Jump to content

Menu

European custom-savvy people, does this dress scream American?


Ginevra
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know bright colors are generally viewed as an American thing, but is this dress too exuberant for the average European (particulary London or France)? http://www.titlenine.com/product/breeze-drape-neck-travel-dress-130949.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=fn I want to get some easy-pack dresses and, while I do not yet have solid plans to travel to Europe, I do plan to go at least once in the next three years.

 

I do not want to look like a most-definitely American tourist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's fine. Bright colors are perfectly normal on summer dresses (look at UK websites like Boden). Wear it with sandals or flats and a navy (or black? can't tell which from the photo) cardigan and you'll look very chic. Bermuda shorts and tee shirts with white socks and sneakers = the uniform that screams "American tourist," not a pretty summer dress.

 

Edited by Corraleno
  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to get work clothes and my mom gets leisure clothes from Marks & Spencer UK. My dual citizen friend's family is moving back to London and she regularly shops Marks & Spencer as well as Harrods. My mom likes the ones with prints, I go for solids.

 

Link to Marks & Spencer dresses just to give you an idea, some have prints too. http://www.marksandspencer.com/l/women/dresses

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know bright colors are generally viewed as an American thing, but is this dress too exuberant for the average European (particulary London or France)? http://www.titlenine.com/product/breeze-drape-neck-travel-dress-130949.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=fn I want to get some easy-pack dresses and, while I do not yet have solid plans to travel to Europe, I do plan to go at least once in the next three years.

 

I do not want to look like a most-definitely American tourist.

 

I think it's fine.  You are very likely to be cold in London though.  Make sure you have a good cardie and shoes that don't mind rain.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it would be fine. It's quite formal though for the UK, I think people generally dress more casually. Like Laura said you'd want a cardi. There are not many days in the UK warm enough for a sleeveless dresses but it would be fine further south.

Edited by lailasmum
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's fine.  You are very likely to be cold in London though.  Make sure you have a good cardie and shoes that don't mind rain.

 

 

I think it would be fine. It's quite formal though for the UK, I think people generally dress more casually. Like Laura said your want a cardi. There are not many days in the UK warm enough for a sleeveless dresses but it would be fine further south.

 

Keeping in mind that I'm a Floridian and not used to even cool weather, I'll still agree. I was in England in June and July and was cold for most of my visit. I was in London part of the time and East Anglia (Woodbridge area) for most of my visit. The day I was leaving to come home, the sun came out and the temperature climbed to the mid 70s Fahrenheit. For most of my visit it was cloudy with temperatures in the 50s and 60s (again, F). There's no way I would have been able to wear a sleeveless dress. One of the people I was visiting grew up in NY and he felt a chill much of the time too. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My observation as a tourist in Paris was that everyone was a bit dressier. It wasn't so much about color (especially as I was there in colder times, so everyone was in jackets or coats and scarves). I found myself wearing all the nicest things I'd brought because I do kind of like to fit in a little when visiting somewhere else. And from the number of times people looked dismayed by my slow French, I think the kids and in their cute wool coats, dh in his button shirts, and myself were passing really well. No so much the in laws in their T-shirts and bright parkas and so forth. No one even tried to speak French to them. Which is fine, by the way. I mean, we were tourists. That was just my observations.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's nice.  :thumbup:

 

I don't think it's too formal, especially not in the city (country people dress like country people everywhere, but I'm guessing you'e not going to Europe to pick asparagus, so that doesn't matter). Walk around museums during the day + semi-nice restaurant for dinner, it's great.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dress is fine for high summer. Depending on where you plan to go, it may be a bit chilly. England is not renowned for its hot summers.

 

What you want to avoid is T-shirts with writing/motives/ads/slogan. Nothing screams American like a those. And sneakers.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with what others said about weather in the UK. I lived there for 10 yrs (near Cambridge) and there were summers where temps could hit the 90s and others where there were literally only a few days all summer where it got above 70, so you'll want some nice slacks, too. I think the dress you linked is perfect because you could get pants, flats/sandals, and a sweater in the darker color and add a few shirts in bright colors or prints, some coordinating accessories, and you'd have a great little travel wardrobe.

