Yes, again.......appropriate dress

Apr 8th, 2004, 08:49 PM
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Yes, again.......appropriate dress

Hi-----I apologize if this questions has been answered several times, but it's my first time to France and Italy, so now I'll really be paying attention. I'll be there in June, for a week, and I'll be in Venice, Florence, Pisa, Monaco and Paris. Any suggestions on packing-light appropriate apparel? Will probably visit a couple of cathedrals, and I've heard several different versions on what's appropriate for those venues. Thanks in advance to all you "in the know" travelers.
Colette is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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Hi, Colette. I suspect you could get an immediate answer on this by using the search window above. Just type in appropriate dress and you'll have LOTS of answers in the column on the left.

In a nutshell, take comfortable shoes. If you are going in any churches, especially in Italy, be sure men and women have lower body and upper arms covered, i.e. wear slacks or knee length skirts and shirts/blouses with at least a short sleeve. Women may wear slacks. Oh yes, be sure your tummy is covered, even the teenagers.

Other than that, Monaco is very very dressy if you plan to go to the casino. Otherwise, you can pretty much wear vacation clothes.

Europeans on vacation dress much as we do. They reserve shorts for resorts and beaches, but jeans and khakis are commonly worn. You won't see many baseball caps and those will probably be on Americans. You will see almost everything!! 8^)
SalB is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 01:52 AM
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Sal said it very well.
ira is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 03:13 AM
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Suggestion: Dress for a similar occasion in the USA. You will be treated as your dress is viewed. What kind of image do you want to present? Contrast the dress styles between the attendees and the spectators at the 'Oscars'.
GSteed is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 03:35 AM
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Hi Colette, on one hand take as little as possible , it is a blessing to carry little luggage .
On the other hand use your common sense keeping in mind that Europeans enjoy the ambiance of a place may be a little more than we do. Like if they go out for dinner to a restaurant that offers great food they usually enjoy also that people there are nicely dressed. To enjoy a capuccino they expect it to be served in a china cup not in a paper cup. To fully enjoy dining out they expect to have fresh flowers on the table , nice china and these is not possible they expect at least the people around pleasant enough....Well I do not if I make any sense to you....
Graziella5b is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 04:05 AM
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Am I the only one who's shocked Colette will be in 5 cities in 7 days? Since you'll be traveling a good part of the time (ahem), slacks/capris, washable tops (some with sleeves), one nice dress/outfit, a sweater or 2 in case it's chilly & rain gear.
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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McLaurie, you are not the only one that noted Colette will be 5 places in 7 days. Sounds like a lot but I have pretty much given up on cautioning people on crowded itineraries.
mamc is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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Colette Hi. I have streamlined my travel clothing down to a little carry on suitcase for a week and it has been working out very well for me. I dont know what you like to wear, but maybe this may help you along. The key is not to take too much and try stick to 2 colors mostly. It looks sharp and pulled together. I force myself not to think of it as boring

For Europe in June, I would pack all light material clothes consisting of

1 pair of capris

1 black pants for night time paired with 2 dressy tops -1 of them black

3 light t-shirts

1 light dress

swimsuit (always - just in case)

possibly a light cashmere type shawl/wrap

a black or netural color cardigan

1 pair of sighseeing shoes (comfy but not frumpy) maybe slip on cushioned wedges that you could also get away with at night if your feet are killing you

1 pair of dressy shoes (I always bring but maybe wear once - I'll have to work on that!)

a pair of great sunglasses

a little jewelery with impact such as a chunky neck chain and bracelet.

There has been much talk about wearing jeans in Italy. I would not wear baggy ones but traveling there and back I wear a great stretch pair that I got from The Gap. Dark indigo blue with a flared bootleg bottom. Dress them up with a great belt. My traveling clothes are always my "fall back on clothes" while I am there in case I feel like wearing jeans while driving or traveling around.

Dont forget that especially while you are in Italy, you will most likely see beautiful clothes that you would like to buy anyway!

You can make all these clothes work for both the churches and night time to feel dressed up. The capri's with a t-shirt and a cardigan around your shoulders is perfect to visit the churches in my opinion.

