Author Topic: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?  (Read 10977 times)

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BatCity

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2012, 11:40:14 AM »
I'm an American that visits Europe on business from time to time.  Everyone wears jeans; I think the difference (as some posters have said) is that while on vacation, Americans would be more likely to wear the same big white athletic shoes they would wear for a workout, while Europeans would be more inclined to wear a "walking shoe" that doesn't stand out as much. 

The best way for an American to fit in?  Wear a hat.  Not a gimme cap/ball cap; that's a dead giveaway that you're from this side of the pond.  My husband went through Europe with a felt Fedora and people were coming up to him asking directions in the local language all the time.

Snooks

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2012, 04:01:57 PM »
Definitely white trainers is what tips me off to an American tourist.  Nearly everyone I know from mid twenties to mid fifties wears jeans to work for our "non uniform" days but the shoes are either fashion trainers, ballet pumps or casual leather shoes.

marcel

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2012, 04:21:00 PM »
I'm an American that visits Europe on business from time to time.  Everyone wears jeans; I think the difference (as some posters have said) is that while on vacation, Americans would be more likely to wear the same big white athletic shoes they would wear for a workout, while Europeans would be more inclined to wear a "walking shoe" that doesn't stand out as much. 

The best way for an American to fit in?  Wear a hat.  Not a gimme cap/ball cap; that's a dead giveaway that you're from this side of the pond.  My husband went through Europe with a felt Fedora and people were coming up to him asking directions in the local language all the time.
I wear a hat, and I definitely do not fit in.
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iridaceae

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2012, 07:39:14 AM »
Some years back I walke the Mont Blanc circuit. As you go round you pass over into France, Switzerland and Italy and you greet fellow walkers in the relevant language, but sometimes people would say hello in English before we'd said anything. Our guide said it was our clothes that marked us out.
I don't wear jeans but when I was in the lake Como region of Itay and then up at the Spluga Pass a few years ago I got spoken to twice in German- even though my sneakers are white!  I guess my plain tee shirt, pants and white sneakers make me look German.  Well, that and my ehtnic background is German-Estonian. 

Shopaholic

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2012, 09:17:20 AM »
Actually, I always associate shorts with sneakers as American tourist (or exchange student).
Red/orange jeans on men is almost always European.
Source sandals in the city are a dead giveaway for Israelis.

I think tourists are usually limited with the number of shoes they take with them on vacation, so they take the most versatile shoe.
I wear Converse shoes daily, but wouldn't be caught in my big, bulky trainers going anywhere but to/from a workout. However, when in Melbourne I felt very, very out of place in my hiking boots.


saki

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2012, 02:48:22 PM »

I think tourists are usually limited with the number of shoes they take with them on vacation, so they take the most versatile shoe.


I agree.  But, actually, that's what puzzles me most about American tourists and big white trainers - surely they aren't that versatile?  When I'm on holiday, I try to take shoes that are comfortable but which, in a pinch, I could wear out in the evening to a decent restaurant - so that I can get away with one pair.  Trainers (setting aside the fact that I only own a cheap pair for exercise) wouldn't be versatile enough.

I'd go for shoes like these for maximum versatility -  http://www.hottershoes.com/en/Women/Womens-Shoes/Casual-Shoes/Contemporary/56752_shake-shoes

Teenyweeny

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2012, 03:00:11 PM »

I think tourists are usually limited with the number of shoes they take with them on vacation, so they take the most versatile shoe.


I agree.  But, actually, that's what puzzles me most about American tourists and big white trainers - surely they aren't that versatile?  When I'm on holiday, I try to take shoes that are comfortable but which, in a pinch, I could wear out in the evening to a decent restaurant - so that I can get away with one pair.  Trainers (setting aside the fact that I only own a cheap pair for exercise) wouldn't be versatile enough.

I'd go for shoes like these for maximum versatility -  http://www.hottershoes.com/en/Women/Womens-Shoes/Casual-Shoes/Contemporary/56752_shake-shoes

Yeah, my leather flats are really comfy, I can walk all day in them, and I have done, frequently. Similarly, they are juuust about dressy enough to go t a nice restaurant in, and cute enough that they are juuuust about fashionable enough to go dancing in.

I'd *never* wear running shoes to a restaurant or a club, but I can wear my leather flats anywhere.  ;D



Kitty Hawk

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2012, 08:22:59 AM »
I am an American who has lived in Germany for 21 years now.  Most of the people here live in jeans.  I really don't know where this "Europeans don't wear jeans" stuff comes from.

Nibsey

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2012, 08:38:54 AM »
I was reading a blog recently about an American in Ireland and she was discussing the issue of being able to spot other Americans. She was taking about how one of the things she noticed was that Irish women would wear Ugg boots with a pair of skinny jeans while American women were going more for the Ugg boots with yoga pants and those huge cardigans. Now this blog entry was from a year ago and I've noticed recently that the yoga pants look is really popular at the moment. So anywho the long and the short of it is, of course fashions are different, I'm not a huge fashion fan but I'm limited by what is being sold in the shops. I don't think that it's Europeans do/don't wear jeans, they just wear them different at different times.
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jaxsue

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 12:02:52 PM »
I've only been to N. Ireland (outside of N. America), and jeans and trainers were the norm from what I observed. I wore sneakers that were not gym shoes, per se, but a bit more dressy. Now I'd likely wear my Tom's shoes: http://www.toms.com/womens?view=all. My pair are dark gray. They're great with capris/shorts. Would these scream "American!" in Europe?

