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Clothing in Europe-Preventing the Tourist Look

Clothing in Europe-Preventing the Tourist Look

Apr 5th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Clothing in Europe-Preventing the Tourist Look

I have been reading some postings about not looking like a tourist. From my past travels to Netherlands, Ireland and England, I have learned that white tennis shoes scream tourist. What types of clothing would not make you stand out as an American Tourist? Any thoughts.
scoobydoo is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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My husband!!
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Perhaps we read the same thread, which advised no tennis shoes, ponytails, baseball caps or shorts. I suppose I can master a french twist - but what ("wear comfortable") shoes don't scream "American?" Surely not (the oft recommended) Rockports!
mberry is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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Comfort is so important when you are traveling abroad... but would I risk fashion for Rockports? I don't know. I am thinking something like aerosoles. I hear Capri's are out too?
scoobydoo is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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Sophisticated and practical. Unless you are under 25 avoid sneakers, shorts, tank tops (the latter 2 except at beach resorts) t-shirts with cute sayings, jeans, baseball caps, fanny packs, backpacks, polyester and bright/pastel colors (what used to be called a "full cleveland"). (Except for pink this year.) Sitck with black, navy, white, khkai etc. Pretend you're a New Yorker and you'll be fine (not that anyone will think you're a european - our clothes are too different - they' ll just think you're a well-dressed tourist).
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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Come on, scoobydoo, researchdoo. There are a gazillion prior threads on "what to wear".

We do not have to do through this exercise again, do we?
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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I bring wrinkle resistant black skirts and pants, and several tops that serve a variety of functions. A few dressy, a few casual, a sweater that matches them, etc. For shoes, I have open back (clog like) black Naturalizers that are super comfy, but streamlined. Some people probably know I am not a local, but I try to dress respectfully, and blend in with a neat/semi-dressy look. I shy away from tee shirts and jeans, anyway, because I don't like to have to go to the laundromat often in Europe. I prefer to hand wash my shirts, and wear my skirts at least a few times, before I hit the cleaners, etc. I have navigated the Czech Rep., Slovakia, Italy, and China with my wardrobe. I would say that in the Netherlands, I puropsely try to dress down. When I arrived in Amsterdam dressed to the nines, I stuck out like a sore thumb. My friends from Zoetermeer told me that they wear their scroungiest clothes when going there, because they want to blend in!!
amp322 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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Before I read that list, I hadn't realized how "all american" my 14 year-old daughter is. What's the dress code for those under 25 who want to blend with the crowd? (And please, do help her mom with the shoes...)
mberry is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Amp... I agree. Amsterdam was defintley the most casual place I have visited.
We are heading to Spain in April. We did finally dedcide to carry on with the trip after all our second thoughts.

I am hoping to be comfortable but, not look like a tourist to prevent anymore attention as an ingles speaking person.
scoobydoo is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:54 PM
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scoobydoo, if you are as seasoned a traveler as you say, surely you have figured this out by now.

For sure, you can wear whatever you like anywhere you go.

Should you not wish to "stand out" or "scream" that your are a "tourist", well you've already figured out that, HUGE, brand new, white tennis shoes, to which I would add shorts, fanny pack, baseball cap, tee-shirt with stupid whatever on it,definitely make you recognizable as a "tourist". But,what do you care?

It is impossible to "not looking like a tourist" in general. Your camera, tour guide/map in hand, vacant "look", will always give you away.

