How to Say Clothing in Italian: Formal and Informal Ways

When visiting Italy or learning the Italian language, it’s essential to know how to communicate about clothing. Whether you want to go shopping, describe your outfit, or simply talk about fashion, this guide will provide you with the formal and informal ways to say clothing in Italian. We will also dive into some regional variations as they add flavor to Italian vocabulary. Let’s get started!

Formal Ways to Say Clothing in Italian

If you’re in a formal setting such as a business meeting, a respectable event, or conversing with elderly people, it’s important to use the appropriate language. Here are some formal ways to say clothing in Italian:

1. Abbigliamento

In formal Italian, the word for “clothing” is abbigliamento. This term covers a broad range of clothing items and is commonly used in formal contexts.

“Mi scusi, dove posso trovare l’abbigliamento?”

(Excuse me, where can I find the clothing section?)

2. Indumenti

Another formal way to refer to clothing in Italian is by using the word indumenti. This term, although slightly less common, still carries a formal tone.

“Potrebbe darmi consigli su quali indumenti scegliere per questa occasione?”

(Could you give me advice on which clothing to choose for this occasion?)

Informal Ways to Say Clothing in Italian

Conversing with friends, peers, or in relaxed settings allows for a more casual approach to language. Let’s explore some informal ways to say clothing in Italian:

1. Vestiti

In informal Italian, the word vestiti is commonly used to refer to clothing. This term is not only versatile but also simple to remember.

“Che bei vestiti hai!”

(You have such nice clothes!)

2. Roba

An even more informal way to mention clothing is by using the term roba. Although quite colloquial, it is widely used in everyday conversations.

“Dov’hai comprato quella roba?”

(Where did you buy that stuff?)

Regional Variations

While Italian is spoken throughout the entire country, you may encounter some regional variations in the way clothing is described. Here are a few examples of regional differences in Italian vocabulary:

1. Northern Italy (Milanese Dialect)

In Milan and surrounding areas of Northern Italy, clothing is sometimes referred to as biancheria. However, it is important to note that this term usually encompasses both clothing and underwear.

“Mi serve nuova biancheria per l’inverno.”

(I need new clothing for the winter.)

2. Southern Italy (Neapolitan Dialect)

In Naples and other parts of Southern Italy, clothing can be referred to as ‘abiti. This term is used instead of the more common word ‘vestiti’.

“Gli ‘abiti’ napoletani sono unici!”

(Neapolitan clothing is unique!)

Tips for Learning Italian Clothing Vocabulary

Now that you know the different ways to say clothing in Italian, here are some handy tips to enhance your learning experience:

1. Practice with Flashcards

Create flashcards with the Italian word on one side and the translation on the other. Review them daily to reinforce your memory of the vocabulary.

2. Use the Vocabulary in Context

Find opportunities to use the new Italian words in conversations or in writing. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at integrating them into your daily language.

3. Watch Italian Fashion Shows or Lifestyle Programs

Tune in to Italian TV shows or online programs dedicated to fashion and lifestyle. This will expose you to native speakers discussing clothing and help you pick up new words and phrases.


Congratulations! You now have a guide on how to say clothing in Italian, including formal and informal expressions. Remember to adapt your choice of words based on the formality of the situation. Additionally, be aware that some regional variations exist across Italy. Keep practicing and exploring the rich world of Italian fashion and clothing vocabulary. Buona fortuna!

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Written by Alexis Lilly

Ciao! I'm Alexis, your passionate and dedicated language tutor! I've combined perfetto amore for Italian language and culture with writing, leading to innumerable comprehensive guides in translating English phrases to Italiano. When I'm not busy crafting content, I enjoy bread pudding and hot coffee in a cozy coffee shop, exploring the charm of interior design, or simply doting on my little ones. Oh, and I also enjoy snowboarding during winters. Delve into my work, and let's celebrate the beauty of linguistic diversity together! Anche se ti manco, ti amo! (Even if you miss me, I do love you!)

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