Home style What To Wear In Italy In The Summer

What To Wear In Italy In The Summer

written by M.E. Evans April 25, 2014

Every year I get a lot of questions from readers who are taking a trip to Italy about what they should wear. In the summer, it can be a lot more difficult for Americans to blend in. We are, often, a people of comfort. Half of the US stopped putting on real clothes a long time ago, wearing only yoga pants or gym shorts with flip flops. There’s nothing wrong with comfort, but if you’re looking to fit in, you certainly won’t do it with that outfit.


1) Never wear flip flops unless you’re at the beach or near water (a pool, for example).

2) Booty shorts and a spaghetti strap tank top is not considered an outfit unless you are a prostitute. You can wear booty shorts with a real shirt, or, a spaghetti strap with pants. If you’re entire outfit is skin tight and tiny you’ll stand out as a foreign human, and possibly a hooker.

3) Guys, I say this always, but please, burn the damn gigantic pants and the basketball shorts. Burn them. KILL IT WITH FIRE! It’s just not sexy. You’d be surprised to know that women actually like to see your ass a little, seriously, so stop hiding it (having it pop out of the top of your size 400 pants doesn’t count).

4) Ladies, match your bag with your shoes.

5) Everyone, get some cute sunglasses. Get a light scarf to accessorize.

6) Throw your Nike “comfy” shoes in the garbage. If you need comfort, get a show that also looks good with clothes.

7) Ladies, you’ll be surprised to find that “summer boots” are in. Wearing short shorts, or skirts, with light colored slouchy boots. They are less hot than you’d think and they look pretty cute.

8) In Milan they do bright colors but for the most part you never see women walking down the street in a bright pink dress. Think neutrals, white, or navy blue. Guys, let your freak flag fly! For some reason the guys dress more vibrantly. However, you can stick with neutrals as well.

9) Guys, you’ll be excited to discover that converse are a stylish “all ages” shoe. Get a pair of white ones for the summer and you’ll fit right in. No, it doesn’t matter if you’re 50.

10) Guys, think, light slacks (that fit you) and a v-neck t-shirt from American apparel. Super cute.

11) Ladies, think flowy dresses, shirt dresses, booty shorts, slouchy boots, big sunglasses, linen blouses, or v-neck t’s. Of course, there is also House Of Ossimori. Wink, Wink.

12) Guys and Girls: Your daytime clothes and your nighttime clothes are different! Change before dinner. Ladies, put on some heels, guys, put on some loafers. Feel free to wear black. Black at night is always in (and you won’t see a lot of little shorts for dinner time ladies, put on a dress or slacks!).

Below are some fun summer pictures of my friends and I running around. I wanted to show basic/casual style so it’s not super fashionista or dolled up. What am I missing? What would you guys add to this list? Put it in the comments below!

Italy What To Wear

These loose one piece things are a thing in black and neutral. Although, its usually older women but Im old on the inside. And my apostrophe isnt working…sonofabitch!

What to wear in Italy summer

A nightclub in the south.

what to wear in italy

Showing some color

What to wear in italy

My husband in his typical summer outfit. His friends tell him that he dresses like a gay boy. I will take that as a compliment, thankyouverymuch!

what to wear in italy

This is in May so it was still chilly. These are casual day clothes.

what to wear in italy

Another woman working it.

Another Italian woman working it. (She’s the only Italian in this picture, everyone else is a tourist).

It is July. Notice the scarf.

It is July. Notice the scarf.

My 60 year old MIL. She still dresses really cute. Age isnt an excuse to strap on the Nike runners and large pants.

My 60 year old MIL. She still dresses really cute. Age isnt an excuse to strap on the Nike runners and large pants. Notice her bag is white and navy to match the dress, she’s also wearing white and navy shoes. Ladies over 50, Italy is your time to shine! Squeeze into something sexy and show off the goods. 😉


NEED More Inspiration? Check Out My Pinterest Page! It’s loaded with Italian and European style pictures. You can’t go wrong with anything there, for any time of the year. Below is a sneak peak of some of the great things you’ll find there. I hope it’s useful!




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Paula Jensen-holm April 25, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Pretty much the same as what we wear in Australia in summer, so why do people pack their ugly clothes when they travel? Ballet flats, linen dresses and a good iron in the hotel, people!

