If you’re planning to visit the eternal city of Rome, get excited because this city is super beautiful. Not only is this Italian capital a cosmopolitan city but it also has a reputation for being a highly fashionable city.

Having lived in Europe since 2017, I have visited many of the continent’s iconic cities but there’s something special about Rome. It should be a part of every single Italian itinerary and also every Euro trip.

Rome is a mesmerizing blend of ancient history and modern allure. Moreover, it is super stylish. As you plan your trip to this cosmopolitan city, packing the right wardrobe is essential to ensure both comfort and style.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to wear in Rome, with tips to help you make the most of this city with ease.

Embrace the Italian Style

Pincio Terrace - Rome viewpoints
Pincio Terrace – Rome viewpoints

Rome and most of the Italian cities have a bit of a dressier sense of style. Italians like to dress smartly, and even their casual attire isn’t so casual. So, you wouldn’t see people in sweatpants, or sneakers which is a common sight in Germany, the Netherlands, and also the USA.

If you remember I mentioned in my guide about what to wear in Lisbon that city has a hippie chic style, Rome’s style is fashionable chic.

My Red Vespa Ride for the Tour
My Red Vespa Ride for the Tour in Rome

The difference is, that I wore loose-fitting hippie clothes in Lisbon, but in Rome, I wore better form-fitting dresses. No, they don’t have to be extremely tight, but flattering.

Italian women and men both are renowned for their impeccable sense of fashion. When in Rome, embracing Italian style can help you blend in while looking chic.

Dresses are a great option, and bright colors are a fantastic way to reflect the vibrant atmosphere of the city. However, a general rule is to balance style with practicality.

Let’s Understand Rome’s Weather

Colosseum & Fiat Cinquecento - Vespa tour in Rome
Colosseum & Fiat Cinquecento – Rome

Rome is a warm city with many sunny days. Winter isn’t as cold as in other European cities, spring and autumn are pleasant and summer is warm. Now my thoughts are biased because I live in Germany where it is always very cold.

So here’s a temperature chart to help you understand Rome’s weather.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High (°C)11.913.015.217.722.826.930.330.626.521.415.912.6
Low (°C)3.13.55.27.511.615.318.018.315.211.36.94.2
Source: Rome, Italy – Weather forecast
Monthly Temperatures in Rome

Dressing for the Summer Heat (Mid-Day)

Me with Linen Pants to beat the heat in Rome
Me with Linen Pants to beat the heat in Rome

During Rome’s summer months, temperatures can soar, making lightweight fabrics and breathable materials essential.

If you’re heading out during the peak heat of the day – noon to 3 pm, then avoid dark colors during mid-day because they will retain the heat.

Instead, opt for linen dresses and linen pants in lighter colors like white, beige, and pastels, which are perfect for the warm weather of the summer months.

Dressing for the Winter / Spring and Autumn

Terrazza del Pincio, Rome in Winter
Terrazza del Pincio, Rome in Winter via Unsplash

Considering Rome is still reasonably warm in spring and autumn, you would carry everything that is mentioned in this list except add another later. For example, if you want to wear a dress, then you would just add stockings or leggings and a nice jacket. Could be a linen jacket or a leather jacket, based on the season.

In winter, you can carry more long-sleeved blouses and pants. Rome doesn’t have the coldness to wear parkas or thick trench coats but you can carry smart semi-formal jackets to stay warm. A scarf will complete your look and keep your throat and chest warm.

Evening Wear and Dining Out

Evening Out in Rome - What to Wear
Evening Out in Rome – What to Wear

Rome’s nightlife is super fun and this city offers many opportunities for dining at a nice restaurant or bar hopping.

I would always go back to my room for a shower and put on a nice dress to go out for the evening. Remember – that Rome’s style is a bit dressier than other cities so bring all your nice dresses because this is the city where you can wear them.

While dark clothes didn’t make sense during the mid-day heat, but can transition your look from day to night effortlessly. Bring a light jacket because it tends to get a tad cold at night.

If you are going to a special restaurant, then don’t wear casual clothes. Instead, elevate your look for a more refined setting.

Comfortable Footwear for Cobblestone Streets

My deceptively comfortable croc sandals in Rome
My deceptively comfortable croc sandals in Rome

Trust me, when you are in Rome, you will do a lot of walking, and Rome’s cobblestone streets are picturesque but can be challenging to walk.

So what do you wear to be comfortable but also not look super casual? The idea is to be comfortable but also to look good.

I had my Croc sandals that looked deceptively chic, unlike the usual Croc clogs. These were super comfortable and also airy. The day I went to the Vatican, I opted for canvas shoes instead. They add a bit of height and are super comfortable that I was able to climb on top of viewpoints with ease. (There are many viewpoints in Rome, btw!)

Leave your flip-flops at home and opt for comfortable walking shoes or comfortable sandals with a rubber sole. If you like flat shoes then look for ones that have “arch support” as they offer stability and comfort for the long walks you’ll be doing.

Respecting Dress Codes at Religious Sites

On top of St. Peter’s Basilica - What I wore in Vatican City
On top of St. Peter’s Basilica – What I wore in Vatican City

Rome has more than 900 churches and you will definitely end up visiting some of them. Not all churches enforce a strict dress code but the ones in the Vatican City do. So, when visiting religious like the Sistine Chapel (which is a part of the Vatican Museums) and St. Peter’s Basilica, it’s important to adhere to the strict dress code.

Long-sleeve tops, linen pants, and light jackets are appropriate choices. Avoid tank tops, mini skirts, and short shorts to show respect in these holy places.

Jacket for Every Season

Depending on which month you’re visiting Rome, your jacket thickness will vary. So in summer, bring a thin jacket but in winter you can bring a thicker one like a leather jacket, which goes with most of the dresses.

I visited in June and I wore a plain black light jacket and that was more than enough during the evenings.

Sun Protection

At the Colosseum - Baseball Hat for sun protection in Rome
At the Colosseum – Baseball Hat for sun protection in Rome

Don’t even think of going to Rome without sun protection. Sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are necessary.

A straw hat or baseball hat is a good idea to protect yourself from the sun while adding a stylish touch to your outfit.

Chic Bag

My small leather backpack - Vatican City
My small leather backpack – Vatican City

I will be honest, I hate carrying womanly bags no matter how expensive or high-end or chic they are. Especially the ones that are to be carried on one arm or shoulder that bring one arm down in a non-symmetric way. (Not good for the body in the long run)

Instead, I like small leather backpacks that aren’t so casual but can look dressy too, without looking too womanly. The one I have is a small backpack that also converts into a small crossbody bag. It kept my belongings secure and I could even fit my water bottle!

Water Bottle

Now this isn’t about dressing up but I’d like to mention this as an accessory.

Rome has a lot of free drinking water springs and you should never buy bottled water in this city because that only increases plastic trash (and a waste of money). So, bring a reusable water bottle and keep refilling to hydrate yourself.

Quick Recap – What to Wear in Rome

  • Personal style is key. Don’t be afraid to add your own flair while considering comfort and local customs.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Absolutely essential for a pleasant experience.
  • Linen Dresses and Linen Pants: Perfect for keeping cool.
  • Strict Dress Code: Remember to cover up when visiting religious sites & dress formally while visiting fancy restaurants.
  • Light Jacket: Handy for cooler evenings.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy everything Rome has to offer while looking stylish and feeling comfortable. Buon viaggio!


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