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dressing for dinner

I will be taking my first RS tour this June (17 day Best of Italy). I have traveled to Europe many times before, however, this will be my first tour. I am used to traveling light with a 21" carry-on suitcase and a small tote bag. I have packed for a 3 week trip many times and had no shortage of clothing, although I pack very casual clothes. I know what to take to wear during the day, however, since dinner is provided on the tour for half of the nights I am wondering if I need to dress it up a bit. The info sent to me by RS Tours says that the tours travel very casually. Does this apply to dinner attire also? If I bring a casual black skirt and a pair of dark capris will I be dressing appropriately? It seems to me that the type of restaurants that we will be having dinner in will probably be smaller, family run establishments that would lend themselves to casual dress? Am I correct in this assumption? I just don't want to feel underdressed (or over-dressed for that matter). Any info or suggestions anyone can offer will be much appreciated.

Thank you!

Posted by
646 posts

So glad you asked this . . . we are taking a 10RS Venice, Florence, Rome Tour in October & are traveling with Carry-on only and we are wondering the same thing. Also curious as to what type of shoes to take for dinners? Will we be walking far on cobble stone to get to some of the restaurants? That is not easy to do in some sandals/etc. I plan on Keen/Merrill tennis shoes for all day tours/walking, but not sure what to take for dinners/restaurants?

Posted by
2051 posts

Yes, your assumptions are correct! I have been on lots of RS tours and I try to wear my um...cleanest clothes and will change from my hiking/walking shoes into sandals for the evening meals together. Your choice of dark skirt or capris is perfect, at least in my experience. Sometimes I even add a scarf for the final night's dinner together! The restaurants are indeed smaller, family run establishments and I think you will enjoy each and every one. Have a wonderful time! Ps to Chinalake-the sandals I take are Keens or Tevas and comfortable but as I recall, we have never had to walk too far to meet the group for a meal.

Posted by
339 posts

I have been on eight RS tours. I have never felt the need to dress up for group dinners. I usually wear capri pants/skirts/summer dresses -- nothing sloppy but casual. In the evenings, if it gets a bit chilly, I will put on a cardigan sweater. Some people dress up a little bit for the last group dinner but it's a personal choice.

Posted by
3655 posts

Lori, Andi & Mary are spot on with their advice. It is amazing what can be done to dress up basic black with colorful scarfs and / or tops. TC

Posted by
78 posts

My daughter and I did the RS BOE in 21 tour last July. The dress code was very casual at dinner and a black skirt or capris will be just fine. Any time we did something extra special as a group, or on the nights we were on our own, many of us wore a skirt or a summer dress. Several of us had a lightweight, wrinkle proof sundress along as it was quite hot in July. On the really hot humid July days I found a skirt or sundress cooler than capris or a skort. If your tour takes you to Florence and you are staying at the Hotel Accademia there is a great inexpensive ladies clothing store a few doors down. Many of us added to our wardrobes in Florence. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
187 posts

Your choices sound perfect! We have been on 7 RS tours and will join #8 and #9. in 2015. In the past, I have taken along a pair of black knit capris and a tunic top ( Wearever from JJill) and necklace that fit the bill just fine. Scarves, necklaces and a pair of earrings will change the look. Also, I have a pair of Ecco sandals that are a comfortable gladiator (almost) syle in a subtle metallic that works for day and night. Some people wear clean day clothes and fit in just fine. On days with long bus rides, there is often little time to change. Do pack light as you are responsible for "schlepping" luggage around. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the RS tours and wonderful fellow travelers!!! Fabulous food always and nice family stories from owners.

Posted by
11450 posts

I have only been on one RS tour.. and no.. dressing up is just not an issue. Most of us all travelled with small suitcases.. mix and match clothing etc.. and no one seemed dressed up to me at all.. neat and tidy is all..

Posted by
9914 posts

Well, on most of the RS tours I have been, on people just wore whatever they had on during the day! At least one time (21 day BOE/Rome arrival day) we ate dinner amid sightseeing and walking around 10 miles. Sometimes I would have a chance to shower before dinner, then I would put on my next day's touring clothes, lol! They are all casual dress places, even in Paris. After a day or two or less, lol, no one is going to notice what you have on unless you happen to have made a scarf purchase during the day!

I would not take anything extra to wear to dinner. If you are going to wear your black capris while touring then that is a good usage of space in my opinion.

Posted by
4592 posts

Hi Lori, you'll love that tour - so many favorite places! On that tour for dinners, I usually wore either a skirt or a light-weight pair of black pants & changed out the tops/scarf - whether we were eating with the tour group or nights by ourselves. I wore a pair of Keens most of the trip for all of the walking/hiking & had a light-weight pair of black cheap sandals for evenings. I like to wear a pair of long pants on the flights, so I wasn't bringing anything "extra".

Posted by
98 posts

Thank you so much.....everyone....for your replies. I am really looking forward to this trip! Now I can rest assured that I will be comfortable with my clothing choices.. (in more way than one!)

Posted by
371 posts

I always dress up like His Lordship on Downton Abbey. I get better service that way.