Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by haveclotheswilltravel
Wondering what to wear on your trip to Argentina? This post has you covered and includes detailed tips written by a local for both men and women!
My husband and I lived in Argentina for nearly 2 years. While we were based in Rosario, Argentina, we spent many weekends in Buenos Aires and also explored Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, El Calafate and Ushuaia.
There is by no means “a strict dress code” in Argentina, and you’re unlikely to offend anyone with your clothing choices. This post is more to help someone who is visiting not stick out like a sore thumb…as there are some clothing choices that will scream “tourist” in Argentina.
This post is sharing the “Dos & Don’ts” of what to wear in the Argentine cities above. I’m also going to split this “Dos & Don’ts” list into two different sections as what to wear in Patagonia (Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, etc.) is going to be drastically different from what to wear in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, etc.
I’m also happy to answer any questions anyone has about Argentina in the comments section at the end of the post. Enjoy!
- Read next: 20 Amazing Places to Visit in Argentina
The Dos & Don’ts of What to Wear in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, Rosario (for Both Women & Men)
- Check out my blog post 10 Things to Know Before Visiting Iguazu Falls for tips on how to dress specifically for a day of visiting the falls.
Women – DO Wear in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, Rosario
- Comfortable Walking Shoes That Can Be Easily Cleaned – This is perhaps the most important thing to pack for your trip to Argentina! The sidewalks in the cities are quite broken and dirty. It’s important to wear shoes that will not only be comfortable to walk in all day, but also keep your feet protected from garbage and broken bits and pieces of the sidewalk. I like wearing my Adidas Superstars because of the shell toe, and they are easy to wipe clean. I also liked wearing a pair of flat riding boots in the winter.
- Platform Wedge Sandals – If you don’t want to wear your walking sneakers out at night, then grab a pair of platform wedge sandals to bring along! They’re all the rage in Argentina, and you’ll blend right in wearing them out. (I don’t advise wearing them sightseeing all day, though. Sneakers are a better option for that.)
- A Crossbody Purse That Isn’t Expensive or Flashy – Pickpocketing is an issue in Argentine cities, as it is with just about every other city in the world. It’s important you don’t make yourself a target by using an expensive handbag that’s easy to snatch. I liked using crossbody bags like this one as my purse, so I can easily slip my camera inside after I take a photo. (It’s not wise to leave your camera hanging around your neck when walking in the cities.)
- Jeans! – No matter what time of year it is in Argentina, you won’t look out of place with a pair of jeans on. I especially love these antitheft travel jeans when traveling.
- Jean Shorts – If it’s too hot to wear jeans (although, I’ve seen plenty of Argentine ladies rocking jeans in the dead of summer!), jean shorts are a great option too.
- Breathable, Neutral/Earth Tone Colored Tops – You’re likely going to be doing a lot of walking no matter where you are or what time of year it is and Argentina is muggy; wearing a top that breathes well is important! On average, most ladies in Argentina wear more neutral colors and earth tones than bright splashy colors. I would also describe the style as more boho-chic. Wearing a peasant top like these or simple travel T-shirts or tank tops will be perfect.
- Breathable, Neutral/Earth Tone Colored Cardigans – You won’t regret bringing a cardigan or two along on your Argentine adventure in case it cools down at night.
- Comfy Sundresses – If you’re a fan of wearing dresses (like me), you won’t look out of place wearing one in Argentina. Wearing a sundress that isn’t overly flashy or bright will be your best bet (again, think neutral colors that are boho-chic in style). You can also wear any type of sleeve or hem length you’re comfortable with – spaghetti straps, halter tops, 3/4 sleeves, cap sleeves and mini, midi or maxi lengths are all perfectly acceptable.
- Light Makeup or No Makeup At All – Argentina is usually quite warm and muggy. Most ladies aren’t going to be wearing layers of makeup in this heat! Not to say that you can’t wear heavy makeup in Argentina, it just means most people won’t mistake you for a local… and you’re likely going to sweat it all off anyway.
