Australia Abroad: how to dress like a local

Michelle Buser

(Photo Courtesy Michelle Buser)
(Photo courtesy of Michelle Buser.)

It may be surprising to find out that people in Australia don’t walk around in cargo shorts, hiking boats, high socks, a jean shirt and a straw hat. This stereotype is far from true. The main things I have focused on while I have been here are learning how to dress and act like a local — I have even been told by some people that I have a little bit of an accent. I’m not going to complain about that.

I think one of the best things you can do while traveling is try to fit in with the locals. Obviously, you still want to be yourself, but don’t be afraid to change and get out of your same old routine. 


When I first started to pack for Australia, I tried to pack all of the clothes in my closet. I didn’t know what outfits to bring with me and  in the end, I had trouble eliminating the non-essential items. I knew that the less clothes I packed, the more I could shop and bring home with me. I have been on one shopping spree so far, and my biggest piece of advice is go to the store that you can’t find anywhere else but the country you are in. I always try to strike up a conversation with the employees. I ask them questions about the store and where most of the stores are located.

I try to stay away from any store I know I can find in America. 

(Photo Courtesy Michelle Buser)
(Photo courtesy of Michelle Buser.)

Besides the shopping, I try to be aware of what other people are wearing. This is not something I would usually do in America because I know what is appropriate in our culture, but when you are in an entirely new culture, you want to be sure to adapt to their ways. I am also a really big advocate for not assuming anything about a culture until you actually experience it firsthand. 

On the days I have been a tourist, I try my hardest to dress and act like a local. Here are a couple of outfits that I have worn to tour Australia.


Collegian Australia Blogger Michelle Buser can be reached online at or on Twitter @buser_michelle.