of the fun of getting ready for a trip is deciding
which clothes to pack for your time away. Will it
be your old reliable black pants or the new navy
blue ones? Two pairs of easily launderable underwear
or one undie for each day that you're away? All
those decisions are usually easy. It's the culturally-correct
clothing choices that often stymie us.
That's where your Journeywoman
Network comes in handy. Each day, via e-mail,
travelling women around the world choose to share
their clothing tips with us. We read each and every
one of those messages, then sort and choose the
ones most appropriate for our readership.
In this article, everyone's invited to our Cyber
Packing Party-- a time for sharing packing secrets,
no matter where in the world you live. So let's
start with the advice below and if you have something
to add, please send us an e-mail
with the word 'clothing' in the subject line.
days in Suzhou, China...
When traveling in Suzhou, a small town just outside
of Shanghai, I noticed that none of the local women
were showing their shoulders -- nobody wore tank tops
or halter tops. Since I had packed mostly long tank
style dress and sandals, I made sure to always wear
a blouse as a cover-up over my dresses. This way I
didn't offend anybody.
Cindy, San Francisco,
days in Beijing, China...
If you are in Beijing in the summer or fall when heat
and humidity are high, pack a pretty handkerchief
in your purse. I used one to cover my mouth and nose
because the air pollution can be intense at times,
especially when traveling by taxi. When traveling
in the countryside, wear plain, modest styles in darker
colors. You will attract plenty of attention just
by being a foreigner.
Brandi, Bowling Green,
When I was in China I wore gray, totally bland, uninteresting
clothes all the time and was still swamped by attention.
Imagine if I had worn a bright orange T-shirt!
sophisticated in Spain...
Spaniards are very fashion conscious people so always
leave your hotel or hostel looking well groomed. Fitted
clothing is preferred as baggy clothes are considered
sloppy. Black is a favorite color. Don't wear shorts.
Believe me, I know. I live here.
in Australia & New Zealand...
Both Aussies, and Kiwi's wear an awful lot of black.
Pants are equally correct to skirts. In Samoa, just
buy a lava lava (sarong), and be sure and wear it
over your bathing suit.
Susan, Tauranga, New
light, travel smart...
I travelled to Madrid in November. The people here
dress very well. Pants were ironed, clothes were not
too tight or too loose. I saw a lot of black jeans
and beige pants (not many blue jeans), the jackets
and shirts were monotone, no design. There were no
logo shirts that said "Nike" or "DKNY" across the
chest. I would suggest wearing something very warm
in November and no running shoes even though you will
be doing a lot of walking. A wool scarf and hat would
come in handy.
Pack light. In most photos from that trip, I am wearing
the same sweater but I had more energy than those
with a set of matching luggage who had to take a taxi
everywhere they went.
Nancy, Seattle, USA
bra is your purse...
A WonderBra is my favorite way to carry money--take
the pads out and put the money in. Much nicer than
a money belt anywhere in the world.
from a teenager's point of view...
When I travelled to Turkey I was very surprised. Their
modest standard of dressing is often ignored in the
'touristy' area. I saw international sunbathers wearing
only a bikini and sarong out doing a bit of shopping.
These women were inevitably subjected to the usual
whistles and unwanted attention we try to avoid when
travelling. I believe that long sleeveless cotton
dresses are perfect in Turkey as they are cool, while
still respecting the local culture. Outside the tourist
regions, it is advisable to cover up as much as possible.
A fake wedding ring can work wonders for getting rid
of any male attention, even for girls of 15 or 16
Layla, Blackpool, England
Layla, to avoid problems, it's probably best not to
wear sleeveless tops anywhere in Turkey. Read what
happened to another travelling woman in the countryside.
German woman's point of view...
Here's a lesson for all of us. Avoid wearing shorts
and sleeveless tops when travelling in Turkey. My
sister-in-law had stones thrown at her by farmers
in Northeast Turkey, a very rural area.
Doris, Regensburg, Germany