What I Wore on our Summer Vacation in Italy

Greetings and happy hump day! For any newcomers to the blog, I want to say welcome! I typically publish a new fashion or beauty post five days a week, but I’ve been traveling, so I didn’t post my usual content during that time. I’m home now, and back to my regular working hours, so things will start looking more like a fashion blog around here.

One of my most popular regular blog features is What I Wore Lately, which is where I round up my everyday outfits from the past couple of weeks, usually on a Wednesday. Today it’s all about what I wore on our summer vacation in Italy! I’ll also share a bit about what my family members wore, in case you’re interested.

What I Wore Lately: Ten Days in Italy

SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and I usually wear a small in tops and dresses, a 29 in jeans, and a size 8 shoe. Gifted items are indicated by c/o; everything else I purchased myself.

Let’s kick it off with my travel outfit. We took an overnight flight directly from Philadelphia to Rome, which was about eight hours, so I wanted to be comfortable. I also didn’t know if our rooms would be ready when we arrived in Rome, so I needed something I could wear to explore the city for a few hours, if necessary.

These Vuori joggers are super lightweight and also stretchy and comfortable, and they worked out perfectly. I wore them to fly home, as well. My slub knit tee is Vuori, as well, and I love that it’s somewhat elevated yet still casual enough to offset the joggers.

Vuori Sunset Easy Tee (S) // Vuori Villa Jogger c/o (S) // Athleta Pranayama Wrap (S) // Taos Plim Soul Lux (8.5) // Sheec Socks

I also brought my Athleta Pranayama Wrap, which always comes with me when I travel. Even though it was a hot day, I was glad I had it on the plane, and it came in handy at the hotel when I wanted something to throw on over my pajamas in the room.

Finally, these Taos sneakers are the heaviest, bulkiest shoes I brought to Italy, so I wore them to save room in my suitcase. Plus, they look better with this sporty outfit than sandals.

Here, you can see how my outfit fared after an overnight flight and a few hours traipsing around Rome in 99° heat! 🥵 The belt bag is what I used as my “cabin bag” – a concept I borrowed from Jen Lefforge, and it’s also what I carried with me to walk around Rome while we waited for our rooms to be ready.

Vuori Sunset Easy Tee (S) // Vuori Villa Jogger c/o (S) // Lululemon belt bag //  Taos Plim Soul Lux (8.5)

Okay, I promise, I won’t go into that much description about every outfit, but choosing a travel outfit requires a bit of strategizing, so I wanted to explain my thought process.

Once we were able to access our rooms, I was happy to take a shower and wash my face. I never removed my makeup on the plane, so I went ahead and did that and reapplied before going out to dinner that night.

Gap Factory dress (S) // NAOT sandals (8.5) // YSL handbag (option) // Madewell necklace // Stella & Dot bracelet

Here we are “in the wild” or, you know, on the streets of Rome. (I did a full recap of our stay in Rome so I will just talk about outfits here.)

my dress (S) // my sandals (8.5) // Becca’s top // Becca’s sandals

This is what I wore to tour the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill on one of our hottest days in Rome. The Tommy Bahama dress was a last minute addition to my travel capsule. The ponte fabric is super soft and comfortable, and because it’s made primarily of TENCEL, it held up well to the heat. It also has UPF 30, which is a nice bonus.

Tommy Bahama Darcy Sheath (M) // Naot sandals (8.5) // old HOBO crossbody (option) // DIFF sunnies // Kendra Scott hoops // LAGOS bracelets one & two

Here’s how we all dressed for the day. (Yes, my son wears pants everywhere! He is impervious to heat and cold; I credit it to years of being a summer camp counselor in all types of weather.) Caroline’s dress is an older style from Reformation, and I linked the rest of their outfits below.

David’s 76ers tee // similar Under Armour pants // Paul’s hat // / Maui Jim sunnies // Unbound Merino tee (option/option) // AG shorts // ALTRA trail runners (more options) // Becca’s tank // shorts // sneakers

I showered and changed before going out to dinner that night, but I just stuck my hair up in a clip so I didn’t have to wash it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a link for my Lulu-B dress. I bought it at a boutique, and it appears that brand is only sold through small retailers. I love the style, especially the design of the back, but I don’t love how the fabric looks like performance apparel. It’s a concession I was willing to make for the comfort and flattering silhouette. I also wanted to bring a few dresses that I could easily wash and dry in my hotel room, if need be, and this one fit the bill.

