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Phrazina Feb 23rd, 2001 12:25 PM

Help with clothing in Italy! AHHH!!!
I'm a first year in college and will be making my first trip abroad in May. My question is- what should I pack to wear? I know I have pack light, and I've been told that Italians aren't as casual in dress as Americans are. Problem is, I own mostly jeans and very casual clothing. Thus, I need to plan on purchasing several new items that will be good for three weeks in Rome. I'm hoping to find clothes that are comfortable and not too dressy or too frumpy...but just right. AND I'm hoping to keep the cost down, as this will be expensive in the first place! I also will be traveling to England and Ireland after that- should I plan on different (heavier, more casual) clothes for there? Thanks for your help, I really need it!

Jessycat Feb 23rd, 2001 12:31 PM

Ok clothes.. If you don't have much $$$ -the best investment you can make is black pants or black shirts and tights. The Italians are beautiful dressers and DO NOT wear jeans or tennis shoes.. That is a giveaway that you are a tourist. Take soap powder and wash clothes in the sink. If you only have a few things you can wear them again.. no one will know. I am taking thing to mix and match...white shirts, black pants, skirts, shoes. Leather is very stylish there. Also scarves to dress up your look. If you need more help let me know. Jessyca

Christina Feb 23rd, 2001 02:08 PM

I don't know Italy that well but I've seen Italian tourists throughout Europe and think a lot of Europeans drink similarly, and have been to England, so will just suggest you might try a pack of capri pants (just below knee) in a neutral color, like black or tan, if you have a comfortable pair, as it may be fairly warm there in May. Those are more stylish than shorts or long pants, and work well with sandals or slides. England and Ireland is a problem, that's for sure--I was in both countries in August, which I presume is warmer than May, and it was very cold and freezing and raining, people were wearing heavy coats in Dublin. When it was not raining, jeans, a cotton long-sleeved turtleneck and medium-weight sweater were okay, but that is a lot heavier wardrobe than needed in Italy. I also took a lightweight trench coat and used it a lot in UK in August. I would def. take one pair of jeans, as you may want them up north even if not in Italy. For classier than jeans, maybe find some black pants with some slight stretch in them, that seems to be popular for the younger folks, although I'm thinking more for going out, not daytime sightseeing. Cargo pants? Well, I hate those but I have some sort of that material (lightweight twill, drawstring waist), but they are just missing the huge side pockets on them (which is the part I think looks ugly). I don't know about Rome, though, but I wouldn't worry so much about what Italians wear vs what I like and think looks decent. From my observation, you do not have to worry about fashion statements in the UK.

Darleen Feb 23rd, 2001 02:17 PM

Very simple buy clothes when you get to Italy . you will see what is popular you will always remember your trip everytime you ware the clothes and you friends will be envious of you new stylish woredrobe the pants in italy and europe are form fitting you will not belive how good they fit and look on you and when you return you will get alot of attention from the boys back home.

Jessycat Feb 23rd, 2001 02:24 PM

whoo hoo! J

Elina Feb 23rd, 2001 02:29 PM

Don't spend $ on clothing in America, shop in me! It is cheaper there, plus, the fashion is ahead couple of seasons, so you will be in fad when you'll come back.

kam Feb 23rd, 2001 02:33 PM

Couldn't travel without my black blazer and black T-shirt dress. I know you'll see a lot of comments about black here, but it really does work. Bring some pretty scarfs to dress it up and a pretty but comfy pair of black flats. A long time ago someone wisely told me "the only person who is going to know that you've worn the same dress 5 times in a row is your husband/travel companion." How true! And, they're in the same boat! My husband takes two polo shirts and one sweater and it becomes a game to guess which one he's going to put on that day. He also take a couple dress shirts which he has professionally laundered and lightly starched here at home. With careful folding each night, he can make them last 10-14 days. On the plane, he wears his blue blazer or if we're going to Italy, his Italian tan/green plaid jacket. In England and Ireland you will need to layer and have an umbrella or waterproof jacket which you will most like not want in Italy! I have a very cheap one that I bought a couple years ago at the Gap--black, of course. It's water resistant, not waterproof. If I'm going only to Ireland, Scotland or north in England, I take a black sailing jacket with hood and skip the umbrella. Blue jeans are fine in England and Ireland (but they are heavy, don't dry easily and take a lot of space in your luggage) and while this might sound strange, I would pack one wool fine gauge pullover sweater! It can get cold and damp in May and you can always tie it over your shoulders when you wear your black dress in Italy (you can make that a bright color). BTW, I skip the laundry powder and wash things in shampoo--soap is soap to me! I think if you go over your college wardrobe you'll see many useful items---remember the T-shirt with the big shirt over and not tucked in? That works well with a pair of black slacks. And, at risk of being "commercial", Liz Claiborne makes wonderful non wrinkle black linen slacks at a reasonable price that you can have for years. Enjoy your trip.

Gordita Feb 23rd, 2001 11:34 PM

Some of you say to buy clothes there - but I am one of those fat Americans - size 16-18 (female). Will they have my size clothes in Florence?

audra Feb 24th, 2001 02:46 PM

Thank you Kam, for that wealth of information! We're making our first trip to the UK this June so I appreciate all the tips. One question though....what type of shoes do you suggest? Of course here in the states, when site-seeing I wear my Nikes. Do I look for black Nikes? Or just comfy black shoes? I have tons of black shoes but finding just one pair to wear when doing lots of walking might be tough. Or do you suggest taking more than one pair? It actually may be worth the space more than an extra couple of shirts! Thanks for any and all info and advice! <BR>

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