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Why do so many Americans take pleasure in dressing so badly and/or so inappropiately when abroad? What are they trying to say to others or to prove about themselves?
I saw nothing in the survey that indicated that Americans dress "inappropriately". But whether they do or don't, perhaps a better question would be why don't those well dressed Italians, French, and Spanish tourists tip as well as the Americans?

I suspect a majority of those hotel workers would much rather see those badly dressed big tipping Americans walking through their hotel doors than a bunch of tight fisted but well dressed Europeans. What do you want to bet?

And for what it's worth, I lived for many years in an American city with a large tourist industry and with the exception of the Japanese I can't really remember any of the tourists exactly setting the woods on fire with their attire. They all just looked like tourists.

Cruiser
 

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I think that Cruiser has a point here. As a tourist you dont think of being welldressed, but rathers wears rather relaxed outfits, both on the beach and in the city. This applies both to US citizens and Europeans.

As for tipping: This seems to be much more important in the US, than in Europe. In my country, tips are included in the bill. I only give extra tips if the service at the restaurant has been very good.

A question: Is the US minimum wage for restaurant staff very low, and are you therefore expected to pay a lot of tips? Or is it more of a tradition?
 

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Quite a few places already add a service charge, which one on occasion I did not pay because the service I received was poor. I paid for the food because it was nice and what I ordered; the service was awful, so they should not be rewarded.

On Monday, I went to an Italian cafe for lunch, I paid the bill with no tip and she seemed surprised. I tip but only if I feel the service deserves one. The amount I tip varies on the service i receive.

From my experience, Americans tip whether they get a good service or not. As for French people and it is only my opinion, they expect the world for little money - Do not get me started on the bias and over-rated Michelin ratings.
 

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My town has lots of tourists, also:

Central/South Americans: neatly (sometimes elegantly) dressed, very polite, generous tippers. They expect to have to speak at least some English, but are visibly relieved and happy when they can speak Spanish.

Europeans: Badly dressed, some are polite, some aren't, bad tippers. The younger ones always get around to expressing a desire to cross into Mexico to buy some weed. It perturbs the Europeans if you don't speak their language - they all seem to know English, but none of them want to speak it.

Fellow Texans From Other Towns/Americans/Canadians: What Cruiser said - what we lack in sartorial elegance we make up for with friendliness and good tips. The French Canadians love our old Roman Catholic churches, but always seem astonished that no one here speaks French.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I think that Cruiser has a point here. As a tourist you dont think of being welldressed, but rathers wears rather relaxed outfits, both on the beach and in the city. This applies both to US citizens and Europeans.

As for tipping: This seems to be much more important in the US, than in Europe. In my country, tips are included in the bill. I only give extra tips if the service at the restaurant has been very good.

A question: Is the US minimum wage for restaurant staff very low, and are you therefore expected to pay a lot of tips? Or is it more of a tradition?
Not all USA tourists dress badly. I am going to London and Paris in about 2 weeks and will be taking 4 Savile Row bespoke suits (two with vests and one double breasted), and two Martin Greenfield suits (one with a vest). That is all, except for sport/casual I will be taking one pair of grey flannel trousers and one sweater.
I think that virtually all USA waiters make $2.13/hour and depend on tips.
 

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Most Europeans and Australians/New Zealanders I saw walking around Manhattan last year when I was there looked pretty much like.... Americans.... In fact the accent and/or language they talked in was the only thing that differentiated them from the locals....
 

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https://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/takingoff/2007/08/disheveled-yes-.html

Why do so many Americans take pleasure in dressing so badly and/or so inappropiately when abroad? What are they trying to say to others or to prove about themselves?
Because they have to be "comfortable." Because despite the fact that the buildings they'll be touring have been royal palaces, government offices, and houses of worship for centuries, treated with great admiration and respect by the people who live there, for an American it's a Disneyland display solely there for their entertainment, and they are under no obligation to dress up for it.

When I go to Ireland next year, I'll at least take several sportcoats. If I were going to London or New York, I would of course bring dark suits. I wouldn't be seen in public in a t-shirt and shorts for anything, unless I was actively participating in a footrace.
 

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...A question: Is the US minimum wage for restaurant staff very low, and are you therefore expected to pay a lot of tips? Or is it more of a tradition?
In the US, those joibs all have a base pay of minimum wage, or lower. Bar and restaurant workers are expected to directly or indirectly receive enough gratuities to make it possible to raise a family. They are also taxed based on an assumption of the gratuities they will receive.
In the absence of all but extreme boorishness or physical assault, customers are expected to tip...decently...

Happily, it is in your long term best interest to tip well. People that do are considered good customers and get better service, are better accommodated, and are more likely to be cut some slack if they need it than those who do not.

