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Study Abroad Style: Fashion Inspired by Rome


fashion inspired by rome
Photo Credit | All other photos taken by me.

While I have absolutely loved traveling to cities such as Paris and Madrid during my semester abroad, I knew that my time in Europe just wouldn’t be complete without a pit stop in The Eternal City – Rome.

After our program ended, my friend Nicole and I (we’re both graduating in May), decided to skip out on senior week festivities and instead see Italy before returning to Boston. We spent three days in Rome, then headed south to Sorrento, a gorgeous little city close to the Amalfi Coast. Like Paris, Rome is an intoxicating city full of narrow streets and delightful discoveries. Let’s take a trip to some of the most famous monuments of Rome!

All Roads Lead to Rome: About The Eternal City

  • Rome is the capital of Italy and the 5th most populous city in the European Union. According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus on Palatine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome.
  • The storied city has seen the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the dazzling creativity of the Italian Renaissance, and the 1861 unification of Italy. No wonder they call it the Eternal City.
  • If you plan on visiting, make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes! The abundance of history also means less-modern pavement and transportation methods. The Roman metro, for instance, doesn’t really span the entire city because it’s not easy to build subway tunnels due to all the ruins that are underground.
  • Also, keep in mind that you can be turned away from churches if your shoulders and knees aren’t covered. So, remember to keep a cardigan or shawl as well as a pair of tights with you just to be on the safe side.


Colosseum header

The Colosseum is, well, colossal. (Oh, how my rhetoric dazzles.) This ancient amphitheater, the largest in the world, began construction in 70 A.D. under the Roman emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 A.D. under Titus’s rule. The Colosseum, or Colosseo, could seat 50,000 people and was used for events such as gladiator matches, mock sea battles (in which the entire arena was flooded with water), animal hunts, and theatrical productions.

Colosseum inspired outfit
Product Information: Dress, Sandals, Bag, Earrings, Bangle

Take a trip back in time with this ancient Roman-inspired ensemble. Confession: I actually saw a girl wearing this exact dress during my visit to the Roman forums — which are right next to the Colosseum — and creepily followed her for a bit because I liked the dress so much. (I may or may not have cried a little when I was unable to find the dress in my size in any Mango store.)

The cutout back of the dress is such a fun detail, while its flowy fabric pairs perfectly with understated gladiator sandals. Add a pair of claw earrings and a sword bangle to represent the Colosseum’s entertainment offerings. Finally, stow your belongings in a cute red cross-body bag for a fun pop of color!

St. Peter’s Basilica

St Peters header

While I’m not religious, visiting Saint Peter’s Basilica was seriously awe-inspiring. Even while we were waiting outside in the square, the domed exterior of the building was incredible. Inside, the jaw-droppingly beautiful statues, inlays, and carvings cover every inch of the basilica – one hardly knows where to look! According to Roman Catholic tradition, Saint Peter’s burial site is located under the basilica, which was consecrated in 1626.

As with most churches in Italy, the Basilica holds its guests to a respectful dress code – shoulders and knees must be covered. Admittedly, I forgot to bring a long-enough skirt and had to buy myself a pair of 3-euro leggings, which I wore as pants. (Forgive me.)

Saint Peters Inspired Outfit
Product Information: Jacket, Blouse, Trousers, Necklace, Earrings, Flats

Look perfectly put-together in this monumental house of worship with a dusty rose blouse and crisp jacquard trousers. A sharp jacket with a slight metallic sheen adds a bit of edge to the outfit, while a pretty gold necklace recalls the gilded decoration of the basilica.

Fontana di Trevi

Trevi header

I was shocked when I saw the Trevi Fountain – it looks just like the one outside of Caesar’s Palace in Vegas, doesn’t it? (Joking!) In all seriousness, this fountain was one of the Roman sites I was most excited to visit, and for good reason! The enormous Baroque fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi and completed after his death in 1762.

Oceanus, the god of water, is the centerpiece of the breathtakingly dramatic fountain. According to tradition, throwing a coin into the Trevi guarantees that you’ll return to Rome.

