Travelling is a fantastic thing. Not just for experiencing the sights and the sounds, but also for embracing everything else that comes part and parcel with a new place. What better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than to indulge in some clothing synonymous with that place? Sure, there is a high possibility your stylistic choices won’t lead you to blend seamlessly in with the locals. But hey, always worth a shot!
1. The Breton top, France
These days it’s not uncommon to spot a flat white swigging hipster or a yummy mummy fresh out of yoga, wearing this stripy garb. While a definite favourite among such tribes, its French roots shall always remain the strongest association. Cue many travellers donning this piece on a typical jaunt to Paris. Not forgetting the pièce de résistance of a beret to complete this ultimate Francophile look!
2. Beachwear and flip-flops, Australia
In Australia where the sun seemingly shines more often than not, beachwear as day-wear is certainly a common occurrence. Embracing this particular trend – think board shorts and sleeveless tops for guys; crop tops and short shorts for the gals- is particularly popular with those non natives from chillier lands. Yep, if society allows it then dammit, there will be many a thong-encased foot hitting the streets!
3. Minimal, Sweden
Ah Sweden, the land of beautiful people and minimal chic. In an attempt to fit in with all the local cool kids, the allure of a neutral palette and clean tailoring could be all too great. Just don’t go so minimal that you end up leaving the hotel without any clothes on…
4. Sombrero, Mexico
A trip to Mexico often sparks the idea of wearing a sombrero as you partake in your daily excursions. The benefit of course, being that the wide brim will shield you from the hot Mexican sun and save you from the horror that is a ghastly sunburn. The wide brim also has an added bonus: it’s the perfect place for storing snacks to munch on while you hit that day tour.
5. The Aloha shirt, Hawaii
The Hawaiian shirt is a fashion institution. Other than perhaps a bikini or swimming trunks, no other item of clothing embodies the “I’M ON HOLIDAY!” spirit more than this extremely bright, patterned shirt. It is a holiday shirt that translates many a border and occasion, but of course is in its ultimate element and subsequently at the height of its power when worn in its homeland of Hawaii. No one can resist a man in an Aloha shirt in tiki bar in Hawaii. As for a man in Aloha shirt in a pub in Slough? Hmmm, not so much…
6. Kimono, Japan
No trip to Japan would be complete without a session swanning around in a kimono. Be it when you pay a visit to a local Japanese tourist site, or simply donning one in your hotel room as you attempt to capture the perfect Instagram selfie, looking demure in the bathroom mirror. Yep, the kimono is certainly a travel style must when in Japan.
7. Kilt, Scotland
This traditional Scottish fashion finery is always a tempting wardrobe item to explore when travelling to the land of bagpipes and deep fried Mars Bars. However the accompanying underwear (or lack there of) is up entirely up to you. Whatever you decide, let’s just hope it’s not too windy…
8. Team Americana, USA
For some reason, travelling to the USA finds many tourists suddenly supporting sports teams they had no idea about prior to their trip. It is a fashion phenomenon that sees an influx of basketball jerseys and backwards baseball caps materialize among many travellers’ wardrobe when they hit the States. While such a style move is questionable, if teamed with another local trend – the notorious cowboy boot – well, that’s a whole other ball game altogether!
9. Hippie Pants, Southeast Asia (especially Thailand)
It is a key piece in the uniform of the average backpacker and one most commonly referred to as “Hippie Pants”. Yes, harem pants are those stretchy loose patterned pants that you will ultimately pick up from a market stall for next to nothing in Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia… well, pretty much anywhere in Southeast Asia. You will then proceed to wear them day in and day out for the remainder of your trip. When it comes to these threads, comfort over style always prevails.
11. Moccasins, Canada
If you like wearing your slippers to the shops, then moccasins are for you. This soft sole footwear was born in North America and is definitely worth a try, should you find yourself up Canada way. Paired with the hippie pants above and you’ve got yourself a Canada-Sri Lanka style mash-up that simply is the embodiment of the phrase, “I’m on my gap year”.
12. The Poncho, Peru
While the familiar incarnation of the poncho worldwide is of course, the famed plastic rain poncho, a visit to Peru allows travellers to truly embrace this sleeveless wonder in all its traditional glory. Bright colours, patterns and handcrafted out of alpaca fur; this is one poncho you won’t be chucking as soon as the sun is back out!
13. The Ushanka, Russia
Donning an ushanka on an excursion to St. Petersburg may at first seem like a good idea. It is an iconic Russian piece of clothing that over the years has infiltrated mainstream fashion around the world to spectacular aplomb. However, wearing one of these furry headpieces is best reserved to a winter holiday. To parade around in one at the height of summertime only means one thing: the dreaded sweaty head.
14. Bollywood, India
During a visit to India, it would be difficult to resist the charm of local traditional clothing such as Saris for women or kurtas or sherwanis for men. While assuming such clothing might potentially make you look every inch the Bollywood star, the ability to dance at such a spectacular level is not guaranteed…
15. White & floaty, The Greek Islands
When visualizing frolicking across the Greek Islands, wearing something white and floaty seems inevitable. Better still, add a touch of blue floral stitching and some lace trim and you are on to a travel wardrobe winner! Sure, you may look like an extra from Mamma Mia, but who cares – you’re on holiday!