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Meeting Porteño Image Standards - How do You Dress in Buenos Aires?

Meeting Porteño Image Standards - How do You Dress in Buenos Aires?

Mar 22nd, 2009, 03:47 PM
  #1  
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Meeting Porteño Image Standards - How do You Dress in Buenos Aires?

I've gotten the impression that women are held to a high standard in Buenos Aires, when it comes to appearances. I know I will fail the test, but what's a reasonable way to dress when going around being a tourist in BA?

Yes, I know it's sort of a pathetic question, but indulge me anyway. My plan is to dress like I usually do on trips or at the office, which is West Coast business casual (pretty casual to everyone else most likely). I've managed many European cities, but somehow Buenos Aires is intimidating me. This is for my April trip.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 03:50 PM
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That should be "Porteña" image standards.
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Mar 22nd, 2009, 04:41 PM
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When we visited BA, it was spring and I brought what I might wear in Paris in Spring.. black skirts/trousers and light tops.. I try to keep things black and white so I can mix things up..
Porteñas wear skirts a lot .. until it gets really chilly.. then they will wear them with boots.
Light tops, skirts, sandals or espadrilles, ballet flats, if it is cool enough.. jeans .. but the big difference in here and the US is that everything fits. No loose baggy tops/bottoms etc..

From what we see everyday.. I can tell you what not to wear : - )
Don't wear a funny looking floppy hat, with the ties under your chin.. don't wear a skirt with socks and athletic shoes or hiking shoes ( really .. lol) and I only see men in bermuda shorts, I cannot remember ever seeing a Porteña in shorts.. ( well, maybe some very young ones) Don't carry a backpack around on your back ..

But the truth is, if you stick out as a tourist, people will still be nice to you, they will smile back at you, they will be helpful and kind. It is the only way I have seen them behave ..
April will be nice , weather - wise.. warm days, cool nights .. good walking weather.
Where are you staying?
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 04:51 PM
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Willtravel, don't feel intimidated. Just wear the casual clothing that you wear at home. Nice jeans and a blouse are fine.
Or cotton pants,... anything that fits... as Scarlett says, not the big baggy clothes.
kodi is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 06:29 PM
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Casual. Lots of people actually carried small backpacks who were locals. I would say it is probably less formal in a way than Europe.
We were there in Feb , it was hot, and I noted that most women wore t shirts or sleeveless t shirts. but they mostly had nice figures so they looked very nice. There were jeans and skirts and really everything so you will be fine.
irecommend is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Small backpacks that locals carry are not what I meant : - )

I have been seeing too many people carrying what looks like a weeks worth of laundry in a big pack on their back, they look like they are ready to hike the Alps! You don't really need to carry much when walking around the city. . certainly not so much that you need a back pack..
Feb was horrible.. it has been sooo hot this summer..
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Mar 22nd, 2009, 09:59 PM
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Do as the girls say, WillTravel and you'll be fine. April is our fall and it should not be too warm any more.

A tip from the old rooster: since you can spell "Porteño" and "Porteña" and you also know the difference between the two words, you'll be fine, no matter how you dress or what hat you wear.

Have a great time in our town.
avrooster is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:23 AM
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I agree about casual (except perhaps at the nicest restaurants, and then just dress business casual up a bit.

But February was WONDERFUL. Hot, yes, but I loved it! Sunny and when it rained it was often a soft rain that cleared and let the sun shine out again.

Seriously, there were lots of styles, depending on age, too. Most women carried those lovely purses and they matched their shoes. Mine didn't, and I wasn't jeered at...but next year...

~M
MarnieWDC is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:25 AM
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OH, and Scarlett, can you send the OP your excellent posting with photos on dress in BsAs? That will reassure her as it did so many of us. ~M
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Marnie.. the one on TA ? the youtube ? I will have to look for it later but will definitely see if I can find it. We are celebrating here lol
I love it that you enjoyed Feb and the heat . . I am a heat / humidity wimp and the winters here are so beautiful ... I am ready for less heat ..
About the purses matching the bags... when I saw that the first time, I had such a flashback of long ago days when we all did that and I loved it .. so I was thrilled when I saw it here lol...
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Thanks, everyone. I'll watch the Youtube videos later. Everything you've posted is very helpful.

Scarlett, in Buenos Aires, I am moving around a bit. Three nights at the Marriott, 4 nights at Suites Florida hostel at Florida 328, and 2 nights at Concorde Hotel at Calle 25 de Mayo 630. This is because of a combination of points, convenience, special deals, and costs.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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hey,

i agree with some of the people above. sure, there is this popular idea that the porteños are very image conscience (and it's true), it's really not something you have to worry about. wear jeans, a nice shirt, clean sneakers and everything is ok. the people in BA are very inviting to tourists and will not give you problems for dressing how you normally dress. the great part about this city is that it has a very unique, independent vibe to it, so you can really do whatever you want. people will probably be more responsive to you if you dress normally and are comfortable, as opposed to trying to put on some costume and pretending to be someone else. so, bee yourself and have fun!!!!

cheers!
messifan is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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WillTravel - Moving around will give you a good experience of various neighborhoods.. and great if you get better deals too :- )

I always did What to wear research when we went to Europe, especially Paris .. I wanted to blend in , I always wanted to look Like a Local lol ... I probably still don't look like one here, even though I am living in BA.
Being comfortable and since you are moving often, not having a lot to bring with you, is important.
I would stick to basics and maybe enjoy shopping at one of the markets in Palermo if you want a new top or skirt etc.

We were talking about this today, after seeing a movie that took place in Milan.
The men !
I have never seen so many handsome men with great hair lol... and I was reminded of here, Buenos Aires.
The people here care about their looks, they are for the most part, well groomed and well dressed, whatever their means.
I am sure you will be fine and if you feel the need, the shopping is good
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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My wife and I are just back from BA, and we had the same anxiety about proper dress before our trip . Trust me, BA is NOT Paris. Business casual, as it is understood on the West Coast of the US, will do you just fine in Buenos Aires.
RedStater is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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This is all reassuring. Thanks again, everyone. Funny thing is I never worried much at all in Paris, but what I had read about this subject almost made Buenos Aires sound like another planet.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 28th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Having just returned from Buenos Aires, I was surprised at the casualness of the people, touristos Y portenos.

I'm a slacks with sport coat kind of guy at restaurants, I don't want to look like a hick from the sticks.

Unfortunately, two of my traveling companions had never been to a place as nice as the sticks. I led the way into restaurants so that the restaurant would let us in, including the backpack hicks behind me.

I'm sure that this sounds snobbish, but there is a difference between the Golden Arches and the Alvear.

Dress as nicely, if not more so, than the local residents.

Traveling is not a matter of instilling US standards of schlock on locals. One is representing one's country. Try to at least do it in style.
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Mar 28th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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WillTravel: don't worry about hicks, sticks and schlock.

I'll repeat what the old rooster said above: "since you can spell "Porteño" and "Porteña" and you also know the difference between the two words, you'll be fine, no matter how you dress or what hat you wear."
avrooster is offline  
Apr 10th, 2009, 06:10 PM
  #19  
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Thanks again, everyone.

I´m here in Buenos Aires, and haven´t worried a bit about attire since I arrived. Everyone does not walk around like a supermodel every moment .
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Apr 11th, 2009, 03:28 AM
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Great! Anything else we can do for you?

I'm confident you'll have a wonderful time.

Should we expect one of your famous trip reports?
avrooster is offline  

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