How to Dress Like a Local on Summer Vacation

How to Dress Like a Local on Summer Vacation

Not everyone wants to stand out on vacation. In fact, blending in can help your experience feel more authentic when traveling abroad. In many places, clothing is more than just a fashion choice. Clothing has cultural, spiritual, and historical significance. A great way to immerse yourself in your new surroundings is to pay attention to how you dress. Consider any standards and blend these with your own style to create unique summer vacation looks. Need some ideas? Read on to discover how to dress like a local in six top destinations.

In Bali: Keep It Modest

Balinese locals dress a lot more conservatively than westerners. However, this style is pretty casual as it's a hot and humid country. The women tend to wear sarongs and midi skirts paired with thin, lightweight blouses. The men also wear sarong-like coverings matched with T-shirts or short-sleeved shirts. When it comes to footwear, sandals and flip-flops are popular for everyday wear. If you’re visiting a temple, it’s mandatory to enter with a sarong covering your legs and a scarf around your waist. You should also cover your shoulders and upper arms. You can easily find these long coverups in Bali, but you can also bring your own.

In Hawaii: Go Extra Casual

Hawaiians mostly wear T-shirts and shorts, but aloha shirts are also popular. A smart button-up aloha shirt is actually considered formalwear in most places on the islands. Authentic aloha shirts are much sleeker and simpler than their curio shop counterparts. They’re made from silk, have wooden buttons, and feature a pocket that matches the pattern. You’ll seldom see ones with logos, words, or stereotypical Hawaiian graphics, so avoid these if you want to fit in. It's also best to leave your white sneakers and high heels at home. Locals live in slippers, rubber sandals, and other comfy shoes that work well for the beach.

In Aruba: Do Island Chic

For special celebrations, Arubans wear traditional clothing. Otherwise, the vibe is quite laid-back. The locals dress like Americans do in the summer. Think shorts, tank tops, T-shirts, sandals, and flip-flops. In the evenings, people tend to dress up for restaurants, casinos, and nightclubs. Still, it’s quite casual. For example, men may wear golf shirts and dress shorts, while women usually don a dress or lightweight, casual pants. Keep in mind that Aruba tends to be windy, and the air-conditioning indoors can get quite cold. You may want to add a windbreaker jacket or cardigan sweater to your outfit.

In the Bahamas: Bring on the Color

Save for formal occasions, Bahamians tend to wear bright and colorful clothing. You'll see lots of wonderfully clashing colors, textures, and prints. The type of clothing is largely American in style, though. In the urban areas, you can see locals in shorts, skirts, and short-sleeve shirts. A typical outfit is a T-shirt paired with cut-off jean shorts and flip-flops. At hotels and restaurants, people sometimes wear golf shirts and cargo pants. In more rural parts of the Bahamas, people usually wear more traditional clothing, including dresses, pants, and headdresses. Have fun playing with color and eye-catching accessories to create your Bahamian summer look.

In Croatia: Keep It Smart-Casual

Parts of Croatia can get very hot in the summer, so casual clothes are the norm for everyday wear. European casual is more dressy than American casual, though, so keep that in mind. For example, natives reserve gym wear for the gym. Women tend to wear midi dresses or nice women's jeans paired with the kinds of blouses you’d wear to work. Men usually wear short-sleeve shirts and dress shorts. Instead of heels, choose comfortable dressy sandals. The cobblestone streets are not a good match for stilettos. In the evenings, people dress up a bit more. Think sundresses for the ladies and chinos and polo shirts for the men.

In Italy: Focus on the Fit

Italians usually put the focus on fit over flair. Instead of wearing just one standout piece in the summer, try lightweight layers instead. Each piece should fit properly and match well with the others to achieve a chic look. For example, instead of baggy jeans, try tailored pants. Italians do wear jeans, but they are crisp, fitted, and paired with dressy tops. Women tend to wear dresses or pants in the summer with light, minimal makeup. You'll see the men wearing simple shirts with long or cropped pants. They consider shorts strictly athletic wear. The men also rarely wear socks with their shoes.

Whether you’re eating gelato in Italy or paying your respects at a temple in Bali, clothing is a great way to immerse yourself in the experience. It’s always important to respect the culture and standards of your destination. You’ll not only impress the locals but also return home with a renewed sense of cross-cultural understanding.


Related Articles