EUROPE,  Love Notes from Italy,  Travel Advice

What to Wear in Italy

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Hosting two fashion capitals of the world, it’s no surprise that fashion is taken pretty seriously in Italy.  The prestige of cities like Milan and Rome comes with designers such as Gucci (founded in Florence), Armani, Versace, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana, just to name a few.  With all of these historic designers, it can seem a little daunting and you may feel pressured to renew your entire wardrobe before your upcoming trip, but this is not necessary!  With a few new additions to your wardrobe and some smart packing, you can go to Italy looking like a fashionista without breaking the bank.

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This list is mainly geared towards Italy, but the general rules apply for places other places in Europe too like France, Spain, Portugal, etc!

  1. Vamp Up Your Wardrobe By Adding Some Scarfage

    Scarf in action in Italy

    As I said in my post about things you definitely want to take with you when you’re traveling– a scarf is a necessity-  for guys and gals!  A scarf can take any outfit from drab to fab!  This tip isn’t just for winter either.  Italians wear scarves year round, so if you’re traveling during the summer, pack a light summery scarf!

    No Scarf!

    Scarf and total derp face! (also notice the shoe change to dress it up- but still just as comfy!)
  2. Ditch the Shorts

    Granted, living in Italy and loving my shorts from an upbringing in Florida, I don’t always follow this rule, but I try to stick to it as much as possible!  For whatever reason, Italians don’t really wear shorts- so opt for jeans or a skirt if it’s a top you really want to wear!

    Pants or a skirt are much more appropriate for Italy!

  3. Think Neutral

    Though not a necessity, packing neutral colors will make your life a whole lot easier.  While men in Italy can be a little more flamboyant (cue popped collars on polos and too much cologne), the women are typically a little more reserved. Wearing black or earth tones will go a long way on this trip. Not only will you blend in more and draw less attention to yourself through avoiding bright colors, but if everything in your suitcase belongs to the same color family, you can mix and match clothes with a lot more ease. This allows you to have more outfit options on your vacation!

    Add sweaters/scarves to any of the outfits below and you have completely unique looking outfits!  Any nude or black shoes would match as well! ?

    You will be hard pressed to catch me in Italy not wearing white, black, or nude!!

  4. Less isn’t Always More!

    This is actually in Paris but a great outfit choice for Italy as well!

    This is conclusive to both packing and your style of dress!  Though you should pack light to save yourself excess baggage fees and back pains, I understand the struggle of overpacking. Where more is more?  How much clothing you have on. Italy has always been heavily influenced by the presence of the Vatican, and it shows in the dress if it’s citizens.  Modesty goes a long way in this country.  Don’t think boring and severe, think elegant, classy.

  5. Add Some Bling!

    A simple necklace changes the look of this outfit entirely!

    Pack some jewelry along with you to dress up any simple outfit and look fabulous with simple ease.

  6. Don’t Be a Bum.

    You’re not dressing to go to class, or heading to the gym.  You’re in a country where beauty is appreciated and valued.  Look nice, and have fun while doing so!

    Comfy, Cute, and Totally acceptable for Italy. and a little bit boho

  7. Wear Comfortable Shoes (That Aren’t Expensive)

    I cry every time I think of how many pairs of shoes have been claimed by the cobbled streets of Florence.  Don’t bring any shoes you won’t mind leaving behind, because I can go through about 2 pairs of shoes a month.  (Literally- when I went to Venice the first time I walked 20 miles in 1 day!)

    Make sure they are comfortable, and if you want to wear heels to go out, make ’em chunky and drunk-you-proof!  I’ve seen Italian women wearing stilettos mid-August in the middle of the day, baby on hip.  I hope to one day reach that level of grace, poise, self-control, and sheer skill- but it is a long way off!  Until then #FlatsLife.


    • Sydney Zaruba

      Hi, Keely!! Definitely wear something that you feel comfortable in and will last you! I usually wear leather or faux-suede (sometimes real but they have the potential to get ruined) ballerina flats like the ones in the photos. Many younger Italian women also wear chunky-soled trainers like Adidas when they are wearing a cropped jean pant. Hope that helps!

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