Not being American I still would like to express my thanks to life itself for the many delightful things it has brought me including those I thought were too challenging to understand and to take up on.
1. Not understanding that living in Milan, Italy, was going to be one of the most challenging and longest time to understand what style is that I went sort of lost along the way which for the people here in general, was not something to be taken so lightly. Providing no written rules as guidance for a new resident like me had become a journey that was complex but with time I gradually understood purely based on my own observation and a willingness to adapt.
2. I suppose had I come to this country on my own or to take up residence alone or with my co-nationals or family, things would have turned out differently in terms of style as then no emphasis needed to accentuate the Italianate way of assembling an outfit together accordingly as to be accepted by my husband, his family and his friends. And his people as well, given that, believe it or not, they place their judgement on that. Case in point, I wore beautiful or nice outfits purchased in London, Paris or France in general, and it was a miss on account of its wrong day towards their code of dress of that moment. That’s how complex it was then. Less so today, nevertheless, still basis for the ease into being accepted as one of them.
3. Due to finding myself in the throw of an Italian man’s love as well as for aesthetic importance he, his sister and his friends prioritised that I found myself in the seriousness of what to wear which took me years to realise only that for every season, weather, venue, or event, certain colours, materials, shapes, cuts would determine if you are with them.
4. It’s complex. Thus for my taking years to finally “got it.” Didn’t help that my almost 5 years living in London where to be “eccentric” is praised, suddenly finding myself in a country where it is frowned upon, “conforming” to its rules and regulations here took some time for me to accept, adapt and understand at last and be comfortable with it which I am today and happily so.
5. Little was I to appreciate decades later that it all has been an added bonus for my struggling to adapt in first years here where every time I find myself in the crowd or meeting with my italian husband’s friends and families, I was not appreciated fully, I missed the cue of how to dress like them. And there I was thinking I looked great with that mentality of my London eccentricity in mind.
6. What I noticed among the italians, what’s more important to them is your skill on how to co-ordinate an ensemble according to their perceptions of what style is to be put together on a given day.
7. Foreign residents today are no longer treated dismissively when you don’t dress like them but in my time, they were to me. Thanks partly to italy being part of the European Union that opened up the fluidity of traffic of foreigners with loose style sense and the Internet where the young ones become open-minded.
8. These are just points on how the italians in Milan based their style sense from and if you would like to know details or would love to develop some personal style w a touch of Milan’s elegance, don’t hesitate to contact me here. This applies to men as well.
Therefore, my thanksgiving today from many that I am grateful of is this one. The sense of style I reluctantly accept and embrace at first only to realise with delight in years to come has been one of the best enrichment and gift that I could never even imagine to one day have or be capable of.
“Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!”