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What to wear in Northern Italy in September-October

(Last Updated On: 05/08/2020)

A warm Mediterranean climate with blue skies and even bluer waters is a picture many of us associate with summer in Italy. However, bordering Switzerland’s mountainous terrain, this perception can be somewhat interchangeable in Northern Italy; though, no less beautiful. Hence, this what to wear in Northern Italy in September/October guide!

What to wear in northern Italy in September October

What Clothes to Wear in Northern Italy

Whilst Italian summer fashion may be somewhat more glamourous than other parts of the world, deciding how to dress in Italy in the Summer is often down to outfit choice, fashion trends and personal preference. It is somewhat harder knowing which items to pack for Italy outside of the Summer & Winter seasons. Italy’s weather can be diferent from North to South, and you may be perfectly fine wearing a summer dress in Italy’s southern regions such as Puglia, but find yourself left in the cold wearing the same outfit in Italy’s northern regions.

Find out what to wear in Northern Italy in September/October using this handy Northern Italy packing guide. 

What do Italians wear in Italy in September/October

Before I begin sharing my packing guide for the Italian Lakes, it’s important I give you the lowdown on what Italians wear in Autumn and most likely the Spring season too. 

If you’re wondering how the Italians dress for Autumn/Spring, it’s important to note as a warmer climate overall, the Italians usually get cold during the changing of the seasons. Expect to see Italians wearing light coats such as biker or denim jackets paired with a scarf. As a Brit, I found the climate warm (if anything, it was nicer than most summers over in the UK), but you will find Italians wearing warmer clothes despite the sunny skies. Don’t fret, there’s no Italian dress code to worry about. The key is to bring a few layers, just in case you need to keep out the chill whilst visiting the Italian Lakes.

The climate in Northern Italy can be chilly, particularly after sunset and it’s worth packing a light jacket, scarf and closed shoes for Italy to bring with you, even if you do feel warm enough to wear a dress or skirt.

What to pack for Italy’s Lake District

I always find packing guides so useful as I’m definitely known for packing way too much! As I mentioned, deciding what to wear in Italy in Summer is generally a breeze as I can just dig out my favourite skirts and dresses, though guides such this one: What to Wear in Rome by Season are lifesavers for me as it really enables me to sort through my clothes prior to a trip so I know exactly what to pack!

Whilst, I will often alternate my own items of clothing for various trips,  I wanted to incorporate the latest styles for Autumn/Winter as part of my travel packing list to Lake Maggiore on the Italian Lakes. 

As always, I browsed my local intu Milton Keynes to check out this season’s styles and select some of my top picks. 

September/October Travel Clothes for Italy

Italians are known for their chic, classic styling and with this in mind, knowing what to wear in Northern Italy in September/October, in particular, can prove quite troublesome! Taking onboard Italian classic clothing style and the popularity of the autumn colours such as red, I picked out the black shirt dress and red belt, both from H&M.

H&M Black Shirt Dress Paired with thin circular red belt

The simplicity of the black shirt dress and lightweight material makes this a staple item and, not just for a holiday either. In Italy, I wore it with bare legs and sandals, though on colder days I could just as easily wear it with a belted cardigan, tights and boots.

The red belt gives the black dress a bright pop of colour as well as cinches in the waist to shape my curves.

H&M Black Shirt Dress Paired with red thin circular belt

This is an affordable chic outfit to wear in Italy, a bargain at £25.99 for the shirt dress and belt. 

Animal Print

In case you have been hiding under a rock, you cannot escape the fact that animal print is everywhere this season. If you remember how popular the Prince of Wales check print was for AW17, for AW18 animal print is it! 

As the hottest print of the season, there are various ways you can style animal print into your wardrobe without looking like Kat Slater from Eastenders.

There are numerous clothing items in animal print style from dresses to shoes. In fact, many retailers such as Oasis also incorporate the red shade into their animal print collection.

In Karen Millen, you will find animal print is styled with a raspberry pink.

Karen Millen Leopard Print Mini Dress

I picked up these white trainers with animal print detail from New Look.

