Milan style & Armani museum - une femme d'un certain âge

Milan style report, and why Armani still inspires

Red trolley car in Milan, Italy.

We’ve really enjoyed our time in Milan, and wish we’d scheduled more days here to explore the city. It’s a stylish city too, and very eclectic.

What they’re wearing…

We’ve mostly been exploring near the city center, and I’ve been taking notes about the styles I’ve observed. Milan is a fashion capital and while there’s a definite nod toward what’s current, you don’t see a lot head-to-toe trendy. (And almost no athleisure or loungewear.) “Smart casual” but well put-together seems to be the dominant aesthetic.

So what flies in Milan?

  • Sneakers, sneakers, sneakers! Everywhere, and just about any style. Sleek or chunky, classic or funky, all white or colorful, and some metallics. Worn with everything, including dresses and skirts.
  • Ankle boots. Lots of chunky, combat styles, but also some sleeker ones, and shorter cowboy styles.
  • Plaid blazers. Also check, houndstooth and solid colors. Slightly oversized. Worn over jeans, trousers, skirts, dresses.
  • Quilted and puffer jackets and vests. Especially in cool evenings and mornings. Sleeker, slimmer styles (but again, it’s not cold enough for big winter puffers).
  • Cropped, wide leg trousers. Usually more soft, fluid fabrics.
  • Jeans. Mostly light to medium washes, everything from skinnies to baggy cuts.
  • Trench coats. Mostly classic styles, usually khaki or black.
  • Neutrals. Black, various shades of navy and blue, browns/tans. Colors mostly as accents or outerwear, usually reds, purples, some lavender.
  • Scarves. By our last day, scarves were beginning to make an appearance. As in Paris, they are often the same or a close color to a top or jacket.
  • BIG sunglasses.

An afternoon with Armani

Bowler hat images from Emporio Armani exhibit at Armani/Silos, Milan

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we visited Armani/Silos (a museum of Armani design) but it did not disappoint! The “Silos” in the name references the fact that the building was once used for food storage. There are four levels, each with a different theme.

The ground floor level is a rotating exhibition, currently featuring a tribute to 40 years of Emporio Armani (the mid-priced Armani line).

Emporio Armani accessories at Armani/Silos, Milan.
Velvet jacket and cloche hat at Armani/Silos, Milan.

What’s immediately striking is how both timeless and modern so many of the pieces look. You could combine many of these pieces with current ones and they wouldn’t look dated.

Colorful Emporio Armani jackets at Armani/Silos, Milan.

The fabrics are stunning, and many are very textural. I was absolutely smitten with this jacket, but forgot to note what past year/collection it’s from. Just look at those whimsical sea creatures!

Suits and coats at Armani/Silos, Milan

The next three floors feature designs from the main Armani line. Each floor has a different theme. These photos are (mostly) in order as we progressed from Androgynous to Ethnicities to Hollywood.

Men's and women's suits at Armani/Silos, Milan
Red suits and dress at Armani/Silos, Milan
Red and black suit with fedora hat at Armani/Silos, Milan
Scrolled fabric jacket at Armani/Silos, Milan
A colorful bead necklace from Emporio Armani exhibit at Armani/Silos, Milan
Colorful velvet outfits at Armani/Silos, Milan.
Pleatwork gown at Armani/Silos in Milan.
Sequined suits with gown in background at Armani/Silos, Milan.
Purple and green gown at Armani/Silos, Milan

Toward the end of the tour my phone was running out of battery, so I had to snap judiciously, but trust me, the entire exhibit was just dazzling. The clothes aren’t behind glass, and visitors can get up close to really see the details.

Exhibitions like this really showcase the potential for the true artistry of fashion, and I remain in awe of the people who can design and execute these beautiful creations. If you love fashion and will be in Milan, give yourself a couple of hours to explore Armani/Silos.

Stay in touch.

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45 Comments

  1. Maria
    October 13, 2021 / 3:11 am

    Everything is timeless and so beautiful. Next time you’re sitting outside a trendy café you’ll have to share some street style with us. Oh I do envy you being in Europe.

  2. Lori C
    October 13, 2021 / 4:06 am

    Thank you so much for sharing the trends and museum photos!

