Dressing Like a Local in Italy: Wear the Language

By Katie Smith

Okay, so you’re a tourist…that doesn’t mean you have to look like one.

To travel is to embrace foreign cultures, to taste food with ingredients you have never heard of, and to soak in your surroundings as if you’ll never be here to see them again. You play the part, so it’s time to look it.

Birthplace of some of history’s greatest fashion icons including Gucci, Versace, Ferragamo, and Prada, Italy sets the standard high when it comes to street style. While we’re glad to see you’ve taken the time to download the top translator apps and spent the plane ride here brushing up on your Italian, you Americans won’t be fooling anyone if you leave the apartment in leggings and Old Navy flip flops.

Take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves when you move to a new city and explore the boundaries of your wardrobe. Learn Italian. Don’t just speak it and eat it, dress it.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Purse



While owning a Celine bag would instantly solve all of your problems, they tend to be slightly out of the student budget. Fear not. The leather markets are full of these structured totes and, at a reasonable cost, your outfit can go from drab to fab.

 Sunnies are a Staple


Leaving the apartment without your sunglasses is a mistake you’ll only make once. Shades are necessary for a summer in Italy, so have fun with it and find a frame to fit your face. Pair them with a pop of red lipstick and you’ll be ready to take on the day.

Your Shoes are a Dead Giveaway



Replace your Nike’s and flip flops with Converse and strappy sandals.  It doesn’t matter what the rest of your outfit looks like, your shoes will speak for themselves. A little leather ankle boot goes a long way as well. Slip a pair of inserts in them and suddenly you can tackle long walks on cobblestone with ease.



Channel your inner gypsy. While I advise that you stay off the streets, it’s fun to personalize your look with some of your favorite accessories. Add a necklace or hat to your outfit and transition your look from daytime to dinner ready.

Keep it Classy

Travel-Diary-3-433x650Italian style is simple and elegant. While you’re out shopping, look for pieces you can wear again and again without people noticing to create an overall effortless and timeless appearance.  

Leave a Reply