Question for European Readers: Do you...

Old Aug 14th, 2002, 02:24 PM
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Question for European Readers: Do you...

all worry about what to wear when you go on trips either to the US or to another country?
I have been looking at all the threads about what to wear and they seem to be mostly written by Americans.
Is it that important to you too? Or are you secure in what you wear at home is good enough for travel?
Old Aug 14th, 2002, 11:23 PM
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I think it is an American thing.
Before leaving on a trip once I met my friend in Canada at her home after I flew in from the US. I went to her home and we had tea then she said, the cab is coming soon, so I will go and pack. I watched in awe as she took a few outfits out of the closet, took some underwear out of a drawer, put them in her suitcase, threw in a pair of sandals and some makeup and shampoo, and was finished in a few minutes. I had planned and worried about what to take for months.
Old Aug 14th, 2002, 11:28 PM
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Definitely not a problem for me, I think because I'm European I just don't think about fitting in in other European countries. In fact, I never think about it, regardless of destination!
Old Aug 14th, 2002, 11:48 PM
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Bonjour Sue,

;-) All Europeans being from birth the epitome of style, why would they worry about how they look for people they know have no sense of dress ? (I suppose that was the reasonning behind the awful, slobbish clothing I saw on some of my compatriots last time I was in AZ) ;-)

Seriously, I think Americans are much too worried about how they look when they travel. I've seldom seen very badly dressed American tourists anywhere.

For me, I only worry about looking (and smelling) clean, having enough comfortable clothes suited for the weather. If it doesn't have my mother screaming in horror, I don't expect Americans will be shocked either. Packing for 3 weeks in the US or Japan usually takes 1/2 hour.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 12:28 AM
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I wear what I would in Ireland. If it's a casual day jeans and a jumper/jacket and if I am going out to dinner I dress up a bit depending on the place. Obesessing about what to wear only makes people look like they try too hard. Wear what is comfortable and what you know looks good on you.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 12:53 AM
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I suspect that it's not all Americans. I'll sound very snobbish but the sort of people who worry are the ones who worry about using the right knife and fork.
I personally try to dress appropriately. I wouldn't wear the sort of clothes I'd wear in the city if I were staying in the countryside. I wouldn't wear city clothes on the beach. I dress up a bit for the theatre or if I'm going to an expensive restaurant. I also dress my age. I'm over 60 and so would only wear jeans for working in the garden. I follow the same rules when I travel.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 01:03 AM
david west
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I just wear what I would in England (I am not a flamboyant or particularly fashion concious dresser anyway).

I would expect to observe any cultural sensitivities eg shorts/shoes in temples, Kippas at the wailing wall etc, but other than that I never give it much thought.

Incidentally, English football shirts are a great ice breaker in many foreign bars etc.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 01:49 AM
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Good question, Sue!

To answer it: It's a clear NO!

Of course, I do some research about what to do, the expected temperatures and according to this, I will pack.
Best and most reliable source are usually family members, friends, co-workers, etc. who have visited there before.

I tend to pack comfortable clothes and shoes, but also some fancy clothes for the evening. Depends a bit, whether the trip is into a (European) city, to a beach resort , to a Muslim or Asian country.

Usually, I don't take too many different colours, but rather a few ones, so that everything matched with everything. Basically, I wear most of these clothes at home as well. Not shorts or typical beach wear though, unless it's on the weekends.

As for the weather, it can vary so much. Here, in Switzerland we had a heat wave in June and since that, it hasn't been that great. Very unusual, because July and August 'should' statistically be the hottest months of the year. It's very likely we shall shave a nice September and with some luck, the same for October.

I don't deny that I am always kind of nervous, especially before a trip to Asia or to the States, but it's because it's a long (often overnight) flight, a lot of new impressions, etc.
On the other hand, I know one can buy almost everything everywhere, so there is really nothing to worry too much in advance.

As for the packing, I have my list about things I want to bring, not necessarily clothes though, but useful things I don't want to run after, when on holiday.

