What to wear in Italy

Old Jul 24th, 2000, 04:09 PM
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What to wear in Italy

My husand and I are planning a trip next May to Rome, Florence and Venice. Not wanting to appear as "the typical American tourist" we want to dress appropriately. Any suggestions for day as well as evening attire in upscale restaurants? Thanks
Old Jul 24th, 2000, 09:34 PM
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Wear what you are most comfortable in, no matter what you do you will always look and sound like a tourist. Relax!!!!
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 03:29 AM
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If you want to avoid looking like a tourist:

Don't carry a map. (Dead giveaway.)

Don't carry or use a camera. (Only tourists and tax assessors carry them.)

Keep your mouth closed ... unless you speak the language fluently, and in the accent and idiom of the local dialect.

Don't look at sights. (If you were a native you'd have seen them a thousand times.)

Go to the nearest clothing store on arrival and completely replace all the clothes you brought with a total new wardrobe.

If that seems a little extreme, then don't worry about it. Act like a thoughtful, polite guest and you'll be welcomed by everyone.

Some tips on the subject at www.twenj.com/tipslooks.htm


Old Jul 25th, 2000, 04:11 AM
J T Kirk
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Relax. Dress as you would at home. As to dinner, wear what you would wear going to dinner at a nice restaurant at home. Also, don't believe everything you read about wearing black. I found when I've been in Italy, particularly Rome, people dress like they do during the week in Newy York or London. People do wear color in Italy. Of course, when travelling with limited suitcases it is best to try to pick one color scheme so you can mix 'n match. No one really cares if you're a tourist; afterall, it IS tourist season there and millions of people visit Italy. So, just go with the flow and enjoy.
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 04:37 AM
the turnip
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Sorry, but I have to disagree with the above posters to some degree. When I go on vacation I find I'm treated better and feel more relaxed when I dress to fit in. Just my humble opinion.

When in Italy dress up more than you would at home. For men dockers and a sports shirt with a collar, not jeans and a t-shirts. Comfortable walking shoes instead of sneakers, etc. The woman almost always wore dark or neutral colors. Black, black and more black along with grey and some brown and tans thrown in. They almost always had busineess type attire on. Nice slacks and blouses were the norm.

At night we saw lots of men in jackets but hardly ever ties. The woman were usually in dresses. The Italians liked to dress up and look. I thought it looked very nice instead of everyone in old jeans and baseball caps.

Have a great trip!
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 05:20 AM
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While in Italy, my observation was that the women did not wear a lot of "sports clothes". Meaning, my Talbots/Liz Claiborne spring/summer stuff looked unsophistocated. On subsequent trips I felt more comfortable wearing neutral colors and less sports wear. I never once thought that I didn't look like a tourist and I am sure that the moment I opened my mouth I was pegged as an American from the East. But I felt a little more comfortable in my clothes.
Since I am short and middle aged, jeans are not all that flattering to me and I am glad that I did bring any. And I usually don't take sneakers since my suitcase is lighter if I take comfortable shoes that will double for day and evening wear. The upscale restaurants that we went to, people were dressed as they would be in New York or San Francisco with one exception. I did not see many men in business suits but most had jackets. As in any city, I'm sure you will be calling ahead for reservations any way. so just ask what is considered appropriate attire. My husband always brings a sports jacket that can be worn with jeans (his favorite item of clothing)and several shirts both long sleeve and sports style. He does bring sneakers but usually he ends up wearing his slip on (loafer style shoes).
I don't know if this helps. But as others have mentioned, in their messages, it really is about being comfortable enough to enjoy long days of incredible sites, food and marvelous people. All the best.
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for your responses. Ed, I didn't mean to give the impression that we are trying to avoid the total look of tourist....it's just that our experience 10 years ago during a cruise which included Italy and France left an unforgetable memory. Everyone stared at our shoes and clothes and we were very uncomfortable.
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 09:16 AM
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Dockers? Comfortable walking shoes? Men in Europe do not wear Dockers or Rockports. Just as obvious as a tourist dressed like that.
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 09:38 AM
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Myra, questions like these always seem to draw flaming arrows! 50% of Fodorites have a " I'm gonna dress however I darn well please and anyone who doesn't like it can go to H_ll" and the other 50% believe that it is desirable to try and blend in with the local population as much as possible. Wow, is either right or wrong? No of course not, the important thing is to feel comfortable and if looking like an American Tourist (albeit there is NOTHING wrong with American tourists) makes you feel uncomfortable then you should try to blend in, by all means! My husband and I always try to dress in Urban Upscale as we like to call it, just like I would do if I was going to a museum here in Los Angeles. If I go overseas and I notice everyone is wearing a certain type of black pants, then I go out and buy some I find it fun. But we enjoy doing that. I feel so much more comfortable when I can match the Urban Landscape, we feel less like targets and often get asked for directions while in Paris for example. But that is just US! Some people consider that posing or posturing, but I disagree! However these days you will see plenty of other people in white tennis shoes and baseball hats, it's not that unusual you hardly notice it anymore. Decide how you want to march around a metropolitan city and follow your preference! Bon Voyage
Old Jul 25th, 2000, 10:23 AM
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Thyra gives you (as usual) really good information and advice. I'm in her camp of trying to blend in a little bit - if only to make Europe look a little more "European" for other tourists. And I have to admit that I tend to get wonderful service everywhere I go - whether it's a coincidence, because I speak some languages, or how I'm dressed - who can say?
Old Jul 26th, 2000, 03:01 PM
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I was just there---Women were wearing black capri pants like here.The stores showed a lot of lavendar and lime---long staight aline skirts of microfibre.Guys do not wear golf shirts there.. To fit in more I put my hair up in a pony tail and used animal print scarf to tie it. They didnt look at us as much and I felt better----
Old Jul 26th, 2000, 05:10 PM
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Oh, GB, I'm so glad nobody stared at you when you tied your hair up in animal scarves. They still recognized you as a tourist--what you want to do is to project that you are a tourist who would like to learn/respect the culture you are visiting. Don't think that has a whole lot to do with what you are wearing. Be nice and respectful--that's the first lesson. Ask questions and appreciate the answers--that's the second. Recognize that there are lots of other cultures which are just as valuable as ours--that's the third. Enjoy.
Old Jul 26th, 2000, 07:15 PM
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If Europeans don't wear Dockers, I guess that Dockers store on Blvd. St-Germain in Paris is for American tourists who've lost their pants?

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