Help us avoiding looking like tourists

Old Feb 12th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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I think the best way to blend in is to look for a t-shirt that says "I'm With Stupid" in seven different languages.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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First, unless you have perfect German and all clothes you brought there everyone will know you are american.

But if you don't want to really stand out, avoid baseball caps, tee shirts with pictures or cute sayings on them and pastel polyester outfits. Jeans and normal adult tops are fine as are dark of colored walking shoes (but do avoid ginat white clown sneakers). IMHO adults should be wearing shorts only in resorts or while doing athletic activities - except for pressed tailored city shorts.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 04:47 PM
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I guess that I'm the cheese standing alone, but what I posted earlier is what I was advised in this same forum two years ago before going to Europe and some websites that I just googled.

We were in 4 countries, June (Portugal, Spain), July (Italy), August (Switzerland), and I could count with my fingers the times when I saw a local wearing jeans, only Americans that were made fun of, it was so hot that wearing jeans was completely out of the question. I only saw jeans in Switzerland when it was cold and rainy.

Here is something you can read that doesn't come from me, who seems to be the giving the wrong advise....

Ditch the athletic shoes. White athletic shoes (otherwise referred to as tennis shoes, or sneakers) are stereotypically American. Any shoes that don't look like they were meant for exercise will suffice.

Avoid US brand name clothing with easily readable names (e.g., Nike, Gap, Abercrombie, etc.). In fact, don't wear any slogans (like "Virginia is for lovers") as that will tie you to a specific place.

Dress a little nicer than usual. Casual dress is not as common outside the USA. You will fit in better most places if your wear long pants or skirts and buttoned shirts or blouses rather than sneakers, sweatshirts, t-shirts, jeans, or shorts -- especially athletic shorts. Blue jeans are not acceptable in all situations. Instead, pack versatile "casual Friday" business attire. Shorts are best avoided by all adults, especially women, except for hiking and similar activities. In many countries, adults wearing shorts are seen as silly, uncouth, half-naked, or worse.

Dress appropriately for the local weather. Shorts and a t-shirt in cool climates (or winter time) are a clear sign that you are not in touch with the local weather. Many Americans also tend to wear technical outdoor gear, such as down jackets and ski jackets, as casual winter outerwear.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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"Dress appropriately for the local weather. "

That is a given. But to even suggest that Europeans don't wear jeans is ludicrous. Not when it is 35C/95F -- that is just plain uncomfortable. And not sloppy/saggy jeans -- but jeans are worn/sold everywhere.

One thing is -- You may think Europeans dress up because many folks you'll see in European cities are working. They dress casually on weekends/on vacation, just like everybody else . . .

Take a look at this link - Kerouac's photos of 'real people' in Paris

Seems to include every item you warn against.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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Sorry pookiemini but Europeans wear jeans, and white athletic shoes and I've even seen fat ladies in shorts. And, US brand names are as ubiquitous in Europe as they are here. I do wish people would get over the idea that there's a different dress code for Europeans or, for that matter, tourists. Have a look at janisj's ( Kerouac's) link.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Over time I have found that knit skirts and dresses are the best. I still always bring a pair of pants. Typically black cargo style. I like Eddie Bauer for just about anything. A black knit dress with the earings or necklace you just bought will look great. I once met a girl at the Pantheon who was wearing high wedge sandals and I asked her how she managed. She said they were very comfortable and easy. I agree, I bought a pair of aerosole semi decent looking high sandals that I've gone just about everywhere in. Now, I also wear Merrils everywhere too. Also, I have been caught too many times freezing in London! I must learn to pack better when I go there. In the hottest locations I have found bringing long sleeve extremely light weight linen shirts to work. They keep the sun from burning up your skin and wash out real easy. As for looking like a tourist...I see alot of kooky looking outfits in Europe, especially the guys and their shoes, so I wouldn't worry unless you plan on dressing like you are on safari. BTW you are a tourist.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 06:29 PM
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BTW. Better not to wear shorts if you plan on visiting Churches, Cathedrals, etc. Always have at least a small scarf in your bag in case there is a bare shoulder issue or some other bizarre requirement.

Have a great time on the honeymoon!
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Well, I always wear white tennis shoes. Shape Ups to be exact. I only wear jeans too. Guess what, I blend everywhere I go.

