long skirts for Papua New Guinea...
If you're traveling outside the major cities/tourist
traps, women should stick to long skirts instead
of pants/shorts. Not only will this cut down on
risks and offenses, but people will see you as a
person rather than a tourist.
Pete, Chicago, USA
conservative in Germany...
No bright clothes and no white tennis shoes is a good
rule to follow when packing for Germany. Consider
a dark blazer with blouses and sweaters, dark slacks
and shoes, dark long comfortable skirt to go with
all of above. Add extra comfortable walking shoes,
mid-calf length raincoat and small umbrella. Layering
is very important due to several temperature variations
in the same day. Consider the business woman's approach
-- definitely not grunge. Leave that to the very young
kids. Look classy.
I don't wear sneakers in France...
Wear black and lots of it. Hanging out in Paris
in January is cold and can be extremely damp. Pack
a long black skirt, a couple of pairs of black tights,
a big black sweater (a few colored heavy scarves),
black jeans, shirts and or turtle necks to layer
under the sweater, a hat and you're off. To guard
against pick pockets, don't carry a purse, but rather
wear a money belt and tuck it underneath your clothes.
There's nothing nicer than having free hands to
take pictures, etc. Bring a pair of black boots
(low heel) that you'd be able to walk about five
miles in. But please, don't ever wear tennis shoes.
Margaret, Williamsburg, USA
a shawl to Costa Rica...
Take the lightest cotton "sun veil" fabrics
to wear on or near the beaches. Sarongs over matching
bathing suits can double as evening dinner wear. Denim
is much too hot near beach areas. A light cashmere
shawl is great to wear evenings in San Jose.
Arline, Burlington, Canada
live in China...
I just read a couple of posts on people wearing
gray or bland colors trying not to stand out in
China. I'm living here and working as a teacher
right now and I had to laugh. What you wear is unlikely
to make you stand out either more or less than you
will anyway. Unless you dress sloppily. The Chinese
will appreciate it if you dress up and wear pretty
clothes (you will rarely see women older than teenagers
in jeans.). The Chinese wear velvet, sequins and
other things Americans normally only wear for New
Years parties on a daily basis. I found out the
hard way. My first year here I lived in denim. I
thought it practical for wear and hand washing.
I will never think denim better for hand washing
again. And it doesn't necessarily wear better. This
is my second year and I wear a lot of black, pink
and purple, velvet and glitter. Dressing up has
made a world of difference in how I am perceived.
You can get by with just lipstick and blush as Chinese
women rarely wear makeup other than lipstick. Scarves
are also popular, but don't bring them from home.
Buy them here. They are cheap and more gorgeous
than any I've seen in America. And lots of variety.
Oh, and skip the sneakers. A lot of women wear heels
here, too. And the Chinese also really love sparkly
hair accessories, but, again, buy in China.
Kate, an American living in China
I was in Beijing and Shanghai in June, when it's
fairly hot there and I have a slightly different
point-of-view. My advice is to dress to blend in
-- you're already going to be started at, hassled,
and talked about by onlookers because you're a foreign
woman, to begin with. This is much worse, however,
for women who are dressed in typical western summer
clothes, such as camisoles, tank tops, shorts well
above the knee, low-neck shirts, skirts with high
slits, etc. These clothes are just not considered
appropriate by most people in China. My girlfriends
and I wore these types of clothes at the start of
our trip, and were hassled and stared at a lot until
we toned our clothes down. I recommend plain, relatively
loose pants, below-knee length skirts, and short-sleeve
tops -- nothing too bright or expensive-looking
or flashy. It'll get you more attention than you
want, believe me. You are treated more respectfully
by the natives if you adapt to their culture and
dress more like them.
Katherine, Boston, USA
a bra in Taiwan...
I spent three years in Taiwan and I have the following
tips to pass along to other JourneyWomen. Taipei
fashion is similar to most big cities in China and
Japan, although most heavily influenced by Japan.
Therefore, it's pretty modern. The only thing I
could imagine being frowned upon would be going
bra-less. Shorts, miniskirts, tank tops, etc. are
all fine. There's a definite tendency to overdress
(dress up) than to be underdressed (too casual).
Unshaven legs, although gradually going out of style,
are OK, either bare or under hose. Pretty much anything
Clarissa, Fremont, USA
girls wear minis in West Indies...
I travelled in the Caribbean (Windward
Islands -- Antilles et al). Though the native girls
and young women wear the shortest mini skirts I ever
saw -- please don't do it yourself. Covering your
legs with long(er) skirts or loose pants saves you
a lot of staring from the local men!
sturdy shoes to Ethiopia...
I travelled to Addis Ababa and the central highland
area. The local women always wear skirts but pants
were acceptable for foreigners. Shorts would not
be. I wore both pants and skirts designed for "travel"
and felt comfortable. Long sleeve and short-sleeved
shirts with good arm coverage are a good bet. Evenings
in the highlands get cold so bring extra layers.
The roads are very dusty -- be sure to pack sturdy,
Carol, Kingston, Canada
is hot in the summer...
It's hot, hot, hot in Barcelona in the summer. Unless
you want to shout, "I'm a tourist", leave the shorts
and athletic shoes at home. The women dress up more
here. A good choice is a simple linen dress in a
conservative color and something to cover your arms
if your dress is sleeveless. You will not be allowed
in some cathedrals in sleeveless clothing. Stick
to comfortable sandals for your feet. I had a sleeveless
long dark blue linen dress that I wore from Spain,
through the south of France and up to Switzerland
that worked well everywhere! However, if you plan
to purchase your outfit in Spain be aware that the
women are tiny. If you are a larger size, you may
have difficulty finding a dress that will fit. Try
the Territory Ahead catalog before you leave!
Mari, San Francisco, USA
shoes so important in London...
My biggest advice is to wear comfortable shoes. We
traveled for seven days throughout London almost exclusively
by walking and riding the underground and bus system.
Most people wore dark clothes -- either pants or blue
jeans. Women wore various types of shoes, but very
few impractical high heels. The shoes I wore have
always been comfortable for me back home, but hurt
through all the walking in the U.K. Next time I go
I will wear either a hiking boot, a dark colored athletic
shoe, or a shoe with an athletic shoe insert.
Stefani, Phoenix, USA