What to wear in Italy: The ultimate dressing guide and packing list

What to wear in Italy: The ultimate dressing guide and packing list

Italy has a rich history, exquisite cuisine, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes. From the iconic ruins of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice, Italy offers a diverse range of experiences. As you prepare to explore this country, understanding what to wear in Italy is vital for comfort and seamlessly blending in with the locals.

What to wear in Italy
A tourist in Lazio, Italy. Photo: pexels.com, @spencer-davis (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Italy is a dream destination for many travellers. Before delving into the specifics of what to bring, it is essential to grasp the essence of Italian style. Italians are renowned for their impeccable fashion sense, which combines elegance, sophistication, and effortless flair. In this guide, explore what is acceptable to wear in Italy.

What to wear in Italy

Most tourists planning to visit Italy are curious about incorporating the Italian fashion style and blending in with the locals. This comprehensive guide explores what to wear in Italy for various activities while addressing common concerns about Italy's dress code.

What should I wear on a plane to Italy?

The journey to Italy is the start of your adventure, and your comfort is a top priority. Choose outfits that strike a balance between comfort and style, such as:

  • Sweat pants and a baggy T-shirt.
  • Slip-on sneakers to make security checks easier.
  • Layers of clothing, such as a warm sweater or cardigan.
  • A scarf can also be used as a blanket.

Tips on what to wear in Italy to not look like a tourist

What to wear in Italy
A lady in Florence, Italy. Photo: unsplash.com, @karsten-winegeart
Source: UGC

Italians have a distinct style that emphasizes sophistication, quality, and ease. Consider the following tips to blend in seamlessly:

  • Embrace quality over quantity: The Italians prefer quality to quantity. Focus on a few key, well-fitting, versatile pieces instead of packing your suitcase with numerous items.
  • Opt for classic pieces: Italians prefer classic pieces that can be easily mixed and matched. Pack well-fitted jeans, tailored pants, clothes made of wool and linen, and versatile dresses that can transition from day to night.
  • Opt for subdued colours: Most Italians prefer neutral tones. This doesn't mean you should limit yourself to black and white; explore earthy tones, navy, and pastels for a sleek yet modest style.

Navigating the Italian dress code for tourists

Italy's dress code for tourists is similar to that for locals. While Italians appreciate tourists who try to blend in, they also recognise that comfort is a priority for travellers. Nonetheless, there are a few guidelines to consider:

  • Avoid excessive casual wear: While comfort is vital, too casual attire such as sweatpants and flip-flops can make you stand out as a visitor. Instead, opt for well-fitted casual wear.
  • Cover shoulders to knees: As a sign of respect, cover your shoulders and knees when visiting cathedrals, churches, or religious sites. Keep a light cardigan or a shawl in your bag for when you need it.

What is the national dress of Italy for females?

Although there is no specific national dress for women in Italy, traditional clothing from various cultures influences fashion choices. The grembiule, an apron-like garment often worn with dresses, is one of the signature attires.

Other traditional attires associated with Italian ladies include gonna, corpetto, camicia, tracht, fazzoletto, Venetian Gondolier, and Sardinian costumes.

What to wear in Italy for men

What to wear in Italy
Tourists in Florence, Italy. Photo: unsplash.com, @mariya-georgieva (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Italian men are renowned for their impeccable fashion sense. To look like an Italian native during your adventure, consider these tips:

  • Opt for tailored clothing that fits well.
  • Pack well-fitted linen shirts, fitting jeans, travel shorts, lightweight sweaters, and versatile blazers.
  • Choose classic footwear like loafers or stylish sneakers.

What do you wear to dinner in Italy?

In Italy, dining is more than just relishing delectable cuisine; it's also an occasion to show off your style. Italians typically dress up for dinner, even in casual eateries.

A fitted button-down shirt paired with dress pants or chinos achieves the ideal balance between casual and formal attire for men. You can add a touch of elegance with a fitting blazer or a sports coat.

If you are a lady wondering what to wear for dinner in Italy, dress in a sophisticated yet comfortable attire. A beautiful dress or well-fitted pants with a blouse or a nice top is an excellent choice. Remember to add a stunning necklace or exquisite earrings.

Dressing for seasons

Italy has four distinct seasons, each with its unique charm and ambience. Your outfits should align with the region's weather conditions and the time of year you plan to visit.


Spring, which falls between March and May, is a beautiful time to visit Italy. The temperature is mild, and the flora are in bloom. Breathable, lightweight layers such as blouses, shirts, and cardigans are what you should wear in Italy in May. A statement trench coat is also a versatile layering option for cooler days.


Summer is experienced between June and August. Italian summers, particularly in urban areas, can be hot and humid. If you are wondering what to wear in Italy during summer, pack breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen to stay cool. Bring sundresses, shorts, skirts, and blouses with short sleeves. You should wear sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunscreen.

Do men wear shorts in Italy in the summer? Yes, men do wear shorts during the summer. Select well-fitted shorts just above the knee for a balanced and fashionable look. Complement them with a button-down or classic polo shirt.


Lower temperatures and colourful foliage characterise autumn (September to November). Layer your clothing with sweaters, long-sleeved blouses, and lightweight jackets. A cosy scarf and ankle boots can lend sophistication to your outfit.


Winter (December to February) fluctuates from north to south in Italy. It can be pretty chilly and even frigid in the northern regions—pack essentials for keeping warm, such as heavy jackets, sweaters, gloves, and a scarf. In snowy areas, it is wise to wear sturdy, waterproof footwear.

Dressing appropriately while going on an adventure is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture and make the most of your travel experience. By understanding what to wear in Italy, you can curate a stylish and functional wardrobe for your trip.

Yen.com.gh recently published an article on a capsule wardrobe for travel that will prevent you from overpacking. A capsule wardrobe is a carefully selected mix of clothing and accessories that may be used to create a variety of ensembles when travelling.

Creating a travel capsule wardrobe is one of the best ways to pack light for any trip. It also enables you to carry fashionable and practical attire and enjoy your adventure more.

Source: YEN.com.gh

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