If you are planning to visit the Eternal City any time soon, you are probably also wondering what to wear in Rome. Well, here are some tips and hints on what to pack (and what to leave home).
While Rome may not be the fashion capital that Milan is, it certainly does not mean that you will not find the native Romans (as well as the many cosmopolitan expats) dressed to impress – stylish, cool, and sophisticated. The temptation, seeing the ubiquity of the straw trilbies sold by street-side souvenir vendors and the sweltering summer sun, might be to champion comfort over style and dress like the archetypal tourist: shorts, t-shirts, ugly sneakers (or even – gasp – flip-flops), and that very hat, which you would never wear back home. So, what does one wear during their Roman Holiday to soak up that Dolce Vita? Let’s find out!
What to wear in Rome to dress like a local
First of all, I would leave some room in your suitcase for some shopping. What is a better way in order to look like a local and not look like a tourist? The best thing to do when wondering what to wear in Rome is going shopping in Rome! A Prontopia local will give you the right insights on where to go – Book your local connection here.
The neighborhood Monti is full of little boutiques that offer a wide variety of clothes in terms of style and price. We suggest a visit to the Kokoro boutique, a little store on via del Boschetto 75, where you can find unique pieces of handmade clothes that will make you feel as pretty as one could be while also being comfortable. The owner might even iron whatever you decide to buy right in front of you.
What ladies should wear in Rome during summer
What to wear in Rome during the warmest months such as June, July or August?
Avoid skirts that are too short or jeans that are too tight (it might get really hot and, also, you never know how much gelato or pizza you might end up eating!). Churches have strict dress codes when it comes to how much of your skin is exposed. This is the reason why I highly recommend to always bring a light scarf with you to cover your shoulders.
A light scarf, elegantly worn, might also turn a sundress into an almost fancy one if you have a dinner reservation and no time to stop by the hotel to shower and change. A touch of lipstick and a bit of perfume and voilà, you are ready for the night.
Loose blouses to tuck in high waist skirts or silk and cotton light jackets to add that elegant touch to a simple tank top are just a few options to have beauty meet comfort.
Let’s see what to wear in Rome in terms of shoes. High heels are only for well-trained women. Cobblestones in Trastevere are real traps if you are not used to them. If you really want to wear those stilettos specifically packed for a fancy night, make sure you have a gentleman to gracefully lean on and ready to catch you if you stumble! Go for nice sandals or a wedge heel instead, avoid the orthopedic ones if you are still too young for those.
What men should wear in Rome during summer
As for men, well, let’s start with the don’ts.
Avoid white socks up to your calves while wearing khaki shorts and a white plain t-shirt tucked in your pants. Rome is full of beauty; do you really want to be the one that hits the wrong note?
Opt for a linen shirt, with a cool shabby look that seems to be allowed only in the summer. While sandals are not a thing for Italian men, moccasins are the way to go. Comfortable and aesthetically accepted, they will be perfect both for a visit to the Vatican Museums and for the well-deserved aperitif in a Roman piazza with your lady.
In case of rain, do not worry. Just like mushrooms after the rain, street vendors will sprout out with cheap raincoats and umbrellas. In fact, during the extreme hot days, you will find yourself asking for some rain just like Moses in the desert.
If visiting in the summer, I would not pack boots. This is a waste of space that could be used more wisely. Use that space for something like bathing suite for example, if you want to hit an outdoor pool in Rome. Or throw in a couple more dresses and shirts if you do not want to worry about laundry during your stay here.
If you are travelling with kids and still wondering what to wear in Rome, after reading this article, you will see that you do not need anything in particular that you would not use at home. Just make sure you have hats and sunscreen for the little ones and you are good to go!
For more info about specific dress codes in Rome, ask one of the Prontopia locals – we are always happy to help! For live answers to your questions about how to pack or where to shop in Rome, join our Facebook group How to Get around in Rome.