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Fashion Follies????

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Tampa, FL
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59 posts
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Fashion Follies????

Okay, I need your help...

I was just telling a co-worker of mine about my up-coming trip and she told me (& I quote) "don't dress like an American".

WHAT??? Does anyone know what on earth she's talking about?? Thank goodness her phone rang - I left her office and logged on immediately!!

As far as I know - we all wear similar clothes. Jeans, shorts and shirts are pretty standard staples.

Am I being naive or is she just way neurotic????

Thank you... (sorry I had to actually post this but I'm curious)

Cambridge, United...
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1. Re: Fashion Follies????

You see, here's the thing. I think there IS an "American" way of dressing, but I couldn't tell you exactly what it entails. It's just that some Americans in London do look American, and I think it's the clothes. I think it's more noticeable on men than on women - something about the trouser / shirt combinations they go for, maybe. I honestly don't know, I just know that sometimes I see people and think "they've got to be Americans"! I've no doubt there are loads of Americans who DON'T look American though!

But don't worry about it - I don't think it matters if people can tell you're an American, does it? For one thing, they'll know as soon as you speak anyway :). As long as you don't fit the (probably completely undeserved!!) stereotype of loud obnoxious Americans, you'll be fine. Even if you do "dress like an American" ;)

Jersey, United...
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2. Re: Fashion Follies????

American women in London or Paris in the summer: baggy shorts, t shirt un tucked, white running shoes and probably socks to match, possibly a baseball hat and a fanny pack/bum bag on and sipping a can of coke

American men in London or Paris in the summer: pretty much the same as above bot def a baseball hat and a baseball or football shirt or a t shirt with his fav team on it.

Kids: prob high cut basketball shoes and a basket ball tank top, baseball hat and also sipping on a can of coke

Please don't take offence but I have just summed up pretty much all the posts on this subject, if I have left anything out then somebody feel free to add.

Have a good trip and wear what you want. The English or French don't try fressing American when in America

Tampa, FL
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59 posts
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3. Re: Fashion Follies????

Thank you both for your honesty!! It actually doesn't change a thing in my wardrobe, but truthfully, I just never heard of such a thing. No problem!!

Not sure about the "loud, obnoxious American" though - I grew up in New York so it's a definite possibility :) :) :)

Don't worry though, I'm hoping to pick up one of your LOVELY English accents!! :) :)

All the best to you both!!

18 days & counting...HUZZAH!!!!!!!!

Virginia, USA
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598 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Fashion Follies????

Oh there definitely is such a thing. Stay away from golf shirts, plaid shirts, front pleated jeans and by all means, white athletic shoes.

MB

Liverpool UK
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607 posts
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5. Re: Fashion Follies????

The NYC forum often has questions about how not to look like a tourist. These receive many replies, ranging from 'no white sneakers' 'definitely no fanny pack' to 'wear black', or 'wear whatever you are comfortable in', to 'dress appropriately for the occasion', or even those interpreted as 'who cares?'

Check these out using the search, some are worth reading.

Seriously, many of us like to conform, but what is wrong with looking like a tourist if that is what you are?

My only concession was not to allow anyone to wear white trainers, but I paid for it by having shoes that were very comfortable for my feet, but with a different heel height from what I normally wear so my legs ached from all the walking!

Have a good trip, and don't worry, London, like NYC, is full of tourists from all over the world.

Pat

London UK
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485 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Fashion Follies????

My wife can spot an American tourist here at 100 yards - mind you, she is American herself, but takes great pains not to dress like one...

Besides the baggy shorts etc uniform others have highlighted, chinos with plaid shirt (or golf t-shirt) is a giveaway US sign on men too.

It's partly the clothes themselves, but also the way they are worn (eg lots of people here wear NY Yankees baseball caps, but you can pretty much work out who's local and who isn't).

And as for any couple wearing co-ordinating outfits (yes, this happens, and I'm not talking about identical twins), please don't. It just makes us snigger and point.

Oh, and just to show we can take it as well as dish it out, if you really want to blend in with us locals, please visit the dentist before you leave the US, have him (or her) reverse any dental treatment you have ever had done, and then stain your teeth before boarding your transatlantic flight ;o)

Jersey, United...
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7. Re: Fashion Follies????

Capo very funny LOL (the dental part)

Philly
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8. Re: Fashion Follies????

The newest observation I made on my last European trip (in addition to the white snickers and baggy shorts on Americans):

- man in Europe seem to wear more fitted clothes. Americans wear those awful baggy pants that hang low and untucked baggy shirts. European men wear tighter pants and more fitted shirts. That is how I can tell European men in US (except for when they are gay and therefore more fashion and body conscious, he he).

- American women wear shirts that are more low-cut. That might have just been the weather. It was already warm here, and everywhere you looked there was TONS of cleavage, but still kind of cool in Europe. But it might have also been America's obsession with breasts...

California
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1,435 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Fashion Follies????

I just don't understand why people care. I am an American and I don't care if I look like one, although I don't tend to wear what has been posted here. In the summer I wear a sleeveless dress and sandals almost everyday, whether I'm at home or a tourist, in the winter I generally wear a warmer dress and tights with loafers. I like dresses and find them the most comfortable of any outfit, I have no idea whether that will make me look American or not? My girls usually wear dresses too, sometimes jeans when it's cold. Bottom line is that I'm not going to go out and buy completely different clothes for a trip that is already going to cost way too much, and I'm not goign to worry aobut what I look like when I have more important thigns to worry about, like where to eat!

Seattle
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9,650 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Fashion Follies????

I agree with the comments about white athletic shoes. Those just speak "American."

But, more importantly, walk like you know where you are going, even if you don't. And, don't stand out on the street with your map open. Everyone will know you are a tourist (not necessarily American) and ripe for getting your pocket picked.