I would mention that there is the "tourist" and the "utterly dreadful/tacky tourist".
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:58 PM
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After reading the cartoon, Bizzaro in today's paper, I would think losing anywhere from 20 to 100 pounds might help for many Americans.
Other then that what else can you do? And here's a question that never seems to get answered: Why do you want to? Would you rather look like a tourist from some other place?
mcgeezer is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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I still don't understand why people are ashamed of themselves so much that they want to appear to be something they're not. In other words, if you're a tourist, what's wrong with being a tourist?
But I will say this. I can often spot the American tourists in Europe from a mile away. They're usually the ones dressed from heat to toe in black -- even in the middle of summer. It seems to be the uniform for people from the US thinking they won't look like people from the US.
Patrick is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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We never go to Paris in the summer, which is a good thing, I guess, since I am still in my NYC black mode.
But I have to ask, while it is understandable to me, that someone is concerned about not looking like a Bumpkin when they go to another country-why are people afraid to look like AMERICANS?
I would be more afraid to look like a terrorist, a child molester, a tart, some sort of deviant..but does anyone really think that "Looking American" is such a terrible thing?
Does anyone think that the English, Germans, Italians coming here worry about looking like Americans or themselves?
Since you are asking for thoughts, these are mine- use good manners and have a good time, then you will be seen as a well mannered American. No matter what, you will still be an American and recognised as one.
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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scoobydoo, how are you..It rhyme...

Dress nicely and wear what you think is appropriate in certain places..Be comfy, wear comfy shoes and sandals..Dont worry, not matter what, you will look as a tourist..Just enjoy your trip and Quit worrying..

BTW, if you do a research ,there are hundreds of posts of :WHat to Wear..

kismetchimera is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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Exactly! Scarlett.
mcgeezer is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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I don't think people are ashamed to be American tourists. Rather, I think it is just a desire to blend in with your surroundings, do as the Romans do, etc. Plus, personally, I think there is nothing geekier than a big sneakered dork walking around in running shorts, a wrinkled T-shirt, a fanny pack, and a camera. Sorry to offend those that choose to wear such an outfit no matter where their travels may take them. Personally, I like to dress comfortably, but fashionably. Even at home, I tend to dress up regularly. When away, I find it important to be dressed well enough that I can confidently enter any place (museum, church, restaurant, concert hall) knowing that I will be warmly greeted, because I have erred on the side of caution, and dressed nicely. I just find it important to present myself well, so I will make a good impression. I find that just about anyone is willing to help me when I am dressed nicely, even when I open my mouth & speak "American"! The funniest story I have from last summer is when I wanted to be really inconspicuous, and I wore a little denim skirt with a Calvin Klein logo T-shirt, and flip flops. It seemed that not even one person in Rome thought I was a tourist, because I looked like an average trendy young person, walking around doing errands! Now I will always bring a "dress down" outfit for those times when I want to chill in style!
amp322 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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We just returned from Italy and were amazed when we were constantly asked for directions from Italians and other non-American tourists! We're an average looking middle-aged couple, and I hate to say it, but we mostly wore black. Both of us wear expensive European walking shoes (Mephisto, Ecco, etc.) because we have bad feet and like to walk everywhere. I also ditched the day pack on this trip and went with a small leather purse that I wore slung over one shoulder but crossed across my body. No cameras on display. All valuables go in a money waist belt concealed inside my slacks. This was in Rome, by the way. In Venice, where we dressed exactly the same, the hawkers and beggars picked us out as American tourists immediately, before we even opened our mouths. They're really expert at shilling tourists in Venice.
dabodin is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:54 PM
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It's easy to pick out tourists. They wear brand shiny new clothes. If you want to avoid the tourist look, wear your normal clothes. (Except the baseball cap and fanny pack.) Hopefully, these aren't your normal clothes.

If you want your daughter to look like a typical European teenager, get her a pair of jeans that are two sizes too small and pour her into them. (This only works if she's super slender.)
SalB is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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Someday I'm going to post on the Asia forum asking how I can not look like a tourist in Shanghai or Tokyo .
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 09:29 PM
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LOL WillTravel. I'm glad you said that. I too always found it funny that this board is the only one of Fodor's boards where tourist fashion comes up. Occasionally one of the other boards may have one as relates to weather.

Even when people are going to cities like Rio, Tokyo or Sydney, it never seems to come up. I wonder why?
Clifton is offline  

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