When I was planning to visit Rio my first thought was to bring all of the skimpy layers I never get to wear in London – short shorts! tiny tank tops! drapey boho styles! But then I did some research, and realised that, actually, that might not be the best idea. We were travelling in November when many of the locals would be finding the weather cooler and would be layering up with trousers or sweaters. Also, crime is an issue in Rio, and I didn’t want to dress too flashy with jewellery (you know I love to stack my bangles!). So, here’s what I wore during that trip…
Outfit 1: vest top, ripped jeans and sandals for an afternoon at the Botanical Gardens
For the first day I played it safe with ripped jeans, sandals and a vest top.
We were going to the Botanical Gardens, and for my first day out I wanted to get an idea of what everyone else was wearing so it wasn’t obvious just how much cash I was carrying in my handbag as an out-of-town tourist!
Luckily, I fit right in!
I felt safe in this outfit, I liked that my bag went right across my body (so it’s harder for a thief to snatch & grab) and had a flap that secured (harder to pick pocket) and at a small size implied that I wasn’t carrying much… even though my Nikon DSLR was tucked inside!
Outfit 2: denim sundress with trainers for a day out & about
On this day I knew it was going to get very, very hot and that we were going to do a lot of walking. I wanted something breathable, but also that covered up my shoulders so I’d be less likely to get a burn there and also so I could wear my trusty leather backpack without causing chaffing. (That bag had my camera, bottle of water, snacks, sunscreen…)
Because I knew we were going to be marching about the city all day I finished off the outfit with comfy trainers.
Outfit 3: vest top, shorts and trainers for tourist attractions
These shorts are short, but it was so hot this day that most people were stripping down to the fewest number of layers they felt comfortable wearing!
I wore this outfit for a day of touristy things, like checking out Sugarloaf Mountain, so I wore my practical trainers for walking and brought along my rucksack.
While my back was pretty exposed, one of the benefits of going to ‘touristy’ places is that there are always lots of air conditioned spots indoors to sit down and relax – so I had plenty of opportunities to top up on sunscreen without having to worry about sun damage!
Outfit 4: vest top and shorts over a bathing suit
While it’s hot in Rio, there are also lots of beaches! On this day we were checking out some touristy spots before heading to the beach, so I came prepared with my clothes over my bathing suit.
Inside my rucksack were – you guessed it! – all the essentials for the day, including a small towel rolled up tightly to brush the sand off when we were ready to leave the beach.
Throughout the trip I’d kept my jewelery minimal to avoid being seen as a ‘target’ for theft, and I’m glad I did – when I was walking around I didn’t notice many other women wearing jewellery outside of wedding bands and wrist watches! However, I did notice that the women in Rio wear a helluva lot more colour and bold prints than I do.
With each of these outfits I wasn’t harassed or cat called, and I never felt stared at or followed. If I was going to do anything differently, I’d have bought brightly patterned and colourful clothes to wear so that I fit in with the local style a bit more!