Tag Archives: fashion

How To Disguise Yourself As A Real Italian in 9 Easy Steps.

4 Apr

By Kara Harms

You’ve seen the movies and magazines with sexy Italian women who casually wear sexy Italian men as accessories all while looking flawless and dang it, you just want to look like them.  And hate them. And steal their wardrobe. And maybe the sexy men. But, I mean, who doesn’t? The standards of fashion in this country put America to shame.  Wear sweatpants or no make-up outside of the house here? Yeah, you get shunned.  T-shirts? Forget about them. The People of Wal-Mart would have no place to call home in this country.

But the great question I face on a daily basis is how exactly does one “dress like an Italian”? The fashion here is considered so prestigious it has turned into a “look” we admire from across the globe, but how does one really dress to blend into the crowds here?

Well, let me tell you, It. Is. So. Hard. Especially when you are oh-so-very blonde like me, you can never really blend in. But I’m going to help you learn how soar when I have already crashed and burned, since maybe you aren’t blonde and aren’t a shinning white color from spending too much of your youth in the Northern Midwest. I got to be useful for something, right?

Step One: Don’t be blonde.  If you are blonde, just give up and go home right now YOU WILL NEVER BE ONE OF THEM. Sorry I had to break it to you like this. But the real kicker is if you aren’t blonde, you are totally within your rights to bleach your hair like crazy. Just go for it, the more unnatural looking the better. Apparently being fake blonde is more acceptable than the real deal and despite hating American girls for their blonde hair, the Italian woman totally just secretly want to look like us. PLOT TWIST!!!

Step Two: Wear heals, and not the wimpy one-inch kinds, I mean the tall, thin stilettos that you only have to glance at to know they are designed for breaking ankles. The more likely your shoes might break your ankles, the more Italian they are. And you can’t just get by with wearing these babies on nice, safe, flat and even sidewalks, you have to walk on cobble stone too, otherwise you’re weak. The Italian women can smell out weakness. Don’t be weak! Your ankles are that important anyways, I promise.



Step Three: Wear fur. Doesn’t matter if it is a vest, scarf, hat or an oversized jacket that makes you look vaguely similar to an upright grizzly bear, wear that damn fur and you’re golden.

Step Four: Wear your parka until mid April. Yes, yes, I know, you are reading this and probably thinking, “Wait, I thought it was warm in Italy???” and I can tell you that indeed, it is warm in Italy. The past week has been highs of 60’s-I actually sweat on the walk to school but the Italians still refuse to abandon their beloved parkas. Don’t think you can get away without wearing a coat since “You’re from the North”. They don’t care if you are from Minnesota and can handle the cold since most of them have no idea what Minnesota even is.  Guys, these are the people who stick their dogs into vests to protect them from the “raging winter” of Rome. They will give you no mercy, assume you are a whore and send death glares in your direction until it makes you just give up and wear the darn coat out in the morning.

Step Five: Don’t exercise in public since they will call you a whore instead of just thinking it. This means the whole world of picking out cute neon sports bras and adorable gym clothes that make you look a little less disgusting while running doesn’t exist here.


Step Six: Own a Louis Vuitton bag. Hey, I never said it had to be real; a fake one will do just fine. Just as long as you’re carrying around some flashy LV you will be welcomed with open arms into what I think must be a secret underground Louis Vuitton organization that 40% of the Roman woman belong too. Guys, they really love their Louis Vuitton.

Step Seven: Shorts are too sexual for people here. You can’t be tempting the husbands and sons with your bare legs and hey, the Pope is watching you know! Don’t be a whore and leave the shorts at home.

Step Eight: Always always always bring your umbrella when you leave the house. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t a cloud in the sky, everyone else thinks it might rain so you better bring your umbrella to blend in. And it actally might rain since, SPOILER, it actually rains here a lot. Thats something nobody every tells you.

Step Nine: Toss out the ‘ole iPhone and get a cheap 40 Euro flip phone that makes you want to cry a little inside everything you have to use it. iPhones here are at least $600-700  (no wonder they think Americans are so rich) and pulling one out in public to snapchat a friend back automatically labels you as American.  Why would you want to shatter the illusion of being Italian after all the hard work you just put in? Also, it will probably get stolen since hey, it’s worth like $700 dollars and some guy’s kids need to be feed or something.

And there you have it, 9 easy steps to disguising yourself as a real life Italian woman. Use this knowledge wisely girls, and I better be seeing some fur and high heels on campus next semester. Lol JK, nobody wants to ride the 16 in high heels. But fur is a total go.


Street Style- PFW

10 Mar

I officially love taking street fashion photos. And there is no better place to take them than at Paris Fashion Week. -Melanie


Leggings Gone Wild!!!

27 Feb

By Kara Harms

As we all experienced while making our wardrobe transitions from high school to college to real adult world, teens have very different styles from grown ups. I personally went through a strange emo/punk/scene period where I dyed my hair blue and thought wearing an entire pencil of eyeliner on my face looked attractive.

Teens do strange things. It is what defines us from the evil close-minded grown ups of the outside world.  It is what sets ourselves apart…and what fuels those stories we tell each other 5 years down the road. You know, the ones that you always end with “I don’t know what I was thinking”.

In Roma, the teens are no different. While you find the Italian woman dressed in dark colors, always running around in heels like champs and probably adorn in fur (and possibly a designer bag) the teens are completely different.  They like color. They like flat shoes. They like to POP.

While on a class tour today in a museum, we ran into a huge group of kids from a local high school. And every single girl looked like this:

Crazy colored leggings and tennis or high-tops.

