What to Wear in Italy

Ah, Italy: a place of romance, great views, and delicious food. Whether it’s Venice or Florence, it’s relatively easy to feel the charm of each city. There’s a reason why hundreds of tourists flock to Europe every season. 

The cobblestone streets, the vintage fade of rainbow houses, and the fauna of rural towns will make anybody fall in love. So naturally, it’s only appropriate to look like a fictional dream that pairs with the romantic air of Italy. After all, Milan is one of 4 fashion capitals. 

Whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, it’s best to look the part if you’re a tourist. And no—don’t take it as another excuse to don a pair of dad shorts and a cheesy Hawaiian top. Vacations require some serious styling know-how, especially if you want to post your casual Italian fashion fits on Instagram. 

If you’re packing for Parma, we’ll provide you with outfit ideas on what to wear in Italy. For those heading during Christmas, there’s no need to worry. We’ll provide OOTDs for every season. Let’s get started! 

What to Wear in Italy

You’re free to wear whatever you want in Italy. But, I’m sure that some avid trendsetters do their best in order to not look like the common tourist. 

For those wondering what to wear in Italy in summer, we suggest packing some dresses, blouses, and skirts. Since the country can get especially hot during June or July, we recommend opting for more breathable fabrics such as organic cotton and linen. 

Compared to countries like Russia and Canada, Italy doesn’t get very cold during the winter. Most temperatures don’t exceed sub-zero levels. 

With that in mind, you can probably get away wearing trousers, light sweaters, and thinly lined trench coats during the holidays. For those wondering what to wear during cold weather in Italy in November, there’s really no need to worry about fleece-lined tights or double-layered socks here. 

If you’re in need of additional specifics, we’ll help you address the ‘what to wear in Italy’ question using 16 outfits. And just a head’s up—we’re featuring OOTDs for both men and women. 

16 Outfit Ideas to Wear in Italy

Considered two looks in one, this casual but sophisticated ensemble features a mix of white with pastel yellow. For now, let’s focus on the trench coat OOTD first.

Composed of a long, blazer-style jacket, cream-colored pants, and a checkered top, this is definitely a cool outfit to wear during Milan fashion week. 

If you’re looking for something more breathable, how about a short-sleeved moment? Accentuated with the same pants and a clean-cut baseball cap, it’s a great look to fashion during humid July days. 

The picnic princess aesthetic has been done to death. If you’re in the mood for something more jarring, how about some good ol’ patchwork? Composed of stitched-up panels of gingham print, these two dresses capture the whimsy of cottage core and the vibrancy of maximalism all into one.

It’s certainly a look to consider for those wondering what to wear in Italy in May, as this outfit screams springtime romance. If you’re not into the boots, you can always sub them out for white sneakers instead. 

Nothing’s more romantic than perusing the streets of Verona in a pretty white dress. If you want to exude those main character vibes, we recommend wearing a ruffle cotton dress with a decorative headscarf to match. 

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what to wear in Italy in April, as it’s the perfect springtime ensemble. To help finish off the look, we suggest donning a pair of strappy white heels and a dainty Chanel bag. 

Italy is full of great museums, churches, and bookstores. If you’re keen on visiting these institutions, it’s best that you look the part. 

Take, for instance, this outfit, which comes with a relaxed pair of trousers, a simple beige crew neck, a well-fitted trench coat, and black loafers to match. In our opinion, the wide-framed glasses make or break the look, as it provides that quirky touch to help create a more cohesive fit. This is what to wear in Italy for guys. 

Nearing the fall months? If you live in Italy, you can still afford to wear something light before the cold season hits. For instance, this outfit features a flannel button-up, a slim-fitted turtleneck, a pair of black jeans, and a set of brown lace-up boots. 

It definitely harbors on the Canadian lumberjack vibe, but hey—at least there’s no sherpa denim jacket over top. For accessories, we recommend wearing a beige fleece scarf for added texture. 

Monochrome outfits will never go out of style. Why? Well, it’s a simple look to pull off. If you’re wondering what to wear in Italy, we suggest an olive-green ensemble composed of a t-shirt, a cardigan, pleated trousers, and loafers.

It’s slightly vintage in aesthetic, but that’s ultimately the charm of the OOTD. Accentuated with sunnies, this is a prime example of outfits for Italy. 

Repeat after me: simplicity is never boring. In the world of fashion, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mess of patterns, prints, and bold colors. If you’re in the mood for something minimalistic, this outfit may tickle your fancy. 

