Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Italian Beach Fashion

Italian Beach Fashion may well conjure up the image of long hot lazy days, but actually it isn’t quite as relaxing as it looks. Italians prepare themselves for the beach season with vigour. From Easter onwards we are bombarded on the television by publicity for pills, diets and exercise contraptions to tweak our out of condition bodies into form to parade on the beach. However don’t be intimidated. If you go to any Italian beach you will see an entire range of bodies from rolling wobbles to plastic everything. I have worked out that it is not about body shape but all about body language. We Brits in particular are embarrassed by our bodies. Italians, who have a quite strict unwritten dress code for cities life and tend to cover up when out and about in town, let it all hang out on the beach. You will see a woman with cellulite and on the wrong side of 40 and even 50 wearing a Brazilian thong.

They might have tried the diet and exercises but it hasn’t always worked. The difference is the body language, which says I am not embarrassed and also it does help if one isn’t chalk white. Americans and Brits are often shocked at the dark mahogany colour of Italians. However don’t be tempted to stray too far from your umbrella. The sun is hot and burns. Italians have been going to the beach from May and have gradually built up their colour. If you really feel embarrassed go for fake tan (But be warned keep fake tan cream off your towels, not even the laundry can get the stain out!). 
My advise is just look relaxed and no one will stare. 

The rules to fit in are a bikini however saggy you feel. I guarantee you will only be stared at if you wear a one piece.  In Italy on the beach in resorts with umbrellas you rarely find topless women and most councils have rules that you can’t walk around the streets in costumes so remember to pack your cover up.
Guys generally wear costumes like shorts , strangely it seems only old men wear tight trunks! 

So girls gird your loins and just relax on the beach. Have fun and frolic in the warm sea and please don’t forget to enjoy a true Italian gelato without feeling guilty.

You might also like to read Tutti in Ferie:

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