Travel Tips & Advice

Ditch the 'Tourist' Tag: Dress Like a Local in 10 European Cities

Last Updated: May 31, 2024

So you're on your way to Europe and you're wondering what to pack? Of course there's something to be said for people who just want to be comfortable... but what about the more fashion-forward travelers?

Of course you wouldn't want to stick out like a sore thumb, and there are some DEFINITE ways to keep that "I'm a tourist" sign off your back (avoid wearing a fanny pack, neck-dangling Nikon camera, and that "I Love Rome" t-shirt), but let's dig a bit deeper...

Besides being safer, and more socially-acceptable, looking more like a local is just plain FUN! While European fashion for foreigners can be a bit daunting, and is not an exact science, here's a quick cheat-sheet for Dressing Like a Local in 10 Major European Cities:

A collage of three photos. 

First - a woman in Amsterdam wearing a red knit hat, red/tan/black sweater, shorts, tights, and tall boots. She's holding a red umbrella.

Second - A young man with tousled hair and glasses wears a grey sweater over a dress shirt. He's wearing a dark blue canvas rain jacket.

Third - a man and woman with bikes consult a map on the streets of Amsterdam. The man is wearing jeans, sneakers, a scarf, and rain jacket. The woman is wearing a scarf, wool jacket, jeans, and canvas athletic shoes.
Amsterdam Fashion

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Style: Active, colorful and comfortable

Men: Fitted jeans, leather jackets, cardigans, sweaters, knit caps, solid, zip-up hoodies and blazers with jeans

Women: Ankle-length leggings or thick tights under dresses, skirts, or shorts, knit caps

Footwear: Bright, sporty sneakers and flat boots

Do: Bring an extra waterproof layer - rain can come quickly and unexpectedly. Bring a scarf for autumn or winter visits.

Don't: Wear baseball caps, flip-flops, or golf visors these are considered tacky and will instantly label you as a tourist

Five images of Berliners, wearing fashionable clothes. First, a man wearing dark cuffed skinny jeans, a light denim jacket, hoodie, and bold athletic shoes. Second, a woman wearing a short (pleated) checkered dress, denim jacket, and carrying a black leather handbag. Third, a tan woman with short hair wearing a pale hoodie, black puffer jacket, tan and black plaid skirt. Fourth, an Asian woman wearing a flowy white blouse, skinny denim ankle jeans, and high top leather athletic shoes. Lastly, a man with blonde hair wearing a leather jacket, white t-shirt, and denim.
Berlin Fashion

2. Berlin, Germany

Style: Laid-back cool

Men: Denim anything, skinny jeans, t-shirts, wool coats, leather jackets, blazers with hoodies

Women: Denim jeans with flowing blouses in white, beige, and bright citrus colors, over-sized scarves, leather, and fedoras

Footwear: Sneakers or leather boots

Do: Wear plenty of warm layers during the winter: stylish sweaters, gloves, scarves, etc.

Don't: Wear khaki pants or shorts, as true Berliners never wear khaki!

Brussels Fashion

3. Brussels, Belgium

Style: Fun casual / retro hipster

Women: Denim jeans, leggings, tank-tops, flowy long skirts, light knitwear, and cardigans

Men: Leather jackets, jeans, casual button-downs, v-necks, and speedos at the pool (swim shorts are often not allowed in public swimming areas)

Footwear: Bring sandals, sneakers or other sensible, flat shoes for walking around on cobblestone streets

Do: Bring layers and waterproof gear for rapidly-changing weather conditions

Don't: Wear white shoes or white socks, baggy sweatshirts or baggy denim - these are considered overly American forms of dress

Copenhagen Fashion

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

Style: Effortless cool

Women: Oversized tees with skinny jeans or leggings. Feminine dresses with menswear-inspired shoes, or loose-fitting printed trousers and midi-skirts

Men: Black or navy trousers, dark jeans with t-shirts and sweaters, jean jackets or blazer

