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Old 06-19-2019, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
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It's fashionable in some circles to claim there is no such thing as "American" anymore. ANybody can be American. While it is true but regardless of the tribe and heritage, there is something about a life long living in this country that makes us look alike and different from others at the same time. I can spot an American in Europe a mile away. Maybe it's the apparel, the odd articles of clothing, the way they walk or conduct themselves or just the way they "look." I'd say American men have more of a signature than women, but I could be wrong.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:06 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,561 posts, read 70,482,002 times
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I remember being lined up at the check-in desk at a youth hostel in Europe, along with all the other young people in jeans and with backpacks on their backs. Somehow, out of the whole crowd, one of the clerks zeroed in on me as the person to address in English. She somehow knew I was American, even though I thought all of us in the room looked pretty much alike.

Go figure.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,845 posts, read 14,356,798 times
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I once saw several pics of foreign students grouped with American students. These were either middle schoolers or possibly younger high school age students. The American kids were dressed much more colorfully.

Urban professionals might well dress similarly in Europe as in the US. But overall, Americans dress more casually, I think.

Jeans, baseball caps, tee shirts and sweats seem to be the American contributions to worldwide wardrobes. I think Americans developed the running shoe which has morphed into many varieties, and is of course ubiquitous everywhere now. And, I remember that the tuxedo was an American invention, as well.

There undoubtedly have been other American fashions that have circled the globe. So first world people do tend to dress similarly. But you can usually recognize a North American.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,691 posts, read 36,132,256 times
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A few years ago my husband and I were in London. Now, we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves and having no issues communicating with anyone of course, so we felt totally at ease. But then, across Trafalgar Square, we saw - out of hordes of people - another couple walking arm in arm. They weren't talking loudly, they weren't dressed oddly, and they didn't have on fanny packs - but we both instinctively knew - "those are our people." We knew that not only were they Americans, they were Texans. And they saw us too and we all four started walking toward each other with recognition in our eyes, even though none of us had ever laid eyes on the other couple before!

And they WERE Americans and they WERE Texans! And we had a big laugh about it because they told us "We knew you had to be Texans even though we were a hundred yards or more apart!"

It was odd. I remember exactly what I had on too - black jeans, and a black jacket, and black Ecco walking shoes. My husband had on his usual shorts and collared shirt and leather shoes he'd bought in Germany. They had on something mundane - I say that because as we stood there and laughed and talked together in our Texas accents, we discussed whether it was something in particular we were wearing or WHAT. We never did figure it out but it was something.

I honestly think we must carry ourselves differently - walk differently maybe? I do know that the concept of personal space can differ widely between cultures, as can body language. I really don't know. But our clothing didn't seem "Texan" or even particularly 'Murican.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:26 PM
 
Location: SoCal again
16,030 posts, read 12,823,090 times
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I recognize American men often times on their buttoned, collared shirts and shorts while other nations wear T-Shirts and long pants or different styled shorts than Americans. Baseball caps is very American, too.

And of course there is often they weight thing. When you go on vacation to a foreign country, there are always a few really large Americans, easy to spot and they don't hide themselves under covering clothes.

American women in general have bigger boobs than most other countries, fake or real.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
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Khaki pants, blue blazers and button-downed shirt.
Baseball caps, t-shirts, blue jeans.
Shorts, polo shirts, white sneakers.

If you see any of these, you can bet you're looking at Americans. I am not even going with easy ones, like cowboy boots, cowboy hats, turquoise belts, etc. But as Kathy said, it's not even about clothing. You just know it. The moral of the story is that we have more in common than we think although once you're here, some people want you to believe there is no such thing as "American" anymore.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:04 PM
 
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American population and cities are so diverse, but when I travel overseas I do find older (white) Americans do stand out and often have a certain look
Older American women wear glittery clothes, or shirts with random motifs like sailboats or stars on them.
Middle aged to older American men wear bright or pastel colored polo shirts. In the rest of the world, only Koreans and Brazilian men do as well. (The colors, I'm talking here).
American men also tend to wear pants too short.

