Clothes in Italian: 245 terms to help you shop 'til you drop

Italy is the country that gave the world Prada, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Versace, just to mention a few. Fashion is always a great topic of conversation regardless of which language you speak, and Italians do love to chat about fashion!

In the following tables we’ll teach you the names of the most important garments, so that you know exactly what to say when taking part in conversations about clothing, when buying fashion online or in-store, or when preparing a laundry list for your hotel.

Describing the clothes you like to wear, talking about getting dressed, and complimenting somebody’s sense of style are all practical ways you can put your knowledge of the Italian language to use. Start by learning some of the most popular clothing names with this free activity poster.

There’s a huge amount of terms surrounding clothing and fashion in general. Put on something comfy, then, and get ready to expand your Italian vocabulary!

Woman shopping for clothes in Italian.

Clothes in Italian

The general word for “clothing” is “abbigliamento” in Italian. The plural form is “abbigliamenti,” which is rarely used. The Italian word for “clothes” is “vestiti,” plural, and “vestito,” singular.

Clothes are part of our everyday conversations. Here are some examples of day-to-day situations where you need to be able to talk about clothes and shoes in Italian along with some typical questions and answers you’ll hear.

When going shopping for clothes in Italy:

Italian English
Avete la taglia 46 di questo? Do you have this in a size 10?
Posso provarlo? Can I try this on?
Dove sono i camerini? Where are the fitting rooms?
Di solito porto una taglia S. I usually wear a size small.
Il mio numero di scarpe è 38. My shoe size is 38.

When complimenting someone in Italian on their style, or talking about how clothes fit or look on someone in general:

Italian English
Stai benissimo! You look great!
Che bella gonna. È nuova? What a beautiful skirt. Is it new?
Che bella pochette, dove l’hai presa? What a beautiful purse, where did you get it?
Adoro le tue scarpe! Love your shoes!

When asking someone for their opinion on your outfit.

Italian English
Come sto? How do I look?
Ti piacciono questi sandali? Do you like these sandals?
Secondo te questa blusa nera sta bene con la gonna a righe? Do you think this black blouse goes well with the striped skirt?

When asking what is the expected dress code for a specific event:

Italian English
Cosa mi metto? What should I wear?
Qual è il dress code? What’s the dress code?
È richiesto un abbigliamento formale? Is formal attire required?

Today you’ll learn how to say all of the most common clothing items including:

  • dress in Italian;
  • skirt in Italian;
  • shirt in Italian;
  • T-shirts in Italian;
  • jacket in Italian;
  • coat in Italian;
  • pants in Italian;
  • shorts in Italian;
  • hat in Italian;
  • bathing suit in Italian;
  • shoes in Italian;
  • boots in Italian;
  • socks in Italian.

And much more! Whether you love shopping or dread it, by the end of this article you’ll be ready to converse like a true fashionista.

Download our FREE activity poster

For a great way to memorize the most common clothing types in Italian, make it interactive. Download our printable activity poster today, it's sure to pay off. Let's go!

Free Berlitz printable poster to help you learn the most common clothing items in Italian.

Dress codes in Italian

The dress code of an office, restaurant, school, or social event is a set of rules about what kind of clothes people are suggested to wear. Let’s go through different dress codes in Italian.

Formal dress code in Italian.

English Italian IPA Pronunciation
Casual Abbigliamento casual [abːiʎamˈento kˈɛʒʊal] ah-beeh-wlhee-ah-mehn-toh keh-shoo-ahl
Smart casual Casual chic [kˈɛʒʊal ʃˈik] keh-shoo-ahl sheek
Semi-Formal Semi-formale [sˈemɪ-formˈale] seh-meeh phor-mah-leh
Formal Formale [formˈale] phor-mah-leh
Business formal Business formal [bˈɪznəs fˈɔrmal] bees-nehs phor-mahl
Cocktail attire Cocktail
After five
[ˈafter fˈa͡ɪv]
ahph-tehr phah-eev
Evening wear Look da sera [lˈɔok dˈa sˈera] look dah seh-rah
Lounge suit Abito scuro [ˈabito skˈuro] ah-beeh-toh skoo-roh
Black tie Black tie
Cravatta nera
[blˈæk tˈa͡ɪ]
[kravˈatːa nˈera]
blehk tah-eeh
krah-vaht-tah neh-rah
Black tie optional Black tie facoltativo [blˈæk tˈa͡ɪ fakoltatˈivo] blehk tah-eeh phah-kohl-tah-teeh-voh
Black tie creative Black tie creativo [blˈæk tˈa͡ɪ kreatˈivo] blehk tah-eeh kreh-ah-teeh-voh
White tie, full evening dress, tails, dress suit Frac [frˈak] phrahk
Evening gown Abito da sera [ˈabito dˈa sˈera] ah-beeh-toh dah seh-rah
Suit and tie Giacca e cravatta [d͡ʒˈakːa ˈeː kravˈatːa] jah-kah eh krah-vaht-tah
Collar and tie Elegante [eleɡˈante] eh-leh-gahn-teh
Office attire Look da lavoro [lˈɔok dˈa lavˈɔro] look dah lah-voh-roh
Uniform Divisa
School uniform Uniforme scolastica [ʊnifˈorme skolˈastika] ooh-neeh-phor-meh skoh-lah-steeh-kah

Outerwear in Italian

Did you really think Italy was all sunshine and “'o sole mio, sta 'nfronte a te”? You’re off track! Winter weather here ranges from slightly cold in the South to freezing cold in the northern regions. Here are some of the garments you’ll definitely need.