LuLu-B dress // Naot sandals (8.5) // YSL handbag (option) // LAGOS earrings // LAGOS bracelets one & two

As you may remember from my Rome recap, I woke up with an upset stomach the morning we were supposed to tour the Pantheon and see the Trevi Fountain, so Paul and the kids went without me. Our guide also took them to a shopping mall that’s built around an ancient aqueduct, which was discovered during the construction of the mall.

They all were sending me pictures as I was laying in bed, nursing a ginger ale, so I sent this one back…

I was so delighted to find this in the drink fridge in my room. It brings me right back to my childhood. I always liked Schweppes Ginger Ale best, and in a glass bottle… there’s nothing better when you’re nursing a queasy stomach. I shudder to think what I probably paid for it, as they way over charge for those in-room drinks, but it was totally worth it.

Anyway, since we didn’t have a tour scheduled until the afternoon on Saturday, Paul took me around to see what I missed the previous morning, and of course I had to take a picture beside the ancient aqueduct in the mall. This is still the main aqueduct that pumps water from the Spanish Steps to the Vatican City. You can read more about it HERE.

old Eileen Fisher dress // Naot sandals (8.5) // YSL handbag (option) // Madewell necklace // LAGOS bracelets one & two

That’s also where I purchased my Loewe bag. It was a total splurge, but I was supposed to get the VAT tax back (more on that in another post!) and prices are better in Europe.

I knew I wanted to get a new bag while we were in Italy, although I planned to purchase an Italian brand. I’ve had my eye on this one for some time, and when I started looking at them in this cool Roman shopping mall, I just knew it was the one I wanted to commemorate the trip.

Funny story, though… I thought it was charcoal grey. It wasn’t until I got back to my room and started looking for the link online that I realized the Loewe Flamenco doesn’t come in charcoal grey. I guess it’s the Dark Khaki Green.

At first, I was horrified that I made that mistake, and then I started laughing because it’s so ridiculous. Who spends that much on a bag, only to find out it’s not their desired color!?!

Fortunately, I do love olive green, and it should complement my fall/winter wardrobe nicely. And the more I thought about it, I decided that I have so many neutral handbags, it’s fun to have something unique to my collection from Italy.

Okay, sorry for that minor detour, but I had to share that story! Back to what I wore…

That afternoon was our tour of the Vatican, and our tour guide told me my dress would be fine for the Vatican’s strict dress code, and I had no issues. (It’s an older style that I can’t link, but you can take a look at current Eileen Fisher dress options for something similar.)

Caroline’s dress is Son de Flor, and Paul is wearing another one of his merino wool tees with these Lululemon pants. He says he brought three of thos t-shirts (as well as some Smartwool socks) and they never smelled, even after repeated use. I think David’s wearing Vuori in this photo; he loves their Strato Tech Tees. And Becca loves these AE cargos and v-neck pocket tee.

We wore the same clothes out to dinner that night, but I changed back to sandals.

The next morning, I wore this Columbia active sheath dress with UPF 50 for traveling from Rome to Perugia by car. (You can read my Perugia Recap HERE, if you missed it.)

Columbia Chill River Active Sheath Dress with UPF 50 (M) // Tory Burch Millers (8) // Madewell necklace // LAGOS bracelets one & two // Away The Everywhere Bag // Away The Medium

I changed for dinner that night, and since I was having a good hair day, I asked Paul to take some pictures. He didn’t bring his camera, so we just used our iPhones.

BR linen tank (S) // BR linen shorts (8) // YSL belt (option) // Tory Burch Millers (8) // YSL handbag (option) // Madewell necklace // LAGOS bracelets one & two

I was totally smitten with the doors in Perugia… all over Italy, really, but I took so many pictures of doors as we were walking around Perugia! It just baffles me that people actually live and work behind those doors. This isn’t Disney World, y’all! (I think I’ve been at Epcot one too many times.)

I decided to take a break from dresses and wore shorts and a tank for our city tour of Perugia the next day.

Becca is wearing this American Eagle henley tee with another pair of those Blooming Jelly running shorts, and her bag is this Sherpani anti-theft crossbody. Caroline bought her dress in Perugia, and we bought Paul’s linen shorts in Perugia, as well. His shirt is from Tommy Bahama.

Evereve tank (M) // KUT Porchop shorts (6) // old HOBO crossbody, option

I changed before we went to Assisi that afternoon because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to go inside the basilica in my shorts and tank top, although Becca had no issue, so I guess I didn’t need to worry.

