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My wife heard that you need a sport coat and tie to eat anywhere decent in Italy. I find this hard to believe, but I'm going there for the first time, so what do I know. I hate to lug a dress shirt, tie and a sport coat, taking up room better used for everyday clothes. Do I need them?
 

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Freude am Fahren
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My wife heard that you need a sport coat and tie to eat anywhere decent in Italy. I find this hard to believe, but I'm going there for the first time, so what do I know. I hate to lug a dress shirt, tie and a sport coat, taking up room better used for everyday clothes. Do I need them?
A sport coat and tie is not exactly dressing up. Not sure what you mean by a dress shirt as opposed to an ordinary shirt but shirts don´t take up much space.

I´m sure you´ll be able to eat without these items (which are still considered casual dress for the record) but you may be out of your element in some restaurants if you don´t have them.

I´ll give you a parallel example. For some reason, some Americans believe that workout clothing is appropriate for things other than going to the gym (shopping, a casual lunch at a café, etc.) Trust me, it´s not.
 

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Driving 'en Plein Air'
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A blazer would be very versatile. Jeans to dress down or flannel to dress up. A nice white dress shirt would work for both. No need for a tie unless your wife is planning to go to very elegant restaurants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Not sure what you mean by a dress shirt as opposed to an ordinary shirt "
Mr Spira, you surprise me. There is no such thing as a short sleeve dress shirt. Usually, there are only two colors of dress shirts, white and light blue. Dress shirts are sized to fit you, not just small, medium, large, etc.
I guess I'll bring two, one of each color.

I meant a blue blazer when I specified a sport coat. It was not my intent to eat in warm up clothes(I don't own any). I just thought a good pair of khakis and a knit polo were good enough. My wife now says its Milan that is more dressy for restaurants.
 

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My wife heard that you need a sport coat and tie to eat anywhere decent in Italy. I find this hard to believe, but I'm going there for the first time, so what do I know. I hate to lug a dress shirt, tie and a sport coat, taking up room better used for everyday clothes. Do I need them?
Oh please. I spent 9 days in Rome & suburbs, wearing jeans & tshirt and did fine. Only the fanciest of restaurants (just like in the US, btw) require a jacket + tie.

Only places you'll see that required would be something on the level of Guy Savoy in Paris (I tried to take my jacket off & 50 waiters rushed me in horror. Snooty fellers...).

All other restaurants (basically anything under 50 euros a person), would gladly seat you wearing a Borat butt floss. (not really but you get the point.)
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Mr Spira, you surprise me. There is no such thing as a short sleeve dress shirt. Usually, there are only two colors of dress shirts, white and light blue. Dress shirts are sized to fit you, not just small, medium, large, etc.
I guess I'll bring two, one of each color.
I guess what I was trying (and not succeeding) to say is that the term "dress shirt" is rather ambiguous. I tend to favor stripes btw :angel:

What I meant compared to an ordinary shirt was comparing a not-very-elegant button down collared shirt that one might wear casually to a shirt that is far more elegant and perhaps even tailor made.

I meant a blue blazer when I specified a sport coat. It was not my intent to eat in warm up clothes(I don't own any). I just thought a good pair of khakis and a knit polo were good enough. My wife now says its Milan that is more dressy for restaurants.
I hope you don´t think I thought you would show up in training clothes - I was just using this as an example (sorry if it didn´t come off as planned).

Milan as a fashion capital is know for fashionistas so yes, it´s definitely more dressy but on the whole, I think Italians dress just to go down to the corner store more so than other Europeans.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Oh please. I spent 9 days in Rome & suburbs, wearing jeans & tshirt and did fine. Only the fanciest of restaurants (just like in the US, btw) require a jacket + tie.

Only places you'll see that required would be something on the level of Guy Savoy in Paris (I tried to take my jacket off & 50 waiters rushed me in horror. Snooty fellers...).

All other restaurants (basically anything under 50 euros a person), would gladly seat you wearing a Borat butt floss. (not really but you get the point.)
I don´t think it´s a question of what is required but rather fitting in (if one feels one must) with what others are wearing.
 

