five foolproof travel outfits for sightseeing

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When I was recently packing for my Europe trip this month, I found it kind of difficult to find resources online for cute, sightseeing appropriate outfits. When you’re walking around city and exploring, you definitely want to be comfortable but also, I know I never want to look like a tourist. You know the vibe: fanny packs, cargo capris, sad sneakers. If that’s your thing, you do you! Whatever makes you happy and comfortable 😊. But, I doubt you’d be reading this blog!

Whenever I searched for ideas, the typical ideas that came up just weren’t giving me what I wanted, so I came up with my own five outfit formulas based on five different types of locations that you might be visiting. Everywhere you go has a different vibe, different expectations, different activities, and different levels of formality and modesty.

I like to look up people on Instagram who live in certain cities I’m visiting to get an understanding of the local style. Are they dressed up for a casual afternoon or does everyone wear cool sneakers? Are they wearing jackets in a month I consider to be a warmer month? Are there certain brands or pieces that seem really popular?

Here’s what I’ve gathered from my experience with regards to what works for five different types of destinations:

DRESSY CITIES | London, Paris, New York
There are some cities where you’re really expected to look put together or else you’ll just scream tourist. When I think of these cities, London, New York, and Paris come to mind. They’re fashionable cities, so it’s just expected that you put some time and effort into your look even just for sightseeing. But, you obviously still want to be comfortable and free to move around a lot. So, I love doing a white top with black jeans (super simple), then layer over a trench coat (lighter or heavier depending on the weather), and simple ankle boots. Add a scarf that goes with the season. If it’s fall, try something in autumnal shades and textures. If it’s spring, go for a silk or other lightweight fabric in periwinkle blue or blush pink.

LAID BACK CITIES | Amsterdam, Austin, Los Angeles
I’ve found that Amsterdam (as well as Scandinavian cities) are much more laid back when it comes to fashion than other major European cities and many American cities are the same way. For these places, try a simple white blouse with wide leg, high waisted trousers. I’ve seen this style of pants all over Amsterdam lately , which is great because they’re chic and super comfortable. Add a pair of cool sneakers like Converse or Vans, a pair of sunglasses, and a statement bag to finish off the look.

BEACH TRIPS | Barcelona, Miami, Bahamas
Of course, the most likely outfit for this kind of trip is a swimsuit, but when it comes to pre- or post-beach activities such as brunching, sightseeing, and shopping, I have a no brainer outfit formula. Pair a pretty blouse with a pair of loose-fitting, patterned shorts, and sandals. Accessorize with bags and hats made of straw to incorporate that beachy vibe.

OUTDOOR TRIPS | Switzerland, Boulder, Vancouver
On these trips, you might have an actual hike or bike ride planned, or it’s just that the location is naturally more outdoorsy, so you don’t want to be walking around in heels and more formal clothes. The go-to for this style is really anything from Patagonia because it’s super functional yet looks good too. Try a fleece pullover with an added vest layer if needed, plus leggings, cute hiking boots, and a small backpack instead of a purse.

CONSERVATIVE LOCATIONS | Morocco, Southeast Asia, India
Whether it’s that the whole country is conservative or if you’re planning on visiting holy sites such as mosques or temples, you need to be aware of the cultural customs and dress modestly. However, these locations often tend to be ones with hot weather, so it’s a difficult balance to strike. I recommend opting for light colors and layers of lightweight fabrics. Start with a basic cotton tank and loose fitting pants, then layer up as needed with a kimono and/or large scarf.