New Look leopard Animal Print Detail Trainers

Not only do they incorporate the animal print trend into my original look, but the trainers are also really comfortable too.

Black shirt dress with animal print trainers

A subtle way of styling animal print into your wardrobe can be done by tying a scarf in your hair or to your handbag. Topshop have a great selection of scarves as well as earrings with animal print detail.

Freedom Topshop animal print earrings

My favourite animal print item has to be this lilac leopard print dress from New Look.

Lakeside views in the lilac animal print dress

Animal print is a pattern I find doesn’t always suit me in the usual shade,  though I love the shade of this midi-length dress. It certainly wasn’t an option I’d thought about when I’d initially wondered what to wear in Northern Italy in September.

Not only does this dress feel comfortable to wear, but I also felt pretty wearing it.

Feeling pretty wearing New Look Lilac Leopard Print Midi Wrap Dress

Without a doubt, one of my favourites from the new season collection at New Look. The length is also ideal to give extra coverage for some of the chillier evenings in Italy.


Similarly to red, florals are popular for another year of Autumn/Winter styling. Ahead of the game with this budding trend are Oasis, who have teamed up with Lifestyle Vlogger Niomi Smart for their AW18 campaign.

Oasis Floral AW18 Campaign Niomi Smart

H&M give their florals a romantic feel and Topshop up the colour stakes with their floral pop picks. 

Topshop Bright Floral Colour pop dress

I incorporated this style into my Italy wardrobe with this H! by Henry Holland dress from Debenhams.

H! By Henry Holland Floral cutout dress

I’ve always been a fan of Henry Holland’s bold designs, having previously enjoyed his Fashion in Motion event; a decade of House of Holland’s most iconic styles and pop-up launch party. Whilst this is not a new item, similar styles are available this season on the high street.

Polkadots & Pinstripes

Polkadots & Pinstripes have been popular all year round in 2018 and this has not changed for AW18. Many of the pinstripe styles have been incorporated into AW18’s sports luxe trend. Whilst you may be thinking sports luxe is not a trend you would think to wear in Northern Italy, think again when you see these styles. 

Topshop Sports Luxe Trend

I particularly like the contrast stripe skirt below from H&M.

Pinstripe Skirt H&M

For the stripe addition to my Italy wardrobe, I wore this black and white pinstripe dress from Miss Selfridge. Again, I love the midi length and the v-neck crossover detail as it compliments my large bust and cinches me in at the waist.

Miss Selfridge Midi crossover Striped Dress

The skirt shown below looks polkadot in the pictures below but it’s more smudges rather than dots. This was a bargain at £14 in the Next sale (not from intu MK) and I loved it so much that I’d bought it in a size 16 and 14. Whilst I wore the 16 during the summer months, I was really chuffed that the 14 was a better fit for my trip to Italy! I wonder if that has since changed after all the carbs (pizza and pasta) I consumed!

Beautiful colours of Isla Madre

As you can see from my pictures, dresses formed a big part of my Italy packing list for my trip in September and I was pleased the weather was mild.

In keeping with Autumn colours, I picked up this dress at the bargain price of £12 in the New Look sale and I can see me wearing this with a warm cardigan and boots during October.

New lool autumnal sale bargain dress

Though the dresses were a big hit, the nights do get chilly and it’s worthwhile taking a jacket with you for colder nights and mountain walks. Come Autumn/Winter my choice of coat is always a trench coat as I find it such a light transitional item to wear. However, as I only took hand-luggage, a denim jacket came in handy as it took up less space in my case. Topshop always have a great selection of denim jackets and would be one of my first ports of call when browsing the styles at intu.

Puffa-style jackets are hugely popular for AW18 and I found these styles in almost all the shops at intu. Thin material and lightweight jackets that are wind and waterproof will always be a big hit for me. I loved the colours and choice available at intu Milton Keynes. They are much thinner than they look and as the days are getting chillier, they may be great jackets to wear in Northern Italy in October.

AW18 Puffa Jacket Trend

As I mentioned, the weather in the Italian Lakes situated in Northern Italy can be a bit temperamental in comparison to Southern Italy, hence this what to wear in Northern Italy in September/October post. Therefore, it is worthwhile taking along closed shoes, a scarf and a waterproof coat during September and October. I also had two pairs of wide-legged trousers, which were comfortable to wear during the flights to and from Italy.

