This post is dedicated to a recent question I had from my soul-sister:
What to wear on as an American travelling to Europe to avoid looking like a tourist?
As an New Yorker living in Europe I have quite a few years of experience on traveling and avoiding looking like a tourist. The aim is to blend in in terms of dress and style. Therefore I decided to take a few examples of a recent trip to London and create a list of Do’s and Don’ts for you. This post is not so much on how to be fashionable but how to be practical and put-together to fit in the local scenery. European cities are known for its cobble stone streets and due to this heels are not a good idea when touring. You may also receive friendlier service in shops and restaurants when taking your cues from the locals. My advice: dress a notch up than you usually would. Above all, avoiding looking like a tourist will avoid being obvious to pickpockets. This has happened to us when in Rome years ago my husband walked around with a map of the city in his hand. We were obviously tourists and yes we were instantly pick-pocketed!
Taking a cue from the pictures below, I travelled with 2 handbags (one black and one of a gorgeous scarlet red), a black wool knit dress, a tweed grey long duster coat, black opaque tights, grey slim jeans, a light grey cashmere poncho, a wool grey turtleneck, a navy cashmere turtleneck, a black suede perfecto jacket, dressy silk pyjama trousers, sunglasses and tactile gloves for my smartphone, a simple watch, one ring on each hand and small hoop earrings. The shoes I chose were strategic: one ankle boot trekking style in a beautiful wine color, white dad sneakers a more modern sneaker in black, silver and white. Both sneakers fit right into the current European trend. Note that, as I have done, using different textures and finishes in your clothing accentuates your style and adds interest to your outfit.
Here are some clothing and accessories items to avoid:
- baseball caps
- sports team t-shirts
- American logos
- obvious brand American brand name bags (like Coach) and accessories
- shorts in every occasion
- sparkly shiny expensive jewellery
Here is what to favour:
- neutral colours are easy to mix and match in a capsule wardrobe
- comfortable shoes (impeccable fashionable sneakers and/or ankle boots flat or with a small block heel)
- clean cut conservative clothes
- a touch of colour with a scarf (a main staple for all Europeans but also for the unpredictable weather)
- long trousers
- understated jewellery that was not an investment
- small structured cross-body bag
- cardigan for a quick cover when visiting religious place like churches
- wear layers to easily adapt to the weather
Some of the items I am wearing are probably no longer available. Therefore I didn’t provide the links to purchase. Please write a comment on the item you would like and I will find a similar article for you 😉
I hope this post was useful. I thank you for reading and enjoy your trip!