Shopping for outerwear in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Coat Cappotto Cappotti [kapːˈɔtːo] kahp-poht-toh
Quilted jacket Piumino Piumini [pjʊmˈino] peeh-ooh-meeh-noh
Trench coat Trench Trench [trˈent͡ʃ] trehnch
Anorak, windbreaker Giacca a vento Giacche a vento [d͡ʒˈakːa ˈaː vˈɛnto] jah-kah ah vehn-toh
Jacket Giubbotto Giubbotti [d͡ʒʊbːˈɔtːo] jooh-boh-toh
Raincoat Impermeabile
Fur coat Pelliccia Pellicce [pellˈit͡ʃːa] pehl-leeh-cha
Tail coat Frac Frac [frˈak] phrahk
Bomber jacket Bomber Bomber [bˈomber] bohm-behr
Parka Parka
Mantle Mantello Mantelli [mantˈɛllo] mahn-tehl-loh
Shawl Scialle Scialli [ʃˈalle] shal-leh
Cloak Tabarro
Scarf Sciarpa Sciarpe [ʃˈarpa] shar-pah
Glove Guanto Guanti [ɡwˈanto] gooh-ahn-toh
Earmuffs Paraorecchie Paraorecchie [paɾaorˈekːje] pah-rah-oh-reh-keeh-eh

Dress in Italian

Below you’ll find a list of common terms that can be used when talking about different styles of dresses in Italian. There are more than you would think!

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Dress Vestito
Cocktail dress, evening dress Abito da sera Abiti da sera [ˈabito dˈa sˈera] ah-beeh-toh dah seh-rah
Long dress Vestito lungo
Abito lungo
Vestiti lunghi
Abiti lunghi
[vestˈito lˈuŋɡo]
[ˈabito lˈuŋɡ]
veh-steeh-toh loohn-goh
ah-beeh-toh loohn-goh
Short dress Abito corto
Abiti corti
[ˈabito kˈorto]
ah-beeh-toh kohr-toh
Sheath dress Tubino Tubini [tʊbˈino] tooh-beeh-noh
Maxi dress Maxi abito Maxi abiti [mˈaksɪ ˈabito] mahc-seeh ah-beeh-toh
Formal dress Abito lungo
Abito formale
Abiti lunghi
Abiti formali
[ˈabito lˈuŋɡo]
[ˈabito formˈale]
ah-beeh-toh loohn-goh
ah-beeh-toh phohr-mah-leh
Formal dress Abito da cerimonia Abiti da cerimonia [ˈabito dˈa t͡ʃerimˈɔnia] ah-beeh-toh dah cheh-reeh-moh-neeh-ah
Ballgown Vestito da ballo Vestiti da ballo [vestˈito dˈa bˈallo] veh-steeh-toh dah bahl-loh
Tunic dress Tunica Tuniche [tˈunika] tooh-neeh-kah
Kaftan dress Caffettano Caffettani [kaffˈetːano] kah-pheh-tah-noh
Wedding dress Abito da sposa Abiti da sposa [ˈabito dˈa spˈoza] ah-beeh-toh dah spoh-sah

Pants in Italian

Now we’ll learn what the most common types of pants are called in Italian.

Pants in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Pants Pantalone
Trousers Pantalone Pantaloni [pantalˈonɪ] pahn-tah-loh-neeh
Suit pants Pantalone sartoriale Pantaloni sartoriali [pantalˈone sartoriˈale] pahn-tah-loh-neh sahr-toh-reeh-ah-leh
Dress pants Pantalone elegante Pantaloni eleganti [pantalˈone eleɡˈante] pahn-tah-loh-neh eh-leh-gahn-teh
Jeans Jeans Jeans [d͡ʒˈiːns] jeehns
Short pants, shorts Pantaloncino Pantaloncini [pantalont͡ʃˈinɪ] pahn-tah-lohn-cheeh-neeh
Tracksuit pants, track pants Pantalone da ginnastica Pantaloni da ginnastica [pantalˈonɪ dˈa d͡ʒinnˈastika] pahn-tah-loh-neeh dah jeehn-nah-steeh-kah
Sweatpants Pantalone della tuta Pantaloni della tuta [pantalˈonɪ dˈella tˈuta] pahn-tah-loh-neeh dehl-lah tooh-tah
Capri pants Pinocchietto Pinocchietti [pinokːjˈetːɪ] peeh-noh-keeh-eh-teeh
Cargo pants Pantalone cargo Pantaloni cargo [pantalˈonɪ kˈarɡo] pahn-tah-loh-neeh kahr-goh
Chino pants Pantalone chino Pantaloni chino [pantalˈonɪ kˈino] pahn-tah-loh-neeh keeh-noh
Leggings Fuseaux
Bell-bottoms, flared pants, flares Pantalone a zampa di elefante
Pantalone a zampa
Pantaloni a zampa di elefante
Pantaloni a zampa
[pantalˈonɪ ˈaː d͡zˈampa dˈi elefˈante]
[pantalˈonɪ ˈaː d͡zˈampa]
pahn-tah-loh-neeh ah tsahm-pah deeh eh-leh-phahn-teh
pahn-tah-loh-neeh ah tsahm-pah
Harem pants Pantalone a cavallo basso Pantaloni a cavallo basso [pantalˈonɪ ˈaː kavˈallo bˈas͡so] pahn-tah-loh-neeh ah kah-vahl-loh bah-soh
Zouave pants Pantalone alla zuava Pantaloni alla zuava [pantalˈonɪ ˈalla d͡zʊˈava] pahn-tah-loh-neeh ahl-lah tsooh-ah-vah
Ski pants Pantalone da sci Pantaloni da sci [pantalˈonɪ dˈa ʃˈi] pahn-tah-loh-neeh dah sheeh