Composed of a sage green midi skirt, a white sleeveless top, a bucket hat, and a pair of lace-up sneakers, it’s the ideal look to fashion in the streets of Milan. Plus, the ensemble is super comfortable to wear if you plan on walking for several hours. For those wondering what to wear in Italy, this is the fit to opt for. 

The tourist look will always be composed of a pair of dad shorts and a poorly sized button-up. If you’re into cheesy fashion, why not reinvent this outdated aesthetic into a statement outfit? 

For example, this ensemble plays around exaggerated silhouettes, that being the high-waisted shorts and the oversized collared shirt. Offered in hues of neon green and white, it’s a bold yet simple look to pull off. Of course, don’t forget to wear a baseball cap as a final accessory. 

So, how do Italians dress? In short, it’s best defined as elegant, simple, and relaxed. If you’re keen on matching the same aesthetic, we suggest opting for a t-shirt dress and a tied-up sweater as a decorative layering piece. 

It’s important to find cream-colored clothes to help keep things subtle and muted. While you’re free to wear a pair of tennis shoes, European fashion usually demands a set of stilettos instead. 

Not a fan of monochrome fits? If not, how about you experiment with different colors? For those Googling ‘what to wear in Italy,’ we suggest opting for jewel tones instead of coffee creams. 

Composed of red leather pants, matching stiletto heels, a lavender chunky knit sweat, and a crossbody bag, this is the look to go for if you want to look like an ‘it’ girl. For hair, we recommend keeping things simple by wrapping it into a bun. 

Oversized blazers are the ‘it’ garment of 2022. I’m sure some of you are unconvinced of its staying power, so we’re providing a notable example to help you change your mind. 

Cute, chic, and comfortable to wear, this adorable ensemble features a plaid blazer, a red turtleneck, light wash jeans, and a pair of sneakers to match. It’s certainly the look to opt for if you’re worried about the weather in Italy in September. 

History and art fanatics, I’m 100% sure that you’ll hit up the Sistine Chapel, the Accademia Gallery, and the Uffizi Gallery when visiting Italy. 

If you want to look like a cultured individual, it’s best to wear a blazer-esque coat, a pair of cigarette jeans, and some pointed-toe booties for that classic international student look. Refined and sophisticated, it’s an excellent combination between elegance and streetwear. 

The air of Italy spells sophistication, class, and poise. If you lack in all three, you can at least ‘fake it til’ you make it.’ Arguably, the best way to do that is through fashion. 

We recommend wearing a full monochrome set composed of pleated trousers, a matching turtleneck, and a stylish trench coat. Dressed in varying shades of coffee beige, it’s a subtle but chic look to wear at cafes and museums. 

For those looking for streetwear clothes for Italy, there’s nothing wrong with donning your usual pair of sneakers and baseball cap. 

To jazz things up a little, the fit can be improved with a set of cigarette corduroy pants, a grandma cardigan, and an espresso-stained tote bag to imbue those earthy hues. It’s casual, composed, and undeniably chic for everyday styling. Arguably, the best thing about this ensemble is that it’s completely genderless. 

Never underestimate the power of accessories. Honestly, the best way to answer the ‘what to wear in Italy’ question is to base your outfit on a certain add-on.

In this instance, it’s a neck scarf. Designed to bring a pop of color, this stylish addition helps add more visual interest to the white-collared tee and black denim jean combo. Oh, and don’t forget a pair of shades to help finish off the entire look. 

Wondering what to wear in Italy? Here’s a helpful tip: Italians are not afraid of pattern over pattern. If you’re up for a styling challenge, we highly recommend experimenting with different prints and silhouettes. 

For instance, this ensemble features a pair of white pants, a beige plaid blazer, a red nautical tee, and a Dior saddle bag styled to look like a belt. The purse helps to cinch in your waist, while the rolled-up sleeves do wonders in adding more visual interest.

We suggest finishing off the look with a pair of matching stiletto heels.  

What Type of Outfits for Italy Can You Get?

Italy doesn’t call for a certain dress code, as you’re free to wear whatever you please. With that being said, I’m sure that some trendsetters fear looking too ‘touristy.’

If you want to blend in, there are a few aesthetics that you should know of. These are fashion styles popularized in many cities, such as Venice, Milan, and Florence. 

