Traveling to Europe is always a breathtaking cultural experience. The experience is further elevated when we respect and participate in the local customs and codes.
Clothes are an important part of the local culture and to meld with the locals you need to be attired appropriately. The last thing you want to do is look like a tourist, which will not only invite unwanted attention but also deprive you the appreciation of locals for respecting their culture.
Read this short article with tips on how to dress like a local. Mind you, these are just suggestions and you may like to follow your own style consistent with your preferences.
Avoid Athletic Attire
Resist wearing gym clothes throughout your trip. Europeans consider themselves a little less casual but not overly dressed. You may be turned away for being overly dressed but some places like restaurants, museums, churches may have strict apparel guidelines that you need to adhere to.
Switching to a fitted sweater, pants and casual sneakers can make you seem presentable easily and without much effort.
No doubt long flights are best traveled in athletic wear but keep a pair of clothes handy to change on or before arrival.
Keep your Head-gear Home
Don’t wear the head-gear you wear at home when you go visiting Europe. Firstly it may not be appropriate for the weather and secondly it may just make you the odd man out. A skull-cap is fine at home, but in Europe you may be perceived differently. Try switching to a more generic style like a causal hat or a straw hat. It will keep the sun away from your eyes and help you fit in better with the culture of Europe.
Restrain your enthusiasm for local attire that you cannot carry it off with aplomb. You don’t want to dress in kilts when in Ireland or wear clogs in Denmark if you don’t know how to walk in them.
Stay away from backpacks. Agreed that they are easy to carry but they are sitting ducks for thieves. It is very easy to open a zipper and zip off with your documents and money. Instead wear a ‘cross body bag’ across your chest or a ‘fanny bag’ around your waist. It gives you easy access and keeps unwanted hands away.
Head over heels
Use your head and avoid heels. Heels are good in marble floors of fine dine places but not on the uneven cobblestone pavements of Paris. Stylish but comfortable sneakers are good for day long walking. And for goodness sakes do not downgrade for flip-flops. They are best at beaches but not presentable for many European tourist attractions. If you really miss your flip-flops, then opt for a classic sandal which looks dressier.
Be prepared for the whimsical weather conditions of the place you have chosen to travel. You may live in weather that behaves like the climate, but European cities are not famous for their consistent weather. In a single day you may have sun, rain, mist, and storm all which makes it quite risky to venture out unarmed.
Carry your weather protection with you from home. A sweater, or trench coat, or an umbrella from home is better than hurriedly buying cheap stuff from street vendors thus revealing your tourist identity.
This aspect is often overlooked, but when considered it enrich your travel experience in Europe.
Europe’s culture revolves a great deal around its religious monuments and these places have strict rules about attire. You may be required cover your head, arms and even legs. Carrying a shawl, a pull-over, wrap-around skirt, or a light sweater can be useful when visiting such places.
Have an Immersive Experience
We hope you have an enjoyable European experience and pray our tips help you meld fashionably with the local culture.
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