Shirts and tops in Italian

Let’s now move on to shirts and tops, which are “camicie” and “magliette” in Italian.

Outerwear and tops in Italian fashion.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Shirt Camicia Camicie [kamˈit͡ʃa] kah-meeh-chah
Women’s shirt Camicia
Blouse Blusa Bluse [blˈuza] blooh-sah
T-shirt Maglietta Magliette [maʎˈetːa] mah-wlhee-eh-tah
Button up shirt Camicia button up Camicie button up [kamˈit͡ʃa bˈutːon ˈʌp] kah-meeh-chah boht-tohn ahp
Button down shirt Camicia button down Camicie button down [kamˈit͡ʃa bˈutːon dˈaːwn] kah-meeh-chah boht-tohn dah-oon
Sweatshirt Felpa Felpe [fˈɛlpa] phehl-pah
Sweater Maglione Maglioni [maʎˈone] mah-wlhee-oh-neh
Cardigan sweater Cardigan Cardigan [kardˈiɡan] kahr-deeh-gahn
Turtleneck Dolcevita Dolcevita [dolt͡ʃevˈita] dohl-cheh-veeh-tah
Mock turtleneck Lupetto Lupetti [lʊpˈetːo] looh-peht-toh
Polo shirt Polo Polo [pˈɔlo] poh-loh
Top Maglietta Magliette [maʎˈetːa] mah-wlhee-eh-tah
Tank top Canotta Canotte [kanˈɔtːa] kah-noht-tah
Crop top Crop top Crop top [krˈop tˈɔp] krohp tohp
Singlet Canottiera da uomo Canottiere da uomo [kanotːiˈɛra dˈa wˈɔmo] kah-noht-teeh-eh-rah dah ooh-oh-moh
Sweat suit Tuta da ginnastica Tute da ginnastica [tˈuta dˈa d͡ʒinnˈastika] tooh-tah dah jeehn-nah-steeh-kah

Jacket in Italian

Let’s now move on to jackets. Do you know how to say “waistcoat” and “double-breasted blazer” in Italian? Let’s find out!

Travel accessories and a yellow Jacket in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Jacket Giacca Giacche [d͡ʒˈakːa] jah-kah
Blazer Giacca
Double-breasted blazer Giacca a doppio petto Giacche a doppio petto [d͡ʒˈakːa ˈaː dˈopːio pˈɛtːo] jah-kah ah doh-peeh-oh peh-toh
Waistcoat Gilet Gilet [d͡ʒˈilet] jeeh-leh
Vest Panciotto Panciotti [pant͡ʃˈɔtːo] pahn-chot-toh
Suit Abito da uomo
Completo da uomo
Abiti da uomo
Completi da uomo
[ˈabito dˈa wˈɔmo]
[komplˈɛto dˈa wˈɔmo]
ah-beeh-toh dah ooh-oh-moh
kohm-pleh-toh dah ooh-oh-moh
Tuxedo Smoking
Suit (for women) Tailleur Tailleur [tajˈœʁ] tah-yohr

Skirt in Italian

Now, let’s have a look at the most common types of skirts in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Skirt Gonna Gonne [ɡˈonna] gohn-nah
Long skirt Gonna lunga Gonne lunghe [ɡˈonna lˈuŋɡa] gohn-nah loon-gah
Short skirt Gonna corta Gonne corte [ɡˈonna kˈorta] gohn-nah kohr-tah
Mini skirt Minigonna
Midi skirt Longuette
Gonna midi
Gonne midi
[ɡˈonna mˈidɪ]
gohn-nah meeh-deeh
Pencil skirt Gonna a matita Gonne a matita [ɡˈonna ˈaː matˈita] gohn-nah ah mah-teeh-tah
Full skirt Gonna a ruota Gonne a ruota [ɡˈonna ˈaː rʊˈɔta] gohn-nah ah rooh-oh-tah
Pleated skirt Gonna plissettata
Gonna a pieghe
Gonna plissé
Gonne plissettate
Gonne a pieghe
Gonne plissé
[ɡˈonna plis͡setːˈata]
[ɡˈonna ˈaː pjˈeɡe]
[ɡˈonna plis͡sˈe]
gohn-nah pleeh-seht-tah-tah
gohn-nah ah peeh-eh-geh
gohn-nah pleeh-seh
A-line skirt Gonna a trapezio Gonne a trapezio [ɡˈonna ˈaː trapˈɛt͡sio] gohn-nah ah trah-peh-tseeh-oh
Skater skirt Gonna a balze Gonne a balze [ɡˈonna ˈaː bˈalt͡se] gohn-nah ah bahl-tseh
High waist skirt Gonna a vita alta Gonne a vita alta [ɡˈonna ˈaː vˈita ˈalta] gohn-nah ah veeh-tah ahl-tah

Headwear in Italian

Hats are distinctly in fashion at the moment. Here are some of the more popular types.

