Italy travel outfits with a navy blazer - une femme d'un certain âge

More travel outfits from Italy

Susan B. wears a long navy blazer, ivory sweater, plaid bootcut jeans and ankle boots.

What makes a travel wardrobe work? There are a number of factors but first and foremost I always try to select pieces that can be worn in multiple combinations. Here are two more of the Italy travel outfits I’ve put together.

Italy travel outfits: Piedmont & Bologna

above: jacket (similar) | necklace | sweater | bracelet | pants | bag | boots (similar)

This longer navy blazer has been a real workhorse on this trip! I purchased it in Italy a few years ago. (Belgian brand SCAPA.) It was quite spendy at the time but I’ve never regretted it. The lightweight wool fabric is comfortable in a range of temperatures. And it doesn’t crease, even after having been packed in a suitcase for days.

Above, I wore over a cashmere sweater out to dinner in the Piedmont region.

Click here to see my full travel wardrobe for Italy

Travel outfits from Italy: Susan B in Bologna wearing a leopard print scarf, navy jacket striped tee, jeans, and white sneakers.

scarf | jacket (similar) | tee | bag | jeans (similar ) | sneakers (similar)

And in Bologna, with a lightweight tee. Yes, the sneakers are new, purchased in Milan. 😉 I’ll have a separate post on shopping and discovery of some new brands soon!

I haven’t bothered much with makeup on this trip, because the mask is on and off all day. I do my brows, curl my eyelashes, maybe some mascara, and that’s it.

My travel wardrobe workhorses

Travel hiccups and bumps

While it’s wonderful to be traveling again and we’re really enjoying ourselves, it’s important to keep perspective and remember that no trip is perfect. Unexpected things happen, but we’re grateful they’ve been relatively minor.

Our first two hotels kept the rooms so warm that it was difficult to sleep, so it took us longer than normal to adjust to the 9 hour time zone difference, and left us feeling a big ragged. (Our current spot is quite comfortable.) We’ve each had days where tummies were tender, so highly anticipated meals were skipped.

Driving in Italy has been relatively easy (though we do rely on navigation using google maps on my phone). We arrived in Bologna on Sunday, and it was a bit…interesting getting to our hotel. Combine narrow, Medieval-era streets with Sunday street closures (pedestrians only), and let’s just say we won’t be attempting that again! 😱

Otherwise, we’ve really been enjoying the region. We’ve had two walking tours this week, one in Bologna and one in Modena, and have sampled some amazing food! Today we’ll be exploring on our own, and I’m hoping to visit the Archaological Museum here, which is reputed to have one of the best antiquities collections in the world.


I’ve been posting snippets of our trip on Instagram. Follow me there for more or you can scroll through the images below:

Stay in touch.

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  1. Karen
    October 20, 2021 / 4:16 am

    You both deserve a medal for driving in Italy! I was interested in your mask comment as I’ve been wondering. I hope you’ll also give us a covid-related update after you are home.
    Your longer jacket is beautiful and so functional. I’ve been envious ever since you first showed it.
    So glad you are having a good trip.

  2. Jennifer
    October 20, 2021 / 6:34 am

    Susan, my husband’s grandparents are from Bologna and Modena and having never visited either city, both are on our list for our next trip. I’d love to get the info. on the walking tours you took and any restaurants you recommend there. I am so enjoying reading your posts on your trip–the fashions, the sites, and even the travel hiccups. So glad you are enjoying it!

    • Elizabeth
      October 20, 2021 / 8:07 am

      Jennifer, pre-pandemic my husband and I took the best food tour of our lives (& we’ve taken many around the world) with Italian Days Food and Wine Tours- private van with a small group to Parma, Modena etc., beg and ending in Bologna. Highly recommend! Bologna is wonderful.

      • Jennifer Kyle Herd
        October 21, 2021 / 1:17 pm

        Elizabeth, thanks so much for the info. I’ll sock it away until we start planning our next trip! 🙂

  3. Linda
    October 20, 2021 / 6:40 am

    What a great post. You are right that nothing looks as perfect as it is but can still be wonderful with a great attitude. Have struggled with the too warm problem in hotel rooms before. Can be frustrating. Thanks for sharing. Continue to have memorable and safe travels.

  4. Elizabeth
    October 20, 2021 / 7:11 am

    SO enjoyed your photos! They bring back so many memories of our times in Italy. We found navigating around Bologna a challenge, but overall, no major problems with driving. We usually rented in small villages, but you had to have passable Italian to converse with shop keepers & in restaurants. Enjoy your adventures & keep us posted.

  5. Eva Cox
    October 20, 2021 / 7:59 am

    You look wonderful. Yes, we always have hic-ups when traveling & you just grin & bear it & solve the situation the best you can. I do the same when traveling, every piece is designed to go with every other piece of clothing in my suitcase; I find it to be a challenge to not pack so much! You are inspiring me to drive overseas (maybe Denmark the next time) & by me, I mean my husband!! Please go to the Archeological Museum , I would LOVE to see that! Have a blast!

    • Anon
      October 20, 2021 / 11:15 am

      Driving in Denmark is doable. Just get the GPS that the rental company offers, and stay in the right lane on highways, except when passing. It’s 90 kph in the right lane and 140 kph in the left. Rental cars have receivers for the toll bridges, so it’s added to your final bill.

  6. Lisa B
    October 20, 2021 / 8:54 am

    Love Bologna! My husband did a three month residency there in 1983 and my daughters spent their junior year abroad there. Hope you grabbed some balsamic vinegar in Modena because there is no comparison anywhere else. Would love to know about the sneakers. I just purchased some Hokas and have found them very comfortable. However, worried that they look too “going to the gym” to wear around Italy. My SCAPA blazer is my work horse too. I love to wear it the way you have with jeans and a tee shirt. Such a great investment.
    Have a wonderful time and stay safe.

