Roman Summer from a Somewhat Sartorial Standpoint

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Some of my clothing hanging to dry. Notice the colors? Nothing funereal.

My first blog post was a bunch of bullet points–I love me some bullet points!–about some minor life changes during my first month in Rome. Today, I was sorting my laundry and I couldn’t help but notice another change: the items within my pile of light-colored clothing had significantly surpassed those within my pile of blacks.  In case you’re not already aware, I always wore black, black and more black, with the occasional red or purple thrown into the mix.

I had initially planned to stay here for three months, return to NY with my empty suitcases and bring back anything I couldn’t fit in them the first time around, mainly because I wanted to leave Italy prior to hitting the 90-day mark so I didn’t have to risk getting caught here “illegally” and jeopardize my dual citizenship application. But then for some bizarre reason, my stars lined up and I became Irish–and thus a citizen of the entire EU–way earlier than expected, so there was really no need for me to return in May.  I had toyed with the idea of going back to retrieve some items (among which I would have included my Prada espadrilles and unread Grace Coddington memoir), but since my life was starting to pick up here, I opted to keep facing forward and “missed” my flight.  So much for my summer clothes.

As the weather grew warmer and I started to wear some of the lighter (in the context of weight-wise) clothing that I did manage to pack–most of which were black– I realized that bringing all of my summer clothes here would have been an exercise in futility as they weren’t made for one passing most of her time under the Laziale sun. It’s HOT here. And 90 degrees here feels so much hotter than 90 degrees in New York.  I still wore dark clothing during the NY summers, but I think part of it is that air conditioning isn’t as ubiquitous in Rome and for the time being, I don’t pass my entire day inside an office, only seeing a few rays of sunlight before 9am and sometimes in the late evening (if it wasn’t dark when I was leaving work). So even if any of my NY summer clothes were light hued, the fabric was just a tad bit heavier than what would suffice here.

A friend advised me that while it’s wise to acquire some basics, I should hold out until the mid-July summer sales. I could shop till I drop and still have a few months to wear my purchases since it’s usually hot through September. About a month ago, I did pick up some items to get me started and not one of them is black. There’s white, beige, blue, coral, light gray, but nothing dark. And nothing heavy.

Perhaps this is why Italian women don’t ever seem to perspire? They must have acclimated to the summer sunshine in lightweight clothing.

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