Edited by Corraleno
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with what others said about weather in the UK. I lived there for 10 yrs (near Cambridge) and there were summers where temps could hit the 90s and others where there were literally only a few days all summer where it got above 70, so you'll want some nice slacks, too. I think the dress you linked is perfect because you could get pants, flats/sandals, and a sweater in the darker color and add a few shirts in bright colors or prints, some coordinating accessories, and you'd have a great little travel wardrobe.

In the paper catalog, that dress was depicted along with a wrap sweater (kind of like a buttonless cardigan), a skirt and a top that all mix and match. I did think that would work nicely as a travel wardrobe.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dress is fine for high summer. Depending on where you plan to go, it may be a bit chilly. England is not renowned for its hot summers.

 

What you want to avoid is T-shirts with writing/motives/ads/slogan. Nothing screams American like a those. And sneakers.

Lol, yeah, I do know that these things are a no: tee shirts with writing, casual shorts, sneakers. I don't even wear sneakers here, unless I'm doing something for exercise. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to get work clothes and my mom gets leisure clothes from Marks & Spencer UK. My dual citizen friend's family is moving back to London and she regularly shops Marks & Spencer as well as Harrods. My mom likes the ones with prints, I go for solids.

 

Link to Marks & Spencer dresses just to give you an idea, some have prints too. http://www.marksandspencer.com/l/women/dresses

I like a lot of the clothes on this site. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or, you could pack almost no clothes and buy clothes while you're in Paris or London.

It's not the worst idea. I'm a little worried that I would hem and haw forever, while I'm missing an amazing city hanging out in a shop.

 

 

I'm not a good shopper. :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some tips for London. ;) http://www.thisbatteredsuitcase.com/how-to-look-like-a-tourist-in-london/

 

Seriously, you will probably look like a tourist but guess what? You will be a tourist. Get over it and enjoy yourself.

That said, if you want to call less attention to yourself, speak softly. Many Americans are so very loud! I would say the other tell-tale signs are hair and makeup that is too much/too studied, eating or drinking while walking around, being overweight (sorry, Europeans are much thinner), and the dreaded t-shirt like regentrude mentioned.

 

Wear a scarf and put on your FU face and you'll fit right in (in Paris anyway). ;)

 

PS luuknam's idea is a good one: you get a practical souvenir. Plus when you return home and someone asks you where you got your gorgeous whatever you get to throw out a "oh, this little thing? I picked it up in << insert European capital >>" and that's always fun. :)

Edited by bibiche
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't scream American. I'm glad you ordered it! The last two trips home in July none of my t-shirts saw the light of day, much less a summer dress. I was so cold. Maybe they're due a warm summer. In the city with flat sandals and a cardie I think it's great. Add jewelry and ballet flats and you have a dress for dinner. Regarding sneakers, it's no longer the case that people don't wear them. They do, but not the same kind you might wear to actually do sports in. Think converse and other slightly more stylish, streamlined sneakers, in canvas, suede or leather. They are everywhere for both men and women.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

London is so mixed with locals, students, professionals of all fields, fashionista types, people of all faiths with different cultural dress that you're pretty unlikely to stand out unless you go around wearing a pink bunny suit and even then most people will ignore it.

Edited by lailasmum
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I am not savvy by any stretch, but last summer when I went to Germany I was thinking about all the comments here on the board about how supposedly Europeans are not flashy and we are and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't see a difference.  There were plenty of flashy outfits.  One thing I noticed in particular were a lot of people wearing very bright (blindingly bright) sneakers. 

Maybe it was the area?  Although I was in three different areas. 

 

I think what would make you stand out is an exercise suit that was a giant American flag and a fanny pack.  That dress?  Nope, not at all.