Hats in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Hat Cappello Cappelli [kapːˈɛllo] kahp-pehl-loh
Beanie Berretto
Cloche Cloche Cloche [klˈɔʃ] klohsh
Cap Berretto Berretto [berɾˈetːo] behr-reht-toh
Beret Basco Baschi [bˈasko] bahs-koh
Fedora Fedora Fedora [fedˈɔra] pheh-doh-rah
Flat cap Coppola Coppole [kˈɔpːola] kohp-poh-lah
Kepi Képi
Panama hat Panama Panama [pˈanama] pah-nah-mah
Fez Fez Fez [fˈɛt͡s] phehts
Gibus Gibus Gibus [d͡ʒˈibʊs] geeh-boos
Baseball cap Cappello da baseball Cappelli da baseball [kapːˈɛllo dˈa bˈe͡ɪzboːl] kahp-pehl-loh dah beh-eehs-bohl
Straw hat Cappello di paglia Cappelli di paglia [kapːˈɛllo dˈi pˈaʎa] kahp-pehl-loh deeh pah-wlhee-ah

Underwear in Italian

Do you know how to say “lingerie” in Italian? Are you curious to know how to say “undershirt,” “boxers,” and “panties” in Italian? Let’s peel away some more vocabulary layers.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Lingerie Biancheria intima Biancheria intima [bjankerˈia ˈintima] beeh-ahn-keh-reeh-ah een-teeh-mah
Boxers, boxer shorts Boxer Boxer [bˈokser] bohk-sehr
Close-fit boxers Parigamba Parigamba [pariɡˈamba] pah-reeh-gahm-bah
Underpants Mutanda
Slip da uomo
Slip da uomo
[zlˈip dˈa wˈɔmo]
sleehp dah ooh-oh-moh
Undershirt Canottiera Canottiere [kanotːiˈɛra] kah-noht-teeh-eh-rah
Bra Reggiseno Reggiseni [red͡ʒːisˈeno] reh-jeeh-seh-noh
Bodice Corsetto Corsetti [korsˈetːo] kohr-seht-toh
Girdle Busto Busti [bˈusto] booh-stoh
Bustier Corpetto Corpetti [korpˈetːo] kohr-peht-toh
Panties Mutandina da donna Mutandine da donna [mʊtandˈine dˈa dˈɔnna] mooh-tahn-deeh-neh dah dohn-nah
G-string Perizoma Perizoma [peɾid͡zˈɔma] peh-reeh-tsoh-mah
Thong Tanga Tanga [tˈaŋɡa] tahn-gah
Pantyhose, nylons Collant Collant [kˈollant] kohl-lahnt
Hold-ups Autoreggente Autoreggenti [aʊtored͡ʒːˈɛntɪ] ah-ooh-toh-reh-jehn-teeh
Stockings Calza di nylon Calze di nylon [kˈalt͡se dˈi nˈa͡ɪlon] kahl-tseh deeh nah-eeh-lohn
Socks Calzino Calzini [kalt͡sˈinɪ] kahl-tseeh-neeh
Knee-length socks Calzettone Calzettoni [kalt͡setːˈonɪ] kahl-tseht-toh-neeh
Pop socks Gambaletto Gambaletti [ɡambalˈetːɪ] gahm-bah-leht-teeh
Garter Giarrettiera Giarrettiere [d͡ʒarɾetːiˈɛra] jah-reht-teeh-eh-rah
Chemise Sottoveste Sottovesti [sotːovˈɛste] soht-toh-veh-steh
Camisole, cami Canottiera da donna Canottiere da donna [kanotːiˈɛra dˈa dˈɔnna] kah-noht-teeh-eh-rah dah dohn-nah
Bodysuit Body Body [bˈodɪ] boh-deeh
Catsuit Catsuit
Tuta integrale
Tute integrali
[tˈuta inteɡrˈale]
tooh-tah een-teh-grah-leh
Bellyband Panciera Panciere [pant͡ʃˈɛra] pahn-che-rah

Pajamas or sleepwear in Italian

Let’s move on to nightwear, “biancheria da notte” in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Nightclothes Biancheria da notte Biancherie da notte [bjankerˈia dˈa nˈɔtːe] beeh-ahn-keh-reeh-ah dah noht-teh
Gown Vestaglia Vestaglie [vestˈaʎa] veh-stah-wlhee-ah
Nightgown Camicia da notte Camicie da notte [kamˈit͡ʃa dˈa nˈɔtːe] kah-meeh-chah dah noht-teh
Pajamas Pigiama Pigiami [pid͡ʒˈama] peeh-jah-mah
Short, sheer woman's nightgown Baby doll Baby doll [bˈɛbɪ dˈɔl] beh-beeh dohl
Teddy Pagliaccetto Pagliaccetti [paʎat͡ʃːˈɛtːo] pah-wlhee-ah-cheht-toh

Accessories in Italian

Here is a list of accessories, which are called accessori in Italian.

