I’m no Bill Cunningham, but after a few weeks of traversing Rome’s many neighborhoods on foot, I think I know a thing or two about street style. So for all you vias, viales, corsos, largos, and even you teeny little vicolos, here are some quintessential fashion staples that no sensible street would ever leave the piazza without. Get ready to stop some traffic:
Cigarettes: Cigarettes look cool dangling from the lips of local Italians, but they look even sexier littered all over the curbside (maybe toss a handful or two in the gutter just for good measure). Remember: you never want to look like you’re trying too hard, and this is your (and Rome’s) way of saying you just don’t give a fuck about downtown aesthetics, urban hygiene, and emphysema.
Limited street signage: You know you’re hot shit, and so do all the tourists. But try to keep things mysterious. Don’t just put your street signs right out there on a pole where everyone can see them. Play hard to get—put them up on the side of a building instead. Make those foreigners work for it—maybe skip signage entirely at an intersection or two. And never lose your capacity to surprise—mix things up and try switching street names every couple blocks.
Italian soldiers: For a vintage look with some Fascist undertones, stick a couple of these bad boys in front of one of your embassies or big government buildings. Who doesn’t love a nice military beret and a giant rifle slung over the shoulder of a bored twenty-something? Ennui and ammunition are definitely back in this season.
Trash: The most classic and popular of all Roman street styles, piles of garbage will really make your sidewalks pop in the daytime but can also be glammed up for the evening. With so many variations on the litterbug look, the possibilities of truly endless.
For more street style inspiration, check out this week’s edition of “Get Their Look”:
Piazza Venezia: Gutters and sidewalks full of cigarette butts make sure that the monuments aren’t the only thing tourists take note of in this square.
Gianicolo Hill: Want to make your stunning view of Roman rooftops really stand out? Sprinkle the foreground with a bunch of empty beer bottles to make an unforgettable impression.
Trastevere: All those purple flowers and charming yellow buildings can start to look a little too cutesy—leave some bags of trash under a wall of crawling ivy to get a nice mix of textures and add some edge to your look.
Termini Station: The ever-incomparable neighborhood is a dumpster dive of style inspiration. The streets here are really embracing the unwashed grunge aesthetic, and you should, too.