- Simple Jewelry – Less is more when it comes to wearing jewelry out in the cities. Stick with simple jewelry like thin gold band rings and stud earrings. Wearing anything too flashy and sparkly (even if it is just costume jewelry) can make you a potential target for theft. I also like wearing a wooden watch – as it doesn’t look overly flashy, plus it’s comfortable to wear. I like wearing a watch that isn’t flashy because I like to keep track of the time without taking out my phone. I don’t like to take my phone out of my purse more often than I need to in some Argentine cities, as phone theft is the biggest issue in terms of pickpocketing and robberies.
- A Lightweight Travel Jacket or Jean Jacket – While it is usually too warm in summer to need one, spring, fall and winter will require extra layering. It’s a good idea to have some sort of a jacket along. Lightweight, water-resistant travel jackets (that aren’t emblazed with conspicuous logos) are great. I especially liked to have a travel jacket for the extra hidden pockets for my phone and money. Many ladies also wear jean jackets.
Women – DON’T Wear in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, Rosario
- High Heels – As I mentioned above, the streets are not very kind to high heeled shoes! If you like to wear a little heel when going out at night, try wedges. *Exception to this is if you are getting in a cab and going straight from your hotel to a restaurant or tango. I wore high heels a total of one time in Argentina, and that was to Rojo Tango.
- Flip Flops – Avoid wearing open-toed sandals in general, but especially flip flops. Tripping or stubbing your toe on broken sidewalks is just no fun! (I did wear my Salt Water Sandals on especially warm days, as they provided a little extra toe protection than most open-toed sandals.)
- Brand Heavy Clothing With Logos – Wearing a Gucci Logo Tee or any other sort of logo-heavy attire will make you stand out in the crowd and not in a good way! Wearing clothing like this will make you an easy target for pickpockets.
- Hiking Clothes – I am a big fan of wearing my hiking clothes, especially my hiking pants as they’re SO comfy. But this never did me any favors when it came to blending in with the locals in the cities. Wearing hiking clothing outside of the Patagonia region will make you stick out like a sore thumb.
- Overly Revealing Clothing – Showing excessive amounts of cleavage and butt cheeks is not the way to go when dressing in Argentina. This will likely get you unwanted attention, and you won’t see many local women dressing this way. However, it’s not uncommon to wear formfitting clothing. If you like to wear tighter clothes to show off your amazing figure – that’s ok!
- Flashy Jewelry – Don’t wear your flashiest and biggest diamonds and pearls on this vacation. I never wore my wedding ring or my pearls in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu or Rosario. I also avoided flashy costume jewelry, as a potential robber is not going to know the difference between costume jewelry and real jewelry.
- Designer Bags or Easy to Snatch Purses – Anything that looks overly expensive, just leave at home! My beloved Kate Spade bags never saw the light of day in Argentina. It’s also important to not use bags that can be easily snatched from your hands. This is because motorcycle robberies are a problem. This is where a person on a motorcycle will zip past and snatch a bag right out of your hands faster than you can blink! An easy way to avoid this is to always use a crossbody bag.
- Heavy Makeup – As I mentioned above, many local women keep their makeup quite light and natural-looking. This is because it’s usually quite sticky and warm in Argentina – wearing caked on makeup is just not comfortable, plus it’ll melt off before the day is over anyway.
Men – Do Wear in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, Rosario
- Comfy Walking Shoes – Same as what I mentioned above! Gentlemen, you’re going to want a pair of shoes you can comfortably walk in all day and also shoes that will protect your toes from broken streets and be easy enough to clean up. (My husband likes to wear these.)
- Comfy Cotton Shirts – From plain t-shirts to funny graphic t-shirts, guys really can’t go wrong with a comfy breathable cotton shirt in Argentina. (Guys tend to sport brighter shirts than the ladies too.)
- Polos – Polo shirts are very popular with gentlemen in Argentina. Many offices allow guys to wear polos to work and many will also wear them out at night with a nice pair of pants or jeans.
- Jeans – Regular fit jeans or boot cut jeans are popular among the men in Argentina.
- Shorts or Cargo Shorts – In the warmer months, it’s very common for men to be wearing shorts in the cities. These all vary greatly in style and cut. My husband and his friends prefer cargo shorts like these because you can safely keep things in your pockets.
- Chinos – Chinos are also popular office attire with men and many also like to wear them out at nights with a polo or button-down shirt.
