Thanks for the useful post! It is very sad that people who are uncapable of working and thinking properly out of a structured system that is better than its invidual components i. Latin American countries are very diverse and what is the norm in one, may be unusual in another. It seems to me that you left you left out the question of fashion and style. People tend to follow fashion trends because they like them and not because they do not want to be mistaken for a thief.
But I understand that these are the observations of a foreigner living in a Latin American country. A Latin American author would view things differently. You were dead on about the shorts though, one friend said her mother would never let her go to school in shorts! My question is, are there any rules of wardrobe etiquette you know of that specifically apply to high schools in Colombia?
Santiago is all about the fanny packs, hippies, dreadlocks, mullets, informal dressing, etc. Great tips, I especially liked the shorts one. My dad owns a travel agency in Mexico City and we would always laught at the tourists in shorts behind their backs. The only other think I would add would be avoid loud colors or crazy prints. Latin americans tend to dress in subtle earth colors this does not always apply to natives. As someone whose travelled around latin america quite a bit, I think this advice is not entirely true.
Look at the young people in most Central American countries…. Fact…you look like a gringo because you are a gringo. There is certainly a difference between dressing in in A, pants and a button down and B, Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. As well, I can bear looking like a gringo if the alternative means walking around Leon in dress shoes, pants, and a button down. Oh, and also I hate buttons, takes me for ever to button up a shirt, so I tend to skip them.
Oh, jeans, yeah, those are pretty much the only actual pants I have, and yes, most of them are intentionally ripped since non-ripped pants seem a bit boring. One last thing, a couple years ago I went to Brazil and eeeeverybody was wearing really comfy, laid back clothes. Funny post youve done, but many of your tips depends on weather since dressing with jeans in Cartagena will not be that good but is ok in Bogota.
Jeans and t shirts are welcome now maybe a few years ago were so casual. The down side and the hard part is to accept their deficiencies of their social structure an mannerisms of dress. You dress for the weather, not the customs, this is common sense and healthy living I however understand this psychologically though due to the simplistic fact that latinos in general are mostly old world catholic.
And with theses prehistoric idealisms I can see why there entire culture lags behind in customs and economics and in technology. Ignoring the fact that you seem to be lumping the entirety of Latin America together under the same cultural canopy, your comment seems to contain a few blanket statements without backing any of it up. No tennies, no shorts, no casualness. I have black hair and brown eyes and somewhat olive skin. This post may be helpful for people travelling in the Andean regions but in the Southern cone countries which are more European in culture, people dress differently in what region so there could be some changes.
Just dress formal, especially in Catholic churches :. At least in Chile, Argentina or Uruguay, you can enter as a drag queen to a church, and nobody will tell anything, in Chile people will talk, but just as it is their culture to bash about anything… see reviews about adult female models getting churches crazy in the country. If cargo pants are a no no for men, then what other type of pants are suitable? No shorts??
Even the cargo style ones? Well I am from bogota Colombia and me and my family wore tee shirts sneakers miniskirts. I do think our fashion is formal but you wont get turned down if you are wearing sneakers at a club. Also people do wear ripped jeans and its kind of offensive that you say people would think you are an undesirable person if you dress shabby because thats not true.
If you dont want to look like a gringo dont wear flip flops. I agree Maria. One of the things I liked about Colombian nightlife, especially in Medellin, is I could wear Adidas to all the discotecas without concerned about being turned away. The funny thing was to always see how dressed up the women got — high heels, miniskirts, etc. And their guy friends or boyfriends would be in jeans and a t-shirt. Dude I totally love this article. I am one of those super white people shoutout to Seattle so I had to dye my hair dark before comming and well, the tan just happens on its own.
I totally agree on the shorts thing! The only guys that wear shorts here are teenage boys. No man over the age of 22 would be caught dead in shorts. What I mean by that is is it is better waaay too tight pardon my obsecenity but I have seen A LOT of what one would call uniboobs than way too loose.
The day I decided to pull out the pair of all black skinny jeans flattering I should note and super tight shirt that I later realized my bra was rather visable oh laundry day was the day I ironically blended in the most add in the large sunglasses covering up the blue eye thing. Ladies please note that when it comes to church clothing go knee length skirts.
Well below the knee and you are probally a nun.
Well above the knee and you are asking for slightly more loud whistles than normal. Man sandals are a no no and too much makeup is also a big problem. Oh side note I read the comment by Mealine TravelToast and on the Panama City thing spent last summer in Panama and hung out quite a bit in the city yes totally agree flip flops are a yay. But when it comes to shorts and women in Panama itself the city and the rest of it shorts are okish for the younger guys friend Oscar born and raised Panamanian city agrees and in this case under There where a few girls that were with me and ONLY brought shorts.
