Planning for your semester abroad involves many important things, such as making a budget, scheduling your classes, organizing travel, and packing everything you might need since home isn’t just a two-day shipment away anymore. While all of these aspects of preparation are very important, one fun aspect of preparation that I’ve been focusing on is my wardrobe for Rome. I have always loved fashion, though usually, I tend to admire it from afar. I am always reading fashion magazines, following fashion influencers and creating Pinterest boards, yet I usually lean towards jeans and a t-shirt for everyday wear. Rome, and Italy in general, is a fashion-forward place, and living there for the next few months presents me with a great opportunity to step up my fashion game. In Europe, it seems that everyone is always put together, and I’ve heard that going to class in sweatpants and a sweatshirt is very out of the ordinary. So, I have been putting some thought into how I want to dress while in Rome in order to feel my best and fit in with the culture. Advice that I’ve read repeatedly about studying abroad is to pack as light as possible for this experience, so it will be a bit of a challenge to see how far I can go fashion-wise while still packing light. Here are some tips and outfit ideas I have collected for myself that I thought I’d share with the rest of you.
Romans tend to wear a lot of black, so I’ve heard. When shopping and packing for Rome, I leaned towards black basics. For example, I’m packing a black turtleneck, leather jacket, jeans, boots, a blazer, and a puffer jacket. I will definitely wear at least one of these things every day, so I got them in black in order to fit in with the locals and pair them with many different outfits.
I’m from San Diego, California. I have never lived in anything close to a real winter. That being said, I am a bit nervous yet well-prepared to live in a bit of a colder climate. Rome only gets to be about 35-55 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, which isn’t too bad but requires a little more than jeans and a sweater. A Youtuber I follow who studied abroad in London recommended HeatTech, a clothing brand that sells affordable and warm layers. I bought a black and white turtleneck from them so I can layer up on the extra cold days. I also invested in a warmer puffer jacket, helpful for chilly nights in Rome and clutch to have in case I travel anywhere colder while I’m abroad. These few basics can be mixed and matched and accessorized to create many different outfits while staying warm.
Any seemingly boring outfit can be spiced up with layered jewelry, a hairpiece, hat, or sunglasses. You can pack a few more of these smaller accessorizes in your suitcase to add more versatility to your outfits while not taking up too much space in your suitcase.
Tips for Picking Outfits
Saying you want to dress well is a very different thing from actually doing it. It takes a lot of seemingly unnecessary effort to wake up every day and spend energy on picking out an outfit. That’s why I like to create Pinterest boards and save Instagram posts with outfits that I like and already have similar pieces to. That way, if I really want to dress well one day, I can imitate outfits I’ve seen online instead of feeling the pressure of thinking of one myself.
Overall, studying abroad is a great time to push yourself and explore your identity in ways that you might not at home. Fashion is just one small way I’m going to push myself while studying abroad as I’m leaning into discomfort in a new environment with new people. It definitely is not the focus of my trip, but I thought I’d share a bit of a wildcard pre-departure post since the other great bloggers seem to have the more important details covered. I truly can’t wait for all of the things I’m going to learn, new friends I will meet and all of the great experiences I will have in Rome!
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<p>My name is Jackie Jones and I'm a sophomore at Claremont Mckenna College in Claremont, CA from San Diego, CA. I enjoy traveling, photography, fashion, music and playing volleyball for my school. On the weekends, you can find me playing Spikeball, beach volleyball, or on a deep-dive of music videos on Youtube.</p>