That’s not to say you can’t still enjoy the milder weather by taking along a swimsuit! They’ll be more on this in my what to do in Lake Maggiore guides to follow.

What to Wear in Northern Italy in September/October

I hope this has given you insight about what to wear in Northern Italy in September/October. If anything, the weather was milder than I had expected. Though, it’s always important to get an idea of what to pack, particularly if you have limited space in your hand luggage as I did during my trip to Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lakes. I will be sharing all about my trip with Bookings For You in upcoming posts!

If you like this post please share it using the share buttons on the left-hand side – I’ll be forever grateful! Also, never miss a post by signing up to The Life of a Social Butterfly Mailing List ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out my recap of AW18’s hottest styles at intu MK on the video below:

Click the links below to read my other Italy posts for inspiration on things to do in Italy, where to stay and more!

A Taste of Southern Italy – Cuisine Food Heritage Typical of Puglia

Puglia Road Trip Around Pretty Towns Ostuni, Locorotondo and the Trulli houses of Alberobello

Ultimate Northern Italy Bucket List – 25 Things to Do in Italy

Italian Lakes – The Best Things to Do in Lake Maggiore

Italian Lakes Holiday at Golfo Gabella Resort Lake Maggiore 

Fun Day Trip from Lake Maggiore to Switzerland

What to Wear in Northern Italy in September/October

Living La Dolce Vita at Corte dei Massapi Villa Puglia

A Taste of Southern Italy – Cuisine Food Heritage Typical of Puglia

Puglia Road Trip Around Pretty Towns Ostuni, Locorotondo and the Trulli houses of Alberobello


A guide of what to wear in Northern Italy during September/October incorporating AW18 season styles & trends from the retailers at intu Milton Keynes. #ItalianLakes #northernitaly #whattowear #packingguide #september #october #aw18 #intu #ukgiveaway

Click here to read my other style posts in collaboration with intu Milton Keynes.



P.s. Special thanks to fashion bloggers Violet & Charl for helping me relax and build my confidence to shoot these pictures!

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  1. 07/10/2018 / 4:55 am

    I would like to change with you: D. Now in England is unfortunately cold and wet; / Regards:*

    • 11/10/2018 / 10:31 pm

      Aww thanks so much Allie ๐Ÿ™‚ There are so many lovely animal print items around, I’ve spent a fortune! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Gabrielle
    10/10/2018 / 12:13 pm

    Love the blue leopard print on you Jasmine, such a lovely and flattering wrap-style dress! Ooooh, your travels look so dreamy babe haha; giving me serious wanderlust right now! hope you’re having a lovely week so far ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      11/10/2018 / 10:42 pm

      Aww thanks so much Gabrielle – after trying on numerous leopard print dresses, I was so glad to find one that looks nice on me ๐Ÿ™‚ No more upcoming travels planned (yet…) boo! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  3. 10/10/2018 / 9:20 pm

    SO close the the Swiss terrain, whcih is beautiful, I still have not been to Italy. I love animal prints and Karen Millen as well. You look great. <3 /Madison

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      11/10/2018 / 10:46 pm

      Aww, you must go Madison! Italy is stunning ๐Ÿ™‚ The animal print Karen Millen dress is beautiful isn’t it. Sadly, out of my price range for this trip x

  4. Emily
    14/10/2018 / 8:45 am

    Ooh I think we had the same challenge eh? You did a great job, I love your picks! I think the Niomi Smart dress is my favourite but the black dress and red belt is such a classic combo!

    Musings & More

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      27/10/2018 / 11:21 pm

      Haha ๐Ÿ˜‚ most likely! The Niomi Smart dress is beautiful. Oasis have a great selection this season. X

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      27/10/2018 / 11:19 pm

      Aww thanks so much Vanessa! It was such a great find for my trip to Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น x

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      27/10/2018 / 11:14 pm

      Oh no! Iโ€™d love to come to Canada though! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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