four suitcases, tall brown with hat on top, next size red, then green smallest gold with a stuffed animal bear

DOs and DON’Ts for Italian Summertime Style


With summer finally here and your next Italian vacation right around the corner, its time to talk fashion. This sunny season in Italy can call for a quiet beach vacation to a week in Rome exploring mounds of history. Whatever the reason for your next trip to Italy it’s important to look great and experience fashion- the Italian way.

We have previously told you how to dress in Italy during the summer, now its time to explain how to avoid those fashion faux pas.

For all you ladies out there…The rumor is true: Italians treasure their appearance and la bella figura. So this summer in Italy is finally the time to channel your inner fashionista and try your best hand at becoming a real Italian.

womanfashion 200x300 DOs and DONTs for Italian Summertime Style

Don’t forget your favorite summer dress!

DOs & DON’Ts For Her

  • Do Bring a Fun, Summer Dress. Dresses are perfect for day and night and ideal to wear during the hot summer months. Put on a pair of heels or ballet flats to add to your look while keeping it classy the Italian way. If you’ll be spending the day touring, remember a light cardigan to cover your shoulders for entrance into churches or air-conditioned restaurants.
  • Do Accessorize. Italians love to accessorize, with one of their favorites being scarves. Scarves can be seen and sold year-round all over Italy. Bring your favorite cotton scarf from home or purchase many more at various vintage stores and vendors to add a pop of color to your wardrobe. Perfectly painted nails are a must and throw on those much-loved earrings to complete any look.
  • Don’t Wear Shorts. Although summer in Italy can be rather hot, you’ll rarely see Italian women wearing shorts. The best way to fit in would be to stay away from revealing too much skin, but still look stylish at the same time- try a flow-y skirt instead. But if you just can’t part with your shorts, save them as a beach cover up.
  • Don’t Bring Flip-Flops. Italians can spot an American from a mile away; because, well, they are wearing flip-flops. And yes, this is a real thing, Italian’s just don’t wear flip-flops. While in Italy it is important to steer away from these types of shoes, especially if you will be in a big city like, Florence or Milan visiting visiting churches or museums all day. A better way to “keep it classy” would be to wear a strappy, or classier pair of sandals that won’t make you feel out-of-place in those sacred sanctuaries.

DOs & DON’Ts For Him

Ok boys…Now is your time to shine, and Italian men know how to dress. Time to step up the competition, and no, this doesn’t mean you need to step off the plane wearing a suit, although that would look nice.

menfashion 200x300 DOs and DONTs for Italian Summertime Style

Time to dress to impress

  • Do Wear Jeans (and the tighter the better). Italian men are known to rock a nice pair of jeans for almost any occasion. Jeans are perfect from day to night and can be easily worn with a t-shirt or sport coat. But if you’re really looking to become a authentic Italian man- time to get your hands on a pair of manpris (man capris).
  • Do Remember a Collared Shirt. You will most often find Italian men wearing a collared or button down shirt, usually with a v-neck sweater tied around their shoulders. This is a great look for an evening out on the town, dinner, or touring. Don’t forget to add a great pair of sunglasses swoon all those ladies out there.
  • Don’t Bring Athletic Shorts. If you’re looking to adapt to the Italian dress code, athletic shorts won’t make the cut. Italian men would prefer to dress fairly business casual for their day-to-day activities. But if you can’t live without the comfort of your favorite shorts, bring them to the beach instead.
  • Don’t Pack Shirts With Writing. When traveling to Italy its important to leave behind those beloved sports t-shirts, your favorite college hoodie, or even those shirts with designs on it. You will scream “tourist” and stick out in any crowd (but not in a good way). If you truly can’t skip a day without the relaxed laid back look of your t-shirt collection, purchase a few v-neck shirts instead, which will be great for your day-to-day travels and can easily be dressed up at night.

Dressing to impress in Italy really can make a difference. Respecting the customs and traditions while you become immersed in the Italian culture allows you to jump right in to feel and act like a real Italian. Plus you’ll look great in all those pictures! Happy summer and remember to stay cool with a scoop of your favorite gelato.

Share with us your favorite summertime item to wear in Italy! 

About the Author: Nicole M

My name is Nicole and I'm obsessed with Italy. It all started with my family's traditional Sunday night family dinners and I've never looked back. After living in Italy my food addiction is uncontrollable, but I'm definitely OK with it. I am currently a part of Select Italy's marketing department in Chicago.



5 thoughts on “DOs and DON’Ts for Italian Summertime Style

  1. Great post and idea, I will also add for him to pack or buy once in Italy a pair of linen pants/shirts and mocassins, perfect summer wear for the city and the beaches like Capri, Ponza or Sardinia!

  2. Actually, Italians do wear flip-flops … but only at the beach. It’s all about context in Italy; wear what’s appropriate for where you are.

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