Slideshow: Souvenir Travel Clothes That Don’t Translate Back Home

We’ve all done it. Caught up in the excitement of a great trip, we find ourselves “going local,” and buying an article (or wardrobe) of indigenous clothing to show our love for a place. Sometimes, as with vintage aloha shirts, pretty kurtas, handcrafted leather sandals or Latin American peasant blouses, these looks play well back home. At their worst, however, they make the wearer resemble a clown, costume party-refugee or garden variety idiot.

I understand the urge to wear groovy clothes that scream, “I’m a world traveler!” But more often, bad sartorial choices are the result of too many margaritas, too much pakalolo or the shopping frenzy that results from visiting foreign craft fairs and artisan markets. God knows, I could stock a Goodwill with past purchases. But, like cornrows on white girls, male sarongs or anything from Hilo Hattie, most wearable souvenirs are better off left in their place of origin.

View the slideshow for a selection of frequent travel fashion violations.


Photo of the Day – Colorful clothing in Khartoum

Color. It surrounds us so completely that it’s easy to take it for granted, becoming a sort of visual white noise, unobserved and innocuous. Yet the strategic use of color in a travel photo can really draw in the viewer’s attention. Take the emerald green scarf in the photo above – it’s exactly what caught my eye in Flickr user Mark Fischer’s photo from Sudan. It literally shouts at your eyes against the muted white background of the characters in back. The man’s weathered face, faint smile and white wisps of facial hair further add to the intrigue of this mysterious character.

Taken any great travel photos of your own? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.