Ask Babe: Not-So-Accidental Tourist

Dear Babe,

In March I will be traveling to India. I was wondering what types of clothes I should wear so I don’t look like a typical tourist. On the other side I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard to fit in. Thanks!



Slumdog Millionairess,

If I were you, I’d be Googling Jean Paul Gaultier’s S/S ’94 show and tracking down vintage pieces from that collection, piercing my nose, and doing hot yoga every day. But that’s just me. First things first: In order to get to India without losing your damn mind or dehydrating your precious pores, you’ll need the following things for your flight:

1. Evian mineral water spray

2. Xanax

Once you’ve landed, the number one most important thing you’ll want to wear is sunscreen. Clarins has an amazing one that works for face and body and small enough to fit in your bag while you’re walking around the Taj Mahal. If you’re one of those psycho girls who can pull off a hat, you’ll probably want to wear that too.

For daytime it’s going to be hot and humid, so I think your best bet is to opt for something like this printed Saloni tank or this vibrant Tibi top and a pair of cutoffs. J Brand and Ksubi both make good options. As far as comfortable walking shoes go, Ancient Greek sandals and Supergas are your new best friends. And these Karen Walker sunnies have an eastern, scholarly feel and go with any outfit. It also never hurts to play around with a statement earring, so think about that as well.

Try to always have a scarf on-hand in case you need to cover your shoulders to go in a temple or suddenly become freezing cold or something, and definitely pack at least one swimsuit. This floral bikini by Zimmerman is perfect in every way.

For night, I’m really featuring a jumpsuit moment for you. This silk one by Saloni is mega chic. If you’re less inclined to wear a one-piece in the evening, then you should probably re-evaluate your life choices because for someone comfortable traveling to a third world country, you’re pretty unadventurous. But whatever, just wear  this Mara Hoffman dress instead. Or you could wear my favorite article of clothing: the caftan. This one by Camilla is fucking major. It’s super colorful, and can be easily transitioned into a coverup come summer. Or it could just become your everyday vibe. Nothing makes you look wiser than a caftan, trust.

You’ll also need a nice dress for formal dinners, cocktail parties, balls, and any event where a Maharaja would be. This Marchesa gown is the one that will get their attention. If magenta isn’t your color, then this aqua Pucci might be your journey. I mean, the only reason you’re going to India is to mingle with royalty and get an incurable stomach virus…right?

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