Ten Insights into Italian Culture: #6 – Clothing in Italy
Italy is world famous for its fine couture, made-in-Italy-clothed supermodels, and top-tier fashion designers. But that’s not what we’ll talk about here. Here, we’ll discuss appropriate and inappropriate attire for everyday life in Italy.
Here are the rules:
- All: do not wear sandals with socks
- Men: do not wear white socks with dress shoes (an instant deal-breaker if you want to date an Italian woman)
- All: do not wear sports jerseys at formal events
- Men: do not wear tank tops or shorts; especially not short shorts!
- Women: avoid clothing with short hemlines (above knee) and décolletages when visiting churches
- Men: for occasions like work, romantic dates, or official functions, you must wear a collared shirt
- Men: do not wear sandals!
Italians: any other suggestions? Drop them here!
Other than those taboos, all kinds of clothing, hem-lines, and décolletages are generally embraced, as long as they are weather appropriate. Going out with weather-inappropriate clothing, such as sneakers or sandals in the winter or without a jacket in the spring and fall will earn you scornful stares and may even mobilize some of the locals around you to approach and confidently inform you that you are inappropriately dressed. You see, in Italy as well, it takes a village to raise a child.