Milan is known as Italy’s fashion capital, so this is the place to make the sidewalk your runway. What may seem like dressing up at home, is the norm in Milan. You’ll want to pack light because you will definitely do a lot of shopping. Typically on an everyday basis, people dress ‘smart casual’. It is always style over comfort. Below are a few styling tips to prepare for your study abroad trip.

Dress in Layers

The weather in Italy can vary, so wearing layers can be fashionable and keep you warm when it gets cooler, especially at night. You’ll want to mix and match, so choose a timeless capsule wardrobe with neutral colors. Layering is perfect to elevate any basic outfit. Here are some versatile wardrobe items to bring:

  • Button-down/collared shirts
  • Silk tops
  • Turtlenecks
  • Basic tank tops
  • Bodysuits
  • Blazers

Bring a Large Tote Bag

A tote bag is fashionable, durable, and multipurpose. You can fit everything you need for the day in a tote bag, whether that be for work, school, shopping, or just a walk around Milan. Carrying a backpack around can be a hassle, and you are more likely to get pickpocketed with it. Try to find a tote bag with a zipper and many pockets, which is perfect for when you ride the metro since you can keep your eyes on it at all times. Here are some things you can pack in your tote bag, and you will still have room for more:

  • Laptop/iPad
  • Water Bottle
  • Wallet
  • Portable Charger
  • Headphones
  • Mask

Leave These at Home

  • Flip Flops
    • Italians find flip-flops unprofessional, and are strictly used for the beach. Birkenstocks are sometimes frowned upon by Italians, also. Instead, consider bringing polished sandals, loafers, or sneakers instead. 
  • Athleisure 
    • You may be used to wearing athletic shorts, leggings, or sweatpants to run errands or to go to school, but in Italy that is a big No-No! 
  • Baseball Hats
    • Hats scream “tourist” and you will probably get a lot of stares. 
  • Avoid Clothing with Writing
    • Don’t bring your university merch, or sweatshirts with logos because it will make you stick out in a bad way. 
  • Revealing Clothes
    • Italians dress more conservatively overall, often staying away from jeans with holes, crop tops, and shorts. 

If you forget anything, don’t worry because Milan has plenty of trendy stores on every corner. As you immerse into Italian culture, it is important to respect their fashion customs. With these tips, you can pack an appropriate wardrobe that allows you to dress like a real Italian.

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