Travel accessories such as hat, leather bag, and tote bag in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Accessories Accessorio Accessori [at͡ʃːes͡sˈorɪ] ah-che-soh-reeh
Belt Cintura Cinture [t͡ʃintˈura] cheehn-tooh-rah
Bag Borsa Borse [bˈorsa] bohr-sah
Purse, pocket book Pochette Pochette [poʃˈɛt] poh-sheht
Rucksack Zaino Zaini [d͡zˈa͡ɪno] tsah-eeh-noh
Foulard Foulard Foulard [fulˈaʁ] phooh-lahr
Sunglasses Occhiale da sole Occhiali da sole [okːjˈalɪ dˈa sˈole] oh-cheeh-ah-leeh dah soh-leh
Watch Orologio Orologi [orolˈod͡ʒo] oh-roh-loh-jeeh-oh
Tie Cravatta Cravatte [kravˈatːa] krah-vaht-tah
Bow tie Papillon Papillon [papijˈɔ̃] pah-peeh-lohn
Suspenders Bretella Bretelle [bretˈɛlle] breh-tehl-leh
Cufflinks Gemello Gemelli [d͡ʒemˈɛllɪ] jeh-mehl-leeh
Umbrella Ombrello Ombrelli [ombrˈɛllo] ohm-brehl-loh
Wallet Portafoglio Portafogli [portafˈɔʎo] pohr-tah-phoh-wlhee-oh
Coin purse Portamonete Portamonete [portamonˈete] pohr-tah-moh-neh-teh

Shoes and boots in Italian

You can’t talk about clothes without talking about footwear, “calzature” in Italian! There are several kinds of shoes, boots and sandals, so let’s learn what they’re called in Italian.

Man tying his shoes in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Footwear Calzatura Calzature [kalt͡satˈure] kahl-tsah-tooh-reh
Shoes Scarpa Scarpe [skˈarpe] skahr-peh
Boots Stivale Stivali [stivˈalɪ] steeh-vah-leeh
Stilettos, high heels Scarpa col tacco Scarpe col tacco [skˈarpe kˈɔl tˈakːo] skahr-peh kohl tah-koh
High-heeled shoes Scarpa alta Scarpe alte [skˈarpe ˈalte] skahr-peh ahl-teh
Medium-heeled shoes Scarpa a tacco medio Scarpe a tacco medio [skˈarpe ˈaː tˈakːo mˈɛdio] skahr-peh ah tah-koh meh-deeh-oh
Pumps Décolleté Décolleté [dekɔltˈe] deh-kohl-teh
Biker boots Stivale biker
Stivale texano
Stivali biker
Stivali texani
[stivˈalɪ bˈa͡ɪkɚ]
[stivˈalɪ teksˈanɪ]
steeh-vah-leeh bah-eeh-kehr
steeh-vah-leeh tehk-sah-neeh
Thigh-high boots Cuissardes Cuissardes [kwˈɪzsɑː͡ɹdz] kooh-eeh-sahds
Rain boots Stivale di gomma Stivali di gomma [stivˈalɪ dˈi ɡˈomma] steeh-vah-leeh deeh gohm-mah
Formal shoes Scarpa elegante Scarpe eleganti [skˈarpe eleɡˈantɪ] skahr-peh eh-leh-gahn-teeh
Flat shoes, flats Scarpa bassa Scarpe basse [skˈarpe bˈas͡se] skahr-peh bahs-seh
Ballet flats Ballerina Ballerine [ballerˈine] bahl-leh-reeh-neh
Moccasins Mocassino Mocassini [mokas͡sˈinɪ] moh-kahs-seeh-neeh
Sneakers Sneaker Sneaker [snˈiːkɚ] sneeh-kehr
Sandals Sandalo Sandali [sˈandalɪ] sahn-dah-leeh
Flip flops Infradito Infradito [infradˈito] een-phrah-deeh-toh
Clogs Zoccolo Zoccoli [d͡zˈɔkːolɪ] tsoh-koh-leeh
Trainers Scarpa sportiva Scarpe sportive [skˈarpe sportˈive] skahr-peh spohr-teeh-veh
Gym shoes Scarpa da ginnastica Scarpe da ginnastica [skˈarpe dˈa d͡ʒinnˈastika] skahr-peh dah jeehn-nah-steeh-kah
Tennis shoes Scarpa da tennis Scarpe da tennis [skˈarpe dˈa tˈɛnnis] skahr-peh dah tehn-neehs
Running shoes Scarpa da corsa Scarpe da corsa [skˈarpa dˈa kˈorsa] skahr-pah dah kohr-sah
Hiking boots Scarponcino da trekking Scarponcini da trekking [skarpont͡ʃˈinɪ dˈa trˈekːiŋɡ] skahr-pohn-cheeh-neeh dah trehk-keehn

Beachwear in Italian

Let’s now move on to beachwear, abbigliamento da mare in Italian.