Footwear: Edgy flats, sneakers, Birkenstocks, slip-ons, and boots

Do: Bring thick boots, a stylish parka, or leather jackets for chilly evenings

Don't: Forget waterproof gear and a compact umbrella

Florence Fashion

5. Florence, Italy

Style: Casual classy

Men: Bold and slim suits, sweaters tied around shoulders, solid colored tailored pants and patterned slim shirts

Women: Patterned tunic dresses, v-neck tees or tank-tops, skinny jeans, long skirts and oversized sunglasses

Footwear: Gladiator sandals, street sneakers, or heels. Men will wear boat shoes, sneakers, or dress shoes

Do: Pay extra attention to the details scarves, socks, and shoes should be fashionable, yet classy

Don't: Wear flip-flops, floppy hats, shirts with logos, bare shoulders or mini-skirts and shorts. Much of this is considered inappropriate or gauche when it comes to visiting most tourist destinations.

London Fashion

6. London, England

Style: Indie Rock chic

Men: Denim pants and jackets (different washes please), trench coats and subtly-patterned suits

Women: Light skirts and dresses with layered denim or leather jackets, pleated skirts, plaid, cardigans and sweaters (jumpers)

Footwear: Chelsea boots, brogues, ballet flats or flip-flops in the summer. Rubber boots in the fall

Do: Tap into your inner hipster/indie rocker and get out of your comfort zone a bit

Don't: Wear local sports jerseys or "I Heart London" attire. You may run afoul of many locals, especially football enthusiasts.

Madrid Fashion

7. Madrid, Spain

Style: Flashy-fun

Women: Chiffon shirts, loose lace tank tops and dresses, sunglasses, skinny jeans and scarves

Men: Dark grey jeans with a V-neck shirt and a leather jacket. Bright, slim suits, light slacks, buttoned-down shirts, stylish sneakers

Footwear: Gladiator sandals, Converse, or Superga low-top sneakers

Do: Wear watches and subtle jewelry like thin bracelets and necklaces

Don't: Wear sandals until summer, or with socks ever

Mykonos Fashion

8. Mykonos, Greece

Style: Island-chic

Men: Linen trousers with stylish shirts, bright solid shorts, blazers with v-neck t-shirts, dark denim pants (not blue jeans) and starched shirts

Women: Chunky, dark-gold bangles, denim capri pants, light dresses and skirts that are tailored to mid-thigh

Footwear: Flat sandals, deck shoes, comfortable walking shoes, or hikers

Do: Be willing to go with stylish, all-black attire for night-time - for men or women

Don't: Wear flip-flops, shirts with cleavage, bare shoulders, or shorts if you plan on visiting any religious sites

Paris Fashion

9. Paris, France

Style: Casual-chic

Women: Skinny jeans, a designer top, simple dresses, and either Converse or ballet flats, long scarves and hipster hats

Men: Skinny jeans, solid zip-up hoodies, trench coats and blazers, leather bags and attaches

Footwear: Brown derbies or black oxfords, stylish sneakers and leather boots

Do: Conduct a little research in advance, styles change quickly in Paris

Don't: Wear sweatpants, flip-flops, baseball caps, backpacks or white sneakers — again they just scream American.

Rome Fashion

10. Rome, Italy

Style: Crisp, Dark and Tailored

Women: Fitted dresses, fitted T-shirts, dark jeans, leather pants, flowy skirts, and knee-length dresses

Men: Tailored shirts, and pants, designer suits, and black or dark-blue Diesel jeans and jackets

Footwear: Leather sandals, long boots, and pointed dress shoes

Do: Wait to arrive before purchasing fashionable footwear

Don't: Go too colorful, Rome subscribes to a very dark and basic color palette. Again, don't show too much skin if you plan to visit religious sites.

Ready to Book Your European Vacation?

Now that you've got the basics on blending in, let's get packing!

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