Trying to Be Stylish Abroad

Italy outfits escape live travel

I consider myself a planner. I love to plan for trips. I make clothing lists, site-seeing lists, hotel/stay detail lists, and detailed itineraries before all of my trips. I wasn’t able to plan for my Italy trip nearly as much as I would have liked since I had a final due 3 days before leaving and I was more worried about Lar than figuring out travel details. Nevertheless, I put a decent amount of studying time thinking about what clothes I’d want to wear in Italy. I established a color palette (navy blue, white, and neon green) and was able to fit all of my clothes in a small-ish hiking backpack.

Even with a limited wardrobe, I imaged that I would be flitting about Italy looking elegant, non-touristy and well-traveled. Ha! How naive I was! How did I think $10 Old Navy tanks would equal elegance?! Also, why did I think summer would be magically cooler in Italy?!

I mentioned how hot I was in my Venice post. Well, it didn’t get any cooler in Florence, Rome or Tivoli. So I spent most of my vacation trying to stay as cool as possible. I only wore my jeans on the plane and I only wore my ankle denim in the mornings. Otherwise, I was in tank tops and shorts 90 percent of the time. The only exception was the one dress I packed that became a travel favorite:

Italy outfits favorite dress
 The dress is from Lulu’s two years ago and has pretty much fallen apart since I wore and washed it 5 times in Italy. Still, it was great because it didn’t wrinkle easily and there was the NVSS (no visible sweat stain) factor – I know, I’m sorry, it’s gross.

Accessory details: Fjallraven backpack (my new favorite bag) • Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses • r-ki-tekt necklace • Stella & Dot scarf (I bought a matching one for Lar)

When Troy met up with me in Florence, I tried to make an effort and wore a skirt – by midday I had changed back into shorts. Sorry, Troy!

Italy outfit neon green and navy blue
Outfit details: Bobi tank from Squash Blossom Boutique • Asos lace skirt (Lar has the coral version) • Falsi Gioielli necklace purchased in Florence (we’ll be blogging about that wonderful shop shortly) • Birkenstocks purchased in Venice

If I had one outfit to sum up my Italy wardrobe it would be, I’m ashamed to say, the one below: a tank top and shorts. I look like I’m supposed to be on the beach – not exploring an Italian city – but I wasn’t ashamed at the time, just really, really hot and sweaty.

Italy Outifts shorts and a tee
 Outfit details: C & C California tank • Target belt (old) • Paige Denim shorts

Below is the $10 Old Navy tank I alluded to earlier. I packed one in white and navy blue. They’re super soft and perfect for hot weather, but I felt so. . . American wearing them.

Italy Outfits white tank
 Outfit details: J.Crew denim • TOMs shoes • Jami bracelet • Campers sandals from Sq/Ft Boutique

I wore my trusty Havaianas the whole time I was at the villa in Tivoli. It was heavenly – and not stylish as all 😉

Italy outfits flippy flops

If I had to do it all again (packing for the trip I mean), I would have invested in some non torn-up shorts, packed more summer dresses, and purchased a pair of comfy leather sandals ahead of time. Also, I would have packed about 100 gallons of bug repellent. All things to keep in mind for my return trip someday!


Dearest Lar,

Even though you were officially convalescing on the trip, you were about a million times more stylishly dressed than I was. I wish I had thought to purchase some knit summer dresses and flow-y blouses like you did. I know you never believe me when I say/write this, but you are infinitely more stylish than I am. Next time I’ll just let you buy and pack for me, okay?

Love you so!

xoxo, Cath


italy outfits sisters

14 thoughts on “Trying to Be Stylish Abroad”

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I look terrible when I travel for long stretches. I basically back as many T-shirts and changes of underwear as I can, along with sensible shoes and one cardigan for when I’m cold. 😛

  2. haha i don’t blame you. i think i visited italy around the same time last year and i couldn’t believe how hot it was. so many places didn’t have AC either. took that for granted for sure.

  3. Cath, what you say is toottallly untrue! You are way more fashionable! And you forget the amount of time I spent in my pug-patterned pj shorts (only one pic from the trip to show my outfit-of-choice ;D).
    Also, remember the villa was deliciously cooool compared to Venice or Florence or Rome — if I had traipsed around Venice for hours in 90 degree heat and terrible humidity, I would NOT have looked chic for a minute and there would be very VSS ;D

    I am so glad we managed to get to the villa. I think my heart would have broken if I didn’t get to see you until Christmas.

    Still — miss you like mad/that wasn’t long enough!!!


  4. I love that your colour palette was navy, white, and neon green! The first time I went to Rome, I was silly enough to wear heels sightseeing in the middle of summer. I had to buy a pair of warm weather clogs (!!!) just to navigate back through the cobblestone.

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