Someone recommended this Fjällräven brand to me, and maybe this exact dress, and I really like it. I think the style is cute with the drawstring waist, and I was happy to wear something different than the knit sheaths I felt like I had been wearing the whole trip, but my family members didn’t care for this fabric. One of my girls said it looks like a raincoat. Oh, well! I like it, so I wore it anyway,

Fjällräven High Coast Lite Dress (M) // Taos Plim Soul Lux (8.5) // DIFF sunnies // old HOBO crossbody, option

I changed yet again for dinner that night. I wanted to wear something a little less sporty, more feminine and fun, so I chose this floral tiered split neck dress. I always feel like this dress looks a bit junior on me, but the girls tell me it’s all good. I like the black one better, but it was dirty, and I was getting tired of wearing black, so I wore the floral.

Gap Factory dress (S) // Tory Burch Millers (8) // YSL handbag (option) // Madewell necklace //LAGOS bracelets one & two

I threw on the same shorts, tank, and sneakers from the day before for our tour of Gubbio. This was probably my favorite day of our entire trip. The kids declined to come, said they wanted a day to relax and refill their tanks, so Paul and I went alone while they hung out in Perugia.

Our tour guide, Daniela, was so funny; we had the same guide for both days in each city, so we had the chance to get to know her a bit the day before. When we climbed out of the car and met her in Gubbio minus the kids, she exclaimed, Ooooh, honey MOON!  I have to say, it was kind of nice to have day to ourselves.

And if you’ll indulge me one more picture… I just love this town. I want to rent a house for a month and pretend I live there.

Evereve tank (M) // KUT Porchop shorts (6) // Taos Plim Soul Lux (8.5) // old HOBO crossbody (option)

And here’s what Paul wore… his shirt and shorts are part of the #NSale, which ends on Sunday. He got these shorts in two colors, and I think I might grab the shirt in another color for him while it’s still on sale.

Paul’s hat // Vince polo (L) // AG shorts // ALTRA trail runners (more options) // Maui Jim sunnies

I wore that Lulu-B dress to dinner that night, and then the next day, it was off to Florence!

Lululemon dress (8) // YSL handbag (option) // Naot sandals (8) // DIFF sunnies

I didn’t like how the Lululemon dress was gaping at the armholes, so I changed before we went out to explore. This is also what I wore out to dinner that night.

Eileen Fisher dress (XS) // Naot sandals (8) // DIFF sunnies

The next day was our walking tour of Florence, and the weather had cooled off quite a bit. It was actually a bit chilly, so I used the opportunity to wear my stripe button-up. I threw this in to wear with this outfit, and also to potentially wear over the pink Lululemon dress, if I needed a layer.

Caroline’s dress purchased in Perugia // my Rails button-up // tank (S) // shorts (8) // similar YSL crossbody (option) // Paul’s shorts & shirt

I ditched the button-up when we went back out to shop and explore more of Florence after our tour was over, and I decided to break out my new Loewe bag. I also changed into this Vuori tank because I got a stain on the Michael Stars one I was wearing earlier.

Vuori Sunrise Crop Tank c/o (L) // KUT Porchop shorts (6) // Taos Plim Soul Lux (8.5) // Loewe Flamenco (purchased in Rome) // Madewell necklace // DIFF sunnies

I purchased this dress at the Max Mara in Florence that afternoon, so I wore it out to dinner that night.

similar Max Mara dress (mine was purchased in Florence) // Taos Plim Soul Lux (8.5) // Loewe Flamenco (purchased in Rome) // Madewell necklace // LAGOS earrings // LAGOS bracelet 1 & bracelet 2

The next day, we did a tour of the Medici palaces and then spent time wandering around that afternoon, and I wore the Lulu-B dress again.

wiw 7-28 lulu-b dress naot dorithLuLu-B dress // Naot sandals (8.5) // YSL handbag (option) // LAGOS earrings // LAGOS bracelets one & two // DIFF sunnies

Enjoying an Aperol Spritz at a sidewalk cafe in Florence, as one does…

I changed into this white Tommy Bahama sheath for dinner that night, and our family pictures. I wanted to wear it earlier, but I was afraid of getting a stain on it, so I saved it for our family photo shoot. It’s 55% linen/43% Tencel/2% spandex, so very cool and comfortable, and I love the silhouette. I might order it in another color to have for future trips.

Tommy Bahama Palma A Dora Sleeveless Sheath Dress (M) // YSL handbag (option) // Kendra Scott hoops // LAGOS bracelets one & two

I wore the same dress the next day to walk around and shop on my last morning in Florence. We also went to the wine window, which I shared more about in my Florence recap.

Tommy Bahama Palma A Dora Sleeveless Sheath Dress (M)//  YSL handbag (option) // Kendra Scott hoops // LAGOS bracelets one & two

And then for our final night in Italy, we drove out to the Tuscan countryside for a wine tasting and winery tour, and I wore the black linen tank and shorts again. Paul got a lot of use out of this outfit, didn’t he!?!

