Thursday, September 8, 2011

What To Wear While Touring Europe

Whilst conducting some highly technical analysis (sarcasm alert) on my blog, I noticed a common keyword phrase along the lines of "What to wear when traveling in Europe" popping up for some unknown reason. So... now there's a reason for it.

Planning a trip abroad? No clue what to pack? Here are some fashion tips for touring Europe without screaming, "tourist".

If you wear tennis shoes, you deserve to get pick pocketed. Bulky lace-up sneakers are on the no-fly list. Luckily, if you have deep pockets, there's the Cole Haan collection of flats, loafers, boots and oxfords combined with Nike air cushioning.

Since walking 8 hours a day in ballet flats wasn't an option, I actually bought these Anne Klein "sneakers" for $40 at DSW. I found these to be extremely comfortable without the bulky sneaker look so I didn’t have to worry about them throwing off my miniskirts, sundresses, or skinny jeans.

Once you solve the problem of sensible footwear that doesn’t cramp your style you can move on to fashion.

How to Dress: Obviously this depends on the season but, as a general rule, I'd say dress for unpredictable weather. Cool mornings, hot humid summer days, and cold nights. Always have a jacket and umbrella handy.

For London in May, I wore my superfluous leather jacket and Anne Klein tennis shoes. ABSOLUTELY INVEST IN A LEATHER JACKET. Even a foux leather jacket will do. I got mine on sale at ArdenB for $20.

And SKINNY JEANS too. Those babies aren't going out of style anytime soon. Or if you want to get fancy, cargo skinny pants. Whatever jeans you wear, for God's sake, make sure they're dark wash and fitted.

The general rule of street fashion in Europe appears to be slim fitting yet casual clothing, nothing too flashy or feminine, and smart shoes like loafers, oxfords, and boots.

French Riviera

Another general rule: bring a purse. Under no circumstance do you leave your hotel, hostel, or campsite with a backpack, fanny pack, or any sort of pack in your hands. You might as well be wearing your "These Colors Don't Run" T-shirt and an American flag bandana. Obviously, you need to tote a lot of things around town with you—so bring a tote bag, capiche? None of those expensive traveler backpacks with the pickpocket proof zipper. If you have a purse under your arm, you'll be fine. I'd say stick with a leather finish.

Now for Paris and Italy you can toss the rules out of the window and pull out your pieces of flair. Unless your hotel is in the hood, of course; keep your flair duly hidden until you arrive at Les Champs-Élysées. Esmeralda aint so cute when she's snatching your Louis Vuitton.

Paris is such a fashionable city—especially the men! The men dressed better than the women! Honestly, if you're a guy trying to blend in with the locals, all I can say is this: Look at the hipsters in your town and emulate their style.

Warm sunny weather in Paris meant that this American could bring out her miniskirt and tank tops.

Definitely pack some day dresses. Not only do they occupy less room in your luggage, but there's just something about traipsing down the roués of Paris in a sundress that makes it all more romantic. The city is so feminine in design and the parks are so lush with pretty flowers you'll wish you looked dainty to match.

As for Italy, if you've got something with a designer logo on it, now's the time to whip it out. Italian women are FLASHY: the bags, the jewelry, and the shoes. *Snaps 3 times in a circle*

They really don't play around with their fashion, so dress accordingly. A pair of designer sunglasses goes a long way.

So let's go over this again:
1. Smart shoe- check
2. Purse -check
3. Leather Jacket -check
4. Day dress-check
5. Fitted Dark Wash Jeans-check
6. A little designer touch-check

In any case, I hope this helps. Though dressing appropriately is a must, keep it mind that it all becomes inconsequential the moment you whip out your camera or tour map.


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