Our trip to Italy was a few years ago and it’s still one of my favorite trips that we’ve ever taken. When we were preparing and packing my suitcase, I did some research on what to wear in Italy. For some reason when I think about what to wear in Italy, I thought of off-the-shoulder tops, backless maxi dresses, and lace-up mini skirts. Very romantic and colorful pieces. However, I made sure I did a lot of research before heading on an international trip. I researched traditions, customs, and culture, and made 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 in Italian fashion 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. Check out what I learned in my research below!
Italy Packing List
Below are a few of the things I found about what to wear in Italy
Back to Black
Italians prefer more neutral colors. 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. Black is great too because you can wear the pieces year-round, regardless of the weather and you can wear them while traveling without showing dirt and stains.
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. If it’s chilly, pack a light trench coat to cover everything that needs to be covered.
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. Also, leave your short shorts at home.
No shorts in the evening, don’t wear a tie with your jeans, always wear socks, and make sure your clothes are 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 in the clothing department, no short-sleeved shirts in a formal place.
Please don’t pack your sweatpants or sweatshirts. Italian style doesn’t even wear comfortable 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.
Don’t Wear Flip Flops or Thong Sandals
You’ll be walking and getting your steps in while in Italy. This was a big one I saw. Pack one pair of low-heeled, ballet flats, leather boots, walking shoes, or ankle boots. 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! Even if you’re not an Italy, big travel tips from me are not to wear socks with open-toed shoes.
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!
The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region.
Most of Rome’s historic center is paved with a unique type of cobblestone called “sampietrini”.
Packing cubes always helps keep you organized when traveling. I say pack them!