Colorful buildings in Brera near Hotel Principe in Milan

Milanese style secrets

June 24, 2019

 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.
Close up shot on a black limousine, with the inscription " Hotel Principe di Savoia" written on the back door

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.

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.

Clothes made of colorful printed fabric on wooden hangers
Designer shoes in display

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.

A sewing room table, with scissors, needle, ruler and fabric
A hand, holding a golden glass bottle stopper

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.

Milan private ateliers


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.

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.

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.

Featured hotel

Hotel Principe di Savoia

Effortless elegance meets timeless tradition. Dominating Milan’s Piazza della Repubblica, this spectacular landmark building has been the natural home for international travellers and cosmopolitan society since the 1920s.

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