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Driving 'en Plein Air'
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You guys crack me up :rofl:
 

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I don´t think it´s a question of what is required but rather fitting in (if one feels one must) with what others are wearing.
Well.

If you wanna look like a local in Italy, be prepared to shell out serious bucks, I agree. The men may all live with their mamas but they all looked like they just stepped off the Armani catalogs.

Itailans are very fashion conscious, for some reason. Personally, I don't go for "try to look like a local" because the second you open your mouth, it becomes obvious that you are not.

I just wear shorts + "GO YANKEES" t Shirt. In yo face, Italians!

(btw, another fashion obsessed country is Russia. Kinda annoying, really.)
 

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There's a very good reason Europeans can spot the Americans in their midst at 100 yards. We tend to dress for most things like we're going out to mow the lawn. Some of the pictures on this forum provide illustrative examples.

Nothing that's said here will accomplish the culture shift that would be necessary to change most American's dressing habits, but as a wise mentor once told me as I complained bitterly about having a suit on in a mid-level American restaurant after a particularly long day with an office client, "You should never feel bad about being the best dressed person in the place." I never worried much about it after that.

One can probably get fed in Italy and elsewhere pretty well wearing a T-shirt and shorts, but the impression left will be that of, well, just another American. We've long since lost the notion of trying to be ambassadors for our country when abroad, it being much easier to expect others to do it. Or simply not to care.

A sport coat, a pair of slacks and a long-sleeve, collard shirt will take up less packing space than most of the electronic gear we hump around with us these days. Food for thought.

My apologies for the sermon, but this is a particular hot button of mine. Nobody will much care, and that's fine, but it's not hard to dress up(ward) a little bit for any occasion. Your wife will appreciate it. So will the rest of the women who see you.
 

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(btw, another fashion obsessed country is Russia. Kinda annoying, really.)
You probably meant Moscow or St. Petersburg... Don't know how you can apply that same statement to most of Russia, which is considerable in size and different level of fashion admiration...

I can say the same about LA, for instance. But it would most likely apply to places like Rodeo drive, were sales people at every overpriced "boutique" look at your cloth trying to size up your wallet...

I've read a East coast vs. West coast stereotypes discussion recently, and there was one statement I would consider very true. It described "cultural" differences between West coasters and East coasters, but I would specifically say it's true about SF/Bay Area (especially the last part):

"The main difference, culturally, is that East coasters are much more class-conscious. This is reflected in the way they dress and their ambitions. There are a lot more "private clubs" and other social stratifications than on the West coast. You "know" when someone is wealther than you. Here on the West coast, the billionaire could be the guy in sandals eating across from you at the funky Thai food place."

Stereotypes are pretty useless IMO...

Edit: http://ask.metafilter.com/35676/East-Coast-vs-West-Coast-stereotypes
 

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You probably meant Moscow or St. Petersburg... Don't know how you can apply that same statement to most of Russia, which is considerable in size and different level of fashion admiration...
well, I wasn't talking about a babushka gang in Siberia.

Yes, I meant Moscow or SPB. I'm just saying that the Russians & the Italians really pay attention to what they wear.

The Dutch, OTOH, pay attention to make sure they wear all black. :dunno:
 

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well, I wasn't talking about a babushka gang in Siberia.

Yes, I meant Moscow or SPB. I'm just saying that the Russians & the Italians really pay attention to what they wear.

The Dutch, OTOH, pay attention to make sure they wear all black. :dunno:
I dunno, Moscow and 'Peter' represent less than 20 mil people out of 150 mil living in Russia...and I doubt you know everyone even in those two cities to make that point.

Can't speak for Italians...nor I'm familiar with "babushka gang" and their dress code :D
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Freude am Fahren
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My private security team takes care of that.
 

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My private security team takes care of that.
I thought you were going to respond that your special suit and 007 tie will get some "exercise" in the situation...you know, push a button here, pull a level there...:thumbup:

I can always play the bum card, especially in Europe, I guess, where everyone is "so sophisticated" that would not even pay attention to anyone in jeans...:D
 

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Freude am Fahren
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I thought you were going to respond that your special suit and 007 tie will get some "exercise" in the situation...you know, push a button here, pull a level there...:thumbup:
I'll check with Q and get back to you.
 

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