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What Should I Wear?


In Bucharest and other urban areas of Romania, women dress to impress in sexy, stylish business wear, as well as equally sexy casual wear. If you feel like wearing your favorite pair of form-fitting trousers or jeans, go right ahead! I did, and the men I passed were very respectful because everyone dresses with attractiveness as a first priority. Leave your sweatpants and sneakers at home -- you won't fit in unless you dress stylishly. Though showing bare midriffs or thighs on the street is not common, urban Romanian ladies accentuate their lovely curves with everything from tailored skirt sets to snug sweaters and slacks.
Mare, Boston, USA


Women should cover their heads with a scarf in Orthodox churches, if it is an active church. It isn't necessary if the church has been turned into a museum.
Jessie, Spokane, USA (2007)

I travelled from Irkutsk (Siberia) to Moscow and Saint Petersburg this summer. For Irkutsk, pack your heels. Young women are rarely seen without makeup and heels, even for a trip down to the shops. The men may dress down, but female fashion varies from conservative to outrageous. Moscow and St Petersburg are much like any other cosmopolitan city. My advice would be just wear what you would wear at home. Travel gear (backpack, cap, khaki trousers, non-trendy sneakers) will make you stand out.
Jody, London, England

Don't use your backpack on the street. Instead one of my first purchases when I got to Russia was a large black purse almost the same size as my backpack and just as versatile. I'd recommend buying the purse there as I don't recall ever seeing something quite like it here in the States.
Beth, Isssaquah, USA

I spent most of March in St.Petersberg and the weather is COLD, so dress accordingly -- down coat, hat, gloves and possibly long johns. Waterproof boots are a must, the streets are muddy even if it's not snowing. Dress conservatively, bright colors will really make you stand out. I had no problems with crime, but I've been told that pick-pocketing and muggings are on the rise, so I would recommend that you not carry a purse. I used a money belt. I'd also like to add that if you plan on visiting any Orthodox cathedrals (Don't miss Our Lady of Kazan or the St. Nicholas Church!) it is the custom for women to keep their heads covered, so carry a lightweight scarf in your pocket. And if you plan to attend the ballet, bring along a nice dress or a skirt, as the Russians dress up for the ballet.
Donna, New York City, USA

I lived in Russia for a year and travelled the country extensively. I found that the weather is unpredictable there and often found myself out in the rain. I travel with a shell now - lightweight, easily compacted jacket that is waterproof and windproof. It is cool enough to wear in a summer storm but also works well over a fleece in colder climates. Also, it is very important not to wear typically "American" clothes. Bright running shoes, jeans and t-shirts immediately pin you as a tourist and can bring unwanted attention from the male population.
Adina, Nashville, USA

I traveled in Russia. My advice is to carry a long, flowy skirt that resists (or looks good with) wrinkles. You'll want to visit the beautiful (historical) buildings of worship, and it could be seen as disrespectful to wear shorts or jeans.
Leitha, Minneapolis, USA

I traveled in Russia - Siberia. My advice? Mature women wear dresses or skirts in many colors, but I was most comfortable in darker shades (black or maroon). I took 2 knit skirts, several knit tops, and two dark sweater/jackets -- comfortable, packable, washable -- and I felt right at all events.
Elizabeth, St. Paul, USA

Stay fashionably warm in Russia. I live here in St. Petersburg and think the best cold weather item is the versatile beret. Probably black. Everyone wears them here and you can add a pin and make it a fashion item or leave it plain. Pull it over your ears when it's cold. For travellers, it takes up little room in your purse or pack.
Fiona, Petersberg, Russia


The Rwandese like to dress well and you should be no exception. If you have meetings with people, a knee length skirt and a short sleeved blouse/shirt is perfect. Dressier tops and tanks with skirts or casual pants go well for moving around town or going out to restaurants in the evening. For hiking in the national parks, a long sleeved tee and long pants are important against the stinging nettles. A light sweater is also useful for cooler nights in the north.
Rina, Vancouver, Canada



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