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Style of Clothing "in-style" for Children in France/Spain

I've heard lots about what adults should wear if they want to look more like a local; but, what is in style for summer wear for children. Specifically my 7 year old daughter. Since she's a jersey girl" her wardrobe consists of surfer style clothing, as well as preppie Lands End clothing. As for bathing suits, she loves her rash guard shirts and girls board shorts. I am more than happy to buy new stuff for the trip if the above will make her stand out like a sore thumb, but don't know what to buy.

Posted by
11450 posts

I think Neil means " don't worry about kids looking like locals, it won't make any difference"

One difference in many Europeon kids and North American kids is the noise level, I find our kids much noiser.. Europeon kids will also sit for two hour dinners ..

Posted by
365 posts

Yeah, pat, that's what I meant!

Some people have a way with words and others not......have....., uh, way...

Posted by
8064 posts

I would like to help you out here, but I haven't got a clue as to what any of those wardrobe items are that you mentioned, so I don't know if they will be right or not. What is a "jersey girl", what is surfer style clothing? and what are rash guard shirts and girls board shorts? I have never even heard the phrases let alone know what they are. 8-)

At 7, I don't think anyone is looking anyway, unless the child is really obese, or dressed overly odd, perhaps with glittery princess things on or a tutu, something like that. Even then, people enjoy it when I child dresses uniquely. If she would want to wear a tiara, or cowboy boots, she would just get smiles.

These days, with webcams posted all around the world and Google Earth street view, it is easy to see what people are wearing in any country you are going to. Just don't look at the webcams next to the big tourist sights. Pick a school or some work place area where most of the people are not tourists. At the end of the day, you could always go shopping over here, though I don't think I would really worry about how she is dressed.

Posted by
730 posts

Hi Jo,

It's just that, why go to so much trouble trying to make the adults in the group look like locals, if the children's attire will give us all away as the tourists.

As for the term "jersey girl", that description just means she's from the NJ shore area, hence we see a lot of surfer style casual beach attire here. As for our bathing suits, we are so concerned about skin cancer here in the USA, most kids wear shirts called "rash guard shirts" on the beach, at the pool and in the water. They protect their skin from the sun and they dry very fast. The board shorts are bathing suit bottoms that are shorts, boys have always worn them here, but now they are worn by many girls too. I did buy my daughter a traditional one piece swim suit for the trip and a two piece as well.

Posted by
12040 posts

"It's just that, why go to so much trouble trying to make the adults in the group look like locals, if the children's attire will give us all away as the tourists."

You don't have to hide the fact that you're a tourist. Anyone who is paying attention will know anyway, no matter what you wear. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. Just wear what you find comfortable and reasonable for the situation.

My wife, who is Belgian, summarized it nicely for me. She said effect of American tourists trying to "dress like locals" is similar to the way she would look if she walked through NYC wearing a cowboy hat.

Posted by
11450 posts

Kerry, I did not worry too much what my child( 12 yr old dd) wore, except to be sure she had good walking sandals, a sundress for a nicer dinner out, and no real skimpy clothing( she doesn't own that stuff anyways).

One note, if you consider using a public pool you may find the board shorts not accepted as swimwear.Apparently for public pools men must wear Speedos as board shorts are not accepted as legitimate swim suits( since they look so much like regular shorts their concern is that they are "street wear" and not clean enough for swimming pool?)
So, I guess I would bring DD regular swim suit just in case, but bring rash guard if you actually plan on beach time ,, skin cancer is not a fashion issue!

Posted by
365 posts

Do NOT think you will be allowed entry to Aquaboulevard in Paris with board shorts. You will be forced to buy Speedo-style trunks at the adjoining sporting goods store and then subjected to the "Walk of Shame" through the cafeteria where everyone is staring at you. Or so you think, based on the traumatic dreams you will endure for the next, say, six years.

I suggest that your concerns about the children letting down the team as it pertains to Ninja tourism are misdirected. You can have the perfect "we are no WAY tourists" garb and still the little cretins keep opening their mouths and letting the Jersey Speak flow right out. You could gag them, but what about mealtimes? You really need to think this through.

Posted by
521 posts

I really wouldn't spend any time worrying about it. No one will care or notice what your kids wear. And I am not judging. The first time I went over, I thought I had to try to fit in. And you very quickly realize, that there is no "look" you should be going for. If I really wanted to look like an Italian woman, in Florence I would have had to wear 4 inch heals on cobbelstone streets and that just wasn't going to happen.