It is also good for your Karma and helps the economic recovery!
 

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I suspect a majority of those hotel workers would much rather see those badly dressed big tipping Americans walking through their hotel doors than a bunch of tight fisted but well dressed Europeans. What do you want to bet?
I was sitting in a bar near Barcelona in 1969 when the lady bar keep addressed me in Spanish. I asked in Spanish if she spoke English, and she responded in English explaining that in fact, she was English. I asked what she had said, and she said she had asked if I was French, as she thought I might be. "No, American," I said. "Good" she said, "the French always try to sneak out without paying."
 

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Why do so many Americans take pleasure in dressing so badly and/or so inappropiately when abroad?
A few years ago I did a big trip around Asia and Japan.
I flew back on a flight filled with... well, lets face it - dumpy, pasty people groomed and dressed like sacks of garbage. The descriptive is harsh, but you had to be there.

We flew into Seattle where the disheveled people in sloppy, ill fit clothes vanished and decently dressed people began to take over the scenery again. While I waited in Narita, surrounded by these people, I felt so embarrassed.

I wasn't spectacularly dressed, but I wore a dress shirt with tie, and had on dress shoes. Almost every asian had very decent suits and dresses while all the Americans save a few had t-shits with stains, cruddy shorts, flip flops or dirty sneakers, facial hair from a lack of 3 days shaving, and hair combed by nature. The Americans looked like they smelled.

The best looking American was a Hispanic guy in a crisp wife beater with a gold chain around his neck. He had flamboyant but immaculate pants, was groomed, clean, and looked up beat.

I was absolutely embarrassed to be an American that day.
 

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If I were you I wouldn't especially beat yourself up about the state of American tourists as the complaint seems to apply to pretty much all tourists these days. The desired look is normally attained with a combination of unwashed "outdoor clothing", sports kit and usually the addition of an anorak or parka to finish it off depending on the climate. I always find the re-assuring indicator that I don't look like a tourist is when I am asked for directions in the street - sometimes even by locals.

It's funny how things move on. When growing up in Dublin in the 70s and 80s the American tourists were easy to spot as they arrived wearing large quantities of emerald green - especially trousers. Now what was that all about need I ask?
 

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I think that Cruiser has a point here. As a tourist you dont think of being welldressed, but rathers wears rather relaxed outfits, both on the beach and in the city. This applies both to US citizens and Europeans.

As for tipping: This seems to be much more important in the US, than in Europe. In my country, tips are included in the bill. I only give extra tips if the service at the restaurant has been very good.

A question: Is the US minimum wage for restaurant staff very low, and are you therefore expected to pay a lot of tips? Or is it more of a tradition?
So your bill is less expensive and you still don't tip. NO wonder tourists are hated. Bad manners and no tip.
 

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People on vacation generally do so to relax, regardless of their nationality. As the wife and I have meandered around several of the outlet malls, within convenient driving distance of our home, it is hard not to note the large numbers of Japanese and German tourists frequenting the outlets (though not so true, in the last month or so). They all seem neatly but, very casually dressed. However, seeing the impressive number of purchases those tourists are carrying around with them, I rather doubt that the merchants really care how they may be dressed! I suspect the same holds true for Americans choosing to travel in Europe.
 

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I think that Cruiser has a point here. As a tourist you dont think of being welldressed, but rathers wears rather relaxed outfits, both on the beach and in the city. This applies both to US citizens and Europeans.

As for tipping: This seems to be much more important in the US, than in Europe. In my country, tips are included in the bill. I only give extra tips if the service at the restaurant has been very good.

A question: Is the US minimum wage for restaurant staff very low, and are you therefore expected to pay a lot of tips? Or is it more of a tradition?
Waiters know tourists don't tip so waiters have a bad attitude from the beginning. It's a vicious cycle.
 

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The tipping situation in Europe is great for Americans accustomed to tipping. I remember being at a bar in Campo dei Fiori and ordering a Jack and coke (I had been away from America for a while, I needed a reminder of home). The bartender had to reach for the clearly dusty bottle and since it took him a little while and the bar was EXTREMELY crowded I tipped him 10 euro. From then on every time I walked back to the bar he would ignore every other customer and yell over there heads to find out what I would like.

Just don't try to run a tab in Berlin. It worked... badly when we tried.
 

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I think that virtually all USA waiters make $2.13/hour and depend on tips.
Exactly. Because tips are assumed (though *not* included) wait staff are usually paid less than minimum wage. Tipping less than 15% usually indicates that the service was horribly bad (and even so, not tipping at all is very rare).

I was in law school in Salt Lake City during the Olympics and most restaurants there instituted temporary policies of including at least 15% gratuity on the check (some up to 18 or 20%)
 
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