I’m still not sure how I feel about this trend. While I’m intrigued by some of the tights-I saw a pair of sick milky way printed ones-I think they may be a little to much In Your Face while paired with the tennis shoes. A little too much funk going on here… or maybe it is because I’m in the “college” phase of my life and slowly entering the “real world adult” part and these edgy teenaged styles are way past my time? Who am I too judge.

Them. Actually I’m here to judge them.

As you all maybe have noticed, American women gravitate towards tall brown boots. In fact I think all of the girls in our class today had on either dark skinny jeans or leggings with brown boots. With my very adult looking outfit, I felt so mature and wise walking among these shinny rainbow legged kids.

And then I suddenly felt like I missed the memo of trendiness. Is this the style that is going to be hitting the Midwest in 2 years? Should I be grabbin’ up all the now cheap artsy leggings and be stocking up for when the wave hits?  Do these kids actually know something I don’t? I just don’t know.  I kind of hope not…just imagine these leggings against the blaring white Minnesota snow. We all may go blind.

You be the judge: Yay or Nay on this new Roman teenage trend? Is it just a “teen thing” or do you think it is going to be an upcoming mega style?

Doggy Couture

18 Feb


In Minnesota when the thermostat reaches over 40, we all jump for joy over the sudden wealth of warmth bestowed on us. Anything but 20 below walks to class could make us happy in the Midwest.

Here in Italy, they all bundle up in parkas, heavy-duty scarves and mittens and hats. They look like they are ready to walk out their front door and into a Minnesotan blizzard. In reality, most days hover around 45-50 degrees here in Roma, which means either I am a freak of nature for thinking that is pleasant weather, or these Romans need to grow a backbone.

Since they so strongly believe that 45 degrees is “freezing”, they like to make sure their dogs are happy and comfortable in these cold winter days by bundling their tiny pups up in sweaters and vests. It is honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen.  When growing up in rural Wisconsin, our family always had dogs and those suckers had to run around outside knee deep in snow without any sweaters or vests. Not even booties!

The Roman dogs have it good, you guys.

Why Not To Shop In Switzerland

11 Feb

By Kara Harms

I came to Switzerland to see mountains and eat chocolate and cheese. I also dreamt of buying an authentic Swiss watch for my boyfriend ,because, other than chocolate, watches are THE THING to get in Switzerland.

And then I saw the prices and I wanted to crawl up in a dark hole and cry.

I was warned that Switzerland was expensive, but I assumed it was the sort of “Rome Expensive” where most things hover around the 100 Euro mark.


Try 200 Francs for a simple shirt. And over 700 Francs for a simple watch, with the good ones more than 2,000. (A Franc is pretty close to the worth of a Dollar, if you need a reference point).

The short moral of this post is that Switzerland is Hella expensive with a capital H. You shouldn’t expect to shop or eat anything in that country unless you want to go bankrupt.  Stick to Rome or Paris or London for affordable shopping.

Unless, of course, one day you find yourself with an extra $2,000 hanging around and you have a sexy man with a wrist that  is just begging for a sexy watch. Then consider going to Switzerland.


Barcelona Beach Swag

30 Jan

By Kara Harms

Barcelona: Where California meets old Europe.

BCN is incredibly hip with trendy skater styles mimicking those found on the West Coast while set to a backdrop of gothic buildings and Picasso art. The large amount of boardwalk strips along the coast allow the young folks to long board all over the city, a refreshing change from all the scooters here in Rome. With the beach on the edge of the city, the locals like to lounge on the sand, surf and long board during the day while wandering La Rambla (the main strip) at night to shop and bar hop.

Because Minneapolis is so very far away from anything close to a beach and, according to Twitter, is currently covered in ice, I wanted to do a post on the beach trends in Barcelona to warm you guys up a bit.


This girl was rocking the comfy-chic look with her bulky flower pattern jacket, skinny jeans, no shoes, a black scarf and a side sling bag. Not to mention a cute boyfriend is always a good accessory to have.


I was so intrigued by this woman’s lace headband, which in my opinion pulls the whole look together. I also enjoyed her knee-high stockings and boots and her studded shirt collar. The best part of her outfit, though, is her leopard print jacket-Rwar!


I saw this girl across the beach and just had to snap a pic of her bold outfit. Take note of her skater shoes, printed leggings, bright blue shirt, headband, hot pink sunglasses and a ponytail braid.


This girl is the definition of BCN style. You can’t see it in this photo, but she has her long board laying the sand. Her bold yellow-orange hat was definitely noticeable and matched her blue-green headphones perfectly. Never has anyone made listening to music look so stylish.

For more photos of BCN, feel free to check out my personal blog: https://karaharms.jux.com/

“Hawt” Trends in Roma

21 Jan

By Kara Harms

Today I ventured down to Via Delcorso, which is a magical street in central Rome consisting of blocks upon blocks of clothing stores, including the ever-favorite Zara and H&M.

While gazing into shop windows and looking through racks, I noticed a few commend trends that appear to be “hot” right now. (Wait, can I use “hawt”? I feel like it fits my fashiony  writer persona much better.)

These are “Hawt” trends in Roma right now.

Spikey Shoes

Look out, these shoes can be dangerous! These edgy designs are all the rage on the shelves right now, maybe since they can be used for shoes and self-defense.

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Is teal the new black? I’m not sure who determines these things, but I am calling it right now. Dresses, shoes, shirts, skirts…everything is teal!

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Bold Statement Necklaces

Big, chunky necklaces of every style are very “hawt” right now and are in every store.

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