what to wear and not look like a tourist

Apr 25th, 2007, 10:05 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,220
Reading through this thread, I am again amazed how some people worry so much about dressing as a tourist. Some of the details here make me imagine that maybe 10% of the entire vacation is "lost" on clothes -- "how I am going to dress today?" "Somebody looked at my shoes; maybe I should go back to the hotel and change them." "I'm wearing blue and other people are wearing yellow; I'm never wearing blue again!" "Those people look so comfortable in shorts -- maybe I should have brought some."
kerouac is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 01:14 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
Americans! Europeans identify them because of their size! BMI? Age? Economic strata? Educational level? Occupation? Fitness level? Actually few people are concerned with how others look...Do a personal evaluation or buy a style evaluation. A friend (female) takes self pictures of herself and then makes changes!
GSteed is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 01:50 AM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 23
TMS99 -Have you ever thought that dressing just as you do in the states while in Europe -- ie for your own personal comfort embarrasses other people, and causes them to be uncomfortable? This sort of American atitude is interpreted by Europeans as parochial and selfish.

Dressing beautifully is simple, and not as pricey as it needs to be. Suzeeg52 -- Wear Linen. It will wrinkle, but it is meant to. And is the coolest and most elegant option. MaxMara, for example, has a wonderful linen dress this season that should be in the sales by the end of June, and therefore, fantastically affordable.
missamericalondon is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:55 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,060
I can never understand why people dress differently when they are on holiday.

On the beach, you wear beach clothes and in a city you wear what you would wear in a city at home. You will probably be walking more than you normally would, but there are lots of nice comfortable shoes and walking sandals around.

If you walk around Paris or Rome wearing shorts, especially if you are broad in the beam;if you wear a baseball hat and are over the age of 15, and if you have a face like a suet pudding with currants for eyes you won't look like a tourist, you will look like a prat.

There's nothing wrong either with looking like an American. Just try to look like a smartly dressed American.
Josser is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 04:22 AM
  #45  
Rd
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 132
How not to look like a tourist even wearing touristy clothes;

1 Do not stare at maps for hours
2 Do not have three camera's hanging around your neck, keep a tiny one in your pocket.
3 Do not stare at the locals even if their behaviour appears odd
4 Do not argue with your partner in public even if neither of you has a clue where you are
5 Walk next to one another not one behind the other
6 Leave your backpack somewhere safe.
7 Whisper rather than shout
8 Don't hold the local currency up in the air to get a better look.
7 Do not walk around smiling at the locals in an attempt to appear friendly, they can see right through you!
Rd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 05:13 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,416
I need more help where? if you want to look like a local in Milan then diet for a year, spend all your money on a private buyer and spend the rest on clothes then you might just pass for a local.

Naples, dig out some old jeans and a leather jacket. 'em thats it
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 05:17 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,960
This thread about ”not looking like a U.S. tourist” and the recent related one about ”hiding your nationality” obviously strike a nerve.

As an solo American traveler in Europe over the past decade, I’ve discovered that whatever self-consciousness I’ve felt when in France, Italy, or Spain is an outgrowth of my ego: Too many natives must be looking at me and judging me to be an oafish outsider.

But, the overwhelming majority — say, 99.9% — aren’t, because they don’t really care. They’re getting on with their lives, and all they really want — if they had the time to think about it — is for tourists to refrain from acting like a jackass in their country.

If you’re trying too hard to look native and sophisticated when in Europe, you’re probably going to get the unwanted attention you fear.
wanderful is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 05:45 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
<<all they really want — if they had the time to think about it — is for tourists to refrain from acting like a jackass in their country.>>

I think that the OP and others who are interested in the question are to be admired for at least being sensitive to the idea that they MIGHT want or need something different from their day-to-day wardrobe. I don't have any clothes or shoes that I wear only on vacation, but I do have plenty of things I'd probably never pack for one. When you're used to living out of a closet or two, it takes a little discipline and savvy to live out of a 22" bag.

It easy for
tomassocroccante is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 05:52 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
(continuing)
It's easy for a regular traveler to find the questions of 1st timers naive, but supposedly this forum will be a place naive questions can be asked without ridicule - and the wide variety of answers show that there is no hard and fast rule - each traveler finds his or her own way. In time each traveler does. And then the traveler across the aisle might be thinking:
a) what a yahoo that guy is!
b) what a snob she is!
c) I can't wait to get to that osteria again and taste the pizza with truffles ...

I agree with you, wanderful, just like a guest in your house, you want a guest in your country to behave like a guest and not a jackass!

The problem seems to be that there is a difference of opinion as to which of our countrymen are the jackasses ...
tomassocroccante is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 06:02 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 595
My wife and I have travelled extensively and I can assure you that in places jam-packed with tourists (Paris, Rome, NYC, Toronto, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Sydney), people will not care about you. You are one tourist in a sea of 2 millions of them! They don't care if you wear Dolce&Gabbana, Perry Ellis or a "Have a wonderful day" t-shirt.

It does not matter how hard you try, you ARE A TOURIST!!! If you ever go to India, will you want to wear a salwar kameez and ask for a sindoor to be applyed on your forehead? Of course not!