English Italian Singular Italian Plural IPA Pronunciation
Beachwear Abbigliamento da mare Abbigliamenti da mare [abːiʎamˈento dˈa mˈare] ah-beeh-wlhee-ah-mehn-toh dah mah-reh
Swimming trunks Costume da bagno da uomo Costumi da bagno da uomo [kostˈume dˈa bˈaɲɲo dˈa wˈɔmo] koh-stooh-meh dah bahn-yoh dah ooh-oh-moh
Bathing suit Costume da bagno da donna Costumi da bagno da donna [kostˈume dˈa bˈaɲɲo dˈa dˈɔnna] koh-stooh-meh dah bahn-yoh dah dohn-nah
Bikini Duepezzi
One-piece bathing suit Costume intero Costumi interi [kostˈume intˈɛro] koh-stoo-meh een-teh-roh
Sarong Pareo Parei [parˈɛo] pah-reh-oh
Beach robe Copricostume Copricostumi [koprikostˈume] koh-preeh-koh-stoo-meh

Fitting styles in Italian

Here are some handy descriptors involving styles that will be useful whenever you’re seeking to talk about clothing and fashion in Italian. You can also describe your clothes and garments by their color. Need a refresher on colors? Brighten up your vocab with our guide to colors in Italian.

Samples and rows of fabric for clothes in Italian.

English Italian IPA Pronunciation
Long-sleeved A maniche lunghe [ˈaː mˈanike lˈuŋɡe] ah mah-neeh-keh loohn-geh
Short-sleeved A maniche corte [ˈaː mˈanike kˈorte] ah mah-neeh-keh kohr-teh
Sleeveless Senza maniche
[sˈɛnt͡sa mˈanike]
sehn-tsah mah-neeh-keh
High-waisted A vita alta [ˈaː vˈita ˈalta] ah veeh-tah ahl-tah
Low-rise A vita bassa [ˈaː vˈita bˈas͡sa] ah veeh-tah bahs-sah
Tight-fitting Attillato
Long Lungo [lˈuŋɡo] loohn-goh
Short Corto [kˈorto] kohr-toh
Low-necked Scollato [skollˈato] skohl-lah-toh
High-necked A collo alto [ˈaː kˈollo ˈalto] ah kohl-loh ahl-toh
V-necked Con scollo a V [kˈon skˈɔllo ˈaː vˈu] kohn skohl-loh ah vooh
Round-necked Girocollo [d͡ʒirokˈɔllo] jeeh-roh-kohl-loh

Designs and patterns in Italian

There’s an enormous array of vocabulary describing designs and patterns in Italian. We’ve gathered the most common for you in the table below. Let’s have a look!

English Italian IPA Pronunciation
Striped A strisce
A righe
[ˈaː strˈiʃe]
[ˈaː rˈiɡe]
ah stree-sheh
ah reeh-geh
Checked A quadri
A quadretti
[ˈaː kwˈadrɪ]
[ˈaː kwadrˈetːɪ]
ah kooh-ah-dreeh
ah kooh-ah-dreht-teeh
Polka-dot A pois [ˈa pwˈa] ah pooh-ah
Plain Tinta unita [tˈinta ʊnˈita] teehn-tah ooh-neeh-tah
Flowered Fiorato
A stampe floreali
[ˈaː stˈampe floreˈalɪ]
ah stahm-peh phloh-reh-ah-leeh
Pinstriped Gessato [d͡ʒes͡sˈato] jehs-sah-toh
Tartan Scozzese [skot͡sːˈeze] skoh-tseh-seh
Leopard print Leopardato [leopardˈato] leh-oh-pahr-dah-toh
Python-print Pitonato [pitonˈato] peeh-toh-nah-toh
Zebra-striped Zebrato [d͡zebrˈato] tseh-brah-toh

Natural materials and synthetic fibers in Italian

You’re genuinely spoilt for choice when it comes to natural materials and synthetic fibers to choose from. Let’s learn what they’re called in Italian.

Woman designing pants in Italian.

English Italian IPA Pronunciation
Cotton Cotone [kotˈone] koh-toh-neh
Wool Lana [lˈana] lah-nah
Linen Lino [lˈino] leeh-noh
Silk Seta [sˈeta] seh-tah
Chiffon Chiffon [ʃifˈɔ̃] sheeh-phon
Denim Denim [dˈenim] deh-neehm
Velvet Velluto [vellˈuto] vehl-looh-toh
Leather Pelle [pˈɛlle] pehl-leh
Suede Pelle scamosciata
[pˈɛlle skamoʃˈata]
pehl-leh skah-moh-shah-tah
Patent leather Pelle lucida [pˈɛlle lˈut͡ʃida] pehl-leh looh-cheeh-dah
Jersey Jersey [d͡ʒˈɛrse͡ɪ] jehr-seh-eeh
Boiled wool Lana cotta [lˈana kˈɔtːa] lah-nah koht-tah
Canvas Tela [tˈɛla] teh-lah
Satin Raso [rˈazo] rah-soh
Polyester Poliestere [poliˈɛstere] poh-leeh-eh-steh-reh
Viscose Viscosa [viskˈoza] veehs-koh-sah
Lycra Lycra [lˈikra] leeh-krah
Nylon Nylon [nˈa͡ɪlon] nah-eeh-lohn
Chenille Ciniglia [t͡ʃinˈiʎa] cheeh-neeh-wlhee-ah
Tulle Tulle [tˈulle] tuhl-leh
Acrylic Acrilico [akrˈiliko] ah-kreeh-leeh-koh
Brocade Broccato [brokːˈato] broh-kah-toh
Lace Pizzo [pˈit͡sːo] peeh-tsoh
Cashmere Cachemire [kaʃmˈiʁ] kah-shmeehr
Jute Iuta [jˈuta] eeh-ooh-tah
Macrame Macramé [makramˈe] mah-krah-meh
Pile Pile [pˈa͡ɪl] pah-eehl
Raffia Rafia [rˈafja] rah-phee-ah

Clothing-related Italian sayings, proverbs, and idioms

To learn Italian, it’s recommended that you learn not only grammar alongside individual words, but idiomatic expressions as well. Today, we’ll cover 15 clothing-related Italian phrases, and sayings to describe situations in a more creative way. Here you go.

