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ESP’s Style Guru Sue Donnelly shows us how to add a little Italian flavour to our wardrobes with this season’s looks as featured in our latest issue…

Italian style – both male and female – is the height of refinement and expressionism. It’s an individual display of sartorial elegance that I, for one, never seem to be able to imitate. So what’s the secret?


Although the clothing might be patterned or adorned, it’s rarely cluttered. They know that less can be more when it comes to looking fabulous.  They love colour, and aren’t afraid to wear it, but are equally as happy in neutrals. It’s about balance. Luckily, this season you can choose to go monochrome or opt for big, clashing prints worn together – if you dare.

Most Italian women show off their figures to best effect, whatever their age. They know how to drape and skim the fabric so that figure challenges are hidden and their assets are highlighted. Our chosen dresses highlight Simona’sgreat legs but you’ll notice the necklines are high. If you want a lower neckline, lower the hem at the same time. Go for one or the other, but never both if you want to create elegance. Patterns and textures are tempered by cleverly placed blocks of a dark colour giving shape and form to the wearer. Jewellery is kept to a minimum, so that the clothes (and the wearer) rule the show.


Leather is in right now and the Italians are well known for producing, and wearing it with panache. If your budget won’t stretch to the real stuff, or you’re averse to wearing it for ethical reasons, you’ll find simulated repro’s are just as good and in the stores right now. Shortstyle jackets add a touch of unexpected chic teamed with a simple, dress. You’ll also find kilts (another trend to look forward to), skirts  and dresses with leather inlays around pockets or necklines, giving it an unexpected twist.


Italian men are probably the most stylish in the world. They certainly know how to look good and aren’t ashamed to admit it. The devil is in the detail and they too understand the art of placement – less is more. Italian men love designer labels and iconic prints. Wear with great fitting jeans – and I mean GREAT fit – converse sneakers or great boots and you’re set to go.

Sue Donnelly


Photos: Andy Vernum @ Studio One

Stylist: Natasha Fierro

Models: Simona Bajorinaite and Tyler Fayose

Lead image

Tyler: Jumper Alexander McQueen £265 and Replay Jeans £135 both Maysons, Westgate Arcade.

Simona: Dress £50, Warehouse, Queensgate and necklace £24.50, Tahlias Closet, Westgate Arcade.

2nd image

Simona: Dress, Warehouse, Queensgate, £45 and necklace,Tahlias Closet, Westgate Arcade, £29.

Tyler: T-shirt Alexander McQueen – Maysons, Westgate Arcade, £80 Replay Jeans – Maysons, Westgate Arcade, £135

3rd image

Simona: Dress £45 and faux leather jacket £58 both Warehouse, Queensgate.


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