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Jeans and a Sweater

Maybe I need to modify my European wardrobe.  For years I’ve preached that guys wear solid shoes, khaki pants, and collared shirts.  They are easy to care for, blend in, don’t yell “American”, and are comfortable.  Now maybe I’m not so sure.  Fashion in Europe is a big deal and I’m beginning to notice changes.

This article is for the guys, but you ladies can take note too!  I bet if you look around in Paris or Rome you’ll see the same trends in your fashion as well.  I’m not Clinton and Stacy from “What Not to Wear”, but I do have a little fashion sense!

Siena – A couple of weeks ago….
Although it was dreadfully warm earlier, the afternoon rain ushered in a cool front across the hills of Tuscany.  Earlier, I had dined with my tour group and walked back to the hotel afterwards.  I went to my room, but found that I was restless and not really ready for bed.  I decided not to waste a night sleeping when I could be on Il Campo, the main town square.  Because it was chilly I changed into a pair of jeans, threw on a sweater, and headed out.

As I exited the hotel doorway and walked toward Il Campo, a car with a guy and a girl drove by.  Soon they realized they were in a pedestrian area and made a U-turn back towards me.  As they were driving by, the girl leaned out and asked, “How do you get to Il Campo?”  She spoke only in Italian and I was amazed that I understood it all.  Without thinking, I told them they could not drive to Il Campo, they must park here, outside the walls, and walk.  I said all this in Floridian-Italian and got the funniest look from the girl.  It was like she realized she was hearing the right answer, but it was from the wrong person.  After a couple of seconds we both laughed.  I said in English, “I’m a tourist” and she responded in English as well, “You don’t look like it.”  Then, off we went in opposite directions.

A few weeks before, I was in Florida leading a tour preparation and orientation meeting.  When the subject of packing and clothing came up, I gave my ususal spiel about how Europeans generally “dress up” more then we Americans.  You don’t see them in shorts or flipflops unless they are at the beach.  You’d never catch them in a “warm-up” suit unless they were in a sporting event, and most often they don’t wear jeans.  I was challenged on that last statement by someone who had been to Europe the previous year who said, “They wear jeans all the time!”  That got me to thinking…

So, now I’m making it a point to notice the fashion this season and see what changes I should make to my packing list.  I’ll keep you updated and give you a new list if needed.
-David

**You can add your two-cents by clicking on the {comments} link at the bottom of this entry.**

 

 

About the Author

David McGuffin established David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.

  1. Beth Vachon Reply

    You never know how to dress in Europe, it is even more difficult when you have to “pack light”. Jeans are definitely more comfortable! Love the picture next to your article, is it El Campo?? Love your blogs, very funny.

  2. David Reply

    Beth- Thanks for the comments.. nN the photo is not Il Campo, but I’ll post one of it for you.

  3. Odeen Tyre Reply

    I have lived in and traveled Europe since 1969. Regardless of the changes in fashion trends, my main objective is utility and looking like a local. The “Eurotrash” look frequently gets questions from strangers in their native tongue that confuse me with locals. Almopst anything goes that does not make you stick out as an American. It is safer, too. Unimpressive cothing , lace up shoes and a light weight rain retardant jacket are ideal to combine with sweater and jeans. All are easy to carry and care for while traveling.

  4. Pingback: “These boots were made for walking” in Siena

  5. Shirley Johnston Reply

    David, I am so excited to see you are offering another discount for your 2012 tours. I was so disappointed when I could not go on the trip this past spring. Ireland is a place I have wanted to visit for years, so who knows maybe lady luck will strike again. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Shirley J.

  6. John Frascello Reply

    David,
    I’m a born and raised Floridian. Being such, I own nothing BUT jeans and pullover type shirts. This is all I’m going to bring with me so, “if” I appear to the locals as a tourist, well, I guess I’m a tourist. hahaha!

    • admin Reply

      John, no problem on the “attire.” Just wear what’s comfotable to you.

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