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What to Wear, Where -- Her 50 Fabulous Clothing Tips


Pack 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

Be 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.

Shari, Hamilton, Canada

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

Bring 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

I 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

Wear 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 goes.
Clarissa, Fremont, USA

Young 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!
Marion, Hamburg, Germany

Bring 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, closed shoes.
Carol, Kingston, Canada

Spain 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

Good 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

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