Have a great trip!
Aine is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 09:10 AM
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Aine - great list. I've been planning out what clothes I will take - I just copied your list and sent it in an email to myself so I don't lose track of it!
norskie is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Especially since you're moving around so far and so fast (!) and the weather should be nice, I'd aim for just 3 or 4 versatile outfits. Pick high quality lightweight knit fabrics in coordinating colors - 1 capri, 2 slacks, 1 skirt or dress, 3 tops, 1 vest, 1 cardigan or jacket, 2 shoes or sandals, a few undies, bras, and socks. If you want to buy something new there are travel-specific pieces available at places like Chicos or Travelsmith. Downsize all your cosmetics and toiletries into tiny travel sizes. Toss this all into a 22" max. rolling suitcase & off you go!
suze is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 05:29 PM
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We were in Venice, Sorrento (and surrounding area) and then in Tuscany we saw many people wearing jeans and the occupants were speaking Italian :-B
ed is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR RESPONSES!!! I've already copied your great suggestions! Aine-----your list sounds great, and I kinda decided my "boring" colors will be black and white (as well as my dark denim GAP jeans!) Yes, my trip is gonna be a whirlwind unfortunately. But it's my first, it's a "student" tour (aka: cheap), and I'm kind of a control freak, so this tour thing is new (& a little disconcerting) for me. lil sis and I are going together, and she only has a week's vacation (the tour is actually 10 days including arrival and departure). I just figure, I'm gonna get a sampling of Europe, and then NEXT time (yup, there's gonna be a next time), I can maybe slow it down a bit and do it on my own. Anyway, knew you fodorites wouldn't let me down. Graziella, thx for the "pack light" reminder (I'm not very good at that, Sal, thx for the tip---I did a search, and boy were there LIVELY discussions on appropriate shoes!!!!!!!! I'm still kind of up in the air on that since I'm thinking mostly capris and jeans, and they all "require" a different type of shoe----and my comfy Doc Martins would be pretty clutzy looking. I've got til June to figure that one out, unless someone here has the answer------guess I'll have to look for a pair of "cushy wedges"(????) Now, what to do about a hairdryer? Where can I get a small one that won't melt? 'cus I WILL need one. (yea, I'm a bit high maintenance, but am working on that) Thanks again to all!!
Colette is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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It's been a long time since we've stayed in a motel that didn't have a hair dryer. You could probably count on it. The down side is that if you land someplace without one, you may think it's a disaster.

My solution years ago was to cut my hair off. (No, I didn't do it myself!) There are a lot of very short cuts in Europe. Or ask your hairdresser for a cut that doesn't require a dryer.

I wear only Birkenstocks because I have a foot problem. (Yes, only one foot.) They make sandals as everyone knows, but they make wonderful walking shoes and even (gasp) a sling-back dress wedge. They've come out with a Mary-Jane that is okay with the longer dresses too.

I suspect not too many Europeans will be looking at your feet. If you have a pained expression on your face from aching feet, they may notice that. 8^)
SalB is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 03:23 AM
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Shoe's are the singular most important item of clothing...

Less expensive, less well designed outfits can always be lifted with a pair of well planned shoes. People who wear Hermes suits with cheaper shoes simply make the whole outift look as if it were from a discount store. Never, ever skimp on shoes - especially in Italy!

Wear what you want in a Cathedral, obviously nothing indecent, but then again you couldn't wear that in the street either.

Why are you going to Monaco? It's like a prettier Birmingham, nothing there except little boutiques which have overly limited stocks, an excellent Casino, and that's about it.

Why pack light? Unless you walk around with your luggage all the time, what have you achieved? I always take as much as is physically possible so as to allow a change of clothes three times daily or more!

Americans with clothing dilemmas have three options:

Invest in a large heavy duty black binliner

Buy a tent

Holiday in nudist resorts

m_kingdom is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 04:01 AM
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M_Kingdom, do you mean that on a 10 day trip you would bring about 30 changes of clothing? How many pair of shoes?

Sounds great if you can always get somebody to carry your steamer trunks.
But maybe that's not as hard or expensive as one would think.
CafeBatavia is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 04:29 AM
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Don't get M_Kindgom started on her traveling wardrobe. It's a riot. She travels with an entire family of porters!
CarolA is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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One should have a couple of pairs of sport shoes for daytime casualwear, smarter daytime shoes, perhaps trainers for when one visits the gym or SPA. For the evening, a selection ranging from casual to smart casual through to dresswear (if applicable to ones holiday).

Another packing tip - to prevent your shoes from becoming scuffed or marked, always pack them with trees and the shoebags they originally came with for easier identification.
m_kingdom is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Your best packing advice will be to ignore advice to take a dozen pair of shoes!

(Actually, consider M_Kingdom comic relief. The world she/he "Thinks" they live in does not really exist.)
CarolA is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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I've got m_kingdom figured out already-----always good for a laugh. I could use help with this tho-----since I've never been on a tour before, and since we're pretty much staying in a different venue each night, I can't imagine that I'll be hauling my luggage that much! But maybe I'm just being naive about this. My guess is that I'll be hauling my luggage from the airport to whatever transportation system we're using (bus, train, shuttle), and then in and out of the hotel. We're not staying in hostels, altho I know (since it's a "student" tour company) we won't be staying in any 3-5 star locales. So when will I be doing all this "hauling" that people keep mentioning? (re: the repeated "pack light" suggestions). Also, again.....I keep reading that the hotels all have hairdryers-----are we talking pricey hotels, or even the 1-2 stars?? So many ?????s Thx for your patience!
Colette is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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We usually stay in 2 or 3 star hotels in Europe and I have yet to see a hair dryer in the room. If you need to have one with you, look for one that switches back and forth from 110 to 220 and then be sure to get a European plug for it. I bought ours at Target a few years ago. I think the travel companies have smaller ones than the one I have.
Kristinelaine is offline  

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