What to Pack: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina, Central and South America, Packing & Wardrobe — By on November 15, 2010 at 6:00 am

By Erin Griffith
LG Correspondant

With its chic shopping districts, sophisticated European flair, and very own Fashion Week, Buenos Aires is one of South America’s most stylish cities. Here’s how to dress like a local without overpacking or—gasp—underdressing.

November is springtime for the lower half of the globe and Buenos Aires is currently awash in flowers. And I don’t mean the plants—floral prints are everywhere this season. I’m talking leggings, tops, purses, wallets, even leather boots and oxfords.

Speaking of blossoms, the stylish youth of BA are taking a cue from our favorite 90s TV star of the same name. Expect to see plenty of young Porteñas rocking jean jackets, vests, shorts over tights, and patterned dresses like the quirky Blossom Russo.

The fashionistas of Buenos Aires, some probably too young to remember Blossom, are also favoring rugged, punky combat boots and leather jackets, styled after My So-Called Life‘s Angela Chase.

While most South Americans keep it pretty casual, Argentinians throw in a little extra effort to look put-together. The favored choice for pants is tights—boyfriend jeans haven’t made their way that far south yet. And as far as sunnies go, Wayfarers are where it’s at. In more professional parts of town like Palermo and Retiro, stylish Porteñas are sticking to classic trench coats with bright, printed scarves, and chic black business wear. Large black sunglasses and dark nail polish are a standard.

One trend that’s exploded with Porteñas of all ages is platform clogs. For spring, there’s no other shoe. Studded, peep toe, with or without massive heels—they’re everywhere.

A few key packing tips for Buenos Aires:

Bring your own:

  • Tights. Wear ’em as pants, under shorts, or as an easy bedtime staple.
  • Boots. A simple pair of black riding boots are dressy and versatile. Pair them with a dress for the club or over tights at the market.
  • Trench coat. Standard for rainy spring days.

Purchase there:
The exchange rate for dollars to Argentinean pesos is very favorable at the moment, so shop on! Purchase leather combat boots for $60 or leather jackets in varying degrees of quality anywhere from $70 to $250. With a nearly 1:4 dollar-to-peso ratio, your bucks will go a long way.

  • Leather jacket. You’re in cattle country, after all. Even the most lightweight of jackets should be on sale during the spring and summer months.
  • Clogs. The trend, and therefore selection, is even bigger than in the states.
  • Umbrella. No need to pack one, but you’ll probably want one for Argentinean “April Showers.”

Don’t bother packing:

  • Hoodies. Nightlife in BA operates under two very distinct extremes: Either you’re eating dinner and sipping Malbec at a steakhouse until 1 a.m. or you’re fist-pumping at a club until 5 a.m. There’s no such thing as a casual neighborhood sports bar or beer hall, so prepare to dress up when you go out.

Erin Griffith is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. Follow her travel blog here: El Travel Blog

Photo credit: Top Shop, Urban Outfitters, Fashion Prose, TV Dads, Free People, Top Shop

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