  7. Lana
    October 20, 2021 / 12:31 pm

    Loving reading about your trip. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! We are traveling vicariously through you! I loved our trip to Italy in 2007. Would love to hear about your trip details once you are home ie what you felt was safe, not safe, any recommendations travelling now, etc. Gratzi!

  8. Hiluhilu
    October 20, 2021 / 1:10 pm

    This is such a lovely look on you. I like how you use scarves to pull outfits together and restyle them (so important for travel). Seeing you in the long blazer reminds me of your previous preference for “long over lean.” It’s so flattering on you and I wish you’d revisit it more often. It also seems a little more pulled together than tops and bottoms that visually cut the body in half. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  9. Catherine Low
    October 20, 2021 / 2:36 pm

    So interesting to compare what’s happening on your trip ,Susan, with where we are here in the West Country of England.
    We had a wonderful trip in Tuscany a few years ago, also driving the rather confusing roads… but worth it to see those hilltop towns. Hope to return before I become too old for that sort of adventure again. Now 71 , and having to accept changes in how much can be accomplished on vacations from 10 years ago.
    I read with interest about your uncomfortable experiences. One thing I try to do when first arriving in a hotel room is check out the thermostat ( with an employee if possible) because we also have difficulty sleeping in a warm room. After a long flight ( Vancouver to London) , a cool head is definitely good for a much needed sleep. We required a fan in a very characterful old inn , and besides keeping us comfortable , it somewhat muffled my guys snoring… ha! white noise!
    I have been the navigator while my husband ( an experienced driver in the UK ) manages the narrow winding country lanes with hedgerows . I also am using Google maps on my IPhone ( plugged into the car) and must admit a larger screen would be useful on a future trip. My 3×6 screen definitely requires reading glasses… also a challenge looking up & down so not to miss the direction signs as well as the amazing countryside. Amazing how fast things whiz by! Several turn arounds required ,but in good fun.
    I have been using scarves to add interest and smiled when I saw the leopard print one on you… one of my favourites is a soft woolen scarf I picked up at a consignment store… colours of gold, turquoise, leopard print go so well with my travel wardrobe.
    I mentioned in an earlier post that I brought about twice as many long scarves than I required, but will learn from that for next time. Same with jewelry… no need for anything more than my studs, since the wearing of masks makes any other dangling earrings a tricky prospect. A favourite chunky necklace was worn, but most others stayed in their pouches.
    Change in attire was really just for me, since no one knows me wherever we went !

    We had a long drive to north Devon today, after visiting Cornwall for five days. An exciting coastal storm blew in the past two days in Porthleven. Such a bonus , and my photos captured it all.
    The wind and waves were spectacular.
    Good thing my new raincoat passed the test! It has a leopard print lining with cream waterproof exterior. I found it locally in my favourite boutique. Quite unique.
    We are nearing the end of our trip , as you continue yours in Italy. Enjoy your travels… arm chair or otherwise.

  10. Rhoda Clark
    October 20, 2021 / 3:29 pm

    So enjoy your posts. You have really sold me on the loandsons handbag. I did some research and it has everything I want in a classic, not too big bag. Enjoy your trip. And do keep us up on what you are wearing what you are seeing,

  11. Mary Ann
    October 20, 2021 / 3:48 pm

    We find that renting a car with a navigation system is a good way to go when traveling abroad.
    Many times at home the system in your car will take you a different direction than my phone.
    So many ways to get to the same place, and always good for a laugh.

    • Catherine
      October 20, 2021 / 6:38 pm

      So true ! When we were leaving Siena with family a few years ago , the navcan in the car kept directing us around the outside of the fortifications into a cul de sac… 3 times! It was getting dark and we had quite the drive still to get back to the villa we were sharing.
      Hilarious memories , but at the time really frustrating.

  12. Robyn
    October 20, 2021 / 4:49 pm

    Love your updates, with good and not so good experiences. I enjoy hearing the detail. Safe travels for the remainder of your trip.

  13. Olena R.
    October 21, 2021 / 7:45 am

    And yet blue is your color. you look very noble. And stylish. You look amazing!

  14. Maria
    October 21, 2021 / 12:29 pm

    You are the best dressed traveller I know. The ivory bag looks great with the darker colours of your autumnal outfit (something I didn’t expect, but what do I know? ) and I love your beautiful long-line wool jacket. I wish wool was used more frequently in clothing as it’s a beautiful fabric and very sustainable. Your long over lean outfit with leopard print and stripes has much in common with your style before your colour analysis. You looked great before and you look wonderful now and today’s post helped me to see that the changes you’ve made have been more evolution than revolution. Thank you for so generously sharing your holiday with us. I look forward to your thoughts on the marvels of the Archaeological Museum.

  15. Blyma Wolpin
    October 21, 2021 / 4:52 pm

    I am so enjoying your travels. Thank you for taking us along. Yes, I have a severe case of travel envy; been far too long since I was in Italy. Looks like you’ve had glorious weather so far. I see the practicality of the longer wool jacket; the way it hangs clearly denotes its quality, but I quite like you in the more gamine style you’ve adopted. Nice that you can carry it all! The real question is: How did you resist buying hand made shoes from that adorable shoemaker?

  16. October 22, 2021 / 10:22 am

    Indeed a very useful and beautiful blazer and great sneakers.
    I grinned when I read about your car experience in Bologna. It is madness there.
    Following you on Instagram trying not to be jealous.

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