L’abito non fa il monaco

Literal translation: the suit doesn't make the monk.
English equivalents: clothes don’t make the man; don’t judge a book by its cover.

This proverb means that you shouldn’t judge someone based on their appearance or clothing. Looks can be deceiving, and someone can be very different from how it seems or appears to be.

Conoscere come le proprie tasche

Literal translation: to know like your own pockets.
English equivalent: to know something like the back of your hand.

If you know something “come le tue tasche,” it means that you have very good and detailed knowledge of it.

Tanto di cappello!

Literal translation: so much of hat!
English equivalent: hats off to you!

The act of taking off your hat as a sign of respect is at the origin of this lovely expression used to give praise or credit to someone, express admiration for them, and acknowledge their merits.

Mettersi nei panni di qualcuno

Literal translation: to put yourself in somebody else's clothes.
English equivalent: to put yourself in somebody else's shoes.

Mettersi nei panni di qualcuno” means to make an effort to imagine what you would do if you were in the same situation as a particular person.

Attaccare bottone

Literal translation: to attach button.
English equivalent: to chat up.

Attaccare bottone” means to start talking to someone you don’t know very well in a friendly, flirtatious, or seductive way, because you are attracted to them.

Calzare a pennello

Literal translation: to put on a paintbrush.
English equivalent: to fit perfectly.

The expression “calzare a pennello” means to fit perfectly, to be the correct size.

Essere nato con la camicia

Literal translation: to be born with a shirt on.
English equivalent: to be born with a silver spoon

Essere nato con la camicia” means to be born into a wealthy family.

Sudare sette camicie

Literal translation: to sweat seven shirts.
English equivalent: to sweat your guts out.

Sudare sette camicie” means to work extremely hard.

Essere il fiore all’occhiello

Literal translation: to be the flower at the eyelet.
English equivalent: to be somebody’s pride and joy.

Fiore all’occhiello” means boutonnière, a floral accessory worn on the lapel of a tuxedo or suit jacket for weddings. This expression is used to refer to someone or something that makes you very proud and happy.

Fare le scarpe a qualcuno

Literal translation: to make shoes for someone.
English equivalent: to kick someone out of their job.

Fare le scarpe a qualcuno” is a despicable act, and means to con, cheat, swindle, or unfairly deprive someone of their job and take over their role.

Avere un asso nella manica

Literal translation and English equivalent: to have an ace up your sleeve.

Avere un asso nella manica” means to have a powerful and often secret advantage that can be used if it’s needed.

Un altro paio di maniche

Literal translation: another pair of sleeves.
English equivalent: to be a horse of a different color; a different kettle of fish.

To be “un altro paio di maniche” means to be something else entirely, a completely different matter.

Essere di manica larga

Literal translation: to be broad-sleeved.

Essere di manica larga” means to be indulgent and generous. It’s the exact opposite of being strict.

Rimboccarsi le maniche

Literal translation and English equivalent: to roll up your sleeves.

Rimboccarsi le maniche” means to prepare for hard or difficult work.

Meglio comprarti un vestito

Literal meaning: (it’s) better to buy you a dress.

This expression is used when inviting to dinner someone who turns out to be a big eater (“buona forchetta” in Italian), and you think that next time it would be better to buy them a dress instead of taking them out for dinner again.

Clothes related verbs in Italian

Let’s now go through some useful Italian verbs about clothes and getting dressed.

English Italian IPA Pronunciation
To wear Indossare [indos͡sˈare] een-dohs-sah-reh
To put on Indossare
To take off Togliere [tˈɔʎere] toh-wlhee-eh-reh
To get dressed Vestirsi [vestˈirsɪ] veh-steehr-seeh
To get undressed Spogliarsi
To try on Provare [provˈare] proh-vah-reh
To unbutton Sbottonare [zbotːonˈare] sboht-toh-nah-reh
To match Abbinare [abːinˈare] ah-beeh-nah-reh
To go with Stare bene con
Fare pendant con
[stˈare bˈɛne kˈon]
[fˈare pˈɛndənt kˈon]
stah-reh beh-neh kohn
fah-reh pehn-dahnt
To clash Stonare [stonˈare] stoh-nah-reh
To wash Lavare [lavˈare] lah-vah-reh
To spot clean Smacchiare [zmakːjˈare] smah-keeh-ah-reh
To iron Stirare [stirˈare] steeh-rah-reh
To fold Piegare [pjeɡˈare] peeh-eh-gah-reh
To fit a garment Adattare [adatːˈare] ah-daht-tah-reh
To sew Cucire [kʊt͡ʃˈire] kooh-cheeh-reh
To mend Rammendare [rammendˈare] rahm-mehn-dah-reh

An Italian style guide

Dressing well is a priority in Italy. It’s part of the whole bella figura thing. How you are dressed and how you present yourself speaks volumes about your respect or lack thereof. Here are some useful fashion tips to look like a local during your Italian adventure. Italy is more fun if you try a little to blend in!

