Barcelona’s clothes to wear (and not to wear) for you to blend with the locals -if you want to!
There are clear advantages to respecting the dress code here in Barcelona, namely improved safety (not easy to single you out as a tourist) as well as giving you a more authentic experience and a valid reason to do a little shopping!
In Barcelona there’s a modern approach to clothes, fashion and dressing, however modesty is still valued and the Catalans tend to dress conservatively and elegantly. Whilst Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan and bohemian city there are still some definite ‘do and do not wear’. This should make it easier for you to blend in and not be so obviously a tourist. Barcelonians really care about their personal appearance and image; they don’t really wear casual clothes as known in ‘different shores’ 😉
- The Catalans especially are very proud people and like to look good. They are keen on designer clothes but even more important to them is quality and fitting. It is not hard to find locally designed clothes of very good quality at a reasonable price, which is great for visitors.
- Do dress up a bit if you are going out for a nice supper, they call it ‘smart casual’. You won’t be turned away if you’re dressed casually but you will probably get some looks.
- Do not wear shorts in the city, save them for the beach, wearing them elsewhere will label you as a tourist. A skirt or loose-fitting trousers are just as good in the heat and will protect you from the sun.
- Do take the time to have a look around the shops, there is a great variety of shops here, and as already mentioned the quality of the clothes is normally good.
- Do not wear a bumbag. We all know they’re very useful but tourists mainly wear them, and in fact they are easily removed by slight-handed thieves. If you must wear them then do as Barcelonians, which tend to carry them on their shoulders like a normal bag -albeit in very crowded places you’ll see many locals carry them in front so as to ensure no one is picking its contents.
- Do not wear shorts/mini skirt with strappy tops/bikinis. Despite the fact that on the beach less is better seems to be the rule (don’t be shocked at topless girls with thong bikinis. There are loads of all ages… and there are also nude city beaches!) in the city women tend to be more conservative. Dressing in what could be seen as a provocative way will most likely get you some unwanted attention.
- If you do get attention the best thing to do is completely ignore it, sustained eye contact could be taken as a sign of flirting.
- Do choose fitted styled clothes. Catalans dress well and their clothes fit well and look sophisticated. In the winter people tend to look quite smart all the time, in fitted jackets, boots and darker colors.
- Do not wear bright, garish colored clothing. You will notice that as a rule locals seem to prefer muted, autumnal colors, like green, yellow ochre and burgundy. However this is changing and shops for the young are full of brighter clothes. Whichever way you choose to go also remember that the Catalans are big on outfit coordination, clashing colors and mis-matched styles are a no!
- Do get your denims out, they are very popular here in every style and worn throughout the year.
- Do not forget about your shoes, Barcelonians love shoes, and for them a pair of shabby shoes can let down a whole outfit.
- Do respect religion. Wearing shorts or being scantily dressed whilst visiting a church will not be appreciated. Do not flaunt what you’ve got! Even if it is your favorite shirt and skirts, always be careful with the environment and beliefs of the people living in the place where you want to go, rather dress conservatively and honor the dogmas they used to practice.
- Business Clothes: if you are coming to Barcelona for business then bring your work clothes. For men you will be expected to wear jackets and ties even if it’s hot. Women wear dresses or skirts. As a general guideline, the more casual your clothes are (shorts, vests, flip flops) the more you will stand out as a tourist.
Yet Barcelona is however a vibrant multi-cultural city so nowadays you can find every styled clothing from dread locked hippies, trendy denim clad teenagers to smart, conservative dressers.
We hope upon reading this Barcelona clothes tips and dress code would help you feel more relaxed on your visit to Barcelona. There are thousands of tourists who don’t have a clue what to wear and are easily spotted. With this article you needn’t be one of them if you don’t wish to be.
Dressing up for clubbing?… have a look at what’s the style in the clubs at Port Olímpic
Article based on: The Tyler Group ex-pats
Video: © videosfrombarcelona