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
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