Tuscany is known for its lush green landscapes, religious and cultural traditions, artistic legacy and its influence on ‘high culture’. Regarded as the founder of the ‘Italian Renaissance’ , this Central Italian region has long been lauded for its contributions to the ‘art’ and ‘fashion’ world, where the two merge to create a spectacular ‘fashion orientated economy’. The fashion and textile industry are the pillars of the Florentine economy, with a turnover of 25 billion euros, with 60 % of its profit intake deriving from abroad.From Tuscany’s plethora of unique boutiques, markets and malls to its historic fashion houses (Pucci, Gucci, Cavalli), Tuscany’s identity as being the founder of ‘modern fashion’ is by no means exaggerated. After all modern fashion powerhouses like Gucci -founded by Guccio Gucci, Florence 1921-, Roberto Cavalli- founded in 1970 and Emilio Pucci- founded in 1947- were all born in Florence, Tuscany’s most popular Italian province.
When it comes to fashion, Tuscany is the creative director and driver of ‘summer fashion trends’. After all, nothing screams summer elegance or casual beachwear style more than Tuscan’s fun yet minimal aesthetic. While the aforementioned three Florentine designers are known for their maximalist approach to colour, prints and texture i.e. Cavalli and his leather printed gowns, true Tuscan aesthetic is often more pared back and simplistic. Take ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ a 2003 American Romantic Comedy Drama film, set in Tuscany as a prime example. Frances Mayes played by Diane Lane presents ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ as a normcore mood board, where prints are non-existent and instead neutral colours like white and loose fitting silhouettes become the main staple of her ‘definition’ of Tuscan-esque fashion. Below I have presented numerous ways that you too can capture ‘Tuscan Style’ ; from Emilio esque geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colours to bohemian linen dresses that are a romanticized version of Diane Lane’s normcore wardrobe, inspiration can be found in the most unlikeliest of places.
To Dress Like Diane Lane as Frances Maye’s in ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’
While most fashion critics would determine true ‘Tuscan style’ as being ‘maximalist’, full of psychotropical prints as made famous by Roberto Cavalli’s debut collection (circa 1970) and a plethora of ‘lush colours’, in many cases Tuscan’s locals like to keep their style to a miminum, to buy into the notion of ‘effortless chic’. Linen remains a popular ‘normcore wardrobe’ staple in Tuscan homes, while a popular canvas base of ‘crisp white’ with minimal blue embroidered stitching, ensures that the look is not too ‘normcore’ and has an element of individuality. Normcore might present itself as homogeneous but in reality, like Diane Lane shows not everyone can pull off a ‘ready to wear, pared back look’. After all as a self-confessed ‘over-dressed for every occasion’ type gal, attempting to nail the ‘normcore look’ led to me embracing the romanticized version, which best suits my own personal aesthetic.
Shop ‘Normcore’ Tuscany Inspired Pieces Below
Dos and Dont’s Of Normcore Tuscan Style
DO wear lightweight materials. Average temperatures vary between 23-27 degrees and while that might not seem ‘hot’ it is certainly warm. Materials like linen and cotton feel cool on the skin and are less likely to kick up a sweat than heavier materials like brocade and denim.
Do wear neutral hues. Greys and whites are common staple hues in a normcore Tuscan wardrobe and act as a ‘neutral canvas’ that will not detract from the brilliance of the Tuscan sun. In other words, the key to creating a normcore look is not to necessarily fade into the background but to create an aesthetic that is connected to Tuscan climate. I.e wearing blue and white, with white as focal point colour links to Tuscan’s brilliant blue skies, with a dash of scattered clouds.
Don’t Wear Colour (unless its blue!)
Unlike the maximalist Emilio Pucci or Roberto Cavalli approach, normcore is purely named on its ability to perpetuate ‘neutrality’ whether that be through its traditions, customs or style aesthetic. While many might see a lack of colour as boring, normcore prides itself on its ability to look classic, refined and in more formal occasions elegant. While the majority of a normcore wardrobe is colourless, in Tuscany, blue, specifically electric or striped blue is popular because it again represents the changing nature of the Tuscan climate, which though mild, will occasionally give way to blazing sun.
The main difference between Normcore and Maximalism-in terms of Tuscan style- is that one is best suited to beachwear (normcore) whereas the maximalism favored by fashion brands like Emilio Puccio is commonly associated with more formal occasions like red carpet events, balls and more.
Shop The Tuscan Romanticized Normcore Look Below
To Dress Like You Are Inspired By Emilio Pucci
Synonymous with geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colours, Pucci revolutionized the scope of ‘high fashion’ Tuscan style. While normcore is fashion for the every day masses, Pucci’s version of Tuscan style is ‘distilled psychedelic colours and prints’ in refined designs. Many might confuse Pucci’s psychedelic designs with the modern incarnation of ‘psychotropicalism’, but Pucci’s line is in fact rooted in 60’s psychedelia, an era defined by social, musical and artistic change. The key to embodying the ‘psychedelic aesthetic’ and transforming it into modern Tuscan style is shown below.
