Italy is a country greatly regarded for its fashion sense. One of its cities, Milan, is well-known as a major fashion capital. People here tend to dress stylishly and, if you’re going on holiday there, you’ll want to blend in, or at least avoid stares of disapproval. Read on for a list of guidelines on what to wear in Italy.
Leave the flip-flops at home.
Same goes for workout shoes and sneakers, even if they might be your most comfortable pairs. Unless your holiday involves the beach or daily running, you’re best off with a pair or two of low-heeled, sensible walking shoes made with good leather. They’ll easily take you from the ruins of the Forum to a great restaurant with ease. Leave the boots unless you plan on going in the wintertime or intend on going on hikes in the countryside. They’re uncomfortable on planes and can be difficult to pack anyway.
Dress for the weather… appropriately.
Summers can be dreadfully hot, but what you wear also limits what you can see in certain parts of Italy – some of the attractions you wouldn’t want to miss are churches, cathedrals, other religious sites and even some museums, all of which require you to cover up. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when heading out to see the sights is to avoid clothing that bares your arms, shorts and short skirts, as well as low-cut necklines for women and tank tops for men. Compromise with a flattering pair of capri pants or cotton slacks, or go with a presentable pair of denim jeans that fits well – that means no holes or tears. Carrying a light shawl or scarf can also be a good idea if you really can’t sacrifice the cute sleeveless top. Not only can in protect you from the heat of the sun, you can also use one to wrap yourself up before entering any areas that require a bit of cover.
Sweaters and light jackets are a must during the spring, because the weather can be on the unpredictable side. You can wake up to balmy days on some mornings, but it can start to pour rain or get chilly in the middle of the day, heading into night. In the winter, bundle up with coats or wool jackets; those made with down are typically regarded as ski resort wear and should be reserved for trips up to the mountains. Stick to clean lines and solid colors or neutrals, and you shouldn’t go wrong.
Bust out the designer labels.
Do you have designer pieces or accessories that you’ve been reluctant to wear for fear of looking too gaudy or avant-garde? If so, then now is the time to take them out of the closet. You’ll want cuts that flatter your figure, a great pair of sunglasses or a beautiful bag (make sure it matches your shoes!). Don’t try to wear everything all at once – remember, less is more – and Italy is definitely the perfect country to show off your favorite designer label pieces.
You’ll want a few essentials with you, like the sunglasses or the bag mentioned above, but also consider bringing along a hat in the summer or a pashmina when the weather is a bit cooler. These will help protect your skin from the heat and the UV rays when you walk around sites where there’s little cover or shade, like the Roman Forum. Accessories like these can also keep you warm in cooler places, like most churches. You can get away with wearing costume jewelry here if they’re well-curated and stylish – they should add a bit of interest to your outfits.
Some attractions provide bag drops and some don’t, so travel light whenever possible, bringing only what you need. A light shoulder bag or day sack should be enough to stow all of your sightseeing gear.
… And pack some other essentials.
You don’t want to run out of deodorant in Italy – it’s hard to believe, but it can be difficult to buy there. Don’t forget to bring your favorite sunscreen or sun cream, and a small bottle of insect repellent can save you from bites and feeling itchy. Standard European voltage is 230V, so remember to pack a travel adapter or converter for your use. It is also a legal requirement to have photo identification on you at all times, so keep your passport handy, but not anywhere it can be stolen easily. You may also want to look into options for keeping your mobile devices and documents safe. Skip buying bottled water and pack a handy travel bottle instead, as there are plenty of sources of safe drinking water around.