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How to NOT dress like an American in Europe

How to NOT dress like an American in Europe

Old Jul 24th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Here ya go pfatalbert,
Wear only your underwear and socks and take only an empty suitcase. This will ill be a tremendous help in the airport and you won't need to bother posting any questions about "packing light". You, pfatalbert, will now be the new paragon of light packers on this board and will even unseat E_M.
Now when you get to Europe, don't mind the funny looks and the people whispering behind your back, you sir, are on a mission and you won't have to endure humiliation long because you will soon have a new wardrobe that is entirely European.. It is important to note that this must be accomplished without speaking or flashing you perfect pearly American white. Also, if you truly are fat, not just phat, suck in your stomach, no one ever know.
Now most important, when you return home you must post on the U.S. board and get new instructions on "How not to dress like a European", because as you know Americans give very bad service to Europeans. I've heard we don't like them very much.
Enjoy your trip. Oh, bring a pashima you'll get a little cold on the flight to give any outfit a new look.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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>Really, my concern is about making a decent first impression - or rather, NOT making a bad first impression.

Pfatalbert, just the fact that you're concerned, means you're probably not that type of American. You're not going to wander around the Notre Dame in shorts and flip flops and ask random people for directions to the bathroom while clawing at your scrotum.

There are loud and obnoxious idiots from every country. I find they're frequently the same people who make stupid generalizations about people from other countries again.

The disadvantage Brits and Americans have, is that a large number of people will often understand what their loud and obnoxious countrymen are saying.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Tom- Since everyone is goofing around on your thread I'm gonna take a stab at it...

Pack clothes that are neat and sensible. Docker type slacks or jeans, knit polos or pressed button-down shirts, a jacket of some sort, dark colored comfortable walking shoes. Plain neutrals not patterns, plaids or loud colors.

The tired old "looking like an american" myth, which I believe to be mostly fiction, comes from a few fashion-challenged people wearing big white sneakers, plaid bermuda shorts, t-shirts from their college days which are long behind them, baseball caps, and a "fanny" pack. Just don't do THAT and you'll be fine.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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If you work really hard on it and don't edit your posts properly, see my example above, people may think that English is not your first language.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Well, I kept stating I don't believe in all these myths about being able to spot American tourists by dress, but I have to admit I was fooled in Rome. A woman entered our restaurant and sat near us. She was swathed in black oversized travel wardrobe right out of Travelsmith from head to toe. And she was wearing white trainers. One look and I thought -- there's an American tourist -- all those black travelsmith attempts to look like locals fail miserably. Anyway, after a few minutes, the owner came out, they did the kissing both cheeks routine, and were chatting away in Italian. Soon a companion showed up, more kissing, more chat, etc. It was very apparent they were locals and regulars. Go figure. Those white trainers really stood out!
Old Jul 24th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Don't wear that "rap look". Baggy pants, underwear showing, backwards baseball cap. Dumbest outfit around, even more stupid than men in speedos.

As for my lamentable namesake, he's a fake cowboy. I hope Europeans understand this. He's as much a cowboy as Rock Hudson or Billy Crystal.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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I wouldn't worry about how you are dressed. Our American men wear more golf shirts than European men but I agree with some of the other 'posters', unless you are under 20 years of age, dress like you normally would. As for 'under 20' comment...I saw young folks in Bologna who were coming back from a 'rave', they looked like young people from the U.S.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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My last Europe trip was in 2004 with 9 Girl Scouts. We wore navy tees with a small white logo that said Girl Scouts on the left side. (Like over a pocket, but they were girl's shirts and had no pockets). We each had 3 short sleeve shirts, 1 long sleeve shirt and 1 polo shirt. All the navy with the white logo. We had fleece zip up the front hooded jackets also in navy and with the same logo. We took 2 pairs of jeans (wore one pair on the plane) and 2 pairs of "official" Girl Scout khaki shorts (plus their vests). So, yes we stuck out a bunch. But all sorts of people came up to us to talk. Girl Guides from other countries (we ran into a troop of boys and girls in Italy out with their leaders), many Americans (I'm a Girl Scout Leader/Girl in Ohio/Nevada/California), we were allowed to sit in first class seats on the trains (even tho the girls had 2nd class seats... the train person said "I'm sure you all want to sit together"). We were taken to the front of lines at churches and museums. All in all, looking like an American didn't hurt us at all. I think it enriched our trip.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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Travel tip #471 Dress like a Girl Scout!
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