 

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't scream American. I'm glad you ordered it! The last two trips home in July none of my t-shirts saw the light of day, much less a summer dress. I was so cold. Maybe they're due a warm summer. In the city with flat sandals and a cardie I think it's great. Add jewelry and ballet flats and you have a dress for dinner. Regarding sneakers, it's no longer the case that people don't wear them. They do, but not the same kind you might wear to actually do sports in. Think converse and other slightly more stylish, streamlined sneakers, in canvas, suede or leather. They are everywhere for both men and women.

I was thinking the Vans sleek type sneakers would probably fit in. Something like this: http://www.vans.com/shop/womens-new-and-popular-arrivals/authentic-esp-micro-stripes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with others, you aren't going to stand out no matter what you wear. Like American cities and all over the world, cities in Europe are diverse and populated with all types and all manners of dress (and behaviour). No one--no one!--will look at you and think "aha! An American!". I promise.

 

On our last trip, the loudest, rudest people were Germans. The drunk soccer fans on the train, yes, but also on the streets. Several times throughout our trip we were asked where we are from--people honestly didn't know we we were American. Even in Ireland, which for some reason we found funny.

 

Mostly I wore a travel dress with leggings, sneakers and a long jacket (my standard even for home). Every other woman in Copenhagen was dressed the same, except smarter because they also wore thick infinity scarves (the type I left at home). It was May.

 

I'm sure it depends where you are, but those old stereotypes are just that. Don't let them stop you from being comfortable and doing what you want to do.

 

Very cute dress, btw. But definitely bring a warm coat and leggings (and scarf)! :)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh and at least Germans cannot tell the difference between an American accent and a British accent. I find that amusing. But then I suppose I can't tell the difference between certain groups either.

Right! We were taken aback whenever we were asked where we're from. Once was in a bike shop in a small town in Belgium--DH had bought a cycling jersey there and the owner was hoping we'd send a photo of him wearing it from back home for his map...Anyway, I didn't know what to say. I mean, don't we sound American? Isn't it supposed to be *obvious? But nope. And he was really surprised and excited. He thought we were British.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the UK the uniform for most of my friends over 30 with kids (and without come to think of it) seems to be jeans and plain or patterned long sleeve t-shirt or tunic and leggings, both plus layers as appropriate to the season often with a scarf. Footwear is often leather boots or wellies, walking boots/shoes or sneakers like converse or skechers (not sporty ones generally) in drier bits of the year. So it's pretty simple. The only people I see wearing a nice dress with hair done and full makeup are usually well dressed for work.

Edited by lailasmum
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right! We were taken aback whenever we were asked where we're from. Once was in a bike shop in a small town in Belgium--DH had bought a cycling jersey there and the owner was hoping we'd send a photo of him wearing it from back home for his map...Anyway, I didn't know what to say. I mean, don't we sound American? Isn't it supposed to be *obvious? But nope. And he was really surprised and excited. He thought we were British.

 

My BIL asked me several times while watching the news or overhearing English being spoken somewhere, "Is that person American?"  No..definitely not.  He couldn't tell at all.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good for you. I, as a native German speaker who has lived there for 30 years, sometimes can not.

 

I can often tell where someone came from in Germany based on their accent when speaking English.

 

But this is something I particularly notice about people.  I won't remember their name or what they looked like, but I remember the sound of their voice. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My point wasn't so much that this is a no duh, but rather I don't think it's that easy to scream "AMERICAN" when you go there as an American. Plenty of people won't notice.

Interesting. I had a notion that American tourists (who are obviously American tourists) are one of the biggest rolley-eye annoyances in European locales. Even in America, people who live in tourist destinations get very rolley-eyed about Gee-Whiz tourists. I've heard this from both my brother, in Colorado Springs and my sister, NYC. I don't think I act like a Gee-Whiz tourist, no matter where I'm visiting. I mean I try not to! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm amazed at how your thread, started to ask about a dress, has provided such great insight into weather, culture, etc.

