Dress for Adventure: Roma (and a day in Firenze)

As you may have seen on the Adventures with Baby Facebook page, I am in the throes of packing for another adventure –  at under two weeks to go, for me that means that I am in the fun fashion-planning stage. Now, I am sure someday I will blog about some packing tips, but you should know that my tips will never include any how-to on packing light. I just love clothes too much to re-wear (on the same trip – I do often bring favorites along on multiple trips) or sacrifice fashion for function.  For some it is the smells or the sounds that bring them back to the memories of wonderful places, but for me, it is often the outfit that helps the memories of an amazing trip come flooding back.

There is nothing more enjoyable than thinking about a trip to come, and planning smart combos to set against the gorgeous backdrops of foreign destinations is just another layer of my enjoyment in the pre-trip process. Now that I have a daughter, I fear that this fashion-focused travel inclination of mine has become even worse – and I may end up with a hefty therapy bill when she decides that my love of dressing her to impress (and often to coordinate) has left her scarred – that is, unless Generation Alpha grows up to develop a thicker skin than the Millennial and Gen Z folks.

Thankfully, despite the guilt portion of this guilty pleasure, friends and family provide the occasional comment on my travel fashion that allows me to save face with my husband (and sometimes Sherpa) and stand as my rebuttal to the inevitable scorn of my daughter.

So…for all of my other fashion-lovers out there, I am going to try to do some fashion recaps from time to time, with links (when available) to the outfits or brands, for any that are looking to their own travels and hoping for some new finds to fill their bags with.

To kick this off, here are some of my favorite outfits from our summer 2017 Vacanza a Roma:

Stepping Along the Spanish Steps

My absolute favorite movie is Roman Holiday, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. Regardless of rain or shine (the latter actually often being a bigger deterrent in Rome), the Spanish Steps are a must-visit favorite of mine. On our most recent visit, I donned a dress reminiscent of the era in which this iconic 1953 film was released, with a classic silhouette, timeless pinstripe print, and a modest hemline.

Spanish Steps

Julia Jordan pin-stripe dress:

Julia Jordan pinstripe dress

We paired our visit to the Steps with a stop to the Cat Sanctuary at Torre Argentina (one of two lovely stops to this wonderful organization), so Sabrina “decided” to wear a navy jungle-cat-printed halter dress from Gymboree with a complimentary profile and similar color palate.

Gymboree Sunny Safari Cheetah Halter:

gymboree safari dress

Making Wishes in the Fountain

Just as with the Spanish Steps, I find a visit to the Trevi Fountain to be a required stop whenever I am in Rome, despite the impressive crush of tourists. I love going to new and off-the-beaten-path places when I am traveling, but I think it is a crime to avoid beautiful and beloved locales just because there happen to be a lot of other people there. Plus, the superstitious voice in my head tells me that if I don’t make it to the Trevi to throw my coin in the fountain, I may never make it back to Roma.

napping at the trevi fountain

Sabrina and I went for a more obvious “mommy and me” look this day, and matched her Janie and Jack dress to my Sandra Darren dress. My dress is quite old and beloved at this point, so it is definitely no longer for sale, but I have seen some similar dresses on ThredUp or Poshmark. Likewise, Sabrina’s Janie and Jack dress is now past-season (but I smartly nabbed her a duplicate of it in a bigger size for her to grow into). It can also presently be found new and gently used on various resale sites.

orange dress kiss

Janie and Jack Orange Dress:

janie and jack orange

(Similar) Sandra Darren Sheath Dress:

similar sandra darren dress

Visit to Firenze

One of my favorite things to do on any trip is the side trip. We had actually had two potential side days planned, but realized that when traveling with an almost-toddler and a teenager, we may have planned a bit more than our group was prepared to do, and cut the day-trip to Capri from our itinerary. We did, however, make some time to visit the incomparable city of Florence. I’ll go into more detail about the trip and our Florence side visit in a full Adventure Rewind soon, but it will be hard to say enough great things about the ease of getting to Florence from Rome.

carousel ride

Sabrina’s Florence dress by Pippa and Julie is perhaps one of my favorite fashion splurges. I generally don’t pay full price for clothes, but I loved this dress so much that I just went ahead and bought it at full retail when Pippa & Julie’s website failed to send me my “join our newsletter” 20% coupon code. Actually, as I am writing this and looking the dress up online, I see that it is now on sale and am considering buying it again in a bigger size for Sabrina’s future fashion delight.

florence dress

And my own dress that day is another favorite of mine, which will actually be making a comeback on our upcoming cruise to Bermuda (T-minus 10 days and definitely COUNTING). And if you continue to follow the blog, you will probably see it pop up again and again as I find the fit and color just fabulous. I actually tried to snag myself another of these Nanette Lepore dresses in white, but alas they were sold out of my size at Niemen Marcus Last Call by the time I realized the full extent of my love for it.

ponte vecchio

Pippa & Julie Ann Tile Print Dress:

Pippa and Julie Ann Tile Print Dress

Available now at Pippa and Julie! Just don’t buy out all of Sabrina’s future sizes on me!

Nanette Lepore Handkerchief Hem Lace Dress:

Nanette lepore yellow dress

Pantheon Promenade

We were quite lucky to land ourselves an amazing Airbnb around the corner from the Pantheon, so the piazza in front of the Pantheon became a bit of our daily stomping grounds.  There is no light – morning, noon, dusk or evening – that doesn’t look amazing on that sexy old hunk of stone. We started many of our days with a morning cappuccino (and a few with a morning prosecco) at the cafes in her shadow.

pantheon pic

On this particular day, Sabrina and I again did a bit more of a legitimate “mommy and me” look as we wore matching yellow and white stripes.


Sabrina’s Janie and Jack dress was already a few seasons past its debut, and I found it new with tags for a steal on Poshmark. My own Mara Hoffman compliment was found on Amazon for a surprisingly reasonable price (and free Prime shipping!).

After our morning visit to the Pantheon, we continued on to the Capitoline Museum, which among other things had a gorgeous view of the city.

yellow stripe over rome

Janie and Jack Yellow-Stripe Dress:

janie and jack yellow stripe dress

Mara Hoffman Yellow-Stripe Dress:

Mara hoffman yellow strip dress

Available now on Amazon!

Ladies in Red

My husband and I celebrated our third anniversary on this past trip to Rome, and I wanted to find myself a nice showstopper to wear out to dinner on our Anniversary evening. I came across this red Badgley Mischka number that reminded me Julia Roberts (the most glamorous prostitute I have ever seen) in Pretty Woman, and I was instantly smitten. Since we were traveling with the kids and not really getting a solo romantic evening out, Sabrina decided to wear a complimentary red dress made by Lele Vintage (with more Spanish flamenco notes than Italian, but who’s counting?).

red dress selfie

We all had a lovely dinner together in Piazza Navona (restaurant recommendation and more details to follow in another post), and it was an amazing reminder to me of why I love the life that my husband and work hard to share together.

Piazza Navonna fountain

Piazza Navonna drinks

Badgley Mischka Red Cocktail Dress:

badgley mischka dress

Available now at 6pm.com!

Lele Vintage Red and Black Tiered Dress:

lele dress

Of course, it is not just the fashion that makes our trip to Rome memorable – the companions and the sites are what make any trip worthwhile… but the fashion sure does help make it even more fun!

yellow stripe with bob

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