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11 Fashion Faux Pas You'll Only Find in Barcelona

Picture of Tara Jessop
Updated: 11 August 2017
Barcelona is renowned for having some of the best shopping in Europe, from famous designer stores to high-street brands. Yet this doesn’t mean everyone aspires to being a budding fashionista. Check out our compilation of some of the most flagrant fashion faux-pas you can come across in the Catalan capital.

The all-black outfit

This is a classic Catalan move which can be seen pretty much any day of the week, whatever the week. Black shorts and a black t-shirt in the summer. Black trousers and a black jumper with a black coat in the winter. Black is the new black as far as some Catalans are concerned.

A lady dressed all in black in Barcelona I
A lady dressed all in black in Barcelona I | © Markus

The high street hipster

Like a hipster, but not really. Rather, just as much hipster as can be found at Zara or Pull & Bear, occasionally paired with a retro jacket from a vintage store off La Rambla. No need to have read Kerouac or to buy organic coffee, it’s all about the image really.

High street hipsters I
High street hipsters I | © Mario G. García

The classic socks-and-sandals combo

Granted, no local would ever be caught dead wearing this classic fashion faux pas. Yet year after year at least a handful of tourists can be spotted sporting this most unfortunate of footwear choices. You can have sandals or you can have socks. Just don’t have both.

Sandals and socks I
Sandals and socks I | © Tony Alter

The Desigual look

It seems that the Spanish fashion brand is a little like Marmite: you either love it or hate it. Known for its bright colours, quirky patterns and unusual shapes, Desigual manages to provoke an impressively strong feeling of dislike in many people.

A Desigual store I
A Desigual store I | © Herry Lawford

The Barça football shirt

There’s a time and a place for football shirts (especially if you’re a tourist) and that time usually involves there being a football match being on that day. If it’s not game day, keep the shirt at home. Unless you happen to play for Barça, then you might be excused.

Barcelona football fans I
Barcelona football fans I | © Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

The tourist outfit

It seems that in Barcelona tourists always have a way of standing out from the locals. It could be the tank top-and-shorts look in October when everyone else is in their winter coat. It could be the day-glow pink t-shirt and matching trainers. It could even be the ‘I Love Barcelona’ hoodie. But it’s always something.

The tourist look I
The tourist look I | © mingusmutter

The bachelor party costume

It might seem like a fun idea, something light-hearted and a little cheeky. But making your best friend wear a dress or dressing him up as a baby is not something the residents of Barcelona really want to put up with when they’re out for a drink on a Friday night. Same goes for bachelorette parties: those pink tiaras and frilly tutus are just bad taste.

Bachelor party I
Bachelor party I | © Ben Sutherland

The beachwear look

Don’t get us wrong, beachwear is definitely a thing in Barcelona, the locals just tend to prefer it to stay at the beach. Despite this people are regularly spotted wearing bikinis and swim shorts in the city, much to the locals’ discontent.

Tourists in beachwear I
Tourists in beachwear I | © zoetnet

The outdoor look

While Barcelona is just a few hours away from the natural beauty of the Pyrenees, the city itself is very much a civilised place. Despite this, many residents opt to wear outdoor wear whatever the occasion, sporting hiking shoes, lightweight trousers and breathable t-shirts. Comfortable it may be, stylish it is not.

Hiking shoes I
Hiking shoes I | © Alan Levine

The full Zara look

As a Spanish brand, Zara has conquered the high street which means that nearly everyone in Barcelona has at least something bought in a Zara store. On the other hand, some people seem to have nothing but clothes bought at a Zara store, usually resulting in them looking like they work there.

A Zara store I
A Zara store I | © Elvert Barnes

The ‘not dressed for the weather’ look

It’s just not cool to walk out in shorts and a t-shirt when it’s cold outside. Granted, the definition of ‘cold’ in Barcelona differs to that of ‘cold’ in Berlin or London, but when everyone else is wearing jeans and a jumper, it’s probably telling you something.

Keep it cool I
Keep it cool I | © mingusmutter