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What to wear in Athens, Greece for middle aged people in June 2016


We are going to Athens this June for a wedding. This is our first trip to Europe, we usually just do cruises or all-inclusive in the Caribbean. I have been all over the internet looking for pictures of what to wear in Greece and not stick out as an American rube, but all I can find are tips for young fashionable people. I'm 45, my husband is 59, we aren't young, slim or fashionable. If we take our kids (18 & 12) to a beach, should my husband wear a speedo instead of his regular board shorts? Do middle-aged women wear bikinis? I only wear 1 piece at home, but if a 1 piece will make me stand out more than my stretch marks hanging out of a bikini, then I will wear a bikini.

We will leave the jeans and tennis shoes at home and bring trousers and Birkenstock or Rockports for my husband and I will bring some knit, jersey dresses. I know that we won't pass for greek, especially when my Southern good-old-boy husband opens his mouth, but I just don't want to stick out like a sore thumb. When in Rome...haha.

Also, how much will we need to worry about Greek men giving my 18 year old daughter a hard time? And what is the protocol for handling any issues? We took her to Jamaica when she was 13, guys kept trying to sell her drugs, and propositioning her 17 year old sister. Is it better to ignore it, or go the public shaming route?

Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
3773 posts

You are way overthinking the clothing thing. Your husband should not wear a Speedo (no one should except maybe an athlete, but that is a discussion for another day). No one will care if you to wear a two piece or a one piece nor will anyone look twice at you if you wear a one-piece. I spent a summer in Greece (and I am about your age) and wore my regular one piece bathing suit to the beach in Greece without anyone batting an eye lash. The question never crossed my mind so maybe I am clueless and did not notice but, in my experience no one cared. Where did you get the idea that all Greek women or women on Greek beaches wear two piece bathing suits? And most people that I met at the beaches in Greece unless I went way off the beaten path were people from other countries (mostly the UK and Germany) who were on vacation and they wore whatever they wanted. I saw men in Speedos and board shorts and women in one piece and two piece suits. The only thing that I can say for sure is that I never saw any women wearing only bikini bottoms like I have seen in the south of France but that could have where I went (Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Crete and Athens). Rockports are not going to do it if you trying not to look American but really no one will care. Greeks are super welcoming and very nice to Americans. As to Greek guys hitting on an 18 year old, just treat them the same way you treat people who hit on her in America, which I hope is any way but the public shaming route, which rarely works when you are a country that is not your own and where you do not speak the language (and I am assuming that you are not Greek or speak Greek because if you did, I doubt that you would have these questions).

Posted by
39 posts

As a man I should state no man should ever feel the need to wear a speedo...even in Europe. On a beach you will find a wide range of dress and I would wear what makes you happy (unless that is a Speedo ;)).

I am in athens right now and lots of people also wear jeans. Although honestly by June it'll be hot, very hot, so I would suggest light clothing with a casual fit. No need to be overly dressy.

The general feel is very casual and comfortable yet well put together and sophisticated...though that seems to work anywhere.

Or just wear whatever you please, not worry about it, and let it become a worry for someone else.

As for the teen girls, there is a saying, boys will be boys, and no matter where you go you will find nice respectable ones and the ones with no class. Ignore them and they will get the point.

Posted by
1386 posts

It is going to be hot in June. Other than the wedding where you will probably have to dress up Greece is pretty casual. Your husband probably needs one pair of long pants and some cotton shirts. Most dining at tavernas is done outside. If you are going to an island its even more casual. I wear shorts all the time. Rugged tillys for hiking and site seeing and a good pair of dress shorts or Bermudas for dining.

My wife wears calf length pants with light tops and a nice cover up for the evening. It can be cooler in the evening on the islands.

Good sturdy shoes are a must because even in Athens the pavement is not even. Most women have sandals but again sturdy ones. A pair of beach shoes is a good idea because many beaches have pebbles. White sneakers are not an option.

Travel light. Don't bring too much stuff. We now just travel with carry on bags. Long ago we realized we never wore half the stuff we brought with us and those big suitcases are a pain to lug around particularly if you are taking a ferry. Just buy a detergent powder at a mini market and wash up in the sink. The sun is hot and stuff dries in a few minutes.

Posted by
2788 posts

We went to Greece in the spring of 2014 and wore what made us comfortable in the warm weather. We wear mostly ExOffico clothing (expensive but very durable). We have gone to Europe for 13 of the last 14 years for about a month and quit worrying about looking like Americans about 12 years ago. Believe me, the locals will know that you are Americans very quickly. To Greece, I took two short sleeve shirts and one long sleeve shirt. I took three pairs of pants, one of which has zip off legs so that I can use the shorts for comfort or swimming. I also take one pair of sturdy sandals and one pair of good walking shoes that I wear on the plane when flying. I also take a sun hat that covers my ears and plenty of sun screen. My wife is 62 and I am 70. We really enjoyed Greece and hope you will also. We found that using RS Greece/Athens guide book was very helpful in planning our visit. If you decide you want one, it can be purchased elsewhere on this web site. Happy Travels.