to having someone light a firecracker underneath your behind. You just want to be up & at it, running on all cylinders all day long. A couple of Italian friends have told me that instead of making “New Year’s resolutions” in January, they prefer to make their resolutions in September during the re-entrée. This time of year is, in a sense, a new beginning as many return to the daily grind after their well-deserved August vacanza. The cool, a harbinger of the forthcoming fall, conjured up some of my own memories of new beginnings, such as walking to class at the start of the new college year or the outset for the series of required “long runs” during my former NYC marathon training days. Experiencing the post re-entrée hustle and bustle of Milan put me in a “new beginning” mind frame of sorts.
The clean cut, dapper and stylish Milanese navigate the streets by bike or hurry along the sidewalks, their shoes creating a rhythm of “click, click” on the pavement. Soft gusts of wind give me the occasional shiver, but those bronze-legged Italian women don’t even emit a goose bump! As I caught sight of my un-scarved, black-attire-clad reflection in a store window, I stopped and sighed. I looked down at my Camper wedges–which sadly don’t “click, click”–and then gazed once again to see my less-than-perfect flat ironed mane, and the truth became painfully apparent. I realized that I still have oodles to learn from the Milanese, and I need to think extra hard about my attire before hitting those runway-like streets. I was in desperate need of a belt which I forgot along with my scarf, and I wished my tresses could have been perfectly straight. And I also wished I had worn smarter–in the British, not the literal, sense of the word–shoes.
The men and women glide by atop their bicycles, the gents without a wrinkle in their perfectly tailered suits and the ladies just appear so effortlessly graceful. Every single piece of hair is in place and they sit perched on their bikes in such a manner that keeps their clothing perfect; no spontaneous peeps shows from skirts flying up in the air. Their Prada bags dangle from the handlebar or sit securely in the basket. How the hell do they do it?
Save for a couple of versatile separates and dresses, Milan makes me want to throw away every piece of clothing that I own and acquire an entirely new wardrobe, one that’s abundant with blazers and scarves galore, flattering jeans (like those of my friend Elisa and her friend, Giulia) and endearing black pants (like those that belong to my friend Sara). Plus lots of dresses, bags, heels and big earrings! Prior to this visit, I thought I had wanted to cut my hair a little shorter, but I have since changed my mind. I’m growing it all back…I want it long and straight.
As I just mentioned, Elisa and Giulia were wearing the jeans that I’ve been dreaming about. The type I see every chic woman wearing in Rome, which are just so much cooler than anything I have ever worn or owned in my life. My jeans usually stretch out after being on my body for about 15 minutes, taking on that God awful “mom jeans”-like shape. Since Elisa and Giulia weren’t strangers in the street, I asked them where can one find denim wonders like their own. Ironically, the answer was Uniqlo in New York. WTF?! So now I’m convinced that there’s gotta be something in the blood of Italian women who are lucky enough to have been born and bred on this wondrous peninsula, something hereditary that is synonymous with the ability to rock a pair of jeans.
When I got home that night, I took a good hard look at my ghostly, white legs , and I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s the lack of muscular definition in my gams that makes jeans so unflattering on me? In an attempt to amend this, I am currently on day three of the 30-Day Squats Challenge, I took my first bike ride today, and am trying to run three times a week with the hope of eventually building to six. Now I’m digressing….
There’s something about Milan that I find as equally inspiring as being in the presence of all of my hard-working friends here in Rome, and I have made a September resolution. In addition to attempting everything that I as a mere mortal can possibly do in order to emulate Milanese style, I feel re-inspired and have renewed my vow to work my ass off and do whatever I can to stay in Italy forever! Without goals, we are nothing, so why not set some and/or renew them?
So when’s my next trip, you might be wondering? October 13 – 16. I need to score a couple of blazers and if I’m lucky, a flattering pair of jeans. Now I realize that achieving this won’t happen overnight. It’s gradual, of course, but I have to start somewhere. Ready, aim, baby steps!