How to Look Like a Local When Visiting the Fashion Capitals of the World


When traveling to the world’s fashion capitals such as New York, London and Milan, consider packing a little different than when visiting your parents in Florida or your sister in Costa Rica. This is Paris and if you want to fit in, you have to be on your fashion A game.

When trying to decide what to bring, you can’t go wrong with this season’s universal trends that include suede, booties, yellow hues, blue and white, gingham print, shirt dresses, denim dresses and retro fashion. Here’s the scoop on what to wear to these cities and how not to dress like an American tourist (even though you are one):

New York

The first-ever fashion capital to show Fashion Week, New York City is home to the Garment District, 5th Avenue and many of the world’s most illustrious fashion designers’ flagship stores. The city is home to notable designers like Calvin Klein and Vera Wang.

When packing for a trip to the Big Apple, fit in with fringe, modern overalls, a boho poncho, monochromatic red, a poplin shirtdress and designer tennis shoes. Splurge on a Chloe Drew Bag and Stella McCartney’s towering brogues to really become a New Yorker for a week.


Up until the 1960s — the age of “Swinging London” and Twiggy — London’s fashion scene mimicked that of other trendy cities. Today, London style is totally unique and influenced by ’70s punk, ’80s decadence and modern Britpop.

While London fashion is edgy, it’s put-together and well-coiffed. Don’t wear your ripped jeans (even if they are cool in LA) or tennis shoes (you might be refused from restaurants). Tailored pants with a modern cut, fitted leather, anything black, a short skirt, knee-high boots and gingham peg-leg pants will all be perfect items to pack on your trip to London.


In Milan, fashion dates back to the 11th century. Over the past few years, the city has struggled to top the Global Language Monitor’s Top Fashion Capitals list, but ‘Milan’ is a Top Fashion Buzzword for 2015 and has its eye on the prize.

Today’s Italian fashion, from Rome to Milan is considered edgy and sexy. Hardly any local wears shorts, even in the heat of summer, so leave them behind. Plus, the cathedral and other churches on your sightseeing tour won’t allow bare legs. Instead choose slim-leg pants. Dark shades take precedence over floral-print dresses as do tailored button-downs over golf shirts. Skip tennies and heels and opt for leather booties loafers and oxfords for both men and women.


Having a long heritage in fashion, Paris invented the concept of haute couture. Modern day city style is tailored and chic, but with a conservative edge. Think neutral colors and no more than three at a time. Like London, leave the trendy white tennis shoes at home (Parisians call them marshmallows) and instead wear refined wedges, ballet flats or booties.

Other Parisian trends include black and white with pops of red, tailored dark denim, dark tights under skirts and dresses, and bright infinity scarves. Stick to a black base and layer from there.

Always do your research on any city you are visiting in order to understand and respect the local customs. Don’t stand out like a sore thumb and become vulnerable to pickpocketers or other robbers. Dress fashionable and go with the flow.

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