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Dress appropriate for Spain, Italy, France

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I've read in many places about how baseball caps, cargo shorts, gym shoes, logo/sports related shirts, etc. are types of dress that immediately make locals aware that you are an American, and might make you a better target for pick pockets.  What I have not read much about is what alternatives to these items are recommended? Any thoughts about head wear, pants/shorts, shirts, shoes that are comfortable, yet do not scream "I'm an American tourist?"

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You are going to look like tourists whatever you wear!  Just wear what you are comfortable in and take sensible care of belongings/don't wear flashy jewellery.  Remember that some churches still require shoulders and knees to be covered.

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I love this post. I hope people read this and take it to heart while traveling. My rule of thumb for Europe is to plan what you would wear here say “casual” and bump it up a notch or two to “business casual”  or “dressy casual.” *looking at you in the white socks, white sneakers and shorts!

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Genuinely curious. What would you (American domestic tourist) wear if you were visiting Washington DC, New York or any other American city? 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, sailing canary said:

Genuinely curious. What would you (American domestic tourist) wear if you were visiting Washington DC, New York or any other American city? 

Just my usual clothes for the season. I find that my UK family tend towards fewer prints and more neutrals than me. 

 

Edited by Alaskanb

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Posted (edited)

That's what I thought would be the reply. So why would anyone wear 'holiday' clothing in European cities if they wouldn't do it at home??

Edited by sailing canary
spelling

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2 hours ago, sailing canary said:

That's what I thought would be the reply. So why would anyone wear 'holiday' clothing in European cities if they wouldn't do it at home??

Well said!

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Europe is in the middle of a heat wave right now.  So cool cotton clothes is the way to go.  Wear sandals, but not flip-flops. Dress like at home, but remember that short-shorts are not appropriate in the cities unless you are a teenager.  (Yes, you will see people wearing them, but . . .) Churches still require covering knees and shoulders, but crop pants and a short sleeve top will do just fine.  Anything goes at the beach. 

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Very interesting articles. Thanks very much for sharing. How do the general guidelines change for children?  Say DS-12, DD-11 and DD-7?

 

🙂 amcb

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We just got back from 10 days in Spain.  Plenty of people wearing shorts ant Ts.

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Kids dress like at home. Shorts, Ts, etc.

And yes, dressing is much more relaxed in the heat wave.  I am spending the month in Spain. Last week I saw tourists being turned away from the Sagrada Familia for wearing spaghetti strap tops and short shorts. On the other hand, the ushers couldn't keep up with everyone and plenty of people wearing shorts got in, especially those in outside guided group tours. Those in guided tours offered by the SF were asked to cover up the shoulders. A woman in our tour was so asked.

I also saw some being turned away from a fancier restaurant in Madrid at dinner time.  Other than that, casual is fine everywhere. Just be appropriate for the situation like you would be at home.

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When we were at SF last week it was so crowded it did not even look like they were checking for dress.  However, thinking back I do not remember seeing anyone in spag straps.  Plenty of people wearing shorts. They were keeping up with asking men to take off their hats.

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I completely stressed before our first trip to Rome, and I now wish I hadn't.  I read tons of articles and read lots of reviews so I thought I had it down.  Well after telling my hubby he could not wear shorts and tees and not baseball hat, and thats pretty much all he wears. Low and behold everywhere we went that's what we saw.  So on my next trip I will not focus so much, yes I will cover up in the churches and yes I will probley still be on the more conservative side, but I wont not be myself.  I realized I did so much to look like a local we probley stood out lol.

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Posted (edited)

I think you will find that fashions are very similar across the Western world.  If you remove the cameras, multiple bags, hats, water bottles and maps you will pretty much look like a local. But keep the cell phone!

Edited by marazul

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I worked for many years in the tourist industry and could quite easily pick out the nationalities by the way they dressed or just by their ‘look’. I don’t think that all in the western world dress in a similiar fashion and yes, Americans do stand out a lot more than say New Zealander’s, Belgians etc just by the clothes they wear and the omnipresent baseball caps. Why, oh, why do they wear them? My partner and I wear authentic panamas in the sun and they seem to have become very fashionable again in the last year or two.

 

i suppose as long as you dress appropriately it doesn’t matter what you wear and at the end of the day nobody cares.

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It’s suppose to be 108 in Paris today , heat wave all over Europe, really do not care what people think , need to be comfortable 

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Update on the church attire issue.  We just spent a month in Spain.  Shorts and attire are not an issue in major cathedrals in the South - Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and Toledo (not quite South).  There are no dress guidelines, although I suspect really skimpy beach outfits would be frowned upon.  These cathedrals are considered to be monuments/museums and church services are confined to specific chapels outside of major religious holidays.  There is always a sign outside those chapels saying they are reserved for worship.  Dress at those chapels and certainly during major holidays (Holy Week, Corpus Christi, etc) should be more conservative.  

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On 7/26/2019 at 9:02 PM, marazul said:

Update on the church attire issue.  We just spent a month in Spain.  Shorts and attire are not an issue in major cathedrals in the South - Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and Toledo (not quite South).  There are no dress guidelines, although I suspect really skimpy beach outfits would be frowned upon.  These cathedrals are considered to be monuments/museums and church services are confined to specific chapels outside of major religious holidays.  There is always a sign outside those chapels saying they are reserved for worship.  Dress at those chapels and certainly during major holidays (Holy Week, Corpus Christi, etc) should be more conservative.  

Just make sure that if in Italy you have shoulders (and top of back) covered, my daughter aged 18 did not get in to a church wearing a long dress with sleeves because to much of her neck/ back was showing. it was a cowl neck at the back, very high neck at the front and I had told her to change out of a shorter skirt and a t-shirt as I thought the shorter above knee skirt would have been an issue lol 

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 For me it is very odd to see adult woman wearing shorts anywhere other than on a beach, own garden or a hike.  Also the same for men in above knee shorts too.  In town, especially a city, I would only wear a dress or trousers and top.  I would do the same abroad as I do here in UK.  Different for teens and young adults  they do wear short jumpsuits and mostly jeans here and abroad, but my eldest even said a few years ago that she had to re-shop for her holiday for it as she was now too old for that look- she was 24. And this year I noticed she had dresses and skirts on while we toured even my youngest 22 only wore shorts at the poolside on the ship and 1 tailored shorts jumpsuit  (but looked like a floaty skirt on) for a night out in Venice the rest of the time she was in long floaty skirts and tops.

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I spent 5 months is Sevilla when in college in 1993.  I can say dress differences between the US and Europe have greatly diminished since then.  Back in '93 no one wore shorts there, but now I see shorts everywhere in Europe.  With that said, Europeans will easily pick you out as North American.  If you want to try to blend in more, wear long pants, darker colors and never wear a baseball cap.  Of course, I don't worry about sticking out too much anymore.  Being American is who I am and I am what I am.

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