What to wear

Old Apr 20th, 2002, 01:46 PM
  #1  
Tom Ward
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What to wear

I'm headed to Italy for two weeks at the end of May and heading back in early June. I understand that the weather gets hot in Rome (we'll be in Florence, Milan and Venice also) and that Italians dress better than average.

Considering the sight seeing, dinning and general loafing we'll do, could those of you who have traveled to Italy give me some tips on men's and women's dress?

Grazie por aiuto voi,

 
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 02:50 PM
  #2  
Rex
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Think dressy, linen-y, breezy, comfortable. You know what you look good in. Hopefully those adjectives help. I think you already had an appropriate understanding. Follow your hunches - - they seem to be correct.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Apr 21st, 2002, 02:09 PM
  #3  
ttt
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This is all the fashion advice we can come up with for this guy?
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:06 PM
  #4  
Sue
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I'm interested in this topic, as well. How dressy is it? Would a nice pants outfit work in restaurants? I don't particularly want to pack a dress. I was assuming that it would be OK to wear casual pants and tops sightseeing.
Please...any comments would be helpful.
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:12 PM
  #5  
Chris
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Youe will be fine in casual dress. Jeans, casual pants skirts and tops during the day and the same at night. I was there three years ago and the biggest ting I noticed is that none of the Italians wear shorts (even in 90 degree weather men and women alike). I don't know if you are worried about looking like a tourist or not, but this is one way to be distiguished.
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:20 PM
  #6  
Sue
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I was in Italy in those same cities at the end of May two years ago and it was hot. During the day my husband wore light weight black T-shirts and jeans with a black leather belt and shoes. At night he wore Tony Soprano-type golf shirts, linen pants and a light sport coat. I wore a black knit jumper that reached my ankles and light tops underneath during the day. Lots of breeze under there. At night I wore pants and tops from www.chicos.com travel collection.

Florence will be filled with students - the dress is so varied with them so anything will go. Milan has gorgeous business men in those fabulous Italian suits posing with their cell phones during lunch. The women seem to be able to throw a scarf over any outfit and look fabulous. Venice and Rome are touristy so you'll see everything. We were treated well wherever we went so I assume we were dressed appropriately.
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #7  
T. Orzel
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I lived in Italy for two years. My advice to you - do not wear tennis shoes or sneakers unless you are engaged in sporting activites. Same for shorts. They are not allowed in churches anyway. T-shirts (without collar) are no-no's as well. For walking, get yourself a pair of Hogans, or boat shoes (Timberland).

Stick with smart casual. For women, nice top, a pair of capris with low heel sandals. For men, linen shirt or polo shirt with chinos. NO JEANS! Unless they are designer ones with special patterns such as Roberto Cavali.

Depending on the restaurant you are going to, some might require a jacket for dinner. Otherwise smart casual will be fine for most places.

