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June 26, 2011
02:52
AaronJT
Southern California

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Unfortunately, the answer to this question can differ from both country to country, as well as culture to culture (seeing how there are different cultures in countries); however, it doesn't hurt to ask, and I am sure there are tips even if the exact answer depends on the circumstance.

Would it be better to take a small amount of clothes and then buy clothes while in the new country, to do a half and half, to bring more clothes from ones native country and buy a little bit from the target-country, or just bring all the clothes one needs from their native country?

I am guessing the best would be a mixture, but depending on where one travels and where the native country is, the clothes could be similar at different prices, so it could be more cost effective to do one or the other. If the style of clothing is totally different between the native and target country, would it have a large impact to buy more of there clothes to help be emerged in more aspects of the target culture? Any thoughts?

Thanks!

June 26, 2011
04:40
Benny
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Clothes weigh a surprising amount, so the less you travel with the better. You can get the important stuff in a second hand market if (authentic) designer names aren't so important to you, so only bring stuff that really would be hard to find abroad. Half and half is a good balance.

I actually find that jeans and a t-shirt works in most countries. Wearing shorts is a terrible idea, and many styles scream tourist. When you arrive observe how people your age dress and try to emulate that.

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July 6, 2011
15:20
cmdl
Leeds

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I usually take a vest, a short sleeved tee, a v-neck, a shirt and a jacket. (Plus trousers and underwear obviously).

Those 5 garments can be combined into loads of outfits for a range of temperatures / scenarios, examples: vest for lazing around in a hostel or when it's super hot; tee for casual exploring; shirt open over tee for casual gatherings; v-neck over done up shirt for smart gatherings; tee, v-neck and jacket when it's cold; just the v-neck if you haven't been able to do laundry for a couple of days and your tee's dirty, etc, etc.

Saves a LOT of space in your luggage, plus it sets you up for the half and half method quite nicely too Cool

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July 7, 2011
07:28
Hekje
Providence, Rhode Island

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It's good to catch this topic before I start packing – I''m the consummate too-many-clothes-bringer! Kinda reminds me of this comic

I''m sorry if this is an ignorant question, but: why is it bad to bring shorts? Is it just that they scream tourist, or is it that they actually look tacky, are usually inappropriate, etc.? I'm mostly inquiring for western/northern Europe; of course, I'm sure your mileage may vary by country.

Just curious. I trust Benny and won't bring 'em if he says not to. Wink

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July 7, 2011
16:29
Benny
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blueslant said:

It's good to catch this topic before I start packing – I''m the consummate too-many-clothes-bringer! Kinda reminds me of this comic

I''m sorry if this is an ignorant question, but: why is it bad to bring shorts? Is it just that they scream tourist, or is it that they actually look tacky, are usually inappropriate, etc.? I'm mostly inquiring for western/northern Europe; of course, I'm sure your mileage may vary by country.

Just curious. I trust Benny and won't bring 'em if he says not to. Wink

If you are going to be on the beach all day, or walking around site-seeing in hot weather, then by all means wear shorts. I'm just saying that (for whatever reason) in my experience it's something that tourists are much more likely to do and people will know your a tourist. If that isn't important, then just wear whatever you want!

But pretty much everywhere, people wear longer trousers/pants. Maybe it's because it's inappropriate workwear and only people not working (such as tourist or children) would be able to wear whatever is more comfortable. Perhaps it will change, but in my experience shorts and flip-flops or sandles can be a major indication that this person is a tourist (depending on which country of course).

The only exception where I've seen flip-flops and shorts as the norm would be in some cities in Brazil.

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July 7, 2011
17:12
Hekje
Providence, Rhode Island

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Benny said:

If you are going to be on the beach all day, or walking around site-seeing in hot weather, then by all means wear shorts. I'm just saying that (for whatever reason) in my experience it's something that tourists are much more likely to do and people will know your a tourist. If that isn't important, then just wear whatever you want!

But pretty much everywhere, people wear longer trousers/pants. Maybe it's because it's inappropriate workwear and only people not working (such as tourist or children) would be able to wear whatever is more comfortable. Perhaps it will change, but in my experience shorts and flip-flops or sandles can be a major indication that this person is a tourist (depending on which country of course).

The only exception where I've seen flip-flops and shorts as the norm would be in some cities in Brazil.

I'm gonna miss my flip-flops - they're quite common here (except for work, of course). But that makes tons of sense. Thank you!

