Part 3 : Appropriate?
You’ve had your reality checks & you’ve filed away the packing tips, Now you’re ready for the “more on this later” section where I briefly address the general appropriateness of your attire while traveling.
I’m pretty adamant that it is super important that we wear clothing and shoes that are appropriate in the countries that we visit; clothes that allow us to blend in.
We Americans are extremely casual. This is not necessarily the norm around the world. Very few adults in foreign countries wear shorts, t-shirts, or tennis shoes in public. Our version of business casual is often the same other countries weekend wear. So, business casual is a good starting point of reference for both men and women when packing for a foreign trip.
In addition to being quite casual, American woman tend to show much more skin than is considered appropriate or attractive in many other countries. Women in some other cultures do not show their thighs or cleavage or wear tight clothing. You may see women in revealing clothing when you travel but those women will likely also be able to blow away in a gust of wind, or they are working if you know what I mean. Real women (who have curves) tend to cover their skin, even their upper arms, and yes, even when it’s hot out. If you are traveling in an especially modest country be sure to make the necessary adjustments.
Americans sadly often put function ahead of form when it comes to clothing and shoes. So, let me tell you, just because it’s comfortable does not mean you should wear it out-of-doors. Yes, I know, you would be comfortable all day in a T-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, BUT you would also disrupt the visual beauty of the amazing places you visit, polluting the visual cortex of hundreds if not thousands of people you walk by. Really, it is NOT okay to look sloppy. It’s simply a major bummer to look at. This is your opportunity to dress as the Romans dress. Enjoy it!
Next up, let’s see if I can practice what I preach! See what I packed for 3 1/2 weeks in Europe.
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