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Although I’ve had a lot packing wins, I’ve suffered from a few fashion fails. This is a story of the big fashion mistake of 2014 and how you can prevent the same fate.


How To Prevent My Travel Fashion Fail


I found out mid-August last year that I would get to live in Brazil for month. The problem was the month would be September.

I had two weeks to pack for a month abroad! Fueled by stereotypes of Brazilian fashion, I started packing outfits that were bright and colorful. My Brazilian mother-in-law (“minha sogra” in Portuguese) even told me about the Brazilian bikini I would need to wear so that I wouldn’t stand out as a tourist!

I started to research online about what to wear in Brazil but most of the advice was for Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon, or Sao Paulo. I was going to be in the geographic center of the country, the capital city of Brasilia.

Contrary to stereotypes around the world about Brazil, Brasilia is fairly conservative with fashion. I failed to realize that it would have been more appropriate to bring my Washington DC wardrobe rather than my one suitable for Rio.

In order to truly understand my fashion issues, let’s go back my May 2014 trip to Palawan, a small island in the Philippines. Just ignore the fact that I was a little freaked out about a possible alligator attack and pay attention to my outfit: brown print top with a magenta skirt.




Fast forward four months later to Brasilia where my husband and I decide to absorb the local culture and take part in a samba festival. It was a great time and I even got a photo with the main Samba dancer.




Deja vu? Nope, I’m wearing the same exact outfit that I wore in Palawan four months prior! (Let’s forget about the fanny pack for now – I’ll save this fashion sin for another post). The worst part? I realized my fashion faux pas after my husband posted the Samba photo to Facebook.


What did I learn about my ill-fated fashion choices?


The Right Research



Take the time to research the specific city that you are visiting. Every city in every country is going to have different fashion customs.

What works in Rio doesn’t necessarily work in Brasilia! The choice of the bright-colored skirt worked in Palawan but looked out of place in Brasilia.


 Take a Trip Down Memory Lane



Look through old travel photos to see what you’ve already worn so that you don’t repeat the same outfits. My capsule wardrobe was so functional that I automatically packed it.

Make sure to review your travel wardrobe to see what needs to be changed out or replaced so that you don’t look the same in all your trip photos.


 Use TFG’s Resources



The 30-day travel fashion challenge is a great resource for helping you organize your wardrobe at home so that you don’t make my mistakes on the road!

Had I done the 30-day fashion challenge, I would have tailored my capsule to a muted color palette with accessories to give the pop of color. The offenders in the big fashion mistake of 2014 involved a magenta skirt and a printed top.

If I had created a muted color palette instead of bringing bright colors and printed tops, I would’ve gotten away with wearing certain items multiple times.


Although I had a lot of fun in both countries, it would be much easier to look at the photos if I had put a little more thought into my wardrobe.  Go forth and learn from my fashion mistakes!

Have you had a travel fashion fail?  Share your comments below!


For more tips on travel fashion tips, please read:


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