One of the best things about working in fashion is that you have an excuse to visit Milan, where doing business is often served up with a side of shopping and eating. Last week, I had the pleasure of "working" there for a few atypically sunny spring days. As I lunched outside at Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone and paid an obligatory visit to 10 Corso Como, I couldn't stop appreciating the casually elegant people around me. Even at eight o'clock in the morning, the Milanese emerge from their homes looking better than most of us look on our wedding days. Whether on foot, or three-speed bicycle, they seem to wear their luxe items with an enviable disregard for price or preciousness. They might not have many things in their closets, but they wear them out like it's NBD. One woman I spoke to reaffirmed the old cliché, "We don't buy a lot, but we buy the best."
Because I am hopelessly impressionable and love to get right into feeling at home, I began an immediate mental-wardrobe-makeover for myself and my husband. I didn't buy everything I wanted on this trip, but I did find a few must-haves like great cropped pants and jacquard skirts by Alberto Biani, a new designer I'd never tried. I revisited some old faves and made some pit stops at a few used bookstores for fashion photography inspiration. And I might have eaten enough to justify buying a new wardrobe anyway. Click through the slideshow above for a few of my favorite items from the trip, and consider it an introduction to looking more "Italian."BEGIN SLIDESHOW