It is the walk, the hair cut, the "tourist clutch" on bags and purses that gives tourists away. If you want to blend better, buy a local newspaper and carry it around, or a shopping bag from the local grocery store.

For those who think Europeans don't wear these items, you need to go shopping here. The shoe stores are packed with white shoes. Levis, and Lee jeans are hugely popular, though the cut may be different. Fitted and looking nice. T-shirts with sayings on them are popular too.

Some items that give Americans away, are parachute type pants (you know, those ones that make noise when you walk), wearing jogging pants to sightsee, polyester pants with gathered waistbands with the shirt tucked in, and back packs rather than messenger bags.

At the end of the day, why worry about what you are wearing? Who cares? You aren't going to be denied service, you aren't going to be talked about. It just doesn't matter.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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In Austria and Germany, Lederhosen and green hat with feather for the gentleman. Dirndle for the lady. Gentleman change to shark skin suit for Italy. For the lady, six inch heels will suffice (can reduce to 4" in towns with cobblestone streets).

Otherwise, don't worry about it.
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Good or bad things (or nothing in particular) may result from your being spotted as a tourist: isn't the important thing not to look like a gullible/fleeceable/robbable tourist?

Things like not hanging your valuables off the back of your chair in a café or not conspicuously wearing a wallet in a back trouser pocket would be far more important.

[PS: I'm guessing that if it's your honeymoon you're relatively young: you can more likely get away with jeans and athletic shoes - young adult clothes seem to be much the same. The stereotypes I think a lot of posters have in mind are more like the couple I once saw in London, who must have been in their well-preserved 70s, all kitted out as if for a veterans' tournament at the local tennis club, complete with Alice Marble-style eye-shades, but with all their clothes looking as though they were straight out of the shop. That was a little incongruous in the morning rush hour.)
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Or posters are thinking of tourists like these (two sets of sculptures by the late American artist Duane Hanson):
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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You should definitely have to be familiar with the place. Before visiting the place get as much information as possible. It would help a lot.
However the following article can help you a lot:
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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Normally, during the day, I will wear peasant sack cloth and rag shoes to fit in with the locals. If going out, I will wear pantaloons and a nice lice collar to keep up with the gentry. In England, wearing a spiffy crusader outfit works well. In Italy, horizontal striped shirt and neck scarf works well. I always wear my monocle and top hat in Germany. With these outfits nobody thinks I'm a tourist, they do however think I am insane.

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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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A lice collar? You're not a dog, by any chance?
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 10:41 PM
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Born and raised and living in Germany for 43 years, I fear that I had to burn 3/4 of my clothes if I followed some of the "fashion warnings" here.

The only place that comes to my mind where people care about their clothes to blend in is North Korea.
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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 01:05 AM
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Another thing to bear in mind that even many of the people who look and sound local to you are also actually tourists.

In some parts of Italy, the majority of tourists are other Italians, who will probably be speaking a different dialect (which you won't be able to differentiate but the real locals will).

I like the idea of wearing outlandish clothes so everyone will believe you are crazy rather than a tourist.
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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 03:49 AM
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The locals are too busy getting on with their lives to notice or care what you wear.

Some Europeans wear jeans, white trainers, T-shirt with Nike written all over them, baseball hats, shorts, even Hawaiian print shirts on occasion.

Wear what you would normally wear for you vacation in the US (provided it suits the weather of course) and that you feel comfortable wearing.
If you are planning on hiking/climbing mountains then wear the appropriate clothing for that too.

Really the locals won't care, and you need not feel embarrassed. You are after all a tourist, along with a lot of the other people around you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 03:52 AM
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The typical tourist doesn't wear this in June. And you will look crazy. But it goes with just about anything:
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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 04:03 AM
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Hi VW,

> Germans wear Birkenstocks ....<


However. the police are required to check the identity cards of everyone wearing Birkenstocks in public.

If you don't have the proper papers, your shoes will be confiscated and you will have to pay a 100E fine on the spot.

If you can't pay the fine, you will be jailed until you come up with the cash.

Don't run the risk.

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Old Feb 13th, 2012, 04:25 AM
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I would wear a T-shirt that reads, "I'm from Greece, can I borrow a few Euros?"
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