  3. Ann in Missouri
    October 13, 2021 / 4:15 am

    You are so right … those clothes are timeless! Not surprisingly, I’ve not been interested in fashion since March 2020. But this post prompted an old frisson I’d almost forgotten. These are the best looking clothes I’ve seen in a long, long time. Thank you. 🙂

  4. Lyn
    October 13, 2021 / 4:16 am

    Great pictures . Looks like you’re having a wonderful time . Thank you for sharing it all .

  5. Kellie
    October 13, 2021 / 4:36 am

    This was a treat! Thank you! If you have a chance, please snap some street style photos. It would be fun to see what people are wearing. Enjoy your time there!

    • Lana
      October 13, 2021 / 7:43 pm

      I agree with Kellie: so curious about street style, cafe life, seeing what real European women wear out & about. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Travelling vicariously through you!

  6. Liz
    October 13, 2021 / 5:02 am

    How beautiful! Breathtaking! I so appreciate all the pictures. Just stunning art. Thank you.

  7. Judith Pfaff
    October 13, 2021 / 5:02 am

    Thank you!!

  8. Kelly
    October 13, 2021 / 5:39 am

    Loved the tip on wearing a scarf in a similar color to a top or jacket for a more modern look. I’d like to see some pictures of what people on the street are wearing too.

  9. Jill
    October 13, 2021 / 5:57 am

    Love the Armani Museum photos! Guess I need to schedule a trip to Milan!

  10. Susan Harper
    October 13, 2021 / 5:58 am

    I love this post so much! Thank you Susan!

  11. Cheryl
    October 13, 2021 / 6:20 am

    Love the photos of the Armani Museum. There wasn’t one outfit I didn’t love!!!! Thank you for sharing….and keep posting..I’m living vicariously through you. Can’t wait to get back to Europe!

  12. Elizabeth
    October 13, 2021 / 7:06 am

    Absolutely stunning! This museum will be a must on our next trip to Italy.
    I was so surprised when the photo of the charcoal & orange horizontal striped jacket with black hat came up because I have an older Gerry Weber jacket that is almost a twin! So timeless. Thanks, Susan! Keep the photos coming.

  13. SuD
    October 13, 2021 / 7:07 am

    Beautiful photos. Armani is one of my favorite designers.

  14. Judy B
    October 13, 2021 / 7:07 am

    Thank you for featuring the photos of the Armani Museum. Great presentation!

  15. Patricia
    October 13, 2021 / 7:15 am

    Beautifully photographed, Susan. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Christine
    October 13, 2021 / 7:29 am

    What a great series of photos. Thank you! I remember going to a museum exhibit of designer Italian clothing in Portland some years ago. Being able to see the actual pieces was so amazing and a totally different experience than looking at them in a book. The jacket you liked is so much fun, and strangely enough, reminds me of a Marimekko print. Good design is universal!

  17. Patty Dionne
    October 13, 2021 / 7:29 am

    I love this! Your observations of what others wear is very helpful and the photos are delight! Thank you for sharing!

  18. Maryanne
    October 13, 2021 / 7:40 am

    I agree with all the wonderful comments about this post. It inspired me to again think of fashion as something more than the most comfortable casual clothes I can find.

    I was in France for the month of September and purchased the French Vogue for October. Amazing review of fashion.

  19. Ellen
    October 13, 2021 / 7:48 am

    Great post. I love hearing about what women are wearing in the street. I remember Milan from quite a few years ago as being very fashionable in a sleek, non-trendy way. It’s fascinating to hear that trends like the puffer coat and sneakers, which I think of as being very American and casual in origin, have become entrenched. And the pictures of the Armani museum just made me drool…how gorgeous!

  20. Alexis
    October 13, 2021 / 8:06 am

    Thank you so much for sharing – such stunning fashion!

  21. Eva Cox
    October 13, 2021 / 8:08 am

    Just stunning! I didn’t think about Italy for our next European trip, but it’s on the list now. Don’t know where we’re going yet, bust we’re going next year!! Have a blast, y’all deserve it! Another vote for street style photos!! Have a blast!

  22. Kathy
    October 13, 2021 / 8:15 am

    I just love your travel posts! Today’s was particularly interesting. All the clothes were beautiful and certainly could be worn forever!

  23. Joan
    October 13, 2021 / 8:31 am

    I’m a fashion sewer, and I missed Armani/Silos when we visited Milan — shame on me!
    Thank you for this inspiring and invigorating post.

