Five things not to wear in Germany

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There is a lot to say about what to wear and what not to wear on a European holiday. It’s better to think twice about what you pack into your luggage especially when you’re going to Germany. You want to think about your comfort, staying warm, and of course considering your personal style. You wouldn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb as a typical tourist – and risk being pickpocketed or stared at. We have prepared a list of what not to wear while you’re in Germany.

1. Saying no to athletic clothes

Firstly, it is not that we are against athleisure, but practically speaking, you wouldn’t want to sightsee in your jogging pants or sweatpants and then head to a fancy dinner place in your gym clothes. We know that as much as this is the trend today, it hasn’t found its way in restaurants’ dress codes nor in churches. Save the athleisure pieces for the gym or when you’re back in your city.

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2. Don’t wear heels

Ladies, we have your best interest at heart and stilettos and heels are a no-go when walking around in Europe, especially in Germany. Our German friends have given us the tip that the roads are mostly made of cobblestones and it can get really ugly if your heel is caught between the stones. Yikes! In fact, there are clubs in Berlin where girls are turned away if they come in heels. We’ve also heard from locals that wearing heels on the sidewalk is so rare in Germany that you could be mistaken for a prostitute. Try to stick with reliable, comfortable footwear.  

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3. Don’t dress inappropriately in churches

We get that you’re a visitor and not familiar with the local culture and practices, but visiting a church in casual dressing like a tank top and jeans is a sign of disrespect in Germany. It is basic etiquette and respect as these churches and cathedrals are firstly a place of worship and not simply a tourist attraction. Don’t wear anything too short or revealing for ladies and for men, don’t come dressed in a shabby outfit.  

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4. Showing off brands is not cool

Most cities in Germany – especially in Berlin – are known for their fashion sense. However, you may want to think twice before taking your LV Monogram bag to the streets or reconsider the outfit that screams the brand name from head to toe. Berliners have a preference to invest in pieces where the brand is not starkly visible. If you want to blend in, you’ve got to stay simple.

 

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5. Don’t brag about cheap labels

As some Germans are particular about where they get their clothing from, they are hell-bent on not supporting an industry that makes workers slaves to generate massive amounts of clothing that end up costing a lot. So if you get your clothes from some fast-fashion retailers, don’t brag about it. Instead, you should check out the local labels there – you may find some unique pieces!

 Most importantly, remember to stay true to your personal style and wear what is most comfortable for you without looking like a typical tourist. Also, be mindful of the season that you will be travelling to Germany – whether summer or winter, dress smart!