High heels and tailored dresses – a new tourist uniform in Europe?

??????????Who are these fashion mannequins touring Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan, Perugia? Why am I the only one looking like I should be hiking around a state park back in the US? My golden rules for travel packing were clearly not their guides. White jeans? High heels? Lacy tops? Gorgeous tailored dresses? Seriously? These are not practical. These are not functional. Right? Wrong!

When did the world shift? I didn’t know there was going to be a fashion show in the lines for the Uffizi and the Vatican. In Florence and Rome you could almost understand it, but I even saw platform shoes and skin-tight mini skirts on the Cinque Terre trails. I am not exaggerating!

I had to “love the one I was with” and somehow maintain self esteem. There was no changing my practical REI zipper-happy, quick-dry cargo pants and plain t-shirts that match everything. The best I could do was mix it up with a colorful scarf some days. And there is no way, ever, that I would embark on a hike in anything other than my grungy backpacker clothing. It’s just not a high-heeled, mini-skirt kind of adventure for me.

This was a whole new dimension of travel that opened up to me on the streets of Italy this summer. I was able to do all the research I needed to in advance on hotels, museums, top sites, tickets, weather, etc. It never occurred to me to also research the dress code. I wonder what I would have found? Next time … maybe …

I loved looking at the pretty and fashionable parade, but truthfully it would have been hard to take the practical and functional out of me and make the switch!

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About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in Culture, Happiness, Holidays, Life Stories, Philosophy, Simplicity, Society, Travel, Women's Issues and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to High heels and tailored dresses – a new tourist uniform in Europe?

  1. Rhonda says:

    Yes, Italians are definitely “clothes horses”. My concession to “dressing the part” these days is to not wear my clunky white walking shoes (aka “trainers”) and to not wear shorts (apparently only young children wear shorts, we’ve been told). I bought some classy looking Puma sneakers for comfortable shoes, and stick with nicer khakis or slacks, with a non-logo plain t-shirt — and ALWAYS a colorful scarf, smaller ones during the day, larger ones doubling as a shawl at night, over black on black slacks and shirt! On the other hand, blue jeans are ubiquitous, whereas I had always thought these to be “too” casual. I did take and wear a long, lightweight skirt on my recent Moroccan trip, and felt quite elegant in the evenings while wearing it — with one of 3 silk tops I brought. The key to successfully packing for a trip that covers both Morocco and Scotland was layering, rolling my clothes into large ziplock bags to squeeze out the air, and light weight shoes and sandals (7 pair!) But I did have 2 suitcases — one medium sized checked luggage, 20 kilos, and a rollaboard for medications, jewelry and laptop.

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