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Summer Style: Italy, 1983

When the weather starts to heat up in the spring, I know I need to choose my summer aesthetic to get ready for the season, and this February, I finally found mine. 

When I saw the film Call Me by Your Name, I was struck by its heart-breakingly beautiful and strange love story and absolutely gorgeous summer atmosphere. The world presented by the film is full of constant sunsets, dancing, unending friendships, and Sufjan Stevens’s lilting melodies.  What stuck with me most, however, was the incredible summer style worn by Timothée Chalamet’s character, Elio. 

After seeing the movie, I decided I had to bring three of Elio’s outfits to life with recreations from my own closet and a few thrift store staples thrown in to make my looks reach their full potential. My friends and I then held a photoshoot on the beach so that we could capture the summer vibes that make every look so great and so Italy 1983.  I even had a friend step in as Marzia, another style icon from the film! 

Without further ado, here are my summer looks, complete with descriptions of what I’m wearing, whether I would wear it again, and how to wear the outfit with the maximum possible Timothée Chalamet attitude. 

Look #1: Errand Boy

This look is one that Timothée Chalamet wears on several occasions throughout the movie, made up of colorful shorts that I can only assume double as swim trunks and an oversize band t-shirt. Luckily, I am overly-enthusiastic about band t-shirts, and I love a good colorful short. 

Image from Call Me By Your Name (2017), Sony Picture Classics. 

What I’m Wearing: White Converse sneakers, a Manatree band t-shirt (Check them out if you haven’t already!), a pair of purple linen shorts (Gotta love that stretchy waistband!), William and Mary Women’s Chorus shades, and my backpack from DFTBA.com. 

Would I Wear It Again? Absolutely. It’s hard to make these patterned shorts work with more casual looks, but I enjoyed wearing them with a simple patterned T. I’m sure variations of this outfit will show up in my look book this summer. 

How to Make It Extra Chalamet: In this scene, Elio and Armie Hammer’s character, Oliver, walk around the town square and Elio alludes to his feelings for Oliver. Oliver tries his best to dismiss Elio despite their obvious sexual tension. Think angst, but a stylish angst. 

Look #2: Double Denim

Some might say that Elio’s friend, Marzia has the most imitable summer style in the movie. I’d agree that she has some memorable style, but when I saw Elio wearing this denim on denim look, I knew it was going to be my everything. I was especially excited, knowing that my closet already has a massive denim jacket and fabulous mom jeans. 

Image from Call Me By Your Name (2017), Sony Picture Classics.

What I’m Wearing: White Converse Sneakers, mom jeans from Goodwill, a red and white striped top from American Eagle, and my mother’s old denim jacket from a dial up internet service. 

Would I Wear It Again? Yes, but with several edits. The mom jeans and the oversized denim jacket together were overwhelming when worn together. Before I try this one again, I plan to switch out the mom jeans for skinny jeans to create more of a sleek look, which if it succeeds, I’ll be wearing all summer long. 

How to Make It Extra Chalamet: Exude confidence. No one can do denim on denim like you can. You’re young! You’re alive! It’s summer and your parents own a peach orchard! 

Look #3: The Most Well Read Boy on the Mediterranean 

I know you know a version of this boy from some class you took at some point in your life – he’s sharp and witty and has probably read more books than you (certainly more books on Philosophy, at least) but he never does his homework, and he’s lazy as heck. That’s how I see Elio, swaggering around Italy, always with a book in his pocket. 

Image from Call Me By Your Name (2017), Sony Picture Classics.

What I’m Wearing: White Converse sneakers, Bermuda shorts from Universal Threads, and a cool red and white striped polo shirt from Goodwill. 

Would I Wear It Again? Without a doubt. I love a good oversize polo and these Bermuda shorts fit me better than any shorts I’ve ever owned. 

How to Make It Extra Chalamet: Make sure you look pretentious as hell, but like you’re not trying to be. Try holding Machiavelli’s The Prince or if you’re looking for something a little more modern, anything by Michel Foucault. I opted for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao—possibly a little too modern for Timothée Chalamet, but literary enough to discuss at respectable dinner parties. 

All in all, I enjoyed recreating the style from Call Me by Your Name immensely, and I look forward to recreating and getting creative with looks from the movie all summer long. More than that, during our shoot, I was reminded that the best style for any season is having a great time with friends, no matter what you wear. 


Unless otherwise specified, all photos courtesy of Sarah Shevenock. 

Abby is a current senior at William & Mary majoring in English and minoring in French. She plans to attend law school after college. When she isn't in class, she can be found knitting, drinking coffee way too late at night and trying to play frisbee.
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