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Clothes for Men - Italy

Are dress pants and dress shoes needed for anything in Rome or Amalfi/Positano? Specifically in the nicer restaurants? My husband isn’t sure what to pack. Can he wear nice golf type shorts and nice flip flops or are flip flops not ok?

Posted by
1878 posts

Flip flops do not seem advisable, nor shorts in a nice restaurant. You may have a different definition of a nice restaurant than I do, though. I don't mean to sound snarky, but even in the U.S. restaurants where flip flops are OK would have to be pretty far down the hierarchy of niceness.

Posted by
200 posts

I’m in NY and have been to places like St Barth’s and other resort places we’ve been nice flip flops (not rubber) was fine. I’ve booked some nice restaurants in Positano. I’ve packed sun dresses but just wondering what men typically wear at night.

Posted by
8632 posts

nice flip flops

Is there such a thing?

Seriously, flip flops are maybe only slightly better than bare foot for walking around Rome, or any other cobblestone surface.

not sure what 'nicer' restaurant means to you, but I suspect he would stand out from the crowd wearing flip flops

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Joe. Noted no flip flops at night. Are pants a must or are nice shorts ok?

Posted by
21724 posts

People will tell you to wear what you want because it makes no difference -- maybe it doesn't. But my attitude is that I like to dress a notch better than the average tourist. Always decent pants, especially in the evening, shoes, and a golf shirt or sometime similar with a nice collar. Haven't used this phrase in a long time, "You cannot avoid looking like a tourist, just don't look like a stupid American tourist."

Posted by
11253 posts

Pants at night. Positano is different than a Caribbean resort. No flip flops at night.

Posted by
4670 posts

As someone who is practically always in shorts I will not wear them out to dinner no matter how nice they are.

As for flip flops, in my opinion they're for the beach or around the pool. The idea of walking around Rome in flip flops makes me nervous at the thought of it. Not only that but the noise is irritating as hell!

Posted by
2716 posts

Probably pants at nicer restaurants at dinner. Doesn't have to be "dress pants" - chinos or regular pants are fine. At hipper places, nice jeans are fine. No flip flops. If there's a nice mens sandal thats not a flip flop, go for it, but I'm not familiar with these shoes.
Shorts if worn "stylishly" could also be fine - slim cut shorts, with a button up shirt or sweater or something, and loafers. But not like...baggy cargo shorts and a t-shirt.

Again, this is for dinner at nicer restaurants - for general daytime touring wear shorts, flip flops, whatever you like. And he COULD wear those to dinner (generally there's no one stopping you), but I'd bet he would feel out of place. I personally don't like to feel out of place and try to dress to the norms of the place I'm in. I think it also gets you better service (should waiters judge based on dress? Of course not. Do some? Yes.)

Posted by
855 posts

We travel to Europe in the fall. My hubby wears his golf pants at night and shoes/socks. Flip flops seem to me to be uncomfortable or unsafe on the cobblestone all over Italy. The golf pants my hubby wears pack so well that he prefers those to any others. He would not go out to eat at night in shorts.

Have a Great Trip!
Mimi

Posted by
2560 posts

Scroll to the bottom and see the dress code for this very good restaurant in Rome https://www.ristorantenino.it/. I think that is a good guide. Flip flops, no. As for long pants I wore nice jeans as it was cool (not to dinner), but when it warmed up my prAna stretch Zion pants fit the bill. Looks smart, cool, washes and dries quickly.

Posted by
1179 posts

Fishermen’s sandals or huraches would be appropriate and cool for hot feet

No to flip flops

Posted by
8406 posts

My husband started wearing dark solid-color golf pants when in cities a few years ago. He says they are very comfortable and look fine in nicer restaurants. He also bought Italian leather sandals that are nice enough for evenings. He’s from France so his Euro-appropriate radar is second nature. The Amalfi coast Is different from the Caribbean. Bon voyage and have a great time.

Rome has a lot of ancient, uneven road surfaces. I think flip-flops could be dangerous. You need good support for your feet.
Dress the way RS does. Khaki or gray pants, shirt with a collar, you get the idea. (Nothing that says, "Rob Me."). Be respectful and modest when visiting churches.

Posted by
173 posts

Another vote for golf pants and collared shirts. No flip flops. My hubby wears Skechers slipons.

Posted by
849 posts

The advice usually given is “Wear what you like and stop worrying about it,” but there are two footnotes: a) carry something nice in reserve for unexpected opportunities (or perhaps buy locally), and, b) there are practical dress codes for some sites, sights, and restaurants and you should be prepared (or not plan to visit them).

I am in shorts all the time, in all weather. My travel shirts have collars. I have one (rarely two) easy-care long pants for weather and dress up. I have a light weight travel blazer for dress up. However, I’m screwed if I need dressy shoes.

Royal Robbins Active Traveler shorts and pants. Costco poly polos. Altra shoes. Travel blazer by Eddie Bauer. And a 15 year-old Cashmere sweater that works as a layer and for dress up.

Posted by
200 posts

We were there July 4th so we are already home. As for clothing, really anything goes. I saw people in flip flops, sneakers and touristy clothes, you name it. It was SUPER hot that week. I wore flip flops to dinner and so did my husband. Honestly it didn't matter. Same thing in Positano, I even had shoes made there and they were flip flops and wore those. I'm pretty sure we looked nice and appropriate at all times.

Posted by
5786 posts

Nice to hear from you with post-trip feedback on your pre-trip flip flop and shorts question.

Interesting to hear that flip flops fit into the Italian scene in spite of the generally "don't do it" forum sentiment. I'm wondering if flip flops and more casual dress to match weather conditions are a generational thing with younger travelers more open to changing dress norms?

Posted by
200 posts

It was funny when we left our Colosseum tour I thought we would have time to stop at our hotel and shower before dinner. We didn't. I felt so embarrassed about showing up to dinner in shorts and sneakers after a tour, but we did. And others showed up like that too. So I didn't feel so bad after and no one saw my shorts or sneakers under the table any way!

Posted by
44 posts

That's actually a thing: table top dressing! Looking well put together from the waist up....or mid-chest level for a vertically-challenged person like myself. Works well if you're traveling light and have a nice scarf or fun necklace.

I think what had folks tripped up on this thread was the concept of flip-flops. As I read your post, I knew exactly what you meant: nice, thong style sandals in leather, or more substantial than rubber thongs, aka shower shoes. Envious that you had sandals made for you, I've always wanted to do that. Maybe when we finally visit the Amalfi Coast sometime.

After vacationing in St. Barts and Anguilla, my husband's go-to outfit to a nicer restaurant in the hot weather, in the States or on the islands, is a pair of black silk shorts and a nice silk or linen, collared shirt. But even in the summertime, he probably wouldn't wear them out in Europe and would switch to lightweight slacks for the evening.

Posted by
200 posts

I actually wore my Tory Burch rubber flip flops in Rome. I didn't have my shoes made until we went to Positano! But they were beige and didn't look like cheap Old Navy flip flops so I went with it. And yes, my husband had leather flip flops also not Old Navy!