Tbilisi is fairly liberal but extremely hot, I found loose tanks
and t-shirts and light knee length skirts were both elegant and
versatile. Few women wear shorts so I didn't end up wearing mine.
In the countryside and the mountains, loose t-shirts and a pair
of cropped cotton or linen pants are perfect. For hiking, the usual,
technical tanks or Ts, a long sleeve against mosquitoes and the
scorching sun, shorts or long hiking pants. Light hiking shoes for
valley and sturdier ones only when at higher altitudes. A pair of
comfortable sandals or flip flops are musts. For churches and monasteries,
it is useful to carry a shawl to cover your shoulders and wear a
skirt! Some refuse to allow in women who are wearing pants!
Rina, Vancouver, Canada
Go for tailored clothing. Munich is a posh, beautiful city. Tailored
clothing seems to fit the scene perfectly. I felt chic in nicely
cut clothing. European cut is different than American cut, especially
in men's clothes. (notice the lovely fit the European men always
wear?) Women travelers can pull that off too with a few key pieces
-- slacks, not too long, comfy, stylish shoes (closed toe), white
shirt, and a dark jean jacket, or leather jacket that you can tie
around your waist when the sun shines (you will see many of the
locals doing the same) Forget the jewelry, super high heels, (lots
of cobblestone streets -- no fun for the Prada's) Dressing great
is part of the enjoyment of being on a city bound vacation. Think
Angela, Houston, USA
No bright clothes and no white tennis shoes is a good rule to follow
when packing for Germany. Consider a dark blazer with blouses and
sweaters, dark slacks and shoes, dark long comfortable skirt to
go with all of above. Add extra comfortable walking shoes, mid-calf
length raincoat and small umbrella. Layering is very important due
to several temperature variations in the same day. Consider the
business woman's approach -- definitely not grunge. Leave that to
the very young kids. Look classy.
Shari, Hamilton, Canada
I lived in Germany for 10 years, and I travel there every year.
My advice, simple is better. Jeans or casual pants and t-shirt or
blouse, with dark shoes is fine for shopping or sightseeing. Not
too many women wear short skirts or shorts, unless they are going
to a club, but even then it is not that common. Some dark pants
with a "hip" top might be a better choice for a club. Keep in mind,
that most fashionable clubs and restaurants have doormen who will
not let you in unless they like the way that you look. What I do
is pack the necessary things, and then go shopping there for fashionable
things that I like. Avoid the touristy areas for shopping though!
Even if you just walk a few blocks away from the tourist areas,
you will find much better deals. Don't worry, in large cities, most
people in stores speak English.
Michelle, San Francisco, USA
I lived in Germany for four months, travelling extensively in the
neighboring countries. Simple is always best. Plain, muted, solid
colors fit in well anywhere and prevent you from looking like a
dorky American on vacation.
Anne, Pasadena, USA
Here in Munich, we tend to easily identify (North American) tourists
by their white gym shoes. These shoes might be very comfortable
for travelling but if you do not want to stand out from the crowd
please keep them in darker colours! Be aware that there are informal
restrictions for entering some restaurants, music clubs, etc with
Karin, Munich, Germany
It is very hot and humid in Ghana. I wore cotton and gauze garments
from home that were usually two piece outfits with below the knee
skirts and loose blousey tops. After a couple of weeks, I sometimes
went "native", buying and wearing beautifully printed cotton caftans
at various marketplaces. I either pinned my hair back or wore a
headscarf; the humidity made this a practical choice for straight,
lank caucasian hair. I am 61 years old and plump. Luckily, my African
hosts admire both age and female curvaceousness! I found this conservative
approach to clothing to be comfortable, respectable, and attractive.
Variations of this style of dress can work in many other areas of
the world, especially Central and South America.
Lili, Altadena, California
Ghanaian women will be dressed in both traditional and western
clothes but no matter what they are wearing there are certain guidelines
to what is appropriate. The "secret spot" that should
never be shown is the midriff. Showing your belly and upper thigh
is inappropriate. In fact a fellow traveler though in her 60s was
reprimanded for letting her t-shirt ride up and showing skin by
accident. Be sure your shirts are long enough that this doesn't
happen. Tank tops are perfectly fine, and in the heat I suggest
Tight shirts are fine too. You will see many women openly breast
feeding in public so cleavage is not a huge concern. I spent most
of my time in a tank. You will see women in shorts but I suggest
long Bermuda shorts at minimum. With the heat I was most comfortable
in a long flowing skirt and light travel pants. The first thing
that Ghanaians will look at is your shoes. Thong flip flops are
looked at as shower shoes and should not be worn outside the house.