That story ended with them being glared at and having to borrow skirts while they shopped for some. Wearing like the man in the photo above is too ridiculous. I live in Argentina, and i can ensure that Latin America is a quite influenced with the culture of USA because here are so much of your way of life.
In Latin America there is a gap between rich people and poor people. Here is not looking good to the people who waste their money living a ostentatious life. Being honest and respecting our culture you will have a good time here. And not wearing that ridiculuos hawaiian t-shirt.
Being of mixed Native and white descent, me and my dad get mistaken for locals in Mexico and Honduras all the time. There is no way you can generalize the entirety of Latin America like this. Coming here I program told us much of the same bullshit on the packing list, so I left my ripped jeans and grandpa sweaters which i love at home. Only to get here and discover that people have the same standards of dressing as the states.
In fact, I often feel over-dressed with the clothes I brought and have ended up wearing the only pair of sneakers I brought almost everyday. T-shirts and shorts are also just as common as they are in the states. So really, come as you are. I will however say that they are a bit behind on the trends here, but not terribly so.
But honestly, dress however you want. They dress as nicely as possible. Only if you wear obviously expensive clothing, you can pretty much get away with wearing almost anything including jeans with holes in them , except maybe shorts. The rest really depends on where you are. I have seen some pretty slutty looking clothes in and out of church in Colombia but in church they wear the nicest of the nice ie most expensive looking but I dont know what people were saying about those people, the one exception would be shorts again. A lot people I saw in most places wore flip flops but not so much in central city area and most guys I know have an obscene collection of sneakers that they definitely wear with jeans to many places including clubs it is always best to scope those out though before you go this depends on city to city and block to block sometimes.
Women and men. I am still not suggesting you wear one, I cringe at the frequent sight. And even the locals carry their bags in the front and keep a good grip on them in many places. Although shorts are not so popular in Cali women do wear shorts some , capri length or knee length is popular in warmer climates. And, maybe it is just because i searched out yoga studios, there are a LOT of hippie boutiques mind you VERY expensive mostly , yoga is very hip, and a lot of people with dreads and fros in the artsy districts in the bigger cities I was in.
Especially because alternative health and herbal remedies are such a common thing. Mind you, its not ratty old hippy clothing. I live and work in Costa Rica for a local family in a small rural community that sees a disproportionately high number of tourists due to a number of volunteer farms within the area. Among younger generations there is much less of a difference in fashion, especially in large cities, no surprise there.
Costa Rica is generally quite westernised, with much of the male population wear board shorts and t-shirts. Likewise girls are fine in shorts and dresses. However, this is undoubtedly considered casual wear and is far more acceptable at the beach. All generations tend to dress smartly, especially when the work day is over or you are heading to the town or city, smart trousers or jeans are the standard option for travel on buses.
Overall, I would say that cleanliness is the most important of all. Taking a shower, and putting on nice clean clothes will go a long way to endear you with the locals. This is especially important if you live with or work for locals, you are a reflection on them. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Interesting point about the way people dress being generational. I think more casual attire especially at work has been the trend with younger generations in the US too. Going on my fourth year as an American woman in Latin America, I would totally agree with most of these points. Most heels or wedges will do; or a stylish sandal can usually suffice.
You gotta wear lipstick. Make it look good. Basically, put yourself together before you leave the house. If you have to run an errand after the gym, the rules are null and void. The young women here wear short, short shorts. Big surprise. And I would challenge the notion that Gringas dress skimpier, in general, than Latinas. From my experience, Latinas always take the cake when it comes to dressing a little risque. And the church thing surprised me… as a church-goer in the U. Every Mass I ever attended had at least some people wearing jeans and tank tops. In most U. Well, there is my two cents!!
Great article! Even I get my nails done here in Colombia. I agree with the basic message of the post although I agree with those who commented saying that it hard to make a general set of rules for all Latin America. A person who is planning on visiting or moving to a country in Latin America should do research on the specific rules of country- and even more specifically the region of the country they will be on if they can.
I lived in Honduras for 13 months and I got to visit locations all around the country. What I found was that rules changed depending on location and how populated the area was. Shorts were perfectly fine on the island, but if I went to a small village in the mountains of the mainland I should wear a skirt because even pants were semi-unacceptable. Torn jeans were ok as long as they were intentionally torn- although I think the older generation thought they were odd similar to the US. Well, I find it amusing and sometimes, annoying that many westerners tend to put down those characteristics of people from developing countries they do not conform to.
