[Another re-post of my writing at Sidelines. Enjoy!]
You have your plans set, your tickets are in hand, and the excitement of your coming trip is so deliciously thick you can cut it up into slices. You are heading to some new place full of brand new sights, scents, and scenery. You have never been there before! You’ve read the brochures, talked to your buddies, seen the reviews and the panoramas online, reserved your room and your transportation is arranged. Now for the matter of what to wear. What, then, will you wear?
OK, you don’t want to look like a tourist. That’s a given. No one wants to look like a tourist, but not many succeed in avoiding that picture. You know which one that is: Totally out of place, either in style or in formality. I am not even talking about that stereotype of the big Hawaiian shirt-wearing Dad and Mama with her khaki skirt and sneakers. A little forethought all by yourself should help you shy away from that picture. I’m talking about just about blending in, if that’s at all possible for you.
Some examples of touristy wardrobe choices: You go to a farmers market in a poorer part of a new town wearing too much expensive jewelry and your best Jimmy Choo boots. You show up at Chianti’s in Tokyo wearing sweatpants and a pair of well-worn sneakers, expecting the best treatment (you’ll get it, but you’ll also get “the look.”) You shop in Rockefeller Plaza wearing your Hawaiian shirt. Do it if you want to, and more power to you. You’ll just look like a tourist.
Here is my main piece of advice: Go online and search for recent photos of locals who live and work in the areas in which you are going to travel. Going multiple places? Pack accordingly. Don’t try so hard to blend in that you overdo it (i.e. start wearing saris to the market in Sri Lanka unless you know how to drape them), but a little common sense goes a long way.
Are you conservative? What are more conservative, professional people of your gender and age wearing at the cafes and restaurants at your destination? Are you more artsy or individual? Check out the range of “what’s acceptable in public” where you are going, and then express yourself. Just be sure you are not wearing something that may be culturally offensive or mark you negatively. If you have no idea what might be offensive where you are going (and you are slightly worried), a simple and clean pair of nicely-cut jeans and a flattering, conservative shirt with a few pieces of jewelry might be just right. At the very least, checking out the locals online may give you a helpful perspective.
Personal style is so personal. If it doesn’t bother you to stick out as a tourist, go for it. Just for those who want to blend in a bit more – which might afford you a broader experience of a new locale than a “tourist”might experience, I just gave you my advice. Hope it helps.
What other pieces of advice are out there?
Category Archives: fashion
[Yet another of my Sidelines posts. Enjoy.]
Come Back, Sade, Oh, Muse, Oh, Sister, whose voice mesmerized us twenty years ago and whose voice emerged from the English countryside for a brief moment in time, just a few years ago, perhaps emerging from the moors but I wax romantic. Come Back, Sade, Oh Cousin, Oh Friend, who paralleled the heartstrings of so many women and captivated the yearnings of so many men. We need another concert from you just to get by.
After almost thirty years of allowing Sade’s music to be first the soundtrack of my young life, and then the fanfare of a new sensuality that proved to be a harbinger of twenty one years of marriage and counting, I found myself walking alongside my husband through the night air across the parking lot of Denver’s Pepsi Center towards Sade’s first concert in a decade, one we had dreamed of but never thought would happen, one we had imagined would have been transcendent among the Red Rocks at the base of the mountains, but really,we were so electrified to even be seeing Sade perform. A concert on a dusty back road would have been phenomenal. Her concert was just that. Phenomenal. Beautiful. Electric. Brilliantly and translucently colorful. She was our Sade still, her voice as mesmerizing as before the decades had passed. And like us, she was frozen in time.
It is said that Sade only comes out once a decade, but Sade, Oh Sade, don’t do this again. We are all fine living our lives traipsing between songstresses and balladeers, trying to remember amongst bills, and babies, and issues, and tragedies, that it is our generational music that keeps us and transports us to another time, but really! Sade, you make it all so much more beautiful. Come back! We need another concert from you. Just to get by.
We are waiting.
Do you have an artist who’s been gone too long, and you wish would come back while they are able?