How to Dress Well But NOT like A Tourist on Vacation

Dress Well on VacationI have to admit, I take great pride in being considered a native when I am visiting a city on vacation. I love it when someone asks me for directions or for a recommendation of where to go or what to see. And more and more I’m convinced this is because I try not to look like a typical American tourist when I’m out and about exploring a new city. You know the look I’m talking about – functional, often clunky walking shoes; comfortable clothing that tends to be shapeless; a large backpack or smaller fanny pack; perhaps a hat that doesn’t match with the rest of the look; etc… palm-shirt8Pants: Citizens of Humanity via ShopBop
Blouse: Old Navy
Sandals: Target
Earrings: NYC Street Vendor
Watch: JORD Wood Watches
Sunglasses: Ray-Banpalm-shirt7

I’m convinced that all the comforts and necessities one has while on vacation can be met while maintaining a sense of fashion. Here are a couple tips to dress well on vacation:

Break in a pair of comfortable, chic shoes BEFORE vacation begins.

Now this is even easier than before, since fashion sneakers of all colors and designs are everywhere. But this could also mean a pair of Toms or Sperry’s. Break them in ahead of time and pick a pair that can easily be worn with everything you pack for vacation. I took along a pair of comfortable gold flats, a simple pair of sandals and a pair of pink fashion sneakers. All of these I could walk miles in, and NONE of them look like I pulled out the same pair of Asics I wear at the gym.

Opt for loose fashion-forward tops.

Nothing says tourist like a shapeless t-shirt chosen for comfort. But there are plenty of other types of tops that can be equally comfortable, if not even more comfortable. This blouse, for example, is so comfortable and easy to wear. It flows with the breeze, making it perfect to wear on a hot day walking around the city. And because it is light and breezy it also isn’t going to show sweat marks like a t-shirt might. The light material kept me cool all day. If a blouse isn’t your style, there are also some more structured and stylized tees out there which still give you the comfort you crave while also affording you a chic put-together look. palm-shirt3

Don’t forget the accessories.

I’m not saying you have to take your entire accessory collection with you when you go on vacation. Pick a couple key pieces, put them in a little bag and make sure you remember you’re never fully dressed without those finishing touches. Even a pair of earrings and a necklace or bracelet can go a long way in looking put together and polished. Those little extra steps show that you took time with your appearance before going off to explore new territories, as opposed to looking like you rolled out of bed and hit the pavement.


Go for a pretty, functional bag – and keep it light.

No one wants to drag around a 10 pound bag all over creation while on vacation. Leave everything and the kitchen sink at home and go with the absolute essentials. I take a tube of chapstick or lipgloss, my wallet and my phone with me. The rest is not necessary and gets left behind. Whittling it down to such a small number of things, means I can thrown my items into just about any bag, and even if I have it slung over one shoulder all day it’s not going to wear me out. If you absolutely need the balance of a backpack, go for one of those more fashionable ones that provide the double strap but also look a little more like a purse.

palm-shirt10There are my 4 tips to dress well on vacation. What would you add?

Katy Rose
Filed In: Fashion

One thought on “How to Dress Well But NOT like A Tourist on Vacation

  1. Pingback: Vacation Packing Tips - ModlyChic

Comments are closed.