1. Choose good quality clothes

I’m not necessarily talking about designer labels, high-end fashion brands, or super expensive garments. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on the newest stylish clothing. Just look for clothing that is well-cut and fits well.

2. Avoid the extremes

Stained, torn, dirty, worn out, scruffy, or bedraggled clothes will make you look cheap and trashy. Conversely, dressing all time as if you were invited to prom or to a royal wedding will make you look utterly ridiculous. Avoid these extremes.

3. Don’t show too much skin

In the summer months, Italians always complain about mobs of scantily clad visitors blighting the landscape with their butt cheeks hanging out of their itty-bitty hotpants. Although July and August can be rather hot, you’ll rarely if ever see Italians wearing booty shorts, micro mini-skirts, and very skimpy dresses that leave nothing to the imagination, except at the beach, and in seaside resort areas.

My tip for you: wear only one skimpy item at a time. For example, a crop top with black tailored trousers, or, vice versa, a mini-skirt with a blouson-sleeved silk top and a cute jacket or blazer.

Remember that wandering off the beach in a swimsuit or going bare-chested while sightseeing is prohibited by law.

4. Wear designer sunglasses

Regardless of whether the sun is out, wear designer sunglasses when in Italy. The bigger, the better. My black Anna Wintour-style sunglasses are almost always glued to my face. Not only are oversized sunglasses perfect for keeping out the sun’s harmful UV rays and acting as a barrier from dust, wind and debris, they also hide my makeup-less face. I like to let my face breathe, and I hardly ever wear makeup, but that doesn’t mean I want the world to see my under-eye bags, dark circles, crow’s feet, and bare eyelashes!

Luckily, big black sunglasses are in style here. Opt for a nice pair of designer sunglasses. Vintage styles work well in Italy as well.

5. Dress well when dining out

This goes for both ladies and gentlemen: dress appropriately when dining out in Italy. That doesn’t mean “dressing up.” Show respect to the establishment and to yourself, and dress appropriately. A casual dress code for fine dining restaurants means comfortable, yet polished.

My tip for you: invest in a well-made blazer. You can class up nearly any outfit with a blazer. Trust me! It makes denim dressy, and party dresses polished. T-shirts underneath blazers can create the perfect cool combination, when done right.

You’re welcome!

6. Don’t wear a snapback or baseball cap

Snapbacks and ballcaps immediately flag you as a tourist in Italy. My tip for you: if you need to wear a hat to protect you from the sun, or hide your receding hairline, snag a more fashionable hat for your Italian trip, like a newsboy or ivy cap, which offer the comfort of a baseball cap but with a lot more style. A straw Panama hat, the elegant summer version of the Fedora, a staple of gentlemen's wardrobes for generations, is another very good option.

7. Flip flops are to be used only at the beach

I can spot an American tourist from a mile away, because, well, they’re wearing rubber flops. So, don’t wear flip flops, Crocs, and fuzzy slippers in any Italian city, regardless of the temperature. Go for a classier pair of leather strap sandals.

8. Sweatpants are to be used only at the gym or at home

Sweatpants are for sports, or lounging at home. Wearing sweatpants in public is a big no-no in Italy. The same goes with yoga pants, form-fitting bicycle booty shorts, and running-type pants, which shouldn’t be worn outside of yoga studios, gyms, or a workout routine.

9. Don’t wear noisy shoes

Off to Italy this summer? Leave the clogs, high heels, and wooden-soled sandals at home, especially if you’re heading to Positano, the westernmost town along the Amalfi Coast, or the island of Capri. Wearing noisy shoes like wooden clogs is strictly forbidden there.

10. Leave the socks at home

Here’s a fun fact. We Italians don’t really wear socks, or, at least, not ones you can see. We usually wear no-show socks, “calzini invisibili” or more colloquially “fantasmini” in Italian, which wrap the foot at the base, from toe to ankle, without extending above the opening of the shoe. Do the same during your Italian adventure!

And please, I’m begging you, don’t wear socks with flip flops. It’s a fashion crime, at the very least. Duh.

11. Stay away from wearing too revealing clothes when visiting religious sites

If you’re planning on visiting a church, a synagogue, or other houses of worship, your knees and shoulders need to be covered. Tank tops, sleeveless garments, ab-baring crop tops, tiny hotpants, and clingy-butt mini-skirts are prohibited in religious sites throughout Italy.

My tip for you: bring a shawl, a foulard, a lightweight jumper, or an oversized scarf to wrap around your bare shoulders and legs before entering a church.

Hats off to you!

Have fun practicing what you’ve learned a little each day. A handy hint is to say out loud the Italian name for your clothes as you put them on. And next time you have five minutes, instead of scrolling through your cell phone aimlessly, read an Italian fashion blog, and learn new words and jargon. Check out The Blonde Salad by my fellow Lombard Chiara Ferragni or any of the rest of our latest articles on our Italian language blog.

Alla prossima!

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