No matter how many pictures you see, nothing can prepare you for the awe you will feel as you get your first glimpse of the vibrancy. Like pottery forged in a kiln, colors are more intense here. Terraced gardens—dotted with lemons—offset glistening, turquoise water. Sun-bleached storefronts cascade down soaring mountains. The Amalfi Coast is beautiful and so are its people. It’s no surprise the “jet-set” crowd hangs out here. This is the land of the effortlessly elegant. Consequently, most travelers want their style to match this glamorous landscape. Wondering what to pack for an Italian vacation? I was too – even though our trip was work-related.
Growing up in Wisconsin, my image of a “vacation look” has usually consisted of oversized sweatshirts, flannel lounge pants, and well-worn flip flops. Italians travel a bit differently. In fact, they relegate flip flops to the beach and think it is rather odd Americans wear them everywhere. Italian style is much dressier than what you’ll see stateside.
Mediterranean citizens prefer polished, yet comfortable silhouettes. Their vacation wardrobe leans more chic than “Midwestern casual.” Think flowy maxi dresses, sophisticated rompers, white linen dresses, off-the-shoulder details, floppy hats, oversized sunglasses, and coastal-cool crochet. Amalfi Coast fashion also tends to exude a bright and cheery vibe. Don’t be afaid to try punchy colors you would eschew elsewhere.
Italians do seaside style better than anyone… and they DON’T overpack!
Take one look at the narrow streets and cobblestone steps of Positano and you’ll quickly understand why. Heavy bags will not only make you miserable, they just won’t fit. What’s the Amalfi Coast style secret? Impeccable wardrobe editing.
Stylish Italians pack minimally, adding a few statement pieces to a versatile travel capsule wardrobe. They also dress for the heat. Temps can reach 90+ in Italy in June! Therefore, light and breathable pieces are a must. You also want to select styles that travel well (e.g. wrinkle-resistant fabrics). The best tip I’ve heard is to follow the “rule of 3s.” This means you should not only be able to wear each piece you pack three times, but also be able to style it three different ways.
Additionally, dressing chic doesn’t mean blowing your budget. One of the reasons Italians look so glamorous, is their focus on fit. Every item they wear looks polished; like it’s custom-crafted to fit their unique frames and body types. Are they all getting clothes made to order? No. It goes back to the impeccable editing; they just spend ample time figuring out what styles flatter them.
Fortunately, these days, you can find tons of quality items at moderate prices. For instance, the bikini I brought to Italy was under $10. It was well-constructed, on trend, and (because it fit well) made me feel comfortably confident. [It’s available in other sizes and colors for $25]
I found ample inspiration for my trip at Chicwish, particularly in its Summer Lookbook. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting kind of sick of cheaply made, disposable garments. Chicwish provides a great alternative. I rave about it, because I believe in it. Call me a creature of habit, but once I find a retailer that matches my aesthetic, works for my body type, and offers a quality, dependable product… I keep going back!
The company sent me a few vacation styles to photograph, so I wanted to share my favorites with you. These styles are moderately priced, boutique-quality, and exactly the kind of elegant look you’ll see on the Amalfi Coast! They have served me well in Italy and at home.
My Amalfi Coast experience was only a day-trip (and with a toddler in tow), so I didn’t have an opportunity to photograph this romper there. However, it is a showstopper! It’s called the Carefree Vacation Playsuit and the name couldn’t be more apt. This is exceedingly comfortable, travels well, and represents Italian glamour at its best. I couldn’t stop twirling! If you are tall, this might run a bit short (I’m just shy of 5′). But for my petite ladies – it’s perfection! Here are a few other stunning romper options…
My husband will be less than thrilled with me for telling you this… But during our trip, he told me he wished he could wear a skirt. It was swelteringly hot and he envied the breezy comfort we women enjoy. I don’t blame him! Skirts are such a smart choice for travel.
I don’t have a photo of this classic striped number in Italy. However, its slight nautical vibe just screams Amalfi Coast style. While traveling, I like to pair this beauty with a basic white tank or button-up. The look is relaxed, but elevated. Best of all, the pleating and A-line shape is universally flattering! On the hunt for a statement skirt? I’ve also included a few additional “blogger-tested and approved” vacation options below.
Last up, my current obsession: crochet detailing. Walk through the quaint streets of Positano, and you will see so much crochet! Shop after shop offers exquisitely detailed crochet dresses, beach wear, and tops. I was tempted to make a purchase, but Positano prices can be steep… and this gal is not part of the jet-set, yachting crowd! A much better option is snagging this look before you travel to the Mediterranean.
I have gotten so much use out of this feminine top (also available in pink). It is one of those pieces that looks striking every way you style it, so it was a must for our Italian voyage. Amazing with jeans, it also layers well. Then there’s the Sassy Start Crochet Top. I packed this one because it is airy, light, and the most “asked-about” item in my closet. Seriously, every time I wear it someone asks me where they can find it!
In conclusion, style and “playing dress up” on the Amalfi Coast can be a lot of fun. But don’t let packing and wardrobe-planning stress you out! If you’re lucky enough to be vacationing in Italy, remember…
The soaring views don’t care what you’re wearing, they just want to leave an imprint on your heart.