Western wear in the UK

Old Jan 5th, 1999, 07:48 AM
  #1  
Hans
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Western wear in the UK

How unusual will cowboy booys be in England and Scotland? Willl my choice of footwear attract a lot of (unwanted) attention?

I assume a baseball cap might also be considered unusual.

Thanks
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 08:04 AM
  #2  
Bob Brown
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People in the UK are used to seeing people in all kinds of strange garb.
While most of them are polite, and don't snicker, typical American attire will advertise you big time to the pickpockets. And the crowded tourist sites do have a few, even in England.
You would probably stick out more in places like Italy, where street crime is seemingly a little more prevalent.
(Reference the recent post about pickpockets on this forum.) But you will not be the first horse rider to parade the streets of London.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 09:11 AM
  #3  
Tony Hughes
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Hans . . .
If you can, try not to tuck your trousers into your boots and jeans would probably be least likely to provoke mirth with cowboy boots. Baseball caps are not considered unusual but usually only worn by the younger generation (25 and under). Bob is right - your apparel may mark you out as a 'tourist' and thus easier 'prey' to pickpockets.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 09:23 AM
  #4  
Christina
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I've seen several photos of Princess Diana wearing a baseball cap, so apparently it's not just for Americans but trendy fashion slaves of many nationalities and income levels. As for the boots, I love cowboy boots myself but would think they are rather too uncomfortable for heavy-duty walking and sightseeing. I can't imagine anyone would care that much or even notice if they were flat-heeled, but the higher-heeled boots on men would probably draw notice. Personally, no offense, but baseball caps are stupid attire unless you are out in the bright sun a long time or something. For most people (like Princess Di) wearing them, they serve no purpose at all, so why would you wear one?
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 09:53 AM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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Ahem, Christina. Have you been on a college campus recently? Backward caps are the standard attire for many people, indoors and out, hot or cold, day or night.

And in Switzerland this summer I saw a lot of caps with baseball style bills on them. And they were not worn exclusively by Americans either.

We had a similar thread on jeans and that they were tacky attire. The main theme of the comments were that no properly dressed tourist would be caught dead in them. Well, that snobbish line of diatribe got shattered in my eyes when, in Schipol Airport, 3 Dutch business men, all carrying briefcases and all clad in blue jeans, boarded a flight to Zuerich ahead of me.

Perhaps Hans should wear a white Stetson of the 10-gallon variety. Or perhaps a green Tyrolean hat with one of those little brushes clipped to it would do the trick.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 10:11 AM
  #6  
Ann
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Last summer in London, after making sure to be properly dressed and presentable (reading every posting on the topic here) my family got onto the tube on Saturday morning and all the locals were wearing jeans!!! This did not happen during the week, but by the weekend it seems to be the universal comfort attire
even in London. We were not staying in a touristy area...these were not fellow Americans. I just sat there and smiled to myself and enjoyed the ride.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 10:38 AM
  #7  
Myriam
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American people seem to think that we Europeans come 50 years behind!
Why shouldn't you wear jeans in Europe, or cowboy boots, or a baseball cap ? This kind of clothing is very common in Europe, even in a small country like ours (Belgium).
Enjoy your trip and don't worry about clothing. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 12:33 PM
  #8  
Diane
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Unless, of course, you are going to Paris. Then both the boots and the baseball cap should be black, to go with the rest of your attire.

My stepfather only wears cowboy boots. Even with his tux. And you know, they look smashing!
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 12:49 PM
  #9  
Al
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Wear whatever you darn please, so long as it's clean, neat, and appropriate for the occasion. I just would caution that cowboy boots are not so great when you must walk on cobblestones.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 01:29 PM
  #10  
elaine
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Just a thought, but I don't recall any previous postings saying that tourists or locals should never wear jeans. I think the questions about dress codes often included mention of having tea or dining somewhere nice, or visiting
churches, etc. I think the threads about proper attire (and I'm not trying to start another one) had to do with using common sense and showing some respect. For example when I run my errands or go to the movies at home I wear jeans, and I assume Londoners or Parisians often do the same. However, if I'm going to tea at the Dorchester or going someplace nice at home, I don't wear jeans, despite the fact that I may see people on the subway or in the street who are indeed wearing jeans.We are not planning the same activity. And most travelers can agree on the difference in effect between a pair of jeans with a nice jacket or sweater,which will be acceptable attire many many places, vs jeans (or shorts) with a logo tee shirt or nylon windbreaker, or tank top. and huge sneakers.There's casual, and then there's casual.
So, Hans, wear what you thing would be
comfortable and appropriate, but do also think about looking like a
tourist/ target.
elaine
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 02:37 PM
  #11  
Bob Brown
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On the blue jean issue, I yield.
Bad memory. It was lycra and pink
jogging outfits that looked like pajamas that caught most of the flack.
Also clothes that leave body parts exposed were not considered too refined.
The thread was long and detailed, and it yielded some entertaining reading.
If you haven't seen it, do a search with the key words "tacky tourist". The postings on the anti tacky tourist brigade are really funny. Fodors search engine wins an award for efficiency.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 03:04 PM
  #12  
mustangs81
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I have no intention or desire to turn this into a political discussion but to Myriam's comment... speaking for myself, I don't think the implication is that Europeans are 50 years behind, on the contrary, I have always found most of Europe to be trendy, for what trendy is worth. I glean the discussion boards for do's and don'ts of attire and behavior in order not to be treated or viewed as the "stereotypical American tourist". I kept up with several of the discussion boards on various travel sites before my last trip (November) and ended up feeling pretty beat up by some of the opinions stated about Americans, to the point that I questioned going. I really do my best to be a respectful, courteous, and knowledgeable traveler (just like I do at home) and for the most part, the people that I encountered on my trip were kind and helpful.
 