Of course, I am not that concerned regarding the language barrier and this is definitely a huge advantage.
I always feel a little more comfortable, when I can speak the language of the country, be it only some basics for small talk.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 02:15 AM
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Maybe this is not the right answer to your question, but more to the question why European people seem to look better dressed as (some) American.(No hard feelings, please) It is the quality of the clothes.For instance in Europe "Timberland" is a good and expensive brand.When we were in vacation in the US we saw a lot of "Timberland" shops with sales. We were very enthousiast to see that we could buy things for half the price as in Europe. But, we immeditaly saw that the quality was not the same as in our country. We still buyed some stuff, but once washed in the machine they came out as tatters. Very disappointing.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 02:35 AM
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Like you perhaps already guessed, no, I don´t pay a single thought to that. The exception are the more severe muslim countries just like Ursula said. I know how many shirts, pants and skirts I need for a week or two or three weeks, so I just throw them into a suitcase. In summer lighter ones, in winter warmer ones. Plus a coat or jacket to fit the climate in question. And one a bit dressier thing. And only the jewellery I wear every day anyway.

But all my clothes go in colours that match, so I don´t have to think about that. Shoes seem to be a problem, though. But not in a sense that I would think: What do THEY think about my shoes? I just always tend to pack also a pair I don´t wear at all.

I thought that these dressing "problems" are unique to Fodors US posters, but actually this summer an American man said to me: I have noticed that nobody wears white shoes. Why is that? After being educated by Fodors, I decided to be polite, and instead of saying that I think they look awful, I said that women think white shoes make their feet look big (hah, as if my feet would not look big in all colours). He said: Oh, then I understand!
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:24 AM
Fashion Police
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David, wearing football team color on holiday abroad? You may get bitten up or a medal for 'the worst dressed Brit' medal.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:29 AM
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this thread makes me think of :

Inferiority complexes

Why ?

Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:49 AM
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I don't think it's typically "American" per se, I think it's more an individual thing.

I am an American and when I travel unless I have some specific event to attend, I don't fret over what I pack and actually am usually stuffing my suitcase as the cab arrives. I usually leave packing for LAST. two hours before departure the suitcase opens.

and yes, I am one of those jeans wearing people. couldn't care less - they are comfortable.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 03:57 AM
david west
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For Fashion Police;

I won't get "bitten up" as I will have a spurs top on, and that is deterrent enough. I happen to think that it's extremely flattering for my "fuller figure", and sets off my sunburn beautifully.

In all seriousness; johnny furriner is invariably in love with English football and shirts (and other smaller favours eg badges and scarves) are always great gifts.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 04:22 AM
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Well - I won't be wearing a t-shirt starring Osama bin Laden when in south-west US next winter, but then again I don't really wear it here neither. Reasons are different though. And I do consider what I'm wearing if going somewhere with substantially different culture, where certain clothings (lack of usually) might be offensive. But for the US? Nah... Will probably be dressed in rags after half a year in central America on the world's tightest budget just before, anyway.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 05:56 AM
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I think women always ask what they should wear when going out to a function they are not familliar with so why should it be any different with travel. Maybe thats a American thing but I doubt it.

Men are just as bad.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:46 AM
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>and yes, I am one of those jeans >wearing people. couldn't care less - >they are comfortable.

Do you really think so? IMHO they are stiff, heavy and hard to dry if they get wet. They look silly on anyone with a waist size or age above 35.
I can see why students and workmen would want to wear them because they are very hard wearing.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:55 AM
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Really? Please explain why 35 is the cut-off age for wearing jeans. Will someone look different in jeans at 36 or 37 than at 35?
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:58 AM
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stay out of jean and tennis shoes, even the ones you shine. forget baseball caps! tend toward the darker colors. keep away from message tees. don't hang your shades from your shirt front. wear socks. try some italian clothes. in the evening, wear a jacket, and even a tie, if it's a good restaurant. get a leather outter coat, and leave the heavy top coats at home. keep your shoes shines. if this is too much guidance, just hang onto this nugget: do whatever it takes not to look like rick steves, including that haircut. and no backpacks, but i suppose that's redundant.
Old Aug 15th, 2002, 06:59 AM
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hmmm, i meant stay out of jeans.

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