Buon fortuno!
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 08:58 PM
  #8  
up
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up
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:17 AM
  #9  
visitor
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As well as not looking very smart, sleeveless tops and shorts are not very cool. For women a nice cotton top with sleeves and a loose skirt are musch better. As somebody said, you need to get that air circulating. Artificial fibres next to the skin are very uncomfortable.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:38 AM
  #10  
jenviolin
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The Italians are beautiful dressers and Italy has beautiful clothes. This does not necessarily mean fancy, just flair. Even if you're not a shopper, Italy is THE place to buy an article of clothing for the rest of your trip. Women can find the most gorgeous scarves, men can find a great black polo shirt, everyone can find a pair of shoes to die for. If you're worried about what to wear to fit in, conform once you get there!
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 05:00 AM
  #11  
Patrick
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Ok, I hate to get into this black clothing thing but. . . Do you people really wear things like black polo shirts or black blouses when it is daytime and hot out? It raises my temperature by about 10 degrees! I understand black to be dressy at night, but black in the sun???? The difference in temperature I feel when I'm wearing a light colored shirt from a black one in the sun and heat is amazing!
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #12  
tall traveler
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I visited Italy in July of 1998 during a heat wave. I wore walking shorts, nice tops, white tennis shoes and a fanny pack and I felt I was treated well every where I went. I was not pick pocketed and did not get attacked by gypsies. Yes, I looked like a tourist, but being 6' and very (naturally) blonde, the Italians knew I was an American tourist no matter what I wore, especially as I towered over them every where I went. I sometimes brought a skirt to throw on for visits to churches but due to the heat wave (105+ daily), some churches were letting people wearing shorts in anyway. I figured my knees were less offensive than some of the bosoms that the Italian women had exposed with their slinky dresses (and they all got into the churches). Nearly all Italian women will be wearing slinky dresses and high heeled shoes, even if they are vacationing. I don't know how their feet survive on those cobblestone streets. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, be respectful and just go enjoy yourselves.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 05:50 AM
  #13  
jenviolin
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That's the beauty of shopping on site, Patrick: if it's hot, don't buy black!
And the beauty of Celsius is that black only raises your temperature by 5/9(10F - 32)!
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 06:56 AM
  #14  
jc
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for god's sake dont dress like the ugly american (uniform = sneakers, fanny pack, tee shirt with dumb slogan, shorts, and if a couple, matching outfits) its truly embarassing being an american to see the horrible dress sense...i typically pretend im not
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 07:15 AM
  #15  
Bob
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I am also going to Italy in a few weeks and cannot wait to see for myself and put the "black clothes" vs. "ugly american" debate to rest once and for all!
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 07:53 AM
  #16  
elaine
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Tom
In the cities you mention you will see plenty of people in shorts, tee shirts, and sneakers. They will almost all be visitors, from whatever places (including places in Italy), unless they are also under 25 in which case they could be just local students.
Jeans are much too hot in warm weather, and you can't wash them out and have them dry inside of a week.
It is true that with shorts/mini skirts and sleeveless tops,you can't go into most churches, especially women. Men sometimes get buy with walking shorts for some reason.
Does everyone in Rome dress well? No.
Do the Italian cities seem to have more people who dress chic-ly than in the average town in America, or the average town in Italy for that matter? Yes.
Your question has a lot more to do with what image you like projecting in your dress, rather than the bare minimum (pun intended) of what you can get by with. Italian city-dwellers going about their grown-up business lives will be mostly well-dressed. Visitors are more concerned with walking miles every day and being comfortable. Someone above used the phrase "smart casual" which I think is a great compromise between backyard casual and business attire. Polo shirts and sport shirts or blouses, non-logo tee shirts, chino or linen pants or skirts rather than shorts, etc. As a woman if the mood strikes I add a silk scarf as an accessory sometimes. It's not a matter of pretending to not be a tourist, it's a choice, assuming you care,to not look like you're going to a barbecue, "not that there's anything wrong with that". What's snobbery to one person is slobbery to another. Either way, you won't be deported.
One thing I will strongly suggest, don't compromise on comfort when it comes to shoes. You will be miserable in shoes that don't help your feet, even if the shoes or sandals look a little clunky. Bring one sleeker pair for evenings if you like.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 08:03 AM
  #17  
jj
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Tom, we were in Italy early June last year. It was warm during the day, but not hot. I saw lots and lots of capri pants and shirts with sandals for women, and a lot of khaki pants and knit shirts for men. I did see some tennis shoes and shorts also.
We didn't dress up and go out at night, so I can't tell you anything about that. Just make sure you're dressed comfortably, especially with comfortable shoes, and I'd advise wearing a money belt under your clothes. We ran into pickpockets twice on the metro in Rome.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 08:30 AM
  #18  
DJ
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Tom,

Hubby & I went last September to Rome,Venice & Sorrento and I pounded into his head the REQUIREMENT to dress nice and how we were not supposed to were shorts or gym shoes. Well, hubby brought the gym shoes anyway and I didn't. Guess what, I ended up buying a pair in Venice as my legs and feet hurt SO bad, unfortunately the only one's I could find were stark white and everything I brought was dark. Next time we go to Europe guess what I'm bringing? Color coordinated gym shoes. I had even gone and purchased a pair of Ecco's for the trip. They were good but not good enough. Several times in each town natives approached me assuming I was Italian. Even with the stupid gym shoes!!!!
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 08:37 AM
  #19  
Sue
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Smart casual is a perfect term! Given the misunderstanding with business casual at work I can see how people get confused. To me business casual is a nice pants suit; to others it's shorts and a AC/DC T-shirt. I told my boss that his wife should be dressy casual for our dinner in Beverly Hills - to me that was wool pants and a silk blouse - to her it was a denim skirt, knee socks and clogs. I got into trouble for that one.

Dress how you want to dress but be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you are snubbed because you have a fanny pack, then shrug it off.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #20  
Beth
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I have been to Italy three times (all over), and I personally find it ridiculous that people are worried about how they look on vacation! I live in NYC, and, as in Italy, you should look "put together", but the most important thing is to be comfortable! I wore nice shorts, t-shirts, and sandals during the days (in Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, Umbria, Capri, Amalfi) because it was very hot, and I wore capri pants and cute shirts at night. My husband wore shorts and t-shirts during the day and khaki's with nice short sleeve shirts at night--this is also what we wear in NYC and it worked. Just enjoy and BE COMFORTABLE!
 

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