Milanese style secrets

October 09, 2018 DestinationFashionlifestyleLive like a local

Our fashion expert, Barbara Parisotto, shares some fashion secrets of the oh-so-elegant and style-conscious locals in Milan.


Milan’s history is so intrinsically linked with fashion that it’s no surprise we locals take great pride in our appearance. It’s not all about the latest trends though, for most of us it’s about the finest fabrics, timeless elegance and not being afraid to experiment – fashion should always be fun.

Understated elegance

The Milanese like to make a big impression with the way they dress but with a demure and effortless attitude. When you’re next in Milan take a moment to look around you and see if you agree. The women in particular are fond of strong patterns and bold statement jewellery, yet the overall feel is always understated.

Milan fashion - clothes rack
Milan fashion - clothes rack

Mix it up

There’s a great passion in the city for mixing fabulous vintage fashion finds, or carefully reworked family heirlooms, with the latest runway looks. A vintage piece by a local Milanese craftsman has even more kudos, especially if there’s an interesting story to tell about the creation or history of the piece.

Best foot forward

A really popular look is to partner up flat footwear, often laced up, with a pair of cropped trousers in an exquisite fabric. In Milan the ankle is seen as a canvas for creativity! Pair locally-sourced multi-coloured socks with clashing coloured shoes for a really striking effect, one that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

The perfect fit

In the quest for chic and unique style, getting the right proportions is essential. I can’t recommend enough the importance of getting to know a good tailor who can make bespoke alterations for you. With their skills and creativity, it’s possible to transform your existing wardrobe.

Hidden gems

As many of Milan’s finest fashion resources are discretely tucked away behind beautiful courtyards in small, private ateliers, I’ll share with you a couple of my favourite hidden gems.


This exceptional jewellery boutique is housed in a 16th-century palazzo, just a few steps from the convent which houses the famous Leonard da Vinci ‘The Last Supper’ fresco. Inside, you’ll discover a treasure trove of superb pieces. They also specialise in redesigning family heirlooms into more modern and wearable items. (By appointment only)


Madame Pauline Vintage

Tucked away behind the famous Castello Sforzesco, this is a real delight worth tracking down. Discover a haven of exquisite vintage fashion ‒ think Chanel, Gucci and YSL ‒ offering you exclusive access to a one-of-a-kind collection. It’s no wonder all the top Milanese fashion houses have this boutique on speed dial for inspiration. (By appointment only)


Profumeria Vecchia Milano

Fragrance fans will adore the architectural splendor of this sophisticated perfumery. Take a step back in time courtesy of its ornate ceiling and intricately carved wooden display cases, beautifully stacked with an abundance of rare and unusual fragrances. There’s also a little-known treatment room where you can indulge in an aromatherapy massage.

If you’d like our fashion expert, Barbara Parisotto, to reinvigorate your wardrobe with a fashion tour of Milan, book our Milan Shopping Experience.

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Collect issue 23

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