by Julie Espinosa
To avoid obviously looking like a tourist, choose a sleek bag over a fanny pack or backpack (men may opt to carry man-purses). Don’t ever wear socks with sandals or white socks, period.
To really blend in, you’d do well to emulate current trends (as filtered down from the annual Cibeles fashion week) by checking out stores like Zara, H&M, Mango, Sfera and Pull and Bear. To score cheap duds from Zara, scour their outlet, Lefties (Calle de las Carretas, 10, Metro: Sol). Right now, tailored bermuda shorts or the shirt-dress with stockings look is popular, but it probably won’t be next season.
In general, the look about Madrid is mostly classy and rarely ostentatious. No matter what your age, you would do well to dress up for going out at night, when madrileños like to strut their stuff with a more sophisticated “European” look, which roughly translates to a darker palette and dressier footwear.
But by no means does “European” exclude jeans; today’s under-40 crowd will wear jeans almost anywhere. For more mature travelers, a matching pant-suit would give women good mileage and khaki slacks would prove versatile for men.
Accessory tip: All women wear scarves or shawls in Madrid, from roughly September through April. Older, traditional madrileñas will drape an embroidered shawl around their shoulders to ward off a chill, whereas college-aged women tie pashmina-type scarves—available in practically any color or pattern—around their necks.
Related reading: What Shoes Should I Wear in Madrid?
Info: Zara’s outlet, Lefties, is at Calle de las Carretas, 10, Metro: Sol (See map below):