trip to Italy and France
Going to Paris and some towns in Italy in July with my two daughters. I do not want to look like the sloppy Americans that I see in restos in Jersey with those stupid baseball caps on their heads and dressed like rag pickers when eating out. I wonder if shorts are acceptable for lunch when one is touring and doing alot of walking around. Pants or a skirt/dress would be fine for dinner I am sure.. Is it the individual resto that sets the dress policy, or is there just a general rule when dining? Are these rules enforced and one getst turned away? What to wear for lunch and dinner??
I really don't remember every seeing French or Italian adults wearing shorts, particularly in a restaurant. My suggestion would be nice looking capris or airy longer pants. I had a pair of black cotton/linen pants with an elastic waist that I wore with a sleeveless black tunic nearly every day during summer traveling and I always felt properly dressed for eating out...I had a shawl for churches or strong air conditioning.
I think the oldish rule still applies: if you're an American who doesn't want to stick out, you might as well leave your shorts at home unless you're anticipating playing in some tennis matches.
Women in general tend to get by more easily than men when it comes to dress code.
In Paris and Italy, go on the safe side and dress more "chic" than you would normally do in the USA.
Don't underestimate a _nice_ pair of jeans with a _nice_ shirt to go with.
Also, Paris in july will be hot, so ... bring linen, light cotton, ...
In Italy in particular, you may not be able to get into some of the sightseeing places wearing shorts (churches for sure) and there's no way you won't stand out like a sore thumb in them in either country. Dresses are better for women, lightweight trousers for men, but Dockers and the like get you pegged for a tourist. Ditto sneakers. You don't have to dress expensively, but try to dress nice, like you were going to a nice brunch or maybe a dress-up garden party at home. it's not that you're trying to "pass', but as you said, you don't want to stick out. fanny packs, shorts, white socks, tennis shoes, khakis... they unfortunately all scream American tourist and tend to look too casual in most Italian or French cities. I spent time in a very small Italian city and the women there really blinged it up! not that i would recommend that either, but try to dress more fashionably than you would on other, American vacations. All this, of course, is just my opinion.