Sandals are fine but the normal rubber soled flip flops are not
Just wear some other sort of strappy sandal. Even Birkenstock shoes
are better than thongs. If you go to a club there is a good chance
that they will have a shoe requirement and that is something with
a closed toe.
P.S. If you plan
on having clothes cleaned while you are there it is best to pay
a small fee and have them wash it. Their washing will get even the
bright orange African clay out of your white shirts but they are
hard on clothes, so don't take anything that won't hold up to a
really hard washing.
Amanda, Los Angeles, USA
I traveled in Great Britain. Make sure most of your clothing is
wrinkle-free. Knits are perfect. No matter how limited you are for
luggage space, clothing that can be stuffed in tight and be worn
with no ironing is the way to always look great.
Wear black in Athens, all the locals do. I was there in March and
felt silly in my spring colors.
Susan, Florida, USA
While sailing the Greek islands for the first time, I discovered
that, more often than not the only shower opportunities at port
were public shower stalls. The floors of these public showers are
not regularly cleaned between showers, so wearing a pair of rubber
"flip flops" while showering was essential to avoid picking up athlete's
foot or other fungal infections.
Also, a mesh bag came in very handy to carry in my change of clothes.
The shower stalls are private, but often don't have a dry changing
area. There's just one hook for your stuff -- very hard to hang
your dry clothes and towel on one hook without a bag!
Barbara, Sacramento, USA
For travelling in Greece, taking along a sarong or large scarf
is a great idea. I also packed a couple of those broomstick skirts.
They are perfect for hot weather and for covering up in churches,
etc. Also they can be dressed up depending on the top.
Laurel, Bonney Lake, USA
In Greece wear long cool pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Not only
do they keep you safe from the hot sun but they are culturally correct.
Shorts are for the beach, not for the city. Greeks will not look
kindly on you if you were shorts in cities such as Athens. Athens
is a cosmopoliton town, or so the Greeks like to think, and the
dress is casual but uptown.
I traveled in Greece. Knowing that many of the priests and nuns
frown upon tourists, particularly women, who enter church sanctuaries
in shorts and t--shirts, I brought a large scarf in my pack, which
I used like a sarong. I also had a light-weight, long-sleeved blouse
that I wore to cover my arms appropriately. When I attended a special
church ceremony with a friend's family, I put on the sarong and
blouse. Later my friend told me, somewhat proudly, that her older,
more religious sister had said I was a classy lady because I showed
respect for the church by covering myself in the manner I had. I
found the sarong and blouse useful at other church sites I visited,
especially at sites where cover-ups were not offered, as is sometimes
the case. The two items took up very little space and went a long
way toward presenting a respectfulness that was certainly appreciated.
Karen, Boston, MA, USA.
I travelled in Greece for a month in October when it was still
very hot. I suggest ultra light packing ..walking shorts,slacks
& a full skirt to combine with T shirts & a dressy blouse,
sweater & blazer, swimsuit, sandles & a pair of runners
& a hat. Dont forget to pack a light robe..for some unforseen
emergencies! You can always buy a cheap bag to stash your extra
mementos & gifts for the return trip.
Erin, Duncan, Canada
See also Latin America
Wear skirts below the knee, Khakis, comfortable sandals or loafers.
Shorts identify you as a tourist. A small, flat purse worn under
the clothing. No expensive looking jewelry. Bracelets, necklaces,
even earrings can be ripped right off you.
Debby, Gladstone, Australia
In Guatemala, if you buy the colorful clothing of the indigenous
people don't wear any of the men's clothing while you're there --
even if it looks really good on you. Save it for when you get back
home. In Guatemala, they don't know about uni-sex dressing and they'll
think you're making fun of them.
Elsa, California, USA
Shorts for women are frowned upon as street wear and so are long
pants in some areas. Also, women should never be noticeably braless.
Doing business in Guatemala? Women should wear blouses with sleeves
and skirts that are not too short.
Ruth Halcomb, Editor, Network for Living Abroad Newsletter