No Wrong Turns: How to Not Look like a “Gringo” in Mexico

When traveling I prefer to lay kind of low and do my best to not draw too much attention to myself. This doesn’t seem to be the case with other travelers visiting Mexico. This is mainly due to their questionable wardrobe choices. Years of watching “What Not to Wear”, combined with my love for all things fashion-related, made it easy for me to pick out some of the worst faux pas in “gringo” fashion. Though I think these clothing disasters would be hard to miss!

Shallow or not, what you wear can make you a target when you are traveling. So I give you “What Not to Wear: The Gringo Edition” also known as “How to not be inconspicuous in Mexico.” Please avoid the following:

Wearing a fannypack

Wearing this sad sack of fashion anywhere warrants a citation from the fashion and tourist police. But sporting one in Mexico pretty much screams, “Here is all my money, credit cards and other valuables! Please come rip me off!” This just makes you walking target for theft. Seriously, what’s wrong with a money belt worn under your clothes?

Dressing like a hippy

I swear anywhere you travel be it Mexico, India or SE Asia you are bound to come across so-called hippies. Here is the thing…none of the locals dress like this, so these dreadlock-loving, patchouli-smelling kids look very out of place. The downside of dressing like you rolled out of the ’60s is that, to the Mexicans, you look unclean. Mexico is relatively conservative and it isn’t unusual to see the locals looking amazingly fresh, in a clean shirt and pressed pants, in ninety-degree heat. Looking presentable warrants respect and better service.

Wearing booty shorts

This skanky look is a detriment for all women travelers. This look only furthers the unfortunate belief that western women are easy conquests and encourages the charming catcalls and hissing from the men. Rule of thumb, keep skimpy clothes limited to the beach otherwise keep it covered to prevent unwanted attention from the male population.

I’d be interested to hear any other tips on what not wear while traveling.

For more terrible tourist fashions and a good laugh click here.

“No Wrong Turns”
chronicles Kelsey and her husband’s road trip — in real time — from Canada to the southern tip of South America in their trusty red VW Golf named Marlin