Trevi fountain inspired outfit
Product Information: Cardigan, Top, Skirt, Flats, Bracelet, Earrings

The Trevi is literally a fountain of inspiration: a flowing cerulean skirt references the crystal-clear water, while a white top and pale gray cardigan allude to the complex stone sculptures. Make sure to choose graceful fabrics that drape well. Metallic flats and stone drop earrings are simple but chic. Finally, slip on a jangly coin bracelet to make sure that you’ll return to Rome!

Spanish Steps

Spanish header

You have to feel a little sorry for the French – they were the ones who actually paid for the famous Spanish Steps! (They are named so because they connect the Spanish Embassy at the base of the steps with the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.) The Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti, as it’s called in Italian, is the widest staircase in Europe, and is the perfect place to people-watch while enjoying a gelato.

Spanish steps inspired outfit
Product Information: Top, Cardigan, Skirt, Flats, Satchel, Scarf

While I have still never actually seen the movie, I don’t think an inspired-by Rome post is complete without an outfit referencing Roman Holiday!

Audrey Hepburn would surely approve of this sweet and classic ensemble. A Peter Pan blouse and high-waisted skirt are perfectly complemented by a sky-blue cardigan and pretty peep-toe flats. A chic scarf and preppy satchel finish off the look.

What did you think?

Would you wear these outfits? Have you been to Rome? What was your favorite place to visit? Have you seen Roman Holiday? (It’s on my to-watch list!) Let me know in the comments!

Posted on on May 18, 2013 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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15 Responses to “Study Abroad Style: Fashion Inspired by Rome”

  1. 1
    May 18th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Roman Holiday is a must watch!

    I love the romantic feel of these outfits. I’m actually planning a trip to Rome this fall and pIan on packing some outfits like these with one key difference: more supportive shoes! Flats just don’t cut it for walking around all day. I’ll likely wear boat shoes or keds.

  2. 2
    May 18th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    You need to watch Roman Holiday! And do a study abroad blog post on Ireland – my roommate’s there right now!

  3. 3
    May 18th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I’ve always been fascinated with Rome, and the jewelry in the first outfit is amazing! I like the first and last outfits the best

  4. 4
    May 18th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    You guys have been on a roll, lately! I absolutely love every one of these outfits.

  5. 5
    May 18th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I studied abroad and lived in Rome last summer and I think these outfits are on point with the fashion in this city!

  6. 6
    May 18th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I really like the first and last outfits! Cute bags, too. But what kind of bra do you wear with the dress of the first outfit?

  7. 7
    May 18th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    ooh i love all of these looks! i think the multiple blush palette of the saint peter’s basilica is my favorite, but i also really really like the spanish steps outfit. lovely post :)

  8. 8
    May 19th, 2013 at 1:59 am

    I like the last outfit, and I have a pretty floral pink skirt similar to the skirt in that outfit. It doesn’t look good when I tuck in any top. What kind of tops can I wear with a skirt like that without tucking it in?

  9. 9
    May 19th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Hi! I love all of these looks above all the first one! I think these outfits are amazing and really app to Rome! Trust me i m italian and i live in rome!! With this comment i want also congratulate with all of you for your amazing work! (Sorry for my probably broken english :) )

  10. 10
    May 19th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    the last outfit is PERFECT, i love the colors!

  11. 11
    May 19th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    can you guys do a study-abroad Ireland? That would be awesome! :)

  12. 12
    May 28th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks, Valentina! That means a lot! Hope to visit your beautiful city again soon :)

  13. 13
    May 28th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hi A, sorry for the late response! If you don’t want to tuck, you could try a cropped top that hits right above the skirt waistline. Or try knotting button-down shirt or even a basic white tee at the waist for a fun beachy look. Hope that helps!

  14. 14
    May 31st, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I am in LOVE with the Trevi Fountain inspired look! I also loved the fountain when I visited Rome. My family and I spent nearly an hour just looking at the beautiful statues and marble. I am totally going to rock this look! :D

  15. 15
    May 31st, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    @Carly, glad to know I’m not the only one who spent a ton of time just staring at the beauteous Trevi Fountain!

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