Christmas Shopping in Florence

The weather has turned cold, and there are few tourists in Florence at this time of year. Perfect time to shop for shearlings, scarves, gloves and boots!

We hope that there will not be snow like last year! Just look at the scooters in the snow!

For those of you traveling to Florence now, think scarves. They make an excellent choice for bringing home as gifts. Lightweight, taking up little room in the suitcase, scarves in silk/wool combos are perfect for Christmas presents. My best friend received an early holiday gift of a blue and pink silk scarf. She has had so many compliments on it that she thinks she should start to import them!

Even though a shearling coat takes up lots of room in your luggage, the Italian shearlings  are unlike the heavy ones we are used to in the States! I say just wear it back on the plane!  Along with a pair of handmade Italian boots that feel perfect from the first wearing.  Mine are camel leather and suede- so beautiful! My favorite boot people are in New York now doing a trunk show of shearlings and leather coats right now, but they will be back in Florence next week…

And of course, a little box with some Florentine gold jewelry would be coveted by anyone Christmas morning! My daughters are going to be thrilled with the earrings I bought for them!

Shopping in Florence: Little Fashionista

As you can see, even the littlest girls are fashionistas here in Florence. Note the layered denim look paired with a red vest, matching leggings and the polka dot bag!

 

Weather here is just fabulous: sunny and cool, which makes for perfect shopping excursions. The Florentine gold jewelry has been beckoning to me recently. A client just purchased an ancient Roman coin which had be made into a pendant. A piece of history and a piece of beautiful jewelry too! I am very glad to have only two wrists, or I would cash in my 401K and buy the most exquisite bracelet I have ever seen. Hard to describe, but the workmanship is just incredible, and the bracelet is haunting my dreams!

 

And I am still lusting after several pairs of boots…..gray booties with a 2 inch wedge heel and fun detailing, taupe suede booties with hand stitched accents and the tall camel suede and leather flat boots….decisions, decisions!

 

Makes me wish I were four years old again, having my mother buy my clothes and dressing me in a plaid pleated skirt, a  little red blazer and red mary janes….this fashion obsession was ingrained from an early age. Some habits just don’t die!

Shopping for Shearling Coats in Florence

When I think about shearling jackets, a picture comes to mind: the Marlboro man in a thick, heavy jacket that would withstand the freezing winds of winter spent horseback on the range.

Even though the “Spaghetti Western” movies are lame, the Italian shearling coats are anything but! They are absolutely gorgeous- lightweight, made to fit the body, making me wish I lived in a colder climate!

Shopping for shearlings with several clients this week, and what a selection! My favorites are a dove gray shearling, hip length with horn toggle buttons and a chocolate brown 3/4 length with the softest lining you can imagine. They both are incredibly lightweight, skimming the body to show a woman’s shape while creating lean, ballerina lines. The price? About 1/2 of what we would pay in the States for a heavy, clunky,  shearling coat like the Marlboro man’s….

Autumn days here are cool and sunny so far. Perfect shopping weather! The sweaters, boots and jackets are just so beautiful! The Italian twist on classic clothing is something to behold. Something to be holding. Something to be owning! Am contemplating buying a 4th suitcase to take back to Seattle this winter!

Fall shopping in Florence

Fall is really here now with cool, sunny weather. I am happy because now I can wear boots! Am having some boots custom made for myself in camel leather and suede with a flat heel. I will have to wait a few weeks to get them, but well worth the wait.

I am excited about a new shop that I was introduced to this last week. It is a profumeria where they concoct custom made perfume for individuals in the old Florentine manner. Below is a photo of the “off the rack” perfumes which sell for 35 euro and up. You can select one you like, and then have them customize it for you. Next time I have an hour to spare, I am going to give it a try!

It has been an incredibly busy week with six groups of shoppers. A couple from Shanghai, a doctor from South Africa, girlfriends from Australia, newlyweds from Canada, a couple from New Jersey and a single lady from San Francisco. Everyone enjoyed the cool, sunny weather for shopping here in Florence. As usual, leather jackets, boots, scarves and gold jewelry were favorite purchases.

Scarves, ascots and pashminas!

 

No Mall Shopping!!!

In Seattle, mall shopping is good. Out of the rain and wind, lots of good sales and bargains. Not so here in Florence! The Mall is about 45 minutes outside of town, and the big names can all be found there: Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, etc. But the discounts there are not usually more than 10% or 20%, and that still leaves a hefty price tag on these designer items! I have been three times, and have never purchased a thing. And it takes a whole day by the time you take the bus there and back!

 

I prefer the small shops right here in Florence. This week I had to drag myself out of one of my favorite shoe shops before I purchased the booties I fell in love with. Caramel colored with a 2 inch wedge heel, and detailing that made me woozy. The white Chanel style cardigan sweater with navy piping and the most gorgeous gold buttons….well, I may have to go back!

Instead, I purchased a pot of Chinese Lantern to put on the little table on my courtyard. Such pretty fall color, and Chia approves.

Since Chia’s dog food costs 3 euro (about $4.00) per can here, I think I made a wise shopping choice. Besides, I know for certain that I really want something when I come home and think about it overnight! And dream about it!!!

 

The jewelry here is so beautiful too. Cameos are making a comeback, so if your grandmother left you a cameo ring or brooch, get it out and wear it!

I have seen such stunning Florentine gold jewelry here! Many shopping clients have purchased pieces and been thrilled with them: bracelets and necklaces with  diamond cut gold are favorites.  This method of cutting the 18k gold make it look like a strand of diamonds. They use rose gold, yellow gold, white gold and black gold in a huge number of variations from modern to antique looking. Bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings….will have to take some photos for next week’s blog. Think I will be dream of gold jewelry tonight! Or maybe handbags….

Shopping in Florence with Chia

Chia accompanies me everywhere in Florence, giving excellent shopping advice to the clients. She thought these boots were gorgeous, but too big in the calf to wear unless jeans are tucked in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had the day off yesterday, so after teaching ballet class, we had a nice lunch with our friend, Chippie, at All’Antico Vinaio. This is such a fun spot! You order what you want to eat from the selection of pannini and appetizers, and then pour yourself a glass of vino from the selection in the big tub in front of the shop. There are no tables, just benches on the sidewalk, and a few stools in the building. Strictly the honor system for payment here!

After lunch, Chia and I went shopping for a few winter sweaters I had seen in previous days. A cream cable knit, a taupe cashmere turtleneck, black stretchy pants with leather trim and a black cowl neck sweater came home with us. Along with a small black dog, who followed us all the way from Piazza Santa Croce! He was crazy about Chia, and I was ready to take him in, when the boxer who lives here appeared and wanted to eat him….the boxer’s owner ushered the little black dog, who I had already named Nero, back towards Santa Croce. 🙁

One of the shoppers this week was a really nice man from San Francisco- bright, entertaining and we hit it off right away. He bought a couple of beautiful leather jackets, handmade shoes, a couple of bags, a belt for his husband, and a gorgeous Italian suit.

 

 

 

 

 

Is there anything classier and better looking than an Italian suit? We had so much fun that we ended up doing another short shopping tour for him the following day.

This is a photo of a leather shop salesman embossing initials onto the beautiful new belt he bought for his husband.

Today was a group of five lovely ladies from Hawaii who were here just for the day. It was a shopping tour all about handbags! We went to several shops, and they found just what they wanted, including bags for daughters and wallets for sons. They left, and Chia and I made it home just before the thunderstorm started!

Many more shopping tours next week, so I am going to soak my feet, and think about that handbag I fell in love with today…

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy