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Proper casual dress in Central Europe

Missouri
Level Contributor
284 posts
33 reviews
Proper casual dress in Central Europe

We are travelling to Germany/Poland/Czech Republic in July and are in our 50's. We don't need to be "hip" but are just trying not to look like obvious American tourists. Without trying too hard, what is reasonable dress for sightseeing, eating at casual restaurants.

Seattle area
Level Contributor
1,525 posts
15 reviews
51. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

I agree, november moon..what was originally a reasonable question by the OP has deteriorated into rather vicious stereotyping on the part of some posts. Advice on TA, yes, ridicule, no.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,454 posts
187 reviews
52. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

On a Fat Tire Bike tour of the city today, we rode through Tiergarten park. It was a bit chilly for the nudists sunbathing, I would have guessed, but I would have guessed incorrectly.

Wear very comfortable shoes. Heavier rubber bottomed boots in cool/cold weather I find most comfortable. Or whatever excellent walking shoes you have broken in. Though I agree big white gym shoes are "American" if that matters to you. Cool weather I wear boots. Warmer, Mephistos and comfy walking shoes. Shoes are the hardest item to pack, in my opinion.

Layers of clothes rather than one heavy, bulky overcoat. It's chilly outside, yet I find building interiors often quite warm here. I am frequently putting on/taking off layers. Infinity scarves are warm and don't fall off or need adjusting.

Happy travels.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 16:07
London
Level Contributor
104 posts
10 reviews
53. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

Fanny packs are all the rage in Berlin at the moment.

woltersworld.com/2014/…

Missouri
Level Contributor
284 posts
33 reviews
54. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

While funny, that list of 10 "Ugly American" giveaways did remind me to learn the currency so I can translate the cost in my head (which I do) and asking in their language if they speak English (which I often don't do). Like the dress, just trying to respect my hosts. I would add, as I learned in France, if you are asking for 2 pastries and signal with your hands (while saying "2" their language) use your thumb and index finger, not your second and third fingers....

sydney
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
Level Contributor
19,742 posts
84 reviews
55. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

and if you run into any Aussies or Kiwis .. those small bags clipped to your waist are called bum-bags ... 'fanny' in this part of the world refers to an entirely different part of the anatomy

Edited: 14 March 2014, 22:06
San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
18,024 posts
120 reviews
56. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

" I would add, as I learned in France, if you are asking for 2 pastries and signal with your hands (while saying "2" their language) use your thumb and index finger, not your second and third fingers...."

It is the same in Germany. Although if you forget, it isn't the end of the world. You just get an extra pastry or beer. There are worse things that can happen to a person ;-)

London, United...
Level Contributor
20,805 posts
10 reviews
57. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

>'fanny' in this part of the world refers to an entirely different part of the anatomy<

This part of the world too, Helen. :0)

The best reason for not wearing a whatever-it's-called is that it's the easiest thing in the world to pickpocket it, or slice its strap. And it's uncomfortable to wear after eating too much, as is inevitable in Berlin.

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
Level Contributor
31,077 posts
17 reviews
58. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

[spoiler alert] November_Moon - I don't know if you have seen Tarantino's film Inglorious Basteurds - making exactly that mistake was the end of the world for the English spy pretending to be a German officer!

Missouri
Level Contributor
284 posts
33 reviews
59. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

My father who fought in WW2 American and Canadian armies said the Germans would pick out American spies by seeing if they switched hands when using forks at the table after cutting meat.

Hanau, Germany
Level Contributor
2,506 posts
24 reviews
60. Re: Proper casual dress in Central Europe

Could be since in Europe you keep your fork in the left and knife in the right hand while eating, you don't put down your knife after you cut up your meat.