What's a girl to wear?
Seems like a universal problem, and it is, but in Italy it takes on monumental proportions. While wandering through cross-cultural communications sites on the web the other day, I read on a business site, that in Italy, appearances count, a lot, especially first impressions that are formed by how you are dressed, how you greet, the grace and elegance you emit in your every step. These first impressions are unforgiving and unforgettable.
And mine will all be put to test, in three hours. A dinner party for about 50 guests, in a large villa garden. Surely not a casual affair, these things never are. So, as I passed by a neighborhood shop, I glanced at the window and stepped in, just to have a look, perhaps get inspired.
I was. The three other clients and the store-owner all helped me out and I ended up with a new red and white jacket. Then they conferred on what I could and could not put with it, which color shoes would do, handbag and jewlery. I was yet again studied as a specimen under a microscope, analyzed in every detail. In the end, they were satisfied with my purchase and my choice of pants, top, shoes, bag and jewlery (I described everything in detail as they listened intently and nodded in approval). When I exclaimed, "the details of getting dressed up are so exhausting!", the store-owner agreed and added that, "doing it right is a full-time job."
With all their care and support (and cold-blooded scrutiny), I feel ready and confident -- watch out for this first impression!