Going to Italy this summer, or planning for it for the next year and wondering what to wear so you look as classy and chic as an Italian lady? Then in this post I am breaking down what you should be wearing after spending almost a month there myself.
You will still look chic and put together and won’t melt away in the Italian humidity. Because yes, it does get quite hot there and most of us probably are not prepared for it.
Table of Contents
What Not To Wear In Italy?
Before we can get to what you should wear to look stylish and enjoy your Italian vacation, it’s important that to know what not to wear. This way you are not wasting packing these clothing items for the trip.
But you might ask me, I am going there on a vacation, so I can wear anything Suchi!
Well, first off, if you wanted to do that, you would not be reading this article to begin with.
Italy as a country is filled with religious architecture like most of Europe which is what entices its tourist. To name some are Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon are not only famous but religious places. Which means they will not allow you in sports bra and biker shorts.
So, now instead of taking cute photos in the outfit you are wearing, you will have to cover it with cloth or a jacket. And a jacket when its like 100 degrees will just melt you.
I have gone there myself, and seen so many tourist go through this nightmare or get turned down.
This is the most important thing that tourists have now forgotten, but let me emphasize this again.
When you are going on a cultural trip to a place, you are there to experience their culture and respect it. Otherwise what’s the point of going there. You might just head to Cancun and lay on the beach in a bikini.
So, here are a few things you should not wear:
- Activewear as regular clothes, please stop wearing them in general.
- Really short shorts. You will get a lot of stare and won’t make it to any monuments.
- Tube tops, or any other style of cut out tops that does not look classy.
- Super short clothes, may it be a sexy dress. You can still take it and wear it to a night club only.
- Sneakers with all your outfits, while it’s comfortable, it won’t look good. I am sharing alternatives.
- Jeans in Italian summer will give you a heat stroke. Pack it to wear to the airport, but otherwise ditch it.
- Not really a clothing item, but no open bags. If you have a tote bag, I say keep it very close. This is purely to save you from pick pockets.
What Clothes To Wear To Italy?
Different blogs will give you different information and almost all of them are ok to follow. As long as they are not telling you to wear activewear.
But if you are looking to be comfortable and look stylish, then this post will help you achieve that. But I will divide it into locations or how you plan events.
Now, if you haven’t planned your itirenary then checkout out a 14 day trip to Italy that will get you completely immersed in the culture.
What To Wear When Visiting Cathedrals?
If you are headed to visit cathedrals, you need to stay covered up. But I also know that you want to look chic and stylish. So, you have a couple of options.
Cute Top and Cotton Pants
I wore this outfit formula to the Sistine Chapel and absolutely nailed it. My outfit was cute, but it was also appropriate to wear to the place.
You can pick many styles of tops to pair with pants as long as they are not too revealing.
Puff sleeve tops can be really helpful in this case, because they are cute and appropriate.
You can pick linen pants or cotton pants, both of which will be comfortable for the hot weather. I went with black color because its easy to pair with multiple different colors of tops and it won’t show creasing as bad.
Short Sleeve Tshirt And Printed Pants
This is my favorite style of outfit that looks completely Italian. You will actually see a lot of Italians rocking this outfit as well.
The crewneck short sleeve tshirt will still look put together and classy. And the printed pants will be a fun element to your outfit.
You not only can wear this outfit to Cathedrals, but you can also wear them to dinners and other site seeing places. It feels effortless and fun.
Cute Puff Sleeve Dress
Puff sleeve dresses are great if you want to wear dresses but at the same time want to dress modest for a Cathedral visit. Sleeves are really important and so is the length of the dress.
Its pretty much a nice church outfit. Its absolutely fine if there are a little bit of cut out. I know they are in style.
But its important that you don’t want to wear chiffon or polyester dresses. Because these fabrics are not breathable in the heat. So, you will feel really hot.
And a nice cotton or linen dress will actually look really elegant as well. Wearing the right fabric for the right season is key to awesome style.
What To Wear When Exploring?
If you have not planned to head to cathedrals, here are some outfits you can wear. Now, you can absolutely wear skimpy clothes if you want to. But Italian people frown on that. But its totally upto you.
The key is to wear appropriate clothes for appropriate occasion. If you are wearing a club outfit to a museum visit, you will get stares. That is normal.
Linen Bermuda Shorts an Silk Shirt
This is a great outfit formula for Museum visits, dining or going for Apertifs in cafes in the evening while in Italy. The shorts are linen so you won’t feel hot in them. And the silk shirt looks sophisticated but still breathable.
Silk is one of the most luxurious fabric and it also looks expensive. So if you are going on any shopping trips, you can rock this outfit formula in confidence at a designer store.
