Are you considering traveling to that fine Italian Boot sometime soon?
Are you thinking that maybe it’s about time that you make that dream shopping trip to Italy come true?
As you know, Italy is home to one of the fashion capitals of the world—Milan—but make no mistake, there isn’t anywhere in the Boot where you won’t be jazzed by the clothing!
Italian clothes are so incredible that department stores and boutiques from around the globe send their buyers to see the latest fashions, gauge trends and, of course, buy amazing clothing!
Most of us are aware of the Italian fashion names Dolce and Gabbana, Versace and Prada. They’re renowned designers who make gorgeous clothes—but Italy offers a ton of affordable fashions, too!
One thing I noticed from my time in Italy is that Italians are notoriously well-dressed—and they love talking about clothes!
Just another reason to learn some Italian clothing vocabulary and prepare yourself to converse like a true fashionista!
Let’s check out the essentials, shall we?
Some Tips for Shopping in Italy
Shopping in Italy is super fun! I’ll be real honest here—I’ve lost days just wandering the shops, vintage markets and clothing stalls. They’re home to some of my greatest Italian memories!
There are so many lovely items to look at, try on and appreciate. Some of the best buys are found in the most interesting spots, too!
Check out small shops, vintage flea markets, side-street stores, vendor markets and quirky pop-up clothing stalls.
Want that true Italian look? Then go for authentic, Italian-made goods.
Often, in small shops, the shopkeeper is also the seamstress, which sets you up for a very unique opportunity to discuss all things related to clothing in Italian with someone who’s a true expert.
I’ve had some of the greatest chats in shops, just discussing fabrics and construction methods with seamstresses!
Useful vocabulary for actual shopping is essential, though. So, let’s get the basics down.
Clothes in Italian: Everything You Need to Know to Shop Until You Drop!
Key Italian Phrases for Trying on Clothes
Would you like to try on some clothes while shopping in Italy? These words and phrases will make that a seamless affair!
Voglio provare questo. (I want to try this on.)
Hai un camerino di prova? (Do you have a changing room?)
Hai questo in un’altra taglia? (Do you have this in another size?)
Mi porteresti una taglia diversa, per favore? (Would you bring me a different size, please?)
Fai modifiche? (Do you do alterations?)
Questo deve essere accorciato. (This needs to be shortened.)
Questo deve essere allungato. (This needs to be lengthened.)
Questo vestito è troppo stretto. (This dress is too tight.)
Questi pantaloni sono troppo larghi. (These pants are too loose.)
Quanto tempo ci vorrà per fare le modifiche a questo vestito? (How long will it take for you to alter this dress?)
Basic Italian Words for Clothing Colors
Have you found the perfect clothing item or accessory—but you’d like a different color? No worries! Asking for colors in Italian is a breeze.
Hai questo in altri colori? (Do you have this in other colors?)
Vorrei questo in un altro colore, per favore. (I’d like this in another color, please.)
Che colori hai? (What colors do you have?)
Vorrei questo in… (I’d like this in…)
Important Phrases for Purchasing Clothes
Now that you’ve tried some clothing on and found your perfect size and favorite color—you can get into the nitty-gritty of actually buying the clothes you want!
Purchasing capi di abbigliamento (clothing) in Italy is a rewarding adventure.
Something to keep in mind is that some of the smaller clothing stalls, especially in flea markets and side-streets shops, don’t accept credit cards. They run on a strictly cash-only structure, so be prepared with cash or be ready to make a quick run to an ATM.
Quanto costa questo? (How much does this cost?)
Qual è il prezzo di due? (What’s the price of two?)
È in vendita? (Is this on sale?)
Accettate carte di credito? (Do you accept credit cards?)
Puoi consegnarlo? (Can you deliver it?)
Quando arriverà? (When will it arrive?)
And if you need something for a child, ask for abbigliamento per bambini (children’s clothing) to see the latest kids’ fashions!
Shopping in Italian is a fantastic way to have an immersive Italian experience. You’ll get a feel for the culture, fashion and maybe even make some fast friendships.
If you want to prepare a bit further before your grand shopping trip, the next best thing to a full-on immersive experience is FluentU.
Through FluentU’s extensive video catalog, you can get a firsthand glimpse into the world of Italian fashion, as well as video clips that put the vocabulary you’ll learn in this post (and more) into context. If you want to arrive in Italy like you’re a professional Italian shopper, FluentU can help you get there!
Ladies First! Italian Clothes Vocabulary for Women
Il vestito (The dress)
La borsa (The purse)
Il reggiseno (The bra)
Le mutandine (The panties)
Le calze (The stockings)
I collant (The tights)
Tacchi alti (High heels)
La camicetta (The blouse)
Lo scialle (The shawl)
La gonna (The skirt)
La camicia da notte (The nightdress)
Words for Clothes in Italian for Men
Il completo (The business suit)
Il soprabito (The overcoat)
La cravatta (The necktie)
La cravatta a farfalla (The bowtie)
Il gilet (The vest)
La camicia (The dress shirt)
I pantaloni (The trousers)
General Italian Clothing Vocabulary Everyone Should Know
Le scarpe (The shoes)
Le pantofole (The slippers)
Gli stivali (The boots)
I sandali (The sandals)
I calzini (The socks)
Il costume da bagno (The bathing suit)
Il cappello (The hat)
I guanti (The gloves)
Gli occhiali (The glasses)
Gli occhiali da sole (The sunglasses)
Il cappotto (The coat)
La giacca (The jacket)
Il maglione (The sweater)
La maglietta (The T-shirt)
La camicia (The shirt)
La camicia a maniche corte (The short-sleeve shirt)
La camicia a maniche lunghe (The long-sleeve shirt)
La giacca a vento (The windbreaker)
La giacca in pelle (The leather jacket)
L’impermeabile (The raincoat)
L’ombrello (The umbrella)
La sciarpa (The scarf)
I pantaloni (The pants)
I pantaloncini (The shorts)
La cintura (The belt)
Il pigiama (The pajamas)
L’accappatoio (The robe)
La mascherina (The mask)
Let’s face it—shopping in Italy is a blast. It’s just a magical spot with so much to offer and the friendliest citizens around—what’s not to love about browsing and buying under those conditions? I love shopping in the Boot—and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t!
Rome, Milan and Venice are featured as Italian shopping hot spots, but, honestly, anywhere is a great spot. If you’re looking for designer clothing, then certainly consider the bigger cities, but if you’re checking out authentic everyday fashion, remember the boutiques and quirky out-of-the-way marketplaces.
With these Italian clothing words and phrases, you’ll be able to speak with confidence wherever you shop!
Shopping in Italy allows travelers to learn about the country, culture and styles—and get some really sweet conversational practice in with locals. And trust me, local Italians love to chat about clothing and fashion; food, too—but that’s a story for a different day.
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