Old Jan 5th, 1999, 04:38 PM
  #13  
Al
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While we are into introspection and self-conscious self-examinations, I suggest that Hans get himself a park bench next time he is in Europe and see the sideshow of a lifetime. Swedish girls (yummmmm) wearing platform shoes with soles at least five inches thick. British geeks with green hair, greased and gooed into spikes. French girls with black circles around their eyes, black clothes, pale skin, looking stoned. Germans in summer with that strange yellow cast to their complexions. Italians with two pairs of sunglasses, one on their eyes and another pair on top of their heads. Oh, don't worry about Western wear, Hans -- you may become the only normal-looking person in the park!
 
Old Jan 6th, 1999, 02:26 PM
  #14  
Christina
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Yes, Bob (Brown), I have been to a college campus fairly recently, which is exactly my point--I don't usually consider what 20 year olds think, do, or wear in any way the epitome of common sense or good taste, nor anything to be admired or copied. Different styles and colors are one thing, but to wear a particular piece of clothing like a baseball cap for no reason except you think it makes you look cool rather than because you need a cap, is dumb.
However, telling people not to wear jeans is stupid, I always take jeans when traveling to Europe and probably wear them more than anything else I have -- there are indeed people on this board (including in one recent thread about someone traveling to Spain) who advise anyone not to wear jeans in Europe (or anywhere, I guess, other than US) because they claim it marks you as an American and isn't proper. What rubbish! Most anyone can pick out Americans in Europe (even I) but it's not because they're wearing jeans, but for other reasons. I don't know if these people are merely old and conservative, or have never been to Europe, or what. People wear jeans all over the world and they certainly wear them a lot in Europe. I think this is really bad advice (and it somehow always comes from Americans, not Europeans), but there's no guarantee that the advice on a public BB is going to be any good, unfortunately.
 
Old Jan 6th, 1999, 03:11 PM
  #15  
s.fowler
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I'll weigh in with Christina on the baseball hats. They can be useful, but when you've taught a room full of kids wearing them backwards and looking disengaged... well...
Re jeans: By all means wear then. Again Christina is right. Most Americans reveal their identity simply by body language, even if they are wearing "local color." My reason for not taking jeans [aside from what my butt looks like in them!] is the weight. I pack light and find that there are a lot of things that will fit in the same space and be more useful.
 
Old Jan 7th, 1999, 07:19 AM
  #16  
Bob Brown
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Ahem again to whomever needs to be ahemed at. What we the faculty might think about what college kids wear and do outside of the class room does not have much immediate impact on their behavior. Neither your opinion nor mine on those issues is going to do much toward altering their behavior.

Them's the facts; I don't endorse hats on backwards, or revealing clothing, or the common practice of "drink until you drown", but I have more important things to say to them than to hector them about their attire and where they sleep. I can close a mind pretty fast by harping on aspects of their behavior that are not essential to the subject matter at hand.

And by the way, faculty members do need to care about what students think. You may be in a preemptive position where the opinion of 300 students in one class does not mater; but we, after all, are evaluated in every course we teach and some department heads put major credence in the opinion of 19 year old kids. Great technical preparation without rapport is going to get you a dud of a vote.

Besides a good baseball cap is good for shading the eyes, protecting the bald spot, and keeping the head warm. Everyone knows that in order to function properly the brain needs to stay at temperatures within a very narrow range.
Those of us without natural insulation, such as hair or bone, need help.
 
Old Jan 7th, 1999, 12:12 PM
  #17  
s.fowler
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I stand appropriately "ahemed".

I too have "lived and died" by student evals. And whatver I think of their wardrobe and what it represents, I work my ____ off to reach them, to help them think in ways they haven't before and to reach beyond their often narrow worlds.

Currently I use my knowledge of the Balkans to help make points about diversity and community. Mentioning your travels can seem boastful to some, but I've found that my "Balkan Tales" have helped students move beyond their own narrow perspective. [And you wondered how I'd get this back to travel!]
 
Old Jan 9th, 1999, 01:39 PM
  #18  
pauline
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The arrival of line dancing in the UK a couple of years ago was closly followed by large numbers of cowboy boots.
Your boots alone aren't likely to attact much attention. Unless you've got the spiky bits on the back!
 

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