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How to Dress in Rome?

Rome, Italy is the world's 4th most important center for fashion in the world and is widely recognised as a world fashion capital. Which leaves the question, is there a dress code?

When in Rome, dress like an Italian. 

Wondering what fashions to wear on your trip to Rome? You're not alone. Many people that visit Rome are not prepared for the Italian zest for well fit and even tailored clothing.  The close fit will have you fitting in closer to the citizens. That isn't to say that it's all the streets of Rome are paved in gold or are extensions of the fashion runway.  Italians also love their denim. Jeans and denim jackets are all the rage. But beware that designer brands are a big YES!  The younger crowd will be wearing fashionable and stylish jeans from around the world.

It may be a hot summer day in Rome but it will be an even hotter day in hades when The Vatican and many other Popular Roman tourist destinations allow you to visit without complying with their strict dress policies. As an enlightened visitor, covered legs and shoulders while visiting places like the Vatican with help you on your path. That isn't to say capris are out of the question just make sure they hang well below the knee. Do leave your shorts in the suitcase with your flowing lightweight dresses for lounging in your suite while you relax after a long day in the city.  Exposed midriffs and cleavage might also alert the Vatican Moda Polizia!

photo taken on the streets of rome

Your feet will hate you! That is unless you remember that the in Rome the streets are made with cobblestone. The classic look of cobblestone streets is easy on the eyes but will make your feet wish they stayed home. Thin soled shoes are going to be of little help.

Wearing low shoes or sandals that you have already broke in and you are comfortable in will help your feet get accustomed to the walking environment. Also, try to avoid open toes shoes on cobblestone. Plus what's better than shopping for the best shoes in world while you are in Italy? You guessed right, wearing them home on feet that are not painfully screaming at you while you walk between terminals at the airport.


When you make reservations (or not)  for eating out in Rome will likely be a bit more formal than in some parts of the world. A nice pair of trousers or skirt and a fashionable top will go well with your new shoes.  In the winter you will want to pack a few warm clothes.

The temperatures can leave you feeling a little chillier and rainier than you might have expected. The temperatures can get frigid on a cold day so be prepared with some nice sweaters, scarves, rain resistant shoes and a coat to match.  Don't forget your umbrella. You will need it. It doesn't often snow in Rome but it does rain sometimes a lot.

What is the dress code?

"Some people may think that the Vatican has very strict dress codes, but throughout Italy you will find many up-market restaurants and bars that won't allow customers to enter if they are not wearing long-pants and an appropiate shirt."
Read More: The Dress Code for Visiting the Vatican in Rome

Plan on visiting St Peter's Basilica?

"There is a dress code if you are to visit St. Peter's Basilica. Shorts are not allowed for men or women, Tank tops, bare shoulders or short skirts are not permitted. Dress appropriately or they will turn you away from the entrance. We saw many people being turned away for improper attire."
Read More: The Dress Code for Visiting the Vatican in Rome

Wearing high heel boots in Rome?

I would consider this a big NO, sure a great pair of sexy boots can go with just about everything from jeans, leggings, dresses and skirts but they're just not easy to walk in over the cobblestone. If you must wear boots I would suggest wearing flat boots as it's least likely to get stuck in the cracks of the streets. Before I forget, ladies...try not to wear suede boots because you really don't want to ruin them in the pouring rain.

You should also avoid wearing

Shorts or any kind of suggestive attire, Flip Flops, Shorts

How to not look like a tourist

Follow the steps above in addition to not wearing stockings under long skirts or pants, loud nail polish or short shorts. You should generally avoid dressing like a manikin from a store window; do mix and match.

Last but not least...

Do leave empty space in your bags so you will have plenty of room to buy some things while you are there.

Dressing for a trip to Rome isn't too complicated. Just be mindful of the dress codes, weather and the fashionable colors for the season and yearly trend and you will fit in as well.

Pictures of people dressed in rome

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