Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   I packed the right clothes for Italy!! (

sandyc Aug 8th, 2007 06:24 AM

I packed the right clothes for Italy!!
I was agonizing about what to pack for my trip, considering the heat, the huge amount of walking we were planning to do, and the fact that Europeans don't usually wear shorts and you can't get into churches if you aren't dressed right.

I ended up bringing 3 long skirts (shin length) made of light, gauzey material and several lightweight tops -- mostly sleevless. I carried a lacey shawl in my bag for churches. I brought a straw hat, lots of sunscreen, and some Clark's sandals that were fabulously comfortable for all the walking and looked pretty decent with the skirts, even though they had a nice sole for hiking.

This turned out better than I thought because with each step I got a little breeze from the skirt swishing around. I looked decent and I was cooler than I'd be in shorts. (It was true -- I probably only saw two people wearing shorts and tennis shoes the whole two weeks we were there.) And even after 10 hours of sightseeing, I was ready to walk right into a nice restaurant.

I brought some dish soap and washed out my tops and underwear at night, and it was hot and dry enough that they'd be dry the next day. (I had lightweight, quick-drying fabrics -- not cotton T-shirt type things.)

Hope this helps someone!

Sharisue Aug 8th, 2007 06:25 AM

Thanks for the update! I'll be in Italy in Sept. and I think I've got the right clothes to go....

fall06 Aug 8th, 2007 06:30 AM

I agree the gauzy skirts are ideal for travel. I think what deters a lot of women from packing them is (a) fear that they are see-through and (b) unless you are slim, fear of chafed thighs.

Christalex Aug 8th, 2007 06:49 AM

Hi Sandy,
I thank you also for the packing tips. I have been agonizing as well over what to pack and we don't leave for five weeks! I've been convinced by the advice on this board to pack light and plan on taking a 22 inch rolling suitcase only, so I didn't want to get there with very few clothes and find out they were all the wrong ones! Sounds like skirts are the way to go. Thanks!

suze Aug 8th, 2007 06:53 AM

Love good packing advice. Skirts don't work for me (hate the thigh thing especially when it's hot) but you've definitely got the right idea (I would substitute lightweight capri pants for the skirts). Congrats & thanks for posting! It does help!!

where2 Aug 8th, 2007 07:37 AM

I got a great tip from a Fodors posting about skirts and thighs rubbing together. Buy a pair of underwear that looks like the men's boxer-briefs (I think the poster said she got hers at Target). I got some and they are fantastic.

msdotliz Aug 8th, 2007 07:44 AM

I definitely took skirts this time. Our Italian friends told us they can always tell the tourists by the fact that they were shorts and tennis shoes. We did wear shorts on our cruise excursions, but when we went back to Italy to stay with our friends, the skirts came in handy so I felt like I blended in with them.

ellenem Aug 8th, 2007 09:28 AM

I wear a coulotte slip to avoid chafing. I haven't used this one--it's the first link I hit when I searched, just so you can see what it's like.

toedtoes Aug 8th, 2007 09:32 AM

I hate the chafing also (I chafed even when I was skinny). I use pettipants under my skirts. I get them at jcpenney, and you can trim them down to fit the length of your skirt.

Pegontheroad Aug 8th, 2007 09:47 AM

I bought long underpantsy things, also at Penny's, and I wear them with skirts. They solve the thigh problem.

J_Correa Aug 8th, 2007 09:55 AM

Thanks for the tip on the peti-pants. We are planning to go to SE Asia next June, so I am thinking about skirts. I think that given the heat and humidity, plus the conservative culture in many places, longish skirts will probably be just the thing. Also, it seems with the petipants, laundry would be easier because those could be washed out in the sink and air dried, meanwhile the skirts themselves could be worn more often between being laundered.

toedtoes Aug 8th, 2007 10:26 AM

J_Correa - That's how I learned about them. My Grandmother wore them under her pants so she didn't have to wash the pants as often.

J_Correa Aug 8th, 2007 11:08 AM

When we were looking for a house a few years back, we looked at a few older houses that had small windows in the closets - designed for airing out clothing since in the past, people didn't wash their clothes as often.

Without automatic clothes washers and dryers, I can definitely see why people would want to be able to wear their clothing multiple times between washings.

naneu Aug 8th, 2007 11:16 AM

We too are leaving for Italy in a few weeks and I was not sure what to pack. Is it still fairly hot there then? does the long skirt idea still hold or should I be thinking pants?

toedtoes Aug 8th, 2007 11:22 AM

And your clothes will last longer with less washing.

fall06 Aug 8th, 2007 12:05 PM

what's "a few weeks" and where are you going in Italy?

Long gauzy skirts are so lightweight and take up so little room, I'd go ahead an pack them anytime before Oct unless you are going far north.

In NYC, I sometimes wear gauzy skirts through the fall over tights and pencil thin trousers.

jgarvey Aug 8th, 2007 12:24 PM

I love the new gaucho pants that many women are now wearing. They almost look like a skirt but work like pants. My favorites are from the Chico Travelers line. I love that slinky material, no wrinkles and easy to pack. But they are everywhere now, and some made from cooler cotton or linen fabric.

syd Aug 8th, 2007 01:09 PM

Are you able to wear open toe sandals in churches?

annw Aug 8th, 2007 01:15 PM

Yes to open-toed sandals in church. Never had a problem.

Hanging clothes out between wearings, especially in for ex. the bathroom doorways, is remarkably helpful in keeping clothing fresh and reducing need for as much full-scale washing. This has been my best travel find.

Ditto on the gauzy skirts as a great travel option.

SusanP Aug 8th, 2007 01:17 PM

syd, Yes.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:06 PM.