Camicino della Fortuna – An Italian Tradition
With Italy being noted as the most vain country in the world from a 2016 survey finding that Italian men and women spend more time in front of the mirror than members of any other country, it is no wonder that Italian fashion begins immediately at birth.
An old Italian tradition provides that the Camicino della Fortuna (or shirt of luck) shall be the newborn’s very first worn article of clothing. Historically, the tradition required mothers to keep the Camicino as a souvenir, unwashed, and pass it down from generation to generation. Today, whether or not the Camicino is washed, or actually handed down within the family, the important thing is that one is acquired for a newborn to wear as his/her first outfit.
The Camicino is usually white or red with silk fabric. It is used not only as a symbol of luck and to promote good fortune in a newborn, but also to protect the sensitive skin of a baby without causing irritation. There are some very stylish versions of the Camicino, some even embroidered or personalized.
On October 3, 2016, my son, Leonardo, was born in Florida. The Camicino della Fortuna was the first shirt we dressed him in, and also the outfit he wore home from the hospital. I am very pleased to carry on this tradition.
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