When my family and I first moved abroad and became expats in the amazing city of Barcelona, we didn’t take notice to how we may have…”stood out” amongst locals. I mean, with so many other things to worry about and decisions to make, there simply wasn’t time to NOT look like a tourist those first few months.
Looking back now two years later, it amazes me to this day that we never fell victim to pickpocketing – since we didn’t exactly blend in!
And here’s the thing. Standing out in a world of wallflowers is never a bad thing. But when you’re an expat trying to be accepted into a new culture and way of life, it’s important that we do blend in to an extent.
It doesn’t mean you completely change your likes/dislikes and personality – not at all! But in a city like Barcelona where being a tourist may not always serve you well, it helps to know what part of your closet should be kept for trips back to your home country.
So if you plan to relocate or travel here, let me give you a hand on a few fashion don’ts. Yes, you may actually be a tourist or expat, but you sure don’t have to tell everyone walking down La Rambla that!
How Not to Look Like a Tourist in Spain
Ditch the Baseball Hats
While I still love my army print baseball cap, I’ve learned to use it for emergency bad hair days ONLY. And I’m quite aware that on the days when I do wear it, I look like I’m going to a baseball game – in a city where baseball hardly exists.
Instead, opt for a straw fedora hat in the warmer months or a wide brimmed wool one when it’s cooler outdoors.
Forget the Flip-flops
This was a tough one for me! In the summer, I practically live in flip flops. When I found out they should only really be worn to the beach, I tried to boycott!
Told myself it didn’t matter and no one really noticed. Until someone did. And I immediately felt like some hippie surfer girl who isn’t a hippie and doesn’t surf. Point taken.
So now I try to wear something a little less beachy, still comfortable for walking and fashionable like these cute gladiator sandals.
Watch Out for Workout Clothes
(Yes, this includes yoga pants!)
In American it was very typical for me to throw on my outfit in the morning consisting of stretchy workout pants, tank top, sweatshirt hoodie and running sneakers. Wouldn’t even think twice about it!
Here? If you ain’t goin for a workout, leave the spandex at home!
By why trade comfort for style? My favorite go-to garments are rompers! Whether it’s Springtime, the dead of Summer or Winter, rompers are IN. Check out some of these adorable romper samples that are commonly worn on the street of Barcelona.
Bag the Barcelona T-shirts
(Excluding FC Barca team jerseys of course!)
Hey, I’d be lying if I said I DIDN’T have a few pieces of clothing with our city name on it. But I save them for when we travel or head home.
Nothing says “tourist” better than a big ole’ t-shirt straight from the souvenir shop with the city you’re currently in written in huge letters. Come on, guys!
Instead, aim for simple and soft tops that also make a statement like your beloved souvenirs but without the giant “tourist” trademark across the front!
See Ya, Sweatpants!
It seems like the older we get, the more denim is the enemy ha! I just adore my comfy sweatpants while lounging on the couch after a long day.
But can we all agree that regardless of Barcelona or Berlin, Paris or Prague, sweatpants are reserved for bedtime only!? I understand they might say Versace on the side. Leaving your hotel while visiting Spain means you’ve taken more than two minutes to consider your attire for the day.
Which under no circumstance should include baggy cotton sweatpants.
Instead, go for an equally comfortable look like these gorgeous printed bermuda pants.
Please consider these simple fashion tips that can make a real difference when you visit Barcelona! After all, traveling is so much more fun when you can fit in like a local versus standing out like a…tourist!