BR linen tank (S) // BR linen shorts (8) // Celine sandals (purchased in Florence) // LAGOS bracelets one & two // Paul’s Vince polo // AG shorts // ALTRA trail runners (more options)

And that’s is a wrap! If you made it to the end you deserve a cookie. Or a glass of wine, or something.

I’ve had a lot of questions about if I’m happy with what I packed, etc. I wore everything in my suitcase at least once, so I do feel like I pretty much nailed it with the packing in that regard.

My only caveat is that I found myself wishing I had some flowy, prettier dresses to rotate in among my more practical options. Mine all felt very sporty/preppy/suburban housewife, while I saw so many lovely dresses walking around Italy… especially in Perugia and Florence. I did shop and try to find something while we were there, but nothing was ever quite right, probably because that’s not my typical style aesthetic.

At the end of the day, I was glad I took more dresses than shorts outfits, and I didn’t feel limited at all by not being able to do more mixing and matching. The dresses were comfortable and easy to throw on and go with any of my shoe options, and I felt put together and appropriate for most situations. I wish I’d found the satin Max Mara dress sooner, but at least I got to wear it once while we were there.

Before we lay Italy to rest, I plan to write one more post about the more practical items we packed, what we used, what we didn’t, etc. Let me know if you have any specific questions about that!

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48 Responses

  1. It looks like you had a wonderful trip! I am losing my mind right now trying to come up with a capsule wardrobe for Italy in early October (I am 5′ tall. Shopping stinks.). I am trying to get by with just carry on luggage.

    1. I was in Italy(Venice & Rome) in mid September and it was still very hot. It only rained one day so do pack a small umbrella and rain jacket. Hope this helps!

  2. You look great in all of your outfits. Thank you for sharing. May I ask what nail polish color you are wearing? I really like that neutral!

  3. Can I ask you why you felt you needed so many different purses? When I travel I find I easily get by with one dressier one and one just like the Lulumon crossbody.. they take us so much room in a suitcase. Just asking. Love your post.

    1. Yeah, the Lululemon was a last minute add, due to wanting the “cabin bag” and I did like having that for trips to the bathroom. It wasn’t big enough for our day trips, though, so I kept the HOBO for that. I could have used a small makeup bag as the cabin bag, I guess, but it worked out. The lululemon bag is pretty small.

  4. Your pictures are great. Thanks for recommending Jen and her YouTube video. Do you have one of the iFly bluetooth converters she talks about? Maybe you’ll talk about in your “what we packed” post so I’ll keep a look out for it.

  5. Loved your look and sharing what worked. We are going to the Netherlands in October so totally different weather but really trying to pack smart! Really looking forward to your posting about the VAT tax!

  6. Your trip posts have been so enjoyable! Thanks for sharing with us. My main question is the heat—how bad was it & how did you all deal with it? Was there a/c in your hotel rooms? I know many places in Europe don’t have a/c but with the continued issue of rising temperatures, I wonder if they are finding ways to add it?

    1. All of our hotels had A/C with thermostats we could control, so that was no issue. It was hot outside, but bearable. It’s hard to explain b/c I was very worried about it, but you just deal. It didn’t ruin our trip, by any means, but I’d choose to go at a different time of year if I go back.

    2. We typically choose four star hotels when traveling in Europe with the family, and they will have a/c and knowledgeable front staff/concierge. I think if you do 2 or 3 star it could be hit or miss.

  7. What a delightful post! I love the gold dress…well, all of your outfits, really. Caroline is obviously a dress girl; I love the Perugia dress!

    I don’t think the floral dress looks “junior.” It’s very flattering on you! I’m glad you all enjoyed the trip!

  8. Love your outfits! I have the Gap Factory dresses in the blue floral (which I’ve worn twice!) and the black one for when an LBD is needed.

  9. Wonderful recap! You looked amazing in every photo. Now, have you been bitten by the ‘foreign travel bug’? 😉

  10. The floral dress looks wonderful on you. I’m curious about the cooling shorts too. You mentioned them on one of your reels. Did you wear them daily or was it too hot?

    1. I did wear them under almost every dress, and they worked great. I would recommend sizing up, if in between or in doubt. I had some medium and some large, and I prefer the large.

  11. Wow! What a beautiful trip! Love all the pics and the surrounding are stunning! I did want to ask what size of sandals are the Nato sandals you are wearing? They do not come in half sizes, did you get the 8 or 9? Once again, thank you for sharing your trip with us! Enjoyed every minute!