Or that some of us would never go out wearing pajamas because personal care is mainly to please ourselves in first place and the rest of people then. I live in a rather cold but sunny place and it is funny how despite the very cold weather, some foreigners get misled by the harsh sun and blue sky and wear flip flops, shorts and t shirts to face the cool streets meanwhile the rest of us wear warm shoes and clothes. I found the article quite offensive and with a lot of false things in it, first of all, avoid saying Latin America, most of the citizens mostly south america since they feel they are totally different cultures than central america for example, in Chile for ex.
To be honest i know at least south america pretty well, and this article fits probably only Peru, Bolivia and maybe Ecuador. But not at all in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and about all Brazil…. The article was meant to be fun and entertaining, and a little tongue in cheek.
The author was in no way trying to cause offense. You can spot them walking down the street a mile away. Just apply the logic of any fashion magazine: dress according to the occasion and place, I think this applies to anywhere in the world. Latin America rocks! All of us who had lived in Chile know that they are anything but formal.
You can always wear flip flops with shorts. Btw is not even trendy to be informal all the time here in Europe anyway, so speak for yourself Murricans. They also love crocs in Latin America more than in the US and wear them everywhere. This article is dead on. American guy who travels a lot to Latin America for business.
The worst offenders of the dress code, so to speak, are the over 50 crowd. No one wants to see your ugly white legs. When I was in Venezuela the locals were wearing exactly the things you said no locals would ever wear in the latin american countries. Everywhere you looked on the streets in both bigger and smaller citys, at the beach, in their own homes, in the djungel, at the country side.
Both men and women. Like if they were a waiter, police or something like that. And the shorts were both long and short. Depending on the preferences of the one wearing them. But the women on the beaches were wearng Thongs as a bikini. Often tight, short shorts and a tight croped top that shows your stomach and with a BIG cleavage!
They never go with black and White clothes. It was blue, pink, green, yellow and Purple at the same time! And about the flip flops. People there wore flip flops. Not just at the beach. The same with work out clothes. I saw houndrets of thousands of peple weaing t-shirts, shorts, tights, sandals and sneakers normally. In the city. Me and my backpacker friends actually blended in quite well no mather what we were wearing. The reason we were almost harrased sometimes because the loals came up to us ALL the time, wanting to talk, to take photos of us with them, honking the horn at us and so on was because we were White and had blond hair.
The were really excited about that. They treated us like famous people. That was when we blended in with the locals! The guys needed to wear long pants and the girls a dress och skirt and sandals or nicer snearks och flats. This is fine with us since we just wanted a week to relax at a beach for our anniversary.
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As one of those who is believes strongly that those coming into the USA should speak at least a passable amount of English, I feel like a real jackass, coming to Mexico knowing hardly any Spanish. I sort of got by on my halting Italian. So, here we are, all these years later and I am just about the only Gringo wearing long pants.
By the way, I am old enough to remember when similar rules of dress held true in the USA. People just looked a lot better. Hope springs eternal. I always live in climates that allow for pants 9 months of the year. Is Medellin pushing it?
Oh Medellin looks good, but maybe I have to move to Russia after all…. Colombian men are wearing shorts more and more, but it very much depends on the situation. Why would your tattoos need to be covered? If you mean for working in an office, yes, I suppose that may be the case. For a tall Asian lady traveling in South America I always get the look somehow. Some are true to this article, well the obvious belt bags for instance, and those are tacky anyway. I agree with some commenters that in some countries like Argentina, Chile.. In cities like Lima or Quito, I think the new high street fashion would be considered in, and I see a lot of young people wearing shorts with a carefree top, or skinnies and plaid shirt with Moto boots, I guess no different than other cosmopolitan cities.
Some notable points though that I would agree on, people here are kind of judgmental with how you dress up. How ridiculous. Have fun. It seems to be the norm in some Latin countries, and jeans with no pockets! Duh Que horror! Guys I have a pretty good advice, at least bring a dress shirt that you can wear with clean smelling jeans, then top it off with a navy sport jacket. You can even get away with sneakers with this look.
Chau guys. Just to add my two cents. Dressing a bit more formally is simply a matter of culture and common sense. Are you going to your workplace? Dress nicely. Are you going to the park to walk the dog? Wear whatever you feel like. Are you staying at a beach resort? Wear shorts for the love of God! Do we wear shorts men and women in Mexico City? Sometimes we do if the weather is hot enough.
