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A question for people who travel a lot (or who are interested in sartorial relativism)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

How much do you guys take local fashion into account when traveling abroad (I'm thinking mostly N. America, Europe, and Asia)?

 

On one hand, I can see the appealing argument that what you wear is a reflection of your personality, and that shouldn't be compromised wherever you are. On the other hand, a lot of regulars here seem to have quite (enviably) pronounced personalities by this measure.

 

Business would seem to require more compromise, while formal or business casual would leave more room for expression. How much (and in what circumstances) would you mute your sartorial individuality?

post #2 of 13
I disregard local (Korean) fashion wholly.

post #3 of 13
In America, well dressed men are so rare and are so instantly branded dandy or worse that I tone down my wardrobe when visiting. Conversely, in Japan, which has absolutely the best dressed men on earth, ensure I take my highest quality duds. Europe is somewhere between the two extreme, but in Italy in particular I find the CBd dress to be entirely boring. HK is somewhat more stylish than Singapore where jackets and ties are vanishing even in the CBD- but thankfully no one yet looks at you askew if you are well dressed. In developing countries ones is almost always better off well dressed- it instantly generates respect and better service all around.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropicalist View Post

in Japan, which has absolutely the best dressed men on earth, .

and where do you get your stats from .....plain.gif
post #5 of 13
Actually, based purely upon personal observation, I'd say the young businessmen and women I've seen in my trips to Tokyo are almost universally well dressed.
post #6 of 13
This thread, IMO, is better suited for SW&D. I travel a lot, and often to widely different kinds of countries. From my experience, most of the world is fine with the MC-approved look (that is, either suits or a sport coat and tie). Some things, such as knit ties, perhaps don't travel as well, but for the standard stuff, it's more or less universal at this point. The only thing that one might want to consider is that in some countries, you will look like a very, very wealthy foreigner, but no one will think you're odd per se. The MC-approved aesthetic, after all, is the look of finance, business, and politics, and almost everyone is familiar with it.

The only thing I can think of that is MC relevant is swim trunks, where someone might want to consider their appropriateness in certain countries. Most everything else - from a suit to sport coat and odd trousers to even a casual OCBD and khakis - however, is fairly universal at this point.

Addendum: Actually, I'm more or less thinking of conservative looks here. The peacocking stuff doesn't travel well, often if it's even just outside the home.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nohit View Post

I disregard local (Korean) fashion wholly.


The worst in any country is going to be bad...and especially cringe worthy when they put in an effort (so you know its taste rather than apathy). Thirty-something Korean yuppies can be very well dressed, provided they have the money and are in somewhat of a creative field (architecture, web design, etc).

Certain things look aesthetically good here (Korea) but would probably not work elsewhere (US). I'll occasionally see a man wearing "dress shorts", fitted shirt, and a very nice tie with loafers (sadly, you also see kids walking around with crappy ties and shorts). This looks good, here. Walk around dressed like that in Texas...
 

I guess I was thinking about the middle ground between conservative and peacocking. Street-wear is almost too varied to say much of anything...no real standard to work off of. But something a bit more formal/composed, you are building off of the same basic element (blazer/jacket, slacks, dress shirt, and a tie) and then taking it in a direction dictated by both your personality and culture you've been immersed in.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by md2010 View Post

and where do you get your stats from .....plain.gif

By simple visual observation during my 40-50 flights a year to over 45 countries and counting :-)
post #9 of 13
The only two countries I would pay attention to what to pack prior to my trips are Italy and UK.
post #10 of 13
For me, it depends on what I am doing and what the weather will be like. About a week ago I was in Italy for the F1 race in Monza. It was 29 degrees Celsius with no wind at all. In that venue, in those kind of temperatures the main focus is on comfort and not burning up, not so much what is "correct" or what other people are wearing.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

I guess I was thinking about the middle ground between conservative and peacocking. Street-wear is almost too varied to say much of anything...no real standard to work off of. But something a bit more formal/composed, you are building off of the same basic element (blazer/jacket, slacks, dress shirt, and a tie) and then taking it in a direction dictated by both your personality and culture you've been immersed in.

"The man you left in New York you find again in almost impenetrable solitudes: same clothes, same attitude, same language, same habits, same pleasures." - Alexis de Tocqueville

For better or worse, much of the world has adopted the modern, Western way of dress. Not totally, of course; but largely. For the narrow band of clothing you're talking about, very little would look out of place in most parts of the world (at least the parts I've visited). So maybe in Moscow they wear pastel shirts, in London oddly patterned shirts, in NYC solid whites and blues. Perhaps in Beijing they wear more black suits than they do in Berlin. But in all these places, the coat and tie, no matter how you accessorize, is going to look fairly normal.

I have no idea about dress shorts. I can't really see that being more than a trend on the street, which is why I said this seems more relevant to the SW&D crowd. The kind of stuff MC is concerned with (the kind of thing that Roetzel, Flusser, and Manton have written about) is more or less universally acceptable (for better or worse).
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellyhungry View Post

The only two countries I would pay attention to what to pack prior to my trips are Italy and UK.

post #13 of 13
The most important thing is be comfortable with your clothes, nothing looks natural if you are self conscious

It doesn't matter too much these days.
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