This Easy-To-Make Clothing Mistake Outs You As A Tourist In Italy

American fashion and what is acceptable to wear can be more casual than other places in the world. While we might not look twice at someone in shorts and a crop top at the Empire State Building in Manhattan, that sort of ensemble doesn't fly in other countries. In some places, it might get you a few disparaging stares. In others, you might not be able to enter a building. This is true in Italy, where certain items of clothing will immediately mark you as a tourist. If you don't want to stand out like a sore thumb while hitting the cobblestone streets, there are some rules you should follow. You don't have to drop a ton of money on a whole new wardrobe. Something that will stop you from standing out immediately is skipping the flip-flops and not wearing socks and sandals. 


Even some Americans will give you side-eye for wearing socks with sandals no matter where you are, but summer flip-flops are usually acceptable in the States if you're not going somewhere fancy. When you're in Italy, however, save your flip-flops for the beach. (But don't worry, you don't have to give them up entirely if you're thinking about moving to the Amalfi Coast.) 

The Italian look tends to be a bit more put together, even when the clothing isn't expensive. There are a number of other fashion faux pas you can make as an American in Italy, so here are the fashion dos and don'ts you need to know before you go. 

Dressing for a day in Italy

In Italy, flip-flops belong at the beach only, and sandals without socks will be far cooler and make you look more put together. If you're worried about blisters, use an anti-chafe stick, a deodorant stick designated for your feet, or simple Vaseline to prevent shoe friction. 


Athleisure wear is another thing you should skip while packing. Walking around Los Angeles in yoga pants and a cropped hoodie wouldn't get you looked at twice. In Italy, workout clothing belongs in the gym, not on the street or in museums while looking at fine works of art. Another thing that's going to immediately identify you as a tourist is shorts. You'll only see them on Italians when it's really, really hot, and you don't find many adult women wearing them at all. 

That doesn't mean you have to give up comfort. Pressed linen or cotton pants, capri pants, or a flowing sundress can keep you just as cool and comfortable in the summer. Another thing to keep in mind is that many churches will require you to cover your shoulders, midriff, and knees. Wear knee-length shorts if you have to wear them at all, and carry a long, wide scarf or light jacket to cover your shoulders and stomach when you go inside. Otherwise, you'll end up having to purchase one for far too much money on the street outside the monument.


Keeping up with Italian style

Look, you are a tourist, and it's not the worst thing in the world to look like one. The thing is, most of us want to blend in. Sometimes looking like a tourist can make you vulnerable to things like scams, pickpockets, and illegal taxis. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your Italian vacation. First, travel pro Samantha Brown has a warning about wearing certain colors, especially as a solo traveler. In Italy, people tend to dress in more muted colors rather than some of the brighter ones that many Americans enjoy. Blending in with a neutral wardrobe on your trip also means you can mix and match items rather than packing a separate outfit for every single day. You can also use these tips to pack for a seven-day vacation in only one carry-on.


Italians tend to dress up a bit more than we're used to. Skip the printed shirts with funny sayings on them and wear a solid color. Maybe go for a button-down rather than a teeshirt. Use your hotel's iron to give things a quick press before you go out if they're wrinkled. Think about heading out to enjoy the city the way you would if you were going to a nice dinner. You can wear pants or dark jeans to that dinner, but don't pair them with dirty sneakers and a concert tee. You don't have to be overly fancy, just put together, neat, and clean.