  24. Eugenia Ayers
    October 13, 2021 / 8:38 am

    I am currently in Paris and agree about shoes. Young women are in black combat boots or sneakers. Older women in more upscale sneakers. Men in sneakers. Such a change in street fashion. Very very casual. Uniqlo seems to have taken over. Last time I was here prepandemic they had one store and now are everywhere as are their puffy vests and jackets.

    • Eva Popovich
      October 13, 2021 / 4:04 pm

      ‘Couture is wonderful! But as one of those living in a rather casual city, I am looking forward to hearing about those on the street.

  25. October 13, 2021 / 8:49 am

    Thanks for sharing the lovely Armani Silos photos. Very lovely.

  26. MaryAnn
    October 13, 2021 / 9:18 am

    Love the pictures of Milan, it has always been the city of design and beautiful fabric.
    Don’t forget to see the “Last Supper” another must in Milan.

  27. Diane B
    October 13, 2021 / 9:27 am

    This is such a gorgeous diversion. Thanks for sending so much beauty our way. All the lists of street syle are so interesting as well. There is never enough time to do everything you want on vacation, so really appreciate the time it takes to do a blog for us. Enjoy every minute.

  28. Kathleen
    October 13, 2021 / 9:30 am

    What a vicarious pleasure seeing the Armani designs through your eyes. We were hoping to have a Fall trip to Europe this year, but it’s not going to happen – maybe 2022.

  29. Rebecca
    October 13, 2021 / 10:14 am

    Wow! Great post. Those pics are fabulous. Really appreciate your observations too. Enjoy your trip!

  30. RoseAG
    October 13, 2021 / 10:45 am

    I love costume exhibits. I don’t think it’s possible to really appreciate couture without getting up-close to it.
    It’s so inspiring.
    If they had a gift shop with a book I’d have bought it!

  31. Pam Singer
    October 13, 2021 / 12:09 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring post. We saw the Yves St. Laurent show in 2017 at the Seattle Art Museum. It was incredible. Thank you for this post-and also what folks are wearing.

  32. Mary Fisher
    October 13, 2021 / 12:20 pm

    Thank you, this is so inspiring. What a treat!

  33. Mary Cook
    October 13, 2021 / 1:26 pm

    Wow! That white gown with the pink and yellow flowers in one of the last pics is my favorite.

  34. Elizabeth
    October 13, 2021 / 1:46 pm

    In my next life I want to either come back as a model or marry a very wealthy man..That collection is stunning and like others have said “timeless”..thank you for taking these pictures so I can sit here and daydream..I would love to see some of your street scenes and fashion. Enjoy your holiday and look forward to continuing photo’s..

  35. RoseGumm
    October 13, 2021 / 1:58 pm

    Hi Susan, your descriptions of the styles of Milan, including the colour palette were great. Definitely my ‘style’. I look forward to reading more please, and as others have said, photos of “street wear”. Enjoy!

  36. Julie
    October 13, 2021 / 2:37 pm

    Susan, we just got back from Rome and very few people wearing athleisure wear or shorts.

  37. Elizabeth
    October 13, 2021 / 3:31 pm

    Swoon.
    That is all.

  38. Michelle
    October 13, 2021 / 4:03 pm

    Great photos, Susan. You’re so right of the timeless designs. Have fun!

  39. Glenda
    October 13, 2021 / 4:28 pm

    Susan, the photos and your descriptions actually inspired me to dress up for my Dentist appointment today. My Hygienist actually commented on my outfit…woohoo! We had visited Milan a few years ago and it is an amazing city to wander around and people watch. So many stylish Women but it was how stylish the Men were that really surprised me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  40. Lee
    October 13, 2021 / 6:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience & photos. Much appreciated as I can’t be traveling currently! Be well.

  41. Lee Ann
    October 14, 2021 / 5:32 am

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. The Armani exhibits make me think of many wonderful exhibitions we’ve seen at FIT in NYC. There’s always something interesting to see, whether it be Colonial women’s attire or students’ designs for Artic travel wear.

  42. October 14, 2021 / 10:34 am

    Gorgeous photos, Sue! Thanks so much for sharing this experience so generously! As you say, so much art and craft in each of those garments, so many covetable pieces that would combine beautifully with any season’s offerings — timeless yet so distinctive.

  43. Maria
    October 17, 2021 / 2:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your visit to the Armani museum. He has long been a favourite designer of mine and I so enjoyed your post.

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