Sports caps, be it baseball, hockey etc. but North American-favored sports.

Younger Americans imo are harder to pinpoint these days. Styles/ fashions are becoming more universal. Though I admit there is a certain conservative look in the Middle American states, a look you of course don't see elsewhere in the world. But reality is that "Vans" look is as big in Europe and Asia as it is in California. Plus younger Americans often travel in groups, when they travel overseas and you can hear them before you see them.

Weight thing is a toss up, as I've seen plenty of overweight Aussies, Brits, Eastern Europeans, etc.

Makeup. American women especially Southern ones wear way more make up than in other places.

The funny thing is in the US, you often see a dolled-up gal with tons of makeup and big hair, and then they are wearing sweatpants and sneakers.
This is very much the reverse in the rest of the world (they dress to the nines with little make up if any).

Last edited by krosser100; 06-20-2019 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,606 posts, read 41,886,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I remember being lined up at the check-in desk at a youth hostel in Europe, along with all the other young people in jeans and with backpacks on their backs. Somehow, out of the whole crowd, one of the clerks zeroed in on me as the person to address in English. She somehow knew I was American, even though I thought all of us in the room looked pretty much alike.

Go figure.
This was always the case in youth hostel culture when I studies abroad, myself.

At that point (1990s), the American Uniform distinguishable in Europe was denim, plaid flannel (grunge was still a thing), baseball caps, backpacks, hiking boots (or Docs, but hiking boots had the edge with the backpackers). Overall, more casual than what was common locally.

I would say that, in general, although there are many regional differences in fashion, American dress continues to be largely distinguished by a predominant inclination toward dressing casually/dressing down.

I've seen many times over how loosely "business casual" has been interpreted at various workplaces I've been in (oftentimes, by me), for instance. Church, once a bastion of dress-up, is now overwhelmingly a mix of far more casual attire...there are definitely outliers, though - my church shares space with a predominantly black inner city missionary Baptist congregation, and those members are often arriving as our worship is ending, and they are very much ladies in hats and gloves and "Sunday Best," and men in three-piece suits, little kids dressed up, absolutely no sneakers anywhere, etc. But overall, standards are more relaxed in many contemporary churches (which isn't a bad thing, IMO), and casual attire is fairly commonplace.

So, yeah...dressed down. As others have noted, even when women have full makeup, done hair, etc., they're often very consciously dressed down and casually.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,606 posts, read 41,886,642 times
Reputation: 50408
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
A few years ago my husband and I were in London. Now, we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves and having no issues communicating with anyone of course, so we felt totally at ease. But then, across Trafalgar Square, we saw - out of hordes of people - another couple walking arm in arm. They weren't talking loudly, they weren't dressed oddly, and they didn't have on fanny packs - but we both instinctively knew - "those are our people." We knew that not only were they Americans, they were Texans. And they saw us too and we all four started walking toward each other with recognition in our eyes, even though none of us had ever laid eyes on the other couple before!

And they WERE Americans and they WERE Texans! And we had a big laugh about it because they told us "We knew you had to be Texans even though we were a hundred yards or more apart!"

It was odd. I remember exactly what I had on too - black jeans, and a black jacket, and black Ecco walking shoes. My husband had on his usual shorts and collared shirt and leather shoes he'd bought in Germany. They had on something mundane - I say that because as we stood there and laughed and talked together in our Texas accents, we discussed whether it was something in particular we were wearing or WHAT. We never did figure it out but it was something.

I honestly think we must carry ourselves differently - walk differently maybe? I do know that the concept of personal space can differ widely between cultures, as can body language. I really don't know. But our clothing didn't seem "Texan" or even particularly 'Murican.
Body language is huge...down to the manner in which eye contact is given, how one spaces their body from others, etc. It's something we talk about a lot in multicultural counseling.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
14,656 posts, read 9,705,752 times
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Interesting. This just crossed the wires.

https://travel.alot.com/themes/40-wa...&camp_id=45777
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