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Ladies - capsule wardrobe for Rome in October?

I haven’t been to Europe since 2019 and I have never been to Rome. A little rusty on packing. I am looking for suggestions on how to dress for the weather that time of year. I looked up the typical temperatures and it says 70 during the day and 60 at night. I live in Florida where it is hot year around so I don’t even think I know what 70 feels like!

Posted by
27431 posts

Monthly averages are really not sufficient to guide packing, especially during shoulder season. It's also the case that a lot of the temperature averages you can find on the internet are for periods ending in 2000 or 2010, and weather has gotten weirder since then.

You can find actual, historical, day-by-day weather statistics on the website timeanddate.com. I like to look at data for at least the three most recent years; five would be better.

Posted by
1879 posts

A raincoat and layering is my secret. I take a sweater for additional warmth if need. I usually pack a couple leggings and skirts to wear together and a variety of elbow length cotton tops in a variety of colors to mix and match. I like J Jill for comfortable travel clothes.

Posted by
16110 posts

I know our preferred fashion choices aren't for everyone but we took nothing but a couple pairs of nice jeans, some short-sleeved shirts (most which were sink-washable/quick drying), broken-in athletic shoes and light jackets (1 each) to Rome in mid October some years back and did just fine. We aren't into posh restaurants, though, so if you are, you might want something a bit dressier for evening.

Yes, I'm a hopeless tomboy.

Posted by
907 posts

I was in Rome in October a few years ago, and it can still get hot at that time of year. 70 is a warm summer day. You would be fine in either shorts or lightweight pants and a short sleeve shirt. If it rains you will be fine in long sleeves and a light jacket. I got caught in a thunderstorm that was accompanied by heavy rain for a brief period, but then it cleared up and returned to a warm sunny day so be prepared for variable weather. Layering is key. I packed short sleeve shirts and a couple of lightweight, long sleeve shirts I could thrown on as needed, and I just carried one in my daypack. They were the type of fabric that looked fine if a little scrunched up.

Posted by
6101 posts

I was in Rome at the very end of October of 2019. It was sunny and what I would call somewhat (mid 80s) most days. However, I wouldn't base your packing on my experience, and I also wouldn't go completely by seasonal averages. For example, we were in Sicily in May and we were cold and the temperature was a good 25 degrees warmer in my home state of Minnesota.

For our trip to Rome, I had a raincoat that I also use as a windbreaker, a cardigan, a pullover fleece, one long sleeved top, skirts, short sleeved tops and dresses and lightweight pants. I also bring leggings, one full length and one capri length. I like to wear them under skirts or dresses in the mornings or evenings, and take them off and roll them up in my purse when I get warm.

Posted by
8645 posts

You will also want to think about how much you can bring. I've always felt comfortable checking a bag and then having a carry-on pack as well. This year, no checked bag due to the baggage crisis in Europe airports and I am having to be very selective about what I am thinking of bringing. I've been trying out different outfits around the house making sure that I am comfortable in them and that they wash/hold up well.

Posted by
2395 posts

I find it’s much easier to pack to be prepared for cold weather than hot weather. Just add a couple layers. So pack what would be comfortable to you for 70-90 degrees, then add a lightweight sweater, a pair of leggings to wear under a skirt, a long sleeve shirt. Wear layers on the plane (pants, t shirt, long sleeve, jacket) on the plane. Always bring a lightweight rain shell. If you find you need an additional layer, buy it there. There will be no shortage of shops!

Posted by
1259 posts

Ladies on the forum often describe a "capsule wardrobe" as clothing items that will assemble into a variety of stylish outfits, as if by magic, all without thinking about the combinatorial possibilities. I tend to think of my wardrobe as tools in a multi-functional kit. That they randomly combine to make me presentable is coincidental.

Posted by
423 posts

Hello, weather can change quickly in Rome- so my advice would be to bring an umbrella, a cardigan jumper, and clothes that you can layer and mix and match, as well as very comfortable shoes/trainers. It should still be warm at that time of year during the day, but you will have some cool nights. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
7463 posts

Hi Lori, it will be so nice to be traveling again! I even got a little teary when I stepped into Cremona’s main piazza in June.

I always just take a carry on suitcase with four outfits, plus a warmer shirt for the plane since I’m always cold on planes. I also pack my black Columbia hip length raincoat; if it’s a cooler month, I add a black cardigan sweater. Regardless of the month, I bring a long sleeve micro-thin thermal scoop neck “32 degree” top. Sometimes I wear it with a pretty scarf and long pants for dinner, or I will wear it under the cardigan sweater if it’s a colder evening.

My four outfits vary, depending on the location I’m traveling. It might be two pairs of pants, a capri and a dress. Or, if it’s Paris and area, it’s two dresses, a pair of pants and a capri. Since you might feel colder, I would select two pairs of pants, a capri and a dress or two.

Posted by
14269 posts

Countdown! I'll be in Rome in mid-Oct as well at the end of the RS Best of Italy tour. I'm currently planning on 2 pr lightweight pants (one the Kirkland brand travel pants from several years ago and one the 32 degree knit pants they currently have) plus 2 pr capris. I will take 4 SS shirts, a sun shirt, a LS DriFit Quarter Zip and a waterproof rain jacket. That combo includes the clothes I will wear in transit.

I probably do not tolerate heat as well as you do...and I DO have a memory of Plant City on a summer afternoon, hahaha!!....so you might be OK with just one pr of capris. I'll also look at the weather forecast a couple of days before I travel to see what's what although Rome will be 2+ weeks down the line and no forecast is good that far out. I'll adjust at the last minute in case it looks like I might need a warmer layer for Northern Italy.

I'm not a dress wearer so no dresses for me! I know others love them.

Posted by
8645 posts

Thinking about the phrase “capsule wardrobe “, I realized I have one but it is more like a “time capsule”……….

Posted by
567 posts

I recently searched Women’s packing list for Italy in October. For a carryon bag:

The majority had 2 black pants with either a dress/skirt/jumper; 4-6 tops (3SS,2LS 1 sleeveless); cardigan, waterproof light rain jacket, scarf, shoulder day bag,
Walking shoes, loafer style shoe, another second layer, pjs, socks, undies, bras, minimal makeup & jewelry, sunglasses, hat, water bottle.
Most of the LS had a button blouse style and the other was a pullover style.

It was fun to see the new styles and a good reminder that we normally don’t need a lot.

The clothes I find easier to pack. It’s the other stuff I need to stay trimmed down.

Have a lovely time!

Posted by
7463 posts

@Carol now retired - LOL! I have a favorite top that I love to wear on the plane. But, I realized this year that I needed to switch it out, so I could tell which decade I traveled by the 3/4 sleeve top photos!

Posted by
676 posts

Layers, even maybe a pair of shorts that will go with more than 1 top. I was there in January 1 year, had on jeans, turtleneck and sweater. Waaaay too hot one day, sweater came off and if I had scissors the turtleneck would have been a scoop top with short sleeves. That being said, I'm in Orlando so I'm now used to the hot, you may be too so 70 may be really cool to you. But no matter where or when I go now I always take at least one short sleeved top.