I had to laugh at the "no slogan t-shirts or sneakers" comment. My immediate thought was, "Hmm. Probably gonna have to buy a 

whole new wardrobe before I go to Europe."  :p

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm amazed at how your thread, started to ask about a dress, has provided such great insight into weather, culture, etc.

I had to laugh at the "no slogan t-shirts or sneakers" comment. My immediate thought was, "Hmm. Probably gonna have to buy a

whole new wardrobe before I go to Europe." :p

Nope, neither stand out.

 

But I agree with Sparkly--it's a good excuse to go clothes shopping anyway! Just know you don't have to. :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you tell whether a speaker is Bavarian or Austrian?

To me this is like asking if someone is speaking Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, or Serbo-Croation.

They all sound VERY similar but are not same language. I can actually tell the difference IF I've had a minute or two

to listen. It just takes some concentration because while I meet people from the places once or twice a year, I'm not around it

enough to know right away.

 

But how does all of this apply to the OPs dress question?  :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My high school teacher tried to get me to develop a more British accent, because she thought it fit my personality better. There's quite a bit of American and British TV in NL with subtitles (or without subtitles if you watch the BBC), so I think quite a number of people can tell American and British accents apart. Now, they're probably not going to be able to tell if you're from the east or west coast, and Australians might leave them kind of lost too. Then and again, it might depend on which American accent you have as to whether they may or may not get confused with British. My Texan wife does usually get accurately labelled as American, not British.

 

ETA: last month in NL someone told me that my Dutch is very good. :lol:

Edited by luuknam
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I had a notion that American tourists (who are obviously American tourists) are one of the biggest rolley-eye annoyances in European locales. Even in America, people who live in tourist destinations get very rolley-eyed about Gee-Whiz tourists. I've heard this from both my brother, in Colorado Springs and my sister, NYC. I don't think I act like a Gee-Whiz tourist, no matter where I'm visiting. I mean I try not to! :D

 

I once had a teacher of German (he was not German, but taught German) at a uni who (said he) made it a point to do goofy things when he visited Germany.  I think it was his way of thumbing his nose at that notion of the ridiculous American tourist.  Like he would be that guy with the American flag sweatsuit.  Even though that wasn't something he'd normally do in general.  He was pretty wacky.  LOL

 

It helps I'm always with Germans, but I have traveled with them to other European countries where they don't speak the language and still none of us stood out.  It was never a problem. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the traveller stereotypes are probably pretty outdated. I worked in a local tourist information office nearly 20 years ago and American tourists tended to get frustrated that lots of places didn't take credit cards and that hotels were really small/lacked facilities. We used to find it weird that they were so unprepared. These days payments systems are more similar around the world and it's so easy to check and find out information about a country and your accommodation that I guess it's easier to know what to expect.

Edited by lailasmum
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I am not savvy by any stretch, but last summer when I went to Germany I was thinking about all the comments here on the board about how supposedly Europeans are not flashy and we are and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't see a difference.  There were plenty of flashy outfits.  One thing I noticed in particular were a lot of people wearing very bright (blindingly bright) sneakers. 

Maybe it was the area?  Although I was in three different areas. 

 

I think what would make you stand out is an exercise suit that was a giant American flag and a fanny pack.  That dress?  Nope, not at all.

 

I agree! We went to a popular, warm European holiday spot that isn't popular with Americans. I was surprised by how very loud they dressed- Americans would rarely wear as many bright colors all mixed together as I saw. I was surprised that there was a significant percentage of overweight people, lots of old men in shorts and sneakers, and some really loud and obnoxious tourists. I think tourist behavior has been labeled American behavior overseas and it's not quite fair. I also wonder how many times people think someone is American from a distance because she is acting like a tourist, but who is really just another European (or Australian) on vacation.

 

It's a stereotype. The only other person I saw who I thought may have been American turned out to be Canadian and she was polite, thin, and dressed in subdued colors. She said people often think she's American. 

 

Then, we went to Rome and the European behavior and clothing chilled out significantly! Maybe people were there on work or school trips and were better behaved, maybe they respected the city and the history, or dressed differently because there was no beach. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...