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Italy Style for Female Visitors

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Jul 8th, 2012, 02:39 PM
  #1
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Italy Style for Female Visitors

Do I get a prize for posting 100 threads in a month? Because I'm heading in that direction, anyway.

My wife and I are figuring out how to dress for our three-week trip to Italy from 9/20 to 10/11. We will be north and south (Venice to Rome). My wife is concerned with what type of clothing/shoes are best considering we are likely to have a range of temperatures.

Are sandals appropriate? Are light dresses and open-toed shoes acceptable?

Basically, we are wondering if we should dress for summer or more for early fall. It seems the averages of where we are visiting fall between 72 and 75 degrees during our visits, which means it could be 65 or 85.

Any help is appreciated, especially from women on the forum.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Layers are the answer. From 65 to 85 degrees, open-toed shoes are comfortable. A light dress might not be enough at 65 but a pashmina or sweater will make it appropriate. Might be good to pack a light jacket and some long pants as going into October will be cooler at night.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Would my wife be OK in light shirts and capris? I've read that you should not wear jeans, but I'm not sure for what reason.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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She can wear jeans. When we were in Italy at that same timeframe a few years ago we were surprised that people dressed for the season, not for the weather. It was fall so they wore fall clothes, never mind that temps were still in the 80's. We even saw people in coats - they must have been roasting.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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People suggest no jeans because they are usually hot and bulky, taking up a lot of space in a suitcase and a long time to dry if you must launder them.

You can basically wear whatever you like except for when entering churches where modest dress is appropriate (modest dress equals covered shoulders and clothing to the knee). Open shoes/sandals are fine.

Italians, especially in a city, will be dressing nicely. When packing, in general I suggest you dress like "casual Friday" at work and you will fit in most anywhere you want to go.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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MonicaRichards, that was our experience as well - though in spring in Sicily and Naples. The temps were mid-high 80's but the Italians were still sporting furs because it was early spring!

So I'd imagine that in the fall, autumn materials and colors will be appropriate. (To me, capris are more summer-appropriate.) And IME, jeans are now universal; the info about not wearing them in Europe is definitely outdated...
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:23 PM
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She can wear jeans, capris, sundresses, sandals. One year we were in Italy at that exact same time and Rome was very, very hot. We had to take breaks from sightseeing due to the heat.I have recently returned from three weeks in Italy and saw all the clothing you asked about. We saw few Americans, in fact, in many of the towns and cities we visited we didn't come across any. And Italy seemed much less crowded than on our other five trips there.
Have her bring lightweight casual slacks, capris, short sleeved shirts and a few long sleeved tops,a light jacket and a sweater, a sundress if she wants. Rain jacket just in case. Good walking shoes of course. I agree with the comments made by the poster above about how the locals dress for the season regardless of the temperatures. We saw local people in jackets and scarves and it was 41-42 degrees Celcius.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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We were in Italy last year Aug 21-Sept.14. It was very hot. We were in Rome, Tuscany and Florence. Once in awhile I used a sweater in the evening, but usually not. Capris were fine. My husband wore jeans, shorts and kakis for dress-up (not often). Locals were often in jeans. Do cover shoulders in Churches. A lady was stopped in Florence Church.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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Last fall, it was very hot in Italy (Rome, Umbria, Cinque Terre, Lake Como) in September. We had to buy an extra "outfit" and sandals our first week in Rome, because we were running out of clothing that was light enough for the heat. Didn't get into wearing the layers we'd packed until we flew to Prague from Milan at the end of the first week in October.

Wear things that are comfortable. Actually, I had two (one long one short) skirts that I found incredibly useful in the heat, both for evening and daytime. I bought a pair of cotton trousers (made in Italy) in Rome, to add an option.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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This is a lot of help, thank you. We don't want to be uncomfortable OR stick out like sore thumbs.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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I don't know if it's at all your wife's style, but I found that adding leggings under a skirt worked well. As the day warmed up, the leggings were easy to remove and roll up in my purse (and vice versa), and it seems to be a fairly common look both here in NYC and in Europe...
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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I've to Italy 4 times and found that women wear more skirts/dresses to be cool, rather than shorts. They are tremendously aware of their appearance, and wouldn't be caught dead looking sloppy outside their home. Regarding shoes, use ones that will be good over uneven surfaces. You encounter cobblestones a lot. Remember a hat--it's so sunny...and sunscreen.
If you have a flat wrap, like a pashmina style, those take up less room in your suitcase, and can be folded up in a small backpack or medium purse, plus you can use it as a pareu for a robe. If it gets chilly, add it on top of your jacket.
Jeans are so hot! Although the teens wear them, they are less seen past age 35.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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Are a nice pear of short jeans (not jean shorts) acceptable for dinner with a nice shirt and shoe? Or should dinner wear be more dressy?
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Regarding the comment about wearing hats (for protection from the sun), what kind of hat, if any, is appropriate for men "of a certain age" - over 60? I routinely wear golf/baseball caps here in the states to protect my balding pate, but I doubt they'd be appropriate anywhere in Europe.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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In small towns and villages you can pretty much live in jeans
and Tees; in the big cities a more stylin' mode of dressing
will help you feel less like a sore thumb. Keep in mind that
most of the folks you'll be seeing will be fellow tourists
and many from N.America so Italian style won't be that much
in evidence.

We were there last month and DH wore casual slacks (are they
still called that?) and linen shirts w/a nice cashmere sweater
over his shoulders. He was one of many and most of them were
natives!

Not sure about a 'pear of short jeans' - sounds interesting!
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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I meant "pair" obviously, but the question still stands.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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i like to dress a littlemore locals, and for that reason, if I were a guy, I'd leave the baseball hat at home, and wear light weight pants to dinner.
would you wear shorts to dinner in San Francisco? I hope not.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:39 PM
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...but what are 'short jeans'? capris? Bermudas? Floods?
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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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This is a very personal opinion, so if you disagree that's fine with me. However, I like to see adult men dressing like adults when they're out and about in public. I think baseball caps are fine for the beach or the ball park or the golf course or riding a bicycle. Otherwise, I think adult men, grown-ups, look ridiculous in them, like they still think they can pass for kids, despite the grey hair, paunches, whatever else gives it away that they are no longer boys.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 06:14 PM
  #20
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Julia, don't be afraid to tell us how you really feel. I will not be packing any baseball caps. I have them at only for bad hair days, of which I plan to have none in Italy.
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