  12. I would love to hear what you thought about the Taos sneakers, Naot sandals, and Thigh Society shorts!

  13. So…I just counted…if I have it right, along with the dress you bought, you took 11 dresses, 3 tops, 2 tanks, and 2 shorts – is that correct? And you were able to fit that into a carry-on along with your pjs, undergarments, shoes, etc? I’m just fascinated…as I’ve never been able to do the “carry-on only” thing.

    1. Oh, I did not do carry on only. 😂 It wasn’t really that clothes was the issue, though. It was all the extra stuff that at the last minute I was trying to fit in.

      1. Oh…I feel so much better, lol! I figured if YOU could do carry on only – what’s wrong with me that I can’t?! HaHaHa

  14. Love the pictures, the details. A few of the smaller places you visited look amazing! I just returned from a family trip with our 3 young adults (France, Belgium, Netherlands with a stop in Iceland on the way home) – how lucky we are to share adventures with family. If you weren’t able to do the VAT at the airport my daughter said you can go to the embassy in the U.S. – I don’t know if there’s one in Philly. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

  15. LOVE all of your outfits and getting to “tag along” on your trip! I’m going to Spain and Portugal in October, and it will be much cooler (mid 60’s to low 70’s), so I’m trying to figure out what to wear! Probably will steer clear of sandals and sleeveless things. I have questions…one is about the Vuori Villa Joggers…is the inseam longer than the Performance joggers (it’s not shown on the website)? Did you LOVE them for the plane or would you prefer something else? Also regarding the Lululemon belt bag…did that work well for you or was it more trouble than it’s worth? I noticed you carried crossbodies when you were out and about which makes sense. Thanks, JoLynne!

    1. It was called sand, but it’s an older color way. The hardware is more of an antiqued silver tone (rather than shiny), which is part of the reason why I love it so much. 🙂

  16. I’ve really enjoyed following your posts about Italy. I’ve loved how you take the time to share so much detail and how you share all sides to everything. Love your style and your choices always make me think about how to get the most from my wardrobe…looking current without looking cheap and too trendy. Love your look!

  17. I know I’ve mentioned I have relatives in Italy and we/they have traveled back and forth. My style aesthetic is like yours, and as much as I think I’d love the flowy, flowery dresses they wear in the summer, I just can’t do it here in the U.S. in my suburban Mom-life. The older I get (late 50s here) the more I appreciate the simplicity and drape of (some of the) Eileen Fisher dresses…they just feel right to me.

  18. Hi there! Thanks sooooo much for sharing your trip & all tidbits of info…definitely on my bucket list! Question: love all the dresses but I’m a tad jiggly🙃…please remind me what do you wear under your dresses? THANKS!

  19. When you posted the pictures of your purse the first time I remember thinking to my eye it looks green, which I love! Thanks for sharing your trip details, it looks lovely.

  20. Playing catch up. It’s been a little crazy around here. Love love love this! So glad y’all had a wonderful trip! It gives me hope for future family vacations with all of my kids now that my oldest has graduated, and starts his “grown up” job tomorrow! 🥹 Also, I really like the blue floral Gap dress on you. It’s slightly different from your “usual” but in a good way! I may be a bit biased, though, as I have it myself! 😂❤️

  21. Hi there! I really enjoy your posts and this one on travel in Italy is perfect timing. We’ll be in France for month of May and Italy for June. We follow “Retirement Travelers” on YouTube for their practical guides. We are using the Osprey brand travel backpacks as our carry-on (they have attached day packs) and will generally follow their 7 day wardrobe packing list. It’s a bit challenging and we’re working on details. It will be cooler in France so need some layers. We will be self-guided and will be walking a lot and using trains to move around both countries. Have been looking for comfort sandals, but need them to be cute too! I like your Nuots. Have also considered Pikolinos. Also like your Atleta Pranayama wrap. I wonder if it would suffice instead of a light cardigan? Trying to have one piece for the flight and to wear with most outfits if needed. Any other suggestions on that? I also notice that you are carrying crossbody type bags and purses. I see the same in France and Italy travel groups on FB. There are so many cautionary posts on pick pockets and being mindful of personal items like phones while out, especially in crowded areas. Did you have much concern with that? Thanks so much!

    1. If you like the look, I think the pranayama wrap could do double duty. I never really needed a wrap, it was so hot while we were there. I really debated about what bag(s) to bring but had no issue with the crossbodies. We did not do any trains, and I was careful in crowded areas. I find them most convenient and comfortable and was happy I had them.

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