What to Wear: to Work in Italy
Marzia works for the global real-estate company CBRE from their office in Modena, Italy – the birthplace of many amazing Italian exports, like balsamic vinegar and Ferrari! She is head of corporate marketing and works with clients from a variety of industries. She is currently working on a project designing the new headquarters in Milan for a technology company, which calls for her to straddle the world between elegant, classic Italian style, and the relaxed way of the high-tech industry. As discussed here with Jenn, being aware of the style of each business environment is important to demonstrate your cultural understanding.
Marzia gives us an Italian take on the concept of dressing for multiple climates. Here she travels to Milan from Modena for a meeting with her more casual client.
Traveling for work in Italy means Marzia uses the train or plane, which tend to be over-air conditioned. However, the city in the summer is very hot. Her strategy is to wear multiple layers, what she calls the “onion outfit.” This consists of a jacket, scarf and (to walk comfortably) ballerina shoes for the journey. When she arrives at the office, she refreshes her makeup, changes into high heels and takes off the jackets and the scarf.
Another outfit she likes for internal meetings during the warm summer months is very fresh and casual, but still sharp. She pairs crisp jeans (always J Brand) and a classic silk shirt with a few bright accessories: nail polish and her favorite new Cambridge bag.