Spring Fashion in Rome

Anastasia Hernando
March 21, 2022

Since I’m passionate about fashion, I have noticed its role within Italian culture in Rome. Coming from the University of Michigan, I’m used to dressing for the normal 20 degree weather in February. When I arrived, it was about 50 degrees and sunny, something that normally would cause for praise in Michigan this time of year. Regardless, I observed Romans dressed for winter, bundled in scarfs and down feather jackets with a great deal of black. 

Dark colors have most definitely been reigning power in Roman fashion from my perspective and I have enjoyed taking part. Dressing in full black as well, I have tried to blend in as a local and I think it has worked. I have experienced many encounters with Italian people asking me a simple question in Italian. Since I speak Spanish and have been taking Italian since arriving here, I don’t have too much trouble understanding them on the first go. However, when my response warrants a conversation, I quickly am humbled, being reminded of my lack of fluency in italian. 

While I have enjoyed trying to blend in, I have also been trying to embrace standing out. As much as I enjoy dressing in dark colors, they don't make up my entire wardrobe. Especially with spring around the corner, the warmer days have called my lighter and brighter clothes out of hibernation. It does feel a little strange since I am usually the odd one out, dressing in lighter colors like beige or light pink is still uncommon. However, I have accepted that I really am not a local so I don’t always have to dress like one. 

Also, in relation to warmer weather, some friends and I have agreed on a shared frustration with the conservative expectations that surround us. For example, not only is wearing a shorter skirt uncommon generally, but even on the warmer days women will stick to wearing pants. I found myself feeling super exposed when wearing a skirt, despite the fact that the weather allowed it. Most people will even wear black tights with a skirt to conceal their bare legs. The black tights are definitely not my style, but I have been considering wearing them in order to avoid the weird stares I have experienced. 

I have always been one to dress for my own happiness regardless of others’ opinions of me. However, outside judgment is definitely magnified when you're existing as an outsider in a foreign country. Especially within Italian culture, where overt exclamations towards women are socially acceptable, I have been more wary of how I dress. This deeply upsets me because of how much I enjoy expressing myself through fashion. Looking forward, I’m hoping that other Romans will start to dress less conservative as it gets warmer so that my style can fit more into the status quo. Still, I’m trying to find the perfect medium for dressing how I want and fitting into the culture. 

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Anastasia Hernando

<p>Anastasia Hernando is a student at the University of Michigan, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She is currently working on writing her Political Science thesis on labor rights of the textile industry. Her passion&nbsp;for human rights motivates her to learn more about government and philosophy while studying abroad in Rome, Italy during Spring 2022. Additionally, her interest in social media and business excite her about her opportunity to share her experiences as a IDEA Correspondent.</p>

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Miami, FL
Political Science
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