Heading to the Tuscany area and want to create some Italian chic outfits. A cute printed cotton or linen dress would be perfect for wine tasting, touring and making some remarkable memories in the Tuscany.
If you are heading to remote Tuscany region which are mountain areas, you might also get some rain.
So a long dress will help keep you warm too. But this is where you can create some chic outfits, look your best and not worry about how much skin you are showing.
But you can also wear this outfit in Rome, Florence for dinners or Museum visits.
Satin Pants with Linen Shirt
This outfit is perfect for fancy dinners and fancy shopping trips and the best outfit to wear in Milan. Milan is the fashion hub of Italy and the moment you step in there you will see that.
You will be surrounded by gorgeous people all well dressed and beautiful designer shops where you want to shop or at least window shop.
This outfit combination whether you pick a black linen shirt or a white linen shirt will make you look sophisticated and stylish. The satin or silk pants will elevate the linen fabric and create a sophisticated and elegant outfit you can walk around in.
Do you feel too hot to wear full sleeve linen shirts, checkout some short sleeve linen shirts to wear instead.
Bright Top with White Pants
If you are in Florence or Pisa area, you want to dress more youthful and comfortable to be able to move around a lot. And colors can help you achieve that look pretty easily.
This is where you can also dress a bit casual and get away with it without a hitch. But remember you still have Duomos and other religious places to see. So, a bright colored tshirt or top paired with white linen or cotton trousers will look chic and fun.
And will pop in the neutral background of all the Italian monuments.
Printed Skirt with Black Top
Italian people do like a lot of neutrals, don’t hesitate to rock these neutral shades like black, white, navy, pink. Skirts are a common bottom to wear in summer which easily dresses up your outfit.
But if you pick a printed skirt, you can easily pair it with something neutral at the top like a black sleeveless top I am wearing and head to a site seeing. Again, you need to be mindful. This outfit will not work in religious places because of the sleeveless top, so you can pick a black shirt or a tshirt instead.
This outfit combo feels comfortable to wear because you are wearing summer fabrics. And you look nice as well.
What Shoes To Wear To Italy?
This is the most important part of your trip and for many reasons. Most of us when going to Europe will be waking a lot. It’s a big place to visit and you will most likely be using public transportation.
Moreover, Italy like other European countries has Cobblestone roads. Which means that your foot need a lot of support and help walking. You can’t just walk in flip flops and it will be fine.
Neither will your fancy stilettos work. Because the pointy heels will get stuck in between the cobblestones.
Here are some of my top styles of footwear that will look good and will help you walk:
- Leather slides with soles. You can’t just wear slim slides because your feet will get tired. If you get blisters with leather slides then checkout Chloe Logo slides. They are a game changer.
- White leather sneakers will go with dresses, skirts, shorts and trousers. You need to have a pair with you that you can wear on days you know you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Espadrilles are also comfortable for walking. But you need to make sure you are not wearing too high heels. If you are worried pick flat espadrilles with ankle straps. These will look chic as well.
- Open toe strappy sandals which you can wear with pants, dresses and skirts are well. They look cute and are comfortable. Pick the ones with cushioned soles.
- Kitten heels slides for those fancy occasions where you are walking too much. Most likely for dinners.
- Block heel slides are perfect for all you petite ladies who want to wear heels. Block heels in general are much more comfortable to wear for everyone.
What Bags To Carry In Italy?
Yes, you will hear this from many travelers that Italy is filled with pie pockets and I am here to confirm that. But does that mean you won’t wear your best bags. That is nonsense, you are there to enjoy and feel your best.
You just need to be mindful that you need to protect your bags in public transportations where you will be exposed to pick pockets. After almost experiencing a theft, I simply started carrying my bag by flipping the opening closer to my body.
This way no one will able to open your handbag and steal.
Other than that, you also need to be mindful that you are carrying lightweight handbags that are easy to carry for a long time. I recommend going with shoulder or crossbody bags both of which will be easy to carry for a long time.
I don’t recommend backpacks because you will again have to bring to the front to protect it from getting picked. So why bother.
But no hobo bags that dont have any closure. These bags will surely cause problems.
Plus, if it rains, a closed bag will keep all your belongings including your passports secure.
Italy Outfit Packing List
For more on women's summer travel, please read:
- What to Put in Your Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe
- Stylish Summer Dresses That Also Hide Your Tummy
- Best Resort Wear Approved Swim Coverups For Your Next Vacay
- Best Modest Swimsuits for Women That Are Flattering and Fun
- Best Slip On Sneakers For Ease and Comfort At The Airport
- Best Amazon Travel Must Haves