BTW, when I was in N. Ireland the natives could tell I was American by one trait: my teeth.  ;D

AfleetAlex

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2012, 01:38:02 PM »
I wear a slightly different wardrobe when traveling than I would at home. (I'm American.) For example, I wear sturdy shoes for lots of walking (tennis shoes/trainers, Merrell brand, or my Teva brand sandals) because otherwise my feet hurt incredibly, and I'm carrying a larger purse or bag than usual (to carry small water bottle, granola bar, etc). And I'm often trying to dress for a whole day out in changing temperatures. So yeah, I often look a little...touristy.  ;D

Basically my mix-and-match travel wardrobe may look a little odd, but when I dress for work here at home it's much smarter, more tailored, etc. So I think part of it isn't so much where you're from, but what you're doing there - i.e. living day-to-day or visiting.
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2012, 01:49:44 PM »
I wear a slightly different wardrobe when traveling than I would at home. (I'm American.) For example, I wear sturdy shoes for lots of walking (tennis shoes/trainers, Merrell brand, or my Teva brand sandals) because otherwise my feet hurt incredibly, and I'm carrying a larger purse or bag than usual (to carry small water bottle, granola bar, etc). And I'm often trying to dress for a whole day out in changing temperatures. So yeah, I often look a little...touristy.  ;D

Basically my mix-and-match travel wardrobe may look a little odd, but when I dress for work here at home it's much smarter, more tailored, etc. So I think part of it isn't so much where you're from, but what you're doing there - i.e. living day-to-day or visiting.

I think that you might have triggered a possible solution in my brain.  :D

I find that a lot of Americans view travel as an 'activity'. So they will prepare for a day out, carrying a large bag with drinks, snacks, and other things. They'll dress in specific outfits that they wouldn't usually wear on the street (hats, running shoes, rain jackets when it's not raining, etc.)

Perhaps because there is far less of a 'drive everywhere' culture in Europe, I (and most people I know) don't view travel the same way. A day out walking around is just a normal Saturday, and doesn't need specific preparation. Of course, clothes should be weather-appropriate, but they'll be something from my everyday wardrobe. Ditto shoes. I might carry a slightly larger handbag, if I need to carry sunscreen, but that's about it.



AfleetAlex

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2012, 01:54:15 PM »
I most definitely view travel as an activity, so I think you're right. On vacation I want to see as much as possible, and if we aren't planning to go back to our hotel during the day, I want to be prepared for anything. And we (my travel friends and I) like to pack in as much during our stay as possible.  ;D

(Plus I'm pasty white so a day at the beach just ends up with me bright red and bathing in aloe vera lotion! I'd rather go to a museum.  :)

ETA: Plus I LOVE to shop for Christmas and birthdays (and myself, I admit it) while on holiday so I might have a backpack or tote bag to carry my purchases in.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:55:52 PM by AfleetAlex »
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2012, 02:47:04 PM »
I wear a slightly different wardrobe when traveling than I would at home. (I'm American.) For example, I wear sturdy shoes for lots of walking (tennis shoes/trainers, Merrell brand, or my Teva brand sandals) because otherwise my feet hurt incredibly, and I'm carrying a larger purse or bag than usual (to carry small water bottle, granola bar, etc). And I'm often trying to dress for a whole day out in changing temperatures. So yeah, I often look a little...touristy.  ;D

Basically my mix-and-match travel wardrobe may look a little odd, but when I dress for work here at home it's much smarter, more tailored, etc. So I think part of it isn't so much where you're from, but what you're doing there - i.e. living day-to-day or visiting.

I think that you might have triggered a possible solution in my brain.  :D

I find that a lot of Americans view travel as an 'activity'. So they will prepare for a day out, carrying a large bag with drinks, snacks, and other things. They'll dress in specific outfits that they wouldn't usually wear on the street (hats, running shoes, rain jackets when it's not raining, etc.)

Perhaps because there is far less of a 'drive everywhere' culture in Europe, I (and most people I know) don't view travel the same way. A day out walking around is just a normal Saturday, and doesn't need specific preparation. Of course, clothes should be weather-appropriate, but they'll be something from my everyday wardrobe. Ditto shoes. I might carry a slightly larger handbag, if I need to carry sunscreen, but that's about it.

I really like this point.  I think European's also take longer vacations and at a slower pace than US citizens (not saying American's because I'm not sure about Candadians). 
Example:  My family will be in London in a couple of months.  My boss lives in the UK and I was discussing some of our itiniery.  I told him about one day where we plan to start the day at about 8am and do 3 tourist attractions outside of London, each averaging about 3 hours each with a hour travel time between each.  He laughed because the idea of having a 14 hour day of sight seeing seemed exhausting.  He and his family would never plan that much stuff in one day.  But who wants to waste a day of vacation sleeping in and hanging out around a hotel.  I can do that at home. 

AfleetAlex

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2012, 02:53:16 PM »
I agree, pame.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that, if I understand correctly, Europeans (in general) get a lot more vacation time than we do. In a lot of places I've worked in the past, if you get two weeks off a year, you're doing well. So we tend to pack as much in as we can when we have time off!
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.