Common Attire


Hey everyone, as stated earlier we're coming down for an initial exploration in a week, and I was wondering how to dress to not look like an American (i'm not one either!). Is California Casual dress pretty standard? Will I stick out like a sore thumb wearing collared (golf/polo) shirts and jeans? Do I need to bring more than a blazer, some button ups, and tailored jeans to look the part in the evening? I read on another thread no white socks, so I assume I shouldn't plan on wearing sneakers during the day? And for my wife, are linen/light cotton pants and collared shirts the norm?

We want to pack relatively light, as we have laundry in our apartment, and are only staying a month.

Thanks in advance again!


It's still pretty hot here so dress is more informal though you'll see a lot of businessmen in dark suits. If you want to avoid looking like an American I'd suggest not wearing sneakers or baseball caps. Wear trousers (Kachis for example) rather than shorts. You'll fit in if you wear a conservatively cut blue blazer but it won't be necessary as long as it remains warm. Men tend to be very traditional in their dress; women are highly fashion conscious.


In the evening, I always wear dark trousers, leather shoes (brougues or oxford style) and a tailored shirt. If it is cooler a Jacket is fine as long as you do not look like a lumberjack.
Be very carefull with headwear, in the heat of the summer I did buy a hat, and was immedialey mistaken for a yanqui (suddenly everything was more expensive). If you are young you can get away with sports type shorts when it is hot, but if in any doubt, wear long trousers, and NEVER tartan, tartan trousers or shorts will mark you out immediately.
Best bet is to dress casual and not too bright.
I am no expert on fashion but basic advice for women is, always dress smart. Local women will not leave the house without full makeup, as Sergio said they are very fashion concious.


Rent a movie like Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens) from your local DVD store and see how all manner of people in Bs As dress. Of course the fashionistas will be in this year's style not year 2000 :) The rest looks pretty much the same in my opinion - but then since I don't pay too much attention to clothes I'm probably not the person to ask. (So why are you writing here? - Ed)

If you really want to blend in, just bring one or two items of clothing in your luggage and buy the rest here. It's the little subtle differences in style and cut that give the 'authentic' look - besides, even though clothes are more expensive here than in many other parts of the world (I can buy cheap clothes cheaper in the UK), if you are travelling back to Canada you will have the perfect, wearable mementos to carry home; if you are going to settle in Buenos Aires sometime in the future, this is where you are going to end up buying your clothes anyway.

Forget about looking 'authentic' as you step off the plane: travel in clothes that make you feel comfortable, not in fancy-dress that will fool no-one. You will look comfortable, relaxed, self-assured and aware of your surroundings because you ARE comfortable, relaxed, self-assured and aware of your surroundings.

Have a great trip!


No one dresses up in my barrio, so it depends where you're staying. I'm from London & dress way down to blend in...but it's quite a poor area.


I am afraid that I completely disagree with the comments about dressing up. Generally, I wear jeans and nice cotton pull-over shirts with the occassional collared button up shirt and my husband wears jeans or shorts and various collared and un-collared shirts from say J Crew and we fit in just fine. I way way way overpacked nice clothes to come here because everyone said that the city was uber fashion conscious. The only place where I see people dressed completely over the top is in Palermo Soho. Other than that, it's pretty casual unless you are going to a very nice restaurant or are here for business.

I think the biggest difference is in footwear. The style for shoes here, for both men and women, are somewhat different than the US. And, you never see white socks -- that much is true!

(This is where we are coming from on the style front: Ages are early forties. We have spent a lot of time in various neighborhoods because we have moved 3 times, and we also hang out a lot with locals since our kids go to school here. Generally, most of the middle class parents in the school dress casual to smart-casual unless they are coming from work.)


elhombresinnombre said:
even though clothes are more expensive here than in many other parts of the world (I can buy cheap clothes cheaper in the UK),

Where do you shop in the UK, charity shops? I fill my suitcases every time I come to BsAs, the savings almost cover the airfare.

Low end stuff like Primark in the UK about £8 for a womans top, similar tops on Scalabrini $19ar. High end clothes Christian Dior shirts about $50ar
more like £150 at home. I bought a Dior jacket cost me $400ar, would have cost me the price of a one way ticket on its own at home.

You can argue the quality point, which is very subjactive, but these kind of savings make it worthwhile for me.


LiX .... Your comments surprise me. I don't know where you're hanging out. I find that throughout the prosperous or relatively prosperous parts of the city and suburbs people pay a lot of attention to their dress. There are more and more dress down days however the dark suit is still common for business. Casual dress, though casual, is carefully studied here. I find Porteños very attentive to the way they dress, whether it is casual or formal. This is a very class/status oriented society and one is immediately judged by appearance. Those who belong to the professional/upper classes are careful how they look in large part because they want to make their social class apparent at first glance. Personally I find the attention paid to clothes and grooming one of positive aspects of the society.