Before you figure out what to wear in Italy. It’s important to take note of these certain aesthetics. This includes: 

  • Minimalism: Some prefer subtle silhouettes and muted colors. If you’re relatively new to this aesthetic, we recommend playing it safe by wearing a monochrome outfit. 
  • Maximalism: This includes animal print, bold patterns, bright colors, and statement jewelry. Feel free to experiment and have fun! 
  • Pumps and knee-high boots: Most outfits are finished off with a pair of heels. Not only does it add height, but it provides that elegant touch so desperately needed. 
  • Something designer: Considering that Milan is one of four fashion capitals, it’s absolutely necessary to wear something designer. This includes Italian-based brands like Versace and Bottega Veneta. 

How to Choose The Best Outfits for Italy

Like most fashion capitals, Italian fashion—most notably styles in Milan—uphold a certain class, dignity, and elegance that makes it unique to the country.

For local trendsetters, this means blending fads with tradition. Aside from keeping up with the latest crazes, it’s important to find clothes that exceed three criteria: price, quality, and material. 

Material goes hand-in-hand with quality. Depending on the piece, you should be on the lookout for premium fabrics, such as genuine leather, wool, organic cotton, and even jacquard. 

At the end of the day, it’s crucial to denote a sort of ‘expensive’ quality to your outfit, even if you bought it at Zara. In addition, you should also consider dressing for the season, as materials like linen aren’t typically recommended for insulation. 

Of course, picking the best materials will typically entail a heftier fee. The amount doubles if it’s a designer piece, or if you choose to tailor your clothing. Overall, it’s extremely important to account for your overall budget. 

How to Style Outfits For Italy

As we previously mentioned, there are some aesthetics to look out for when it comes to classic Italian fashion. But, if you’re still unsure of what to wear to Italy, we’ll provide a brief rundown of some styling basics:

  • Don’t be afraid of print: Italy is known for its love affair of bold patterns and hues. If you want to blend in with the common folk, it’s time to don that cheetah-print blouse and those knee-high crocodile boots. 
  • At least invest in one designer piece: as aforementioned, Italy is big on luxury goods. I’m sure not all of us can afford the designer lifestyle, but you should at least save up for one piece, whether that be a bag or a simple necklace. 
  • Have fun with accessories: sunglasses, statement jewelry, and neck scarves are all the rage in Italy. Naturally, you should try to implement these add-ons to your wardrobe.
  • Play around with your silhouette: Fashion is all about experimentation. We highly recommend donning an unusual fit, whether that be baggy, slim-fitted, or overly exaggerated. 

Fashion Tips to Avoid With Outfits For Italy

Technically, there are no fashion faux pas in Italian fashion. As we said before, you’re free to wear whatever you want. With that being said, there are a few aesthetics that may earn a quizzical eye. Given that you know what to wear in Italy, here are some styling tips to avoid when you visit Milan: 

  • Techwear: popularized in Japan and South Korea, the apocalyptic nature of this aesthetic is quite jarring to see in Italy. 
  • ‘Nationalist’ clothing: While Americans and Canadians are all for sporting their country flag on clothing, Italy is relatively quiet in this trend. This also applies to game-day apparel. 
  • Revealing clothes: This only applies if you’re visiting the Vatican. Wearing short shorts, tank tops, and mini skirts are usually considered poor taste in church institutions.
  • Gigantic backpacks: Wearing a large, hiker-style carry-on screams tourist vibes. But, if you’re a European backpacker, this tip may not apply.
  • Socks with sandals: This is considered the number 1 faux pas in our ‘what not to wear in Italy’ lineup. According to various sources, locals rarely wear socks with sandals. But, you can definitely get away with closed-toe shoes. 

Best Places to Buy Outfits for Italy

Congrats! You finally know what to wear in Italy. Now, it’s time to address the second half of the question: What are the best places to buy clothing? Below, we’ll feature some reputable brands to consider before you jet-set off to Florence:

  • Valentino 
  • Versace 
  • Moschino
  • Fila 
  • Womsh 
  • Marni 

Final Thoughts

Jet-setting off to one of the world’s main fashion capitals may entail some styling worry. We don’t want you to lose sleep on the flight over, which is why we provided this handy guide for trendsetters to consider. 

Really, there is no wrong way to dress in Italy. Arguably, there is no such thing as ugly fashion, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If it’s any consolation, you should wear whatever makes you happy, regardless of negative feedback. 

Whether you’re searching up the weather in Italy in September or gearing up for winter in Florence, we featured several outfits to consider. Here’s to a happy vacation overseas and a great Instagram feed while you’re there! 

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