And at home, do you spend your days looking at people wondering if they are or not tourists? Of course not. Same goes for Romans, Parisians and Berliners. Just be respectful of individuals, beliefs and traditions everywhere you go. You are only invited in their country.
travelingmad is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 07:04 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
Travelingmad, I always feel a bit envious when I see tourists. I work in downtown Dallas. At lunch time, we'll see folks in the restaurants in their shorts and t-shirts, who have probably been to the Kennedy sites, or maybe the aquarium. They're all comfy and on vacation, and I'm in a suit and heels and have to be back to the office in 30 minutes. I guess if they wanted to "blend in", they'd wear a suit and heels, but how silly would that be?
missypie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 07:28 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
I dress the same as I do anywhere else. That being said (& I am a shorts & t-shirt guy nearly year round)I have been mistaken for other nationalities many times. One thing I always try to do is either: a)wander & not care if I get lost or b) try to figure out where I am going so as not to be obviously looking lost. A certain amount of confidence will serve you better than any outfit you could purchase.
SAnParis is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 07:30 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,960
<do you spend your days looking at people wondering if they are or not tourists?>

I don't have to wonder, it's easy to tell tourists. As others have mentioned, they are dressed casually and having fun in downtonwn Seattle while the rest of us are going to work! Often street map in hand.
suze is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 07:51 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 106
Missypie, I agree! I work in downtown Houston and when I see anyone dressed casually, I know they are on vacation! And it only makes me wish I was on vacation, too.
mary09 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 08:20 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
Yeah, and in downtown New York you can tell some of the tourists at a glance, no matter whether they're dressed casually or not. And some tourists you dont' see right away because ... maybe they look like New Yorkers, which is a wide category, believe me.

In all the declarations about what to wear, the fact is that it also depends on what kind of vacation you plan to have. If you're backpacking and staying in hostels and eating mostly street food, picnics and an occasional tavern meal, that's one thing. If you're staying in a pricey hotel, traveling with perks like "The Admirals Club" lounge, eating in better restaurants and the occasional tavern meal ... that's something else. My trips are firmly in the middle range.

People who say "what you wear doesn't matter" and then list the only things they wear and fashions they absolutely won't wear make me laugh. Of course it matters, outward appearance matters - you've chosen your destination at least partly on outward appearance of the landscape, the architecture, even the people.

Many folks agree that the individual should dress the way they do at home, and dress for comfort. I say also consider dressing for the experience you want to have. If you want Paris or Rome to reveal all their romance, history and beauty to you, consider that they are not the Grand Canyon or an amusement park or Yosemite or even Austin. All great places to visit, and all suggest a certain kind of dress.

In a nut shell, flip flops are as out of place at the opera as is a tiara at a ballgame. So, again, pack for the trip you plan to have - but there's nothing wrong with understanding that every trip is not the same.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
And that is why I have to "help" my husband pack. He literally was going to bring the same clothes to Rome that he wore at Disneyworld the summer before.
missypie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 106
"I say also consider dressing for the experience you want to have. If you want Paris or Rome to reveal all their romance, history and beauty to you, consider that they are not the Grand Canyon or an amusement park or Yosemite or even Austin. All great places to visit, and all suggest a certain kind of dress."

Well said, Tom!! I think you captured it perfectly!!
mary09 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 09:21 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 891
I really like what Tom says. He usually makes so much sense.

<do you spend your days looking at people wondering if they are or not tourists?>

I don't try to guess who in my town is a tourist because no tourist in their right mind would waste their time here! And when I'm a tourist, I don't try to guess nationalities, but I have found that the gosh-awful t-shirt/shorts/torn jeans people always seem to be American. But then I think too many Americans dress horribly no matter where they are.

<Is there some reason people cannot be comfortable AND well dressed ?>

AMEN--And it can't have anything to do with money. I have a very well-dressed friend who gets all her clothes at Goodwill.
Lady is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 10:37 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 13
I have just joined Tomassocraccante's devotees. I think he summed it up perfectly...Also, I would just like to tell "travelingmad" that I wish I had the guts, when on the go, to wear a Salwar Kameez, the most comfortable hot-weather clothing, ever invented by woman.

I think ( this would be a good posting) that we all have special expectations when we travel, especially when the trip is planned over a long time and the destination one that generates all sorts of expectations. We play with the idea of minute or momentous changes and yes, clothes are important and fun - who has not once- bought, on the eve of a trip, something that he or she would never have though of wearing at home, because it was fun and just right for that potential new persona?

As many have said, most of French/Italians/etc..will not, when push comes to shove, pay that much attention to us. But, have you never wished that the huge guy with his cameras, dubious T-shirt, hairy legs popping out of well-worn too short-shorts and a voice you could hear al the way back home, was not standing between you and the Trevi Fountain?
FrUS is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:11 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
Hello,

You live in the USA and not Mars and whilst I agree that American fashion is not great, (I have been twice and have travelled up the east coast), I feel that you should really wear what you want to. You are going to a big city and people are not really going to be very interested in you, you are there on holiday, so what, these Europeans are carrying on with their everyday life (if you see what I mean!).
Additionally, as a tourist you obviously should not advertise your bling, but you are not going to a crime capital, you need to take the same amount of care as you would normally.

Hope this helps.
neptunesconvoy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:34 PM.