Shop Emilio Pucci Inspired Pieces Below
The 60’s were famed for spawning iconic fashion trends like mini skirts, space age couture and psychedllic prints and no-one knew more than Pucci about the psychedelic movement. From silk scarves tied around necks to abstract geometric swirls, Tuscan’s became enamored with Pucci’s high fashion, quirky, dare I say eccentric designs. For modern day however, the geometric print can be a tricky one to master, thus it becomes important that we can create a look that is inspired by Pucci but relevant to modern day fashion.
Take the look below, while traditionally a winter look, by pairing the abstract colourful, paint splattered t-shirt dress with bright red gladiator sandals, a matching red purse and some classic tinted sunglasses (and getting rid of the denim jeans and boots shown in the picture) you can create a refined, Pucci worthy look that is wearable and current. Alternatively pairing it with red heeled sandals and a moto red faux leather jacket is also a clear epitome of Tuscan style.
Shop The Emilio Pucci Inspired Look Below
To Tap Into The Nouveau-Bohemia Trend Circa 2013
Bohemianism has always been the poster child for rebellion and what once started as a movement against austerity and materialism has evolved into a relaxed ‘hippy orientated’ fashion trend that fluctuates on the border of ‘boho chic’ and embroidered flower child. While modern bohemianism was often centered around ‘peasant smock’ tops, shift dresses and palazzo pants, the Nouveau Bohemia trend is tapping into the ‘ethnic embroidery trend’ as demonstrated below.
Shop The Traditional Ethnic Embroidery Trend Below
That being said the most popular trend derived from Nouveau Bohemianism would be the ‘relaxed 70’s style jumpsuit, which while does not include the ‘ethnic embroidery print’ that characterizes traditional bohemianism, is more suited to a traditional ‘Tuscan boho’ look. Notice the pale blue focal colour with a sweetheart bodice, with heeled black peep toe boots to elongate the leg. Tuscany is famed for its refined silhouette and while slouchy like its bohemian aesthetic demands, the fitted ‘upper- half tailoring’ captures the true essence of Tuscan styling. After all a fitted upper half with a more slouchy but nevertheless streamlined bottom half is a winning Tuscan combination.
Shop The Nouveau Bohemia Inspired Jumpsuit Look Below
Go Nautical Or Go Home
It goes without saying that a common way of capturing the true essence of Tuscan Style is to tap into the ‘nautical trend’. From striped bardot maxi dresses to asymmetrical mini dresses, the key to wearing nautical pieces and making them ‘Tuscan inspired’ is to accessorize with coloured accents or pops of colour. For example below a simple asymmetrical one shoulder mini dress is given the Tuscan treatment through a cinched belt to create an illusion of a smaller waist, while bright sandals and the patent belt add interest to a nautical look.
Shop The Nautical Mini Dress Look Below
The midi or maxi version of the nautical trend is equally as impressive and best suited to long summer walks across the Tuscan countryside. What makes it infinitely Tuscan is its floppy bohemian straw beach hat and small clutch bag for practical means. The Tuscan woman is sophisticated yet relaxed, a true feature of nautical fashion trends.
Shop The Nauticial Maxi Dress Version Below
Get Psychedelic With The Psychotropic Trend
Fashion is fickle and while the boho and nautical trend might seem like the most wearable out of all the ‘Tuscan Trends’ mentioned, it is not the most fashion forward. Queue 2017’s answer to Pucci’s 60’s psychedelia, otherwise known as the micro-trend psychotropical. Common features of the psychotropical trend include blending natural flora and fauna prints with surreal pattern compositions i.e. a leopard vs peacock hybrid , rainbow-saturated palettes, and technical fabrics.While these pattern compositions might seem a ‘little out there’ when it comes to capturing Tuscan style what you have to bear in mind is that Tuscany can be split into two style tribes; the maximalists and the minimalists/normcore-wearers.
Shop Maximalist Psychotropical Pieces Below
My own personal interpretation of the Psychotropical trend tends to lean more heavily towards ‘muted tropical digital blooms and ‘faded but vibrant water-colour prints ‘, which can be both formal and informal. For example for a visit to Marina Di Pisa, (a Tuscan beach) , a watercolour kimono, gladiator sandals and a Psychotropical bikini will not only tap into the ‘psychotropical trend’ but is the perfect mix of ‘casual-glam’ that is so favored by Tuscan locals.
Shop The Psychotropical Tuscan Beach Look Below
For formal occasions however a muted psychotropical version of the digital bloom trend, is ideal for events like parties or function balls like prom. For a psychotropical look to go shopping in Tuscany, a digital bloom mesh midi skirt is balanced out by a chic bell sleeved lace top, while a ‘psychotropical’ formal but wearable look can be seen through the stunning digital bloom midi dress, which is ideal for red carpet events.
Shop The Shopping In Tuscany Psychotropical Look Below
Shop The Psychotropical Digital Bloom Look Below
Learning how to capture the true essence of Tuscan Style can appear intimidating but I hope my guide has shown how versatile and varied Tuscany’s approach to fashion can be. From minimalism to bohemianism, Tuscany has a style tribe just for you, question is who will you choose?
What Was Your Favourite Tuscan Inspired Look?
I was not compensated for this post, this is a competition entry whereby if chosen I will win a holiday to Tuscany. As I have not been abroad in nearly 5 years, it would be a dream come true to win. This does not affect my opinion and all research is my own. Fingers crossed!