And Tony G. Flip-flops and sandals are worn all the time, especially by women. In the city, at the beach, walking around town, out at night even. People wear t-shirts ALL the time. Men live in running shoes — typically stylish Nike or Adidas street shoes, but running shoes nonetheless. A number of people, especially those who work in tourism as guides, drivers, bartenders, waitresses and more, use fanny packs ALL the time. Skimpy clothes — have you ever been to a bar or club in Central America?????????
And lastly, men most definitely wear shorts! My Mexican boyfriend wears shorts. And sneakers. And backpacks. Maybe he is not Mexican at all? The shorts thing is not common and extremely rare; call it weird, maybe it is, but it is the case there in Medellin unless you are in a very very poor area of Medellin outside of the Poblado further north.
Everyone looks the same in Medelln- this is not Cali with all that swag. If you are tan skin, dark hair, you might not even be noticed to be from another place; however, your walk, and the attire must conform. Robberies usually happen via a guy hopping off of a motorcycle while another waits on one, gun pointed, done deal, your stuff gone, he jumps back on. Be safe. At night, think fitted boring clothes, Miami brickell style without the flash….. It is indeed very difficult to compare. Different cultures, different manners. If I would have to pay attention to that I would end sitting by myself.
One thing is easiness and comfort other quite different is vulgarity. We are talking about hundred of years of good manners and education versus hamburgers and fast food. This article is blah.
The reason behind why people in Bogota nicer has nothing to do with trying to show one is not poor. Bogotanos have been influenced by Europeans, hence they dress nicer. If you go to warmer places like Medellin or Cartagena is totally fine to wear shorts, sandals, etc. Bogota is colder and more formal so slacks and closed toe shoes are the norm.
Jeans and a t are totally ok for Bogota, just bring a light jacket for the night time. Besides being a completely useless post, it is very offensive to expose a fake idea of Latin Americans like the author does. Latinos are great at spotting you! And we also are great hosts, so please, do not trust posts like this. Come and see for yourself :. I know, right?! I think one of the main arguments in this post is contradicting itself. I came across this by pure accident. Mexico City is the big exception where people tend to dress much more like in the U. I can spot backpacker hippy types and foreigners from a mile away.
People tend to be fascinated by foreigners, especially if they are not American. But honestly, not having Latin features is really what makes people stand out. I dont know how I endep up here. But I just wanted to tell to the blog writer that although it is tempting to generalize some facts for all latin america, later on it is easy to find out that wearing sandals, shorts, and running shoes in Chile, Argentina is totally common even for the wealthest people. Nevertheless, I have some friends from Peru which say that wearing formal outfits is very common.
I think this writer has not even been many places in Latin America but is repeating some things he has heard or read. People tend to Dress according to what they do for a living. I live in Switzerland, one of the richest countries in the world, and where an astoundingly high amount of people will go to a concert or a nice restaurant for dinner wearing cargo Bermudas and Birkenstocks. In BA, people going out in the evening or during the day LIKE to make an effort, they are not trying to differenciate themselves from poor people.
Before anything else -Full praise to the author, i enjoyed reading this, its funny and interesting.
Fashion is temporary, its based on new ideas. Style is what all of us permantly have. Its our indervidual taste and take on what we create. Myself- female, very interested in fashion, people and beautiful places, i have 23 years, my hometown is in england and at the start of this year i wandered down central america from mexico, through every country on the way down to panama.
As an added bonus of doing this i had a quick check in and it saved on the flight cost. Whilst i was there, i brought all the clothes i wanted during the 3 months i was there and a suitcase as well when it was nessary. Its such fun and i would recommend this as a way to try.
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Respect is shown by wearing items you find there well, by embracing the fashion with your own style. Now i have the biggest love for leggings from being there, they are cooler than jeans, sexy without showing any skin which protects you from the sun, the best skin is healthy skin on a healthy body and mind in total, which is basically what makes us attractive, simply and simpre. It was hard to judge who had won and whether winning was worthwhile. Hollywood has, however, been only intermittently interested in those novels. The Night Manager has been an unexpected hit on TV. A worried, beaten-down professional spy tries to do the least bad thing in a seedy corner of Germany while his superiors plot to do the most cynical thing.
The story is told through flashbacks, interviews and examinations of surveillance. A Most Wanted Man was not a hit. Should we be surprised? If anything, the series is just a little too good looking: every window contains a million-dollar view. Susanne Bier, a proper director, brings a cinematic sweep to the story.
Tom Hiddleston is reliably gorgeous as a former soldier who, vengeful for a murdered associate, allows himself to be drawn into a plot hatched by a maverick wing of MI6 something very similar happens to McGregor and Harris in Our Kind of Traitor.