Traveling: What Not to Wear

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What not to wear when you travel

It’s easy to spot Americans when we travel. Typically, we wear logo baseball caps, logo t-shirts, jeans or shorts and white tennis shoes. Sometimes in churches, museums or religious ceremonies, Americans are inappropriately dressed; revealing too much skin. This is also the case when traveling in religious countries.

“As someone who has traveled solo, I think dressing provocatively is generally a bad idea,” said Kayt Sukel, frequent traveler and author of This is Your Brain on Sex.   “You’ll get more attention than you want in some places wearing baggy jeans, combat boots and a sweater.”

Your clothing style

Clothing can be used as a fashion statement or to keep your body warm in cold climates and protect your skin from bug bites or the harsh UVA rays of the sun. People can dress to impress, dress for a date, dress for travel, dress for sex or dress for success.

As I am a freelance writer, I often receive shirts, shoes, suitcases and such to review on my travel blog. Imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail pitch asking me to review a women’s clothing line that degrades women. But it gets better, this online clothing store was founded by a woman. Her name is Hortencia Caires Casazola. I hesitate to give her or the company any publicity, but I am outraged enough to shine a spotlight on this woman and the message she is sending to young women…and men.

Style Feen

What not to wear when you travel

Clothing degrading women

I respect that Style Feen is not targeting my demographic; female, college-educated, baby boomers who enjoy travel. What I don’t respect is the message this fashion statement sends to our young women.

Since when did slang, degrading language to women become “edgy clothing pieces?” Is this woman’s top truly a young girls craving to express her individual style? Is this piece of clothing designed to capture the attention and imagination of young men or sexual predators?

“I thought about the use of the word “cxxt” and how it always seemed to me that the most vulnerable/least loved girls wore the raunchiest clothes,” noted Dana Yzurdiaga, California middle school teacher. “Fashion makers are so totally taking advantage of the most vulnerable. Shame on them!”

I guess the bottom line is what do your clothes say about you? Do you give special thought to your clothing style when you travel abroad? Have you ever felt uncomfortable with your clothing choice when traveling in other countries?

Article by Nancy D. Brown. Photos courtesy of Style Feen.

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15 Responses to “Traveling: What Not to Wear”

  1. I don’t think this is just an issue when traveling abroad. I would like to see a lot less skin when traveling throughout the US with my family. And the t-shirt- yikes! What was that “designer” thinking?

  2. @Tonya
    I agree with you about showing less skin. I asked both my 18 yo son and 21 yo daughter what they thought of the shirt and they were disgusted. What was that designer thinking?

  3. Karla Hart says:

    Well said Nancy. Thank you for speaking out.

  4. @Karla
    Thanks for your continued support! It’s not always fun to be the vocal minority, but we have to make a stand on our values sometimes.

  5. I sometimes feel like the advice I give falls on deaf ears. I tend to do a bit of reading before I travel to a new place to make sure I’m within the social norms, particularly when it comes to entering religious places. I think I packed more scarves than socks when I went to Istanbul!

  6. @Cat
    Pack more scarves than socks when traveling to religious places. Now that sounds like solid travel advice. Gracias!

  7. Maria says:

    Worse than what was the designer thinking is – - what is anyone who buys it thinking?

  8. @Maria
    Agreed. What was this designer thinking? Going for shock value?

  9. Alex Jorge says:

    This is a great blog, packed with information! very handy indeed:)

  10. An interesting point of view on modern fashion trends.

  11. Hey Nancy, great point you have shared with us here, your clothes or fashion tells other people who you really are. This is what I strongly believe in. Other nationalities might find your fashion offensive to their religion so be mindful of what you wear when you’re traveling.

  12. I’m a big fan of supporting women owned businesses. But this? I just can’t go there. I can’t think of anyway to spin this into a positive message for women.

    And yeah, the way people dress for travel makes me nuts. You can be fashionable without revealing or offending.

  13. @Mary Jo
    I, too, support women owned business, but this business model needs a re-evaluation.

  14. Christy says:

    I feel like these days I’m way more conservative when I visit countries where I’m not sure if I will offend someone. I wouldn’t even show my knees or shoulders in Israel and my tour guide was always in a spaghetti strap dress. haha

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