Our trip to Italy is so soon and I’m starting to pack my suitcase and do some research on what to wear in Italy. For some reason when I think about what to wear in Italy, I think off-the-shoulder tops, backless maxi dresses, lace-up mini skirts. Very romantic and colorful pieces. However, I make sure I do a lot of research before heading on an international trip. I research traditions, customs, culture, and make sure that my wardrobe won’t offend any locals.
I’m glad I did some research because I was wwwwwaaaayyyy off on what I should wear to Italy. There isn’t a formal dress code but there are some things to keep in mind while packing for what to wear in Italy.
Italians are very fashion conscious. The women believe in being dressed to the nines with hair, nails, and makeup done at all times. They also dress specifically for the occasion or where they’re visiting.
What to Wear In Italy (& Not Wear)
Below are a few of the things I found about what to wear in Italy:
Back to black. Italians prefer more neutral muted tones. Bright, vibrant colors are seen as flashy and over the top. They also wear a lot of pastels in the summer months. I’ll be packing a lot of black, white, and olive green items.
No shoulders or knees when going to churches or cathedrals: If you plan on visiting the Vatican on your trip make sure you don’t wear shorts, short skirts/dresses, or sleeveless tops/dresses. I plan on packing some sleeveless items but will make sure to have a shawl in my bag to throw on in certain areas.
It’s okay to wear jeans. But make sure you dress your jeans up with a blazer, leather jacket, or killer accessories. Also, make sure your jeans fit you well. I know distressed jeans are in fashion right now, but leave those at home. Distressed denim looks cheap and is frowned upon in some areas.
For men: No shorts in the evening, don’t wear a tie with your jeans, always wear socks, and make sure your clothing is tailored and not oversized. I also read that men don’t wear open-toed shoes in the evening. White socks are for sports only and your socks should match your trousers or shoes. Lastly for the guys, no short sleeve shirts in a formal place.
No sportswear. Please don’t pack your sweat pants or sweatshirts. Italians really don’t even wear sports shoes unless they’re stylish and very clean and not flashy. I thought about bringing my Adidas sneakers, but they’re so dirty right now I might just leave them at home to keep my yoga pants company.
Don’t wear a fanny pack. Just don’t. This makes you a target since no one else wears one and you look like a tourist.
This was a big one I saw. Don’t wear flip flops or thong sandals. Pack low-heeled, stylish, leather walking shoes. Or better yet, buy some when you arrive! I think this is what I’ll tell my husband I have to buy when we arrive :).
No socks in open-toed shoes. This was another big one that I found. I’m not sure who would wear socks with open-toed shoes but just in case!
Don’t forget the hats and sunglasses. Protect yourself from the heat with these simple accessories. Italian women wear simple but stylish accessories. Don’t go crazy with your statement jewelry.
Don’t carry a backpack. Opt for a crossbody bag. A backpack makes you look more like a tourist and easier to steal than a crossbody that’s safe at your side. Also, make sure your crossbody straps are thick and hard to cut!