So you do your best to be comfortable and to look nice. Nice does not equate European...its just nice...so you can like your photos when you get home.

Besides, if you were going to China or Brazil - would you be looking for clothes to bring so you could fit in?

Posted by
730 posts

If I know just one thing in this life it's this...there is no way in " " my 11 year old son would EVER put on a speedo bikini bottom! He would die of heat stroke before he would do it. I'll bring lots of water!

I have no problem looking like an American other than all the talk about looking like a tourist encourages the pickpockets to target you. But I agree, once you open your mouth they know you are a tourist, so I guess I'll stop worrying about it.

Last time my husband and I were in Florence, Italy, some gypsie girls did try to get his wallet out of his pocket; but this "Jersey Girl" scared them off by yelling obscenities at them at the top of her lungs! I have no doubt I can do it again if necessary. So I guess we will all be ourselves on this trip!

Posted by
730 posts

Amy, your right; it is MOST important to be dressed well so you look good in your photo's! That will be my new goal instead of trying to look Spanish in Spain and French in France! Although I must say my daughter is currently sporting a cute little haircut that makes her look like a little French girl (at least what our minds conjure when we think of a little French girl!).

Posted by
351 posts

My french friend's daughter, and my friend, for that matter, do wear sundresses and summery lightweight dresses much more than we do here. And I would say in Europe in general, bikinis (or just bikini bottoms) used to be much more popular than one piece suits - for every age group and every figure - but I haven't been to a pool or beach in quite a few year. Back in the 1980s, we felt dowdy in our one-piece suits.

All that being said, my kids just wear clothes they like and are comfortable in. We don't try to dress them any certain way - except neat and clean - when possible.

Posted by
9363 posts

Kerry, there are other styles of boys' swim wear (even other styles of Speedos) for your son that are not bikini-type racing suits. Board shorts are not appropriate, but I'm sure you can find something that looks less like streetwear.

Posted by
11450 posts

Jo, I did not call you a liar, and I do agree one should not lump every nationality together. Get a grip.

Posted by
32 posts

Along these lines. Would a 10 year old girl be held to the same standards as adults in a church or cathedral? That is no shorts or bare shoulders?

I've never attempted to "look like a local" on our travels. Do you really think a French woman would wear 3 inch heels while trekking through Washington DC?

Posted by
11450 posts

Jo, I have never seen that sort of behaviour by French children, and I know I never behaved, or would have been allowed to behave that way either..( in the many months I spend in France as a child) perhaps its just ok in Germany,, as you said, not all countries are alike.

In fact, JO, I have never worked in such a restaurant even here, sounds like a Pizza party type place...

Posted by
11450 posts

Lets keep inmind that boars shorts are fine for the beach,, its just public pools that would not allow them. I would bring them if I planned beach or lake visits.

Posted by
12040 posts

Barbara makes a good point in this whole "dress like a local" debate. It is silly to compare the clothes of a typical tourist to that of a local because each has dressed for a completely different purpose. The "local", by definition, is probably dressed for work and has easy access to a full wardrobe. How many of us would wear shorts to work at home, and by contrast, why should it be necessary to wear dress-pants and shoes clearly not designed for walking while on vacation?

Posted by
730 posts

Thank you all for setting me straight-finally-on the clothing issue. I am much happier now that I know we can be ourselves and do not have to wear "costumes"!

I'll let you in on a little secret, but don't tell my 7 year old "self proclaimed tomboy" daughter...I'm packing a few "girlie" things for her to wear on the trip!

Posted by
11450 posts

bTW Jo,, of course Victoria is much smaller,, but we do have a about 3.65 Million tourist visitors a year,, we are a major tourism city and welcome people from all over . We also have a large population of immigrants, although most seem to be of Asian ( China, Korea, India) nationality.
Basically , since compared to anywhere in Europe we are "new" everyone seems to be from somewhere else.

Posted by
365 posts

This seems like an appropriate time to point out that Wales receives over 8 million tourists per year. WAY more than Frankfurt and Victoria, B.C. combined.

Wales wins again. (pumps arm vigorously, high-fives startled stranger)

Posted by
9363 posts

So can they wear board shorts in public pools in Wales, hmmmm?

Posted by
495 posts

I know it wasn't a serious question, but yes - board shorts would be fine in public pools throughout the UK.

Posted by
80 posts

make you kids wear berets and striped shirts with a red kerchief ha