Mani (A New Life Wandering) April 26, 2014 at 12:07 am

I wish I had more linen clothes. Actually, any linen clothes. I love scarfs, I wear them during every season. They change in fabric and color accordingly. I also love espadrille wedges for spring and summer, they are comfortable and look very cute.

Kristen April 26, 2014 at 1:05 am

No, no, no, no, no! You can’t get me out of comfortable shoes with arch supports. I broke me feet (bad planter fasciitis) on my first trip to Italy. While I don’t dress like “people of Walmart” I believe in comfort over style. I am getting tired of everyone’s advise on how to dress when going to Italy. I saw an Italian friend’s vacation photos recently and observed sneakers and not so fashionable attire. Double standard?

M.E. Evans April 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm


haha. Don’t worry, I won’t take your sneakers away from you! LOL. This wasn’t a guide for how you have to dress, it was specifically written for people who ask how they can dress to blend in. I am huge on comfort too (with the exception of high heels for dinners with the family because otherwise they shit themselves). In fact, in the beginning of the article I explain that this is a response to questions, and that I’m big on comfort, too. BUT I REALLY, really dislike yoga pants in public, pajamas in public, and basketball shorts. However, there are plenty of clothing that is comfortable that isn’t intended for the gym. Italians wear sneakers, they just don’t where the ones designed for playing basketball or running usually. I actually think that Italian clothes are more comfortable than our “dress up” clothes in the US. They wear a lot of thin fabrics and the women wear a lot of shirt dresses, flowing dresses, and leggins (I’m a big fan of snakeskin leggins, for example). I was also, more than anything, targeting the younger student population that visit. They are scary (think hooker meets basketball star).

Bellavia April 30, 2014 at 8:38 am

I love the photos ideas you posted! Great stuff.

I think Italians “dress up” better than the average American for evening, especially (and especially men, IMO). , but I’ve found daytime (non work) clothes to be just as average as in many countries. Jeans, sneakers (but yes, not bright white basketball or running shoes…more like Asics and converse) and a well fitted hoodie or basic sweater. I wish your advice would reach the student population though….I just recently heard a waitress and owner setting up the bar outside snark on a bunch of American girls in their bootie shorts, flip flops and tank tops or unfortunate school logo tees. sigh.

M.E. Evans April 30, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Ugh, seriously. I think that casual and comfortable can be very cute if it’s done with a little though. I feel like Americans have completely stopped caring about their appearance altogether, I’m not a particularly fashionable person, but it’s just so lazy to wear gym clothes 24/7. As for the students, I think that’s hopeless. Nobody is going to get them out of flip flops. LOL.

Phoenix April 26, 2014 at 9:34 am

Oh my, I will need to up my game when I visit Italy in July! Clothes are so expensive in the UK! Next time I go home to the states, I’m bringing an empty suitcase and loading it up!

rickzullo.com April 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

To the “Don’t” rules, I’d also add no silly t-shirts with clever sayings. I’m always amazed at the number of tourists who think they’re being cheeky with these ridiculous, embarrassing billboards for stupidity. (Example: “If you like my meatballs wait til you see my salami!”)

While we’re at it, let’s add, no “Godfather” t-shirts to the list, too. Really, it’s insulting to everybody. And why all the “Scarface” t-shirts in tourist cities? I understand that Al Pacino is a great Italian-American actor, but the Scarface character is actually Cuban. Whatever.

italyonmymind April 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Italians are so stylish. I remember when I lived in Italy as a young teenager, my zia always insisted on “home clothes” and “going out” clothes – you wouldn’t be seen dead on the street wearing “home clothes” (like sweat suit pants) – imagine what all the ladies around the town would see if they saw you?! “Fare la bella figura” was essential even at 13

cultureacolazione April 27, 2014 at 10:08 am

“Ballerine” (flat shoes) are always cool and comfortable no matter the place and the season… believe me, I’m from Milan 😉

StudentAffairs Coordinator Saci April 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Great advice for incoming SACI students from an artist/designer/alumna herself! Thanks Misty!

M.E. Evans April 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Thank you! Feel free to send students my way 😉

Rebecca Emmons April 3, 2017 at 2:21 pm

All good stuff. I remind my husband to ditch the tennies and baseball caps, shorts and T shirts. Question: when you say to throw away the Nikes, what do you suggest for comfort for a lot of walking?


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