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How To NOT Dress Like A Foreigner in Europe

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

We studied abroad this past summer in Lyon, France. In preparation for this trip, we analyzed our closets in an effort to not look so obviously American and thus to evade the infamous pickpockets of Europe. We picked apart our wardrobes and packed what would allow us to effectively camouflage into the beautiful scenes of Europe. Our TikTok For You Page’s supplied us with ample ideas of the American perspective on European style, but it wasn’t until we landed in Charles De Gualle, that we truly found out what it was like to dress like a European. 

As we traveled around various European countries, we were able to see what an average European wore in everyday life. Some of our top uniquely American things to avoid wearing are: leggings/athleisure as streetwear, ripped jeans and bright and bold colors. We noticed that Europeans tend to lean towards wearing neutral colors: muted blues, browns, beige, white and grey. Now, some tips as to what we recommend you wear are linen pants, non-ripped dark jeans and tie it all together outfit with a comfortable pair of white sneakers. 

It was also popular for young girls to wear a loose watch or just a few dainty bracelets. When seeing the European look in the real world, simplicity can be the most defining factor in this style. 

There is also the concept of “outfit sandwiching” where one color in your outfit is sandwiched between another color. Ex.) Wearing a white shirt with white sneakers, but a fun colorful pair of slack separating the two. 

The popularity of dresses in Europe had by far exceeded our expectations. Nearly every country we visited, there were women wearing sundresses! It made sense in practicality because it was so hot and walking was the main mode of transportation. By the end of our program, our wardrobe consisted mostly of dresses. It is easy to throw on and still look put together. The utility of these garments allowed women to achieve the classically European effortless look while stuff made ninth grade mobility and function. We loved shopping for dresses and it became our almost daily activity. There are many shops with many options of dresses, so it is easy to find ones you love! Every city had little dress shops around the corner. 

Overall, our study abroad experience taught us much of European culture including the importance of looking respectable and put together. Effortless and natural are the two best adjectives we can come up with to describe European life & style. 

Hey! Enjoy your visit to my HerCampus page in full bloom, its petals (or articles) attracting readers, rooted in a simple idea. Here, I'll share my loves, likes, and personal anecdotes, and maybe it too will bring you as much joy in your life as these posts do mine.
Hey I'm Amelie! I'm an anthropology major at ncsu.