How To Dress Like A Local In Italy

By Simone Sydel··  6 min read
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Warm weather, delicious food, and happy hour aperitivos while enjoying the picturesque sceneries – is there anything not to love about summer in Italy?

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Italy is a place of culture, beauty, and tradition. This is why artists, artisans, and designers, among others, have always known how to find inspiration in this scenic country and capture it in their creations. Another aspect that makes the country stand out is its fashion sense. Italy has always been at the forefront of fashion, and Italians seem to look put-together at all times, even if they’re only doing a quick run to the store.

Therefore, if you're lucky enough to be spending some time in the country this season, you'll want to make sure you pack the right items to fit in with the locals. So, from a couple of fashion staples like chunky gold earrings to comfy espadrilles and floral dresses, here's our guide to dressing like a local in Italy this summer.

The Floral Mini Dress

The floral mini dress is one of the few staples you must have when casually strolling the narrow streets of Positano. A casual yet stylish dress like this will be the best-in-class option for summer day trips, and you will also fit right in with the rest of the fashionistas.

NA-KD Boho Flower Chiffon Mini Dress, $55 | MERGIM Magda Mini Dress, $475

Strappy Midi Dress

Italian coastal towns are the destination to be at in the summertime, but they’re also known for being way too hot; therefore, a strappy midi dress is an excellent choice to keep you cool and stylish at the same time. You won't go wrong if you opt for a plain or colorful one with fun details like ruffles or tiers. Pair it with a delicious Aperol Spritz by the water, and you’ll likely be mistaken for a local bambina.

Lulus Party in Paris Tie-Strap Midi Dress, $60 | Stories Strappy Tiered Midi Dress, $150

Two-Piece Maxi Dress

Another great look for the Mediterranean summertime style involves an easy and breathable maxi dress. Or, for a fun spin on the classic maxi dress, you can opt for an on-trend floral two-piece maxi dress instead, and enjoy the best combination of style and comfort.

Lulus Trancoso Floral Two-Piece Maxi Dress, $70 | ASTR Palace Dress, $168

Linen Everything

Linen is one of the most popular fabrics in Europe, especially Italy, as it’s perfect for the hot weather due to its comfort, breathability, and moisture-managing properties. It also looks stylish and pairs well with everything, making it an excellent choice for a relaxed summer outfit for exploring the town or enjoying happy hour aperitivos by the water.

Rove Designs Safari Linen Shirt, $90 | Reformation Pacome Linen Dress, $248

Flowy, Wide-Leg Pants

Flowy, wide-leg pants are an excellent option for a summery outfit in Italy. They’re comfy, chic, and flattering and can easily be dressed up or toned down, depending on the occasion. Pair them with a cute crop top or tank for a casual day look or a silk blouse for a more sophisticated outfit on a night out.

Abercrombie & Fitch Tailored Linen-Blend Wide Leg Pants, $85 | L'Academie Comilly Pant, $238

Crop Top

Crop tops are the epitome of Italian summer style. They’re flirty, feminine, and pair well with everything from denim shorts to flowy skirts. On the other hand, if you want to go for a more boho-chic look, pair a ruffled crop top with some wide-leg pants or a maxi skirt.

NA-KD Buonalima Ruffle Puff Sleeve Top, $35 | Sancia Mara Top, $130

One-Piece Swimsuit

When preparing for your Italian summer holiday, there shouldn't be anything more vital than the ideal beach outfit. If you want to illustrate the top-notch Mediterranean appearance, opt for one-piece swimwear with an open back in a neutral color or a floral design and some earrings to make you look effortlessly chic as you enjoy your much-deserved sunbathing.

Free People Solid High Cut One-Piece Swimsuit, $90 | Frankies Bikinis x GIGI HADID Fawn One Piece, $185

Hand-Woven Bags

A straw tote bag is timeless, and this piece will undoubtedly become your favorite summer accessory due to its functionality and style. You can use it to carry your beach essentials or as a market bag when buying some freshly picked fruits or vegetables from the local farmers' market.

BILLABONG Bright Side Woven Carry Tote, $56 | Stories Large Woven Straw Tote, $99

Braided Silk Scarves

One popular way to wear a silk scarf in Italy while keeping your hair away from your face in the scorching heat is to have it braided into your locks. This style will give you the ultimate Italian summer vibes and have you embodying the local aesthetic in no time. But besides looking ultra-stylish, that quality Italian silk scarf will last for many years, making it an excellent investment for your wardrobe.

Lily Silk Floral Chic, $69 | Dolce & Gabbana Silk Twill Scarf, $245

Chunky Gold Hoops

Chunky gold hoops are not only an accessory item that's popular in Italy (seriously, everyone in Italy wears them!), but they are one of the staples in a classic Mediterranean wardrobe. They go with everything, from your beach outfit to an effortless look for a day in the city, to a sophisticated evening look, and even a party dress. Chunky gold hoops instantly elevate any outfit, making you look like a true Italian diva, no matter the occasion.

NA-KD Gold Plated Chubby Hoops, $26 | PD Paola Pirouette Gold Earrings, $74

Strappy Heeled Sandals

The strappy heeled sandal design is one style that can dress up a casual outfit or simply be worn with a sundress to tone down the entire look. Besides that, the strappy design makes the sandal much more comfortable and will make sure your feet aren't hurting from exploring around all day long.

NA-KD Strappy Block Heels, $64 | Reformation Gigi Strappy Mid Heel Sandal, $248


Last but not least, no summer outfit in Italy is complete without a pair of espadrilles. These classic shoes are comfortable and stylish and go with everything from denim shorts to flowy summer dresses. They also come in various styles, so depending on your preference, you can opt for flat espadrilles, slides, or even wedges. Bonus points if they are handcrafted locally!

Manebi La Havana Organic Linen Flat Espadrilles, $114 | Castañer Carina Wedge Espadrilles, $135

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, dressing like a local in Italy during summertime is all about being comfortable and stylish at the same time. So next time you're packing for an Italian getaway, make sure to bring along some of these essential items to help you look and feel like a true Mediterranean goddess.

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