Let’s be honest! None of us and of any single person visiting Rome eagers to appear cheap, inappropriate and neglected in front of the most unforgiving style oracles which Italians represent, by wearing whatever is fished out of the luggage.
We perceive, we smell, we embrace timeless grace and elegance when walking in Rome, be it the temple of shopping like Condotti or the Colosseum: it seems like you have to dressed properly, even when it is about visiting unassuming places: the city irradiates glamour and everyone needs to be aware of it.
You can be extremely practical, normcore or sometimes exaggerated: it is all fine as long as you merge properly within the neoclassic scenario.
Let’s analyze piece by piece, what could be ideal to wear in Rome and what is a massive, ever-present NO.
Shorts are cool for man and women: cotton, linen, large or stretchy, this item is a staple during your summer stroll in the eternal city, however make always sure that length reaches the knee and choose linen and
soft materials over plain cotton and synthetics fibers.
If shorts are simple and their fabric supple, you will encounter no issues at the entrance for museums, restaurants and high-end hotels: in case your shorts are checkered, printed or, even worse, worn off with large chunks of flesh popping out, then rejection will be the norm during your visit.
Vests, waistcoat, perforated, glowing, transparent and all sorts of “just-out-of-disco” feeling are severely forbidden and perceived as quite distasteful from the surrounding people.
Italians are very seductive and glamorous especially for the evening, but overexposing your arms, legs, calf and so on under the sunlight, it is a major mark for tackiness and inelegant attitude, as they say “una cafonata”, something beyond gross.
Minimal silhouette dress, tennis trousers, knee-length skirts especially if in neutral colors are the best compromise for tourists as this kind of
attire leaves you fresh, comfortable and smart at the same time.
If you think dress code is strict in the city of Rome, you have no idea what this means in the Vatican, Vatican museums and its annexed suburbs.
Nor that this applies only to any human mortal entering St. Peter’s
kingdom: there is a countless list of celebrities who, upon visiting or while attending ceremonies at the Vatican, have been asked to leave and get dressed more appropriately.
A very famous sport star had the cathedral booked for the christening of his son while wearing a super-flamboyant baroque Versace jumpsuit which was immediately pinpointed and reported to the decorum authority presiding the entrance of any Vatican premises, obliging the superstar to abruptly leave and come back with a more subtle and discreet outfit, same fate endured by another A-lister who had her heels reported as potentially damaging for the mosaic areas and alabaster intarsia.
The major guideline for Vatican dress-code is discretion, all garments must be characterized by rigorous colours and fit: you are entering an area where potentially the Pope can spot you hence it is considered as if you might meet the most relevant representative of the Christian God on earth, you are not at the Superball or Wimbledon!
Italians, especially in cities like Rome, are never up for “causal” attire but “business casual attire” instead.
Polos, classic trousers, linen shirts, skirts and other light fabrics are quintessential for the Italians especially during summer time: get aligned and go by the flow. Socks in Rome, please!
We must convene that socks, unless they are the sporty ancle-length ones from Nike or Adidas, so much in use by the Z generation and millennials alike, have to be covered all time.
That strange combo of slides and socks, crocs and socks and other evil-looking alternatives can seriously jeopardize your night out, especially if you wish to mingle with the hoity-toity locals.
Sneakers as well, need to be comfortable, and not too chunky as once again, you will have a lot to walk and a pair of comfortable shoes will be the biggest blessing at certain point.
For the evening, exaggerate! Bold accessories, ethno-jewelry, loads of vibrant colors: everyone adores to be spot while wearing important pieces expensive or from bric-a-brac, as long as they are noticeable from the satellite.
Above all, be your simply self: discrete, polite and with manners and pretty much you will be welcomed everywhere, except for the Vatican where also answering cell-phone with a strong tone of voice can get you a prompt exit from the premises: oh, the dangerously beauty of the spirit!