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July 13, 2011
12:26
cangirl
Germany

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Benny said:

in my experience shorts and flip-flops or sandles can be a major indication that this person is a tourist (depending on which country of course).

 

If you wore shorts together with wool socks and sandles in Germany, it would be a major indication that you're a local ;)

(I'm not joking, by the way. Most people I work with dress like this every day. Only the men though.)

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July 16, 2011
20:43
kit
Santiago, Chile
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I tend to bring a small selection of clothes that can look dressy together, but are still the technical fabrics that are easy to wash in the sink. I'm biased because I travel for work, but I like being able to change my shirt and shoes or just even change a jacket and change the formality of my outfit. It can be easy to look silly or old this way, so it does take some thought and practice. 

 

One thing that surprises a lot of people from the USA is how well dressed the rest of the world is, especially in poorer countries. While it is okay to wear jeans in a lot of places, the definition of 'jeans' is a lot more tailored and tidy than the typical ill-fitted pair that Americans have. 

 

As for the original question, it depends on how much you like shopping ;) Personally, I'd rather not have to go clothes shopping except for perhaps in the case of unexpected or extreme weather. If you enjoy it, then bring a few items and spend a while wandering the aisles for stuff with local flavor. This can depend heavily on location since some places are very expensive and mainly have the same clothes you'd get anywhere else but in some places you can pick up special things for almost no money at all. 

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July 19, 2011
00:42
Cheshire Cat
Stuttgart, Germany

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This depends very much on if you're a man or a woman… Men seem to get away with much less hassle, because on most occasions jeans and T-shirt or shirt will be okay, and with leaving out the touristy shorts and flip-flops they will be okay. Women do have to consider the occasion… on the up side, women can wear flip-flops ;-)

 

From the view of a woman: Bring basics that can be combined easily, match with each other and can be dressed up or down. And, especially for women: bring accessoires! They can change the look of an outfit without taking too much of luggage space.

 

Nevertheless, I would always leave some room to buy new clothes.

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July 26, 2011
07:13
Britannica
China

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I brought four tops and four skirts and a dress for nearly three months in China. It's worked out pretty well although I needn't have brought one of the skirts because I haven't worn it at all. For me, it's impossible not to look like a foreign visiter because of my brown hair and obviously not Chinese features. People really don't need so many clothes if they don't have to fit a variety of situations and weather conditions.

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July 30, 2011
06:41
Kevinpost
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

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It is incredible how many travelers I meet with enormous bags filled with clothes. Do they really need to carry seven pairs of jeans and 10 t-shirts? You will enjoy your trip a lot more if you bring quick drying fabrics (merino or polypropylene) because you can wash them anywhere and be sure that they will dry within an hour or two. Merino wool and polypropylene clothing also compact very well and weigh less than most cotton products.

I prefer merino wool because it doesn’t smell even after you go days without washing it. Although poly-blends dry faster than merino wool the problem is that they stink after a day or two of use. 

I recommend Ice Breaker Clothing, Smart wool, ExOfficio or Patagonia

No matter how compact and light weight I want my pack to be I do carry at least one pair of nice jeans and a dress shirt for border crossing, special events and invitations. 

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July 4, 2013
10:13
amlew
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Me and my friends often travel. I can tell you that you absolutely do not need a bunch of things. It all depends on the purpose of travel and vermeni year. Most often we take with a T-shirt, shirt, pants, dress, and a spare pair of shoes.

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July 5, 2013
08:38
Stephanie S
St. Julian's, Malta

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cmdl said
I usually take a vest, a short sleeved tee, a v-neck, a shirt and a jacket. (Plus trousers and underwear obviously).

Those 5 garments can be combined into loads of outfits for a range of temperatures / scenarios, examples: vest for lazing around in a hostel or when it's super hot; tee for casual exploring; shirt open over tee for casual gatherings; v-neck over done up shirt for smart gatherings; tee, v-neck and jacket when it's cold; just the v-neck if you haven't been able to do laundry for a couple of days and your tee's dirty, etc, etc.

Saves a LOT of space in your luggage, plus it sets you up for the half and half method quite nicely too Cool

What a good idea! I have to say, the more I travel, the less I bring. Nowadays with Ryanair, which only allows carry-on, it's pretty much necessary. But it's also nice not being weighed down with excess stuff and still having space for things you buy. The last two times I travelled, I just took a shoulder bag (with a wide strap, so it wouldn't hurt carrying it all day). Those trips were just for weekends, though, so I didn't have a laundry problem. Backpacking teaches you to travel light. ;)

Stephanie

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