Once again, tourist season is at our throats. Over the next few months, tourists will swarm Washington, D.C. and other scenic destinations worldwide. From a fashion perspective, this is a dreaded season. You know what I’m talking about. Athletic sneakers, man-sandals, flip-flops, shorts, baseball caps, enormous, ill-fitting t-shirts – all the proverbial fanny packs of style. Tourists often fail to consider the advantages of dressing well for their epic vacations and getaways. The locals will appreciate the effort (or at least not be appalled). And Facebook friends will be ever the more envious. Most importantly, the moment may be fleeting, but pictures last forever. So you might as well aim for a more considerate and glamorous vacation wardrobe. Dress the set with style.
Color. While it is important to feel comfortable for a long day of sightseeing and family-herding, some thought should be given as to where one will be posing for pictures. If it’s Disney, camp and garish is fine. Otherwise, try to wear colors, prints, and styles that blend with or complement the surroundings. Is there ever a need to wear Hawaiian shirts to … South Dakota? I remember once visiting the Great Salt Lake in the winter, with its peaceful hues of taupe, sand, browns, and grays. As I recall, I wore a jewel-toned sweater and pant combo that featured a black, forest green, and burgundy print. I remember thinking how I was blighting the landscape with cacophony. Lesson: don’t do that.
History and culture. But getting the color palette right isn’t sufficient, because the setting has a style and history (or else you wouldn’t be there, right?). Whyyyyy visit an ancient Thai temple while wearing shorts and t-shirts? Why bring the tacky or the mundane to the Eiffel Tower, ancient Egypt, majestic Sedona, Arizona, or the Taj Mahal? You love the beautiful setting, you want to photobomb the object of your admiration with an image of yourself, so why should the setting be the only attractive object in the final image? Instead, buy something festive locally, or else shop ahead. (I see that Net-a-Porter has a category devoted to vacation dresses.) I’ve always liked the idea of wearing a cotton Salwar Kameez, like this yellow one, for exotic vacations. Then again, this reddish print “bohemian” dress from Modcloth would be nice, too.
For men who don’t want to do even a hint of festive wear, it must be said: you can’t go wrong with classic style. See: at the lake, classic sporty casual wear, LL Bean Newportbury woven shirt with t-shirt worn underneath, LL Bean business casual, and the quintessential “Don Draper in California” look.
Comfort. Personally, I like cotton sundresses for warm weather summertime destinations, since they are both comfortable and attractive. Modcloth features quite a few vacation-perfect dresses. Cotton or rayon jersey dresses can be lovely and easiest to pack-and-wear. Steer clear of polyester and nylon, which feel horrible in heat and humidity. Cotton slips and undergarments for unlined dresses can be found at the Vermont Country Store. Needless to say, shoes are also critical to successful vacation wear. They can mar a vacation with ugliness or pain. Unless one is crossing a rocky riverbed, there is never a reason to wear tevas. Fortunately, Zappos and other shoe stores offer an array of comfortable shoes that don’t pain the eyes.
And there’s no need to sacrifice comfort in hat wear, either. Instead of baseball caps, look for straw fedoras or pork pie hats. Ladies can substitute a parasol for a hat.
See my Pinterest board on resort wear for ideas on how not to ruin vacation photos with the fanny packs of fashion.
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