Coming back from my semester in Florence was tough – more so than I expected. To be honest, adjusting back to the culture, schedule, and hours of studying was actually more difficult than my original adjustment in Italy. However, while flipping through pictures and sharing memories helps keep the “abroad spirit” alive, I am also able to do so through personal style. Adapting to a European style, I can see how my everyday outfit choices have changed since I returned …
First, my daily style in general has become more “put-together.” I’ve ditched the work-out leggings and t-shirt look for class – as in Italy, athletic attire is only socially acceptable in the gym. Instead, I tend to wear more thoughtful outfits, like jeans and sweaters or dresses and booties. I’ve actually realized that getting fully dressed each morning has helped me become more focused and productive throughout the day – much needed during a busy semester.
Second, while the sneaker trend is becoming a world-wide phenomena, I found myself noticing that European culture depends on comfortable walking shoes. In Florence, with an unfortunate lack of public transportation, I found myself constantly walking – sometimes for 30-40 minutes at a time – so, getting a good pair of sneakers to rely on was key. Now back at Wake, I can’t seem to give the sneakers up – they match with almost every outfit, and can be dressed down for class, or dressed up for a night out.
Lastly, in Florence, I became obsessed with jackets. Not only because Italy is known for its leather production, but also because weather was unpredictable – especially with all the walking – mixed with constant travel and living out of suitcases that paved a clear way for a necessity to layer. Back in the US, I now use jackets to change up a simple outfit, and I am sure to always pack one in my bag for air-conditioned lectures or unforeseen rain.
While I still miss being abroad, I love how getting dressed each day gives me a small reminder of Florence!
View from Ponte Vecchio, Florence