- Loafers – Loafers are a comfortable alternative to sneakers at night and many men wear them too. (My husband likes wearing his boat shoes as well.)
- A Lightweight Travel Jacket – While it is usually too warm in summer to need one, spring, fall and winter will require extra layering. It’s a good idea to have some sort of a jacket along. Lightweight, water-resistant travel jackets (that aren’t emblazed with conspicuous logos) are great. My husband especially liked using his travel jacket for the extra hidden pockets for his phone and wallet. (His coat is great too, because he can roll it into a little ball and stick it in his backpack.
Men – Don’t Wear in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Puerto Iguazu, Rosario
- Flashy Watches or Sunglasses – Same as the ladies, be sure to leave your flashy watches and sunglasses at home – even if they aren’t worth a lot of money. Potential pickpockets and robbers aren’t going to know the difference between a fake or a real Rolex. My husband also didn’t wear his wedding ring while in Argentina.
- Logo Heavy Clothing – While many guys do wear shirts with writing on them or graphic tees, it’s still a good idea to avoid wearing logo-heavy attire. (Leave your Gucci shirts at home, folks!)
- Flip Flops – When walking the city streets, flip flops are just not a good idea for anyone. Again, the sidewalks are broken and dirty, and wearing flip flops usually ends disastrously. Save them for the beach or pool!
I know some of these tips paint Argentina into being a scary or threatening country! That is not my intent! Argentina is a beautiful country filled with some of the kindest people I have ever met. In my years of living there, I never once ran into an issue. However, I also never tempted fate. I left my wedding ring at home, did my best to blend in with the locals in my attire, stayed off my phone when I was on the streets and used my camera very carefully.
Bonus: What to Wear to a Tango Show
Watching a tango show while in Buenos Aires is a must! (I’m personally a huge fan of the Rojo Tango show.) Many tango houses suggest wearing business casual clothing. So, you don’t need to bring along suitcoats and ballgowns – unless you want to.
Women: Blouses and skirts or dresses are all fantastic. Again, I suggest neutral colors. Shoes are completely up to you too. The only time I’ve worn high heels in Argentina was to a tango show in Buenos Aires. But it really wasn’t necessary. Many women will also wear flats or mules.
Men: Shirts with a collar (polos or button-downs work beautifully) paired with a pair of chinos or dress pants are great. My husband liked to wear his suitcoat too, but it really isn’t necessary either. This is a great night for a pair of loafers too.
The Dos & Don’ts of What to Wear in Patagonia – Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, El Chalten
The Patagonia region of Argentina is a completely different ball game! The majority of these cities have more tourists than locals. So, blending in here is a little different.
This will also depend largely on what you plan to do while in Patagonia. If you’re planning on staying in the cities and doing day hike and trips, this list is more applicable to you.
- I have specific posts for what to wear to hike Perito Moreno Glaciar.
- Also, what to wear hiking in El Chalten.
- And what to wear hiking in Tierra del Fuego.
Women – DO Wear in Patagonia (Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, El Chalten)
- Comfy Hiking Clothes – Unlike my suggestions above for Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Rosario and Puerto Iguazu, wearing hiking clothes in Patagonia is encouraged! The main reason you’re coming to this region is to do some outdoor activities, so many folks will be dressed in their comfiest hiking clothing.
- Layers – The Patagonia region is going to be chillier on average than the rest of the country. I would generally start the day wearing a waterproof coat, sweater or sweatshirt, baselayer or t-shirt, and could be down to just my t-shirt by the afternoon.
- Hiking Boots – I ended up buying my very first pair of hiking boots for Patagonia. If you’re making the trip here you’re going to want to wear some water-resistant hiking boots for almost any activity you’re going to do!
- Casual Fashion Boots – For going to restaurants and bars at night, I would change out of my actual hiking boots into a more casual fashion boot like these and these.
- Cardigans and Sweaters – It’s chilly in Patagonia even in summer. You’ll want a couple of sweaters or cardigans along. Wearing a nicer sweater or cardigan to a fancy restaurant is also plenty dressy for this region!
- Jeans – Jeans aren’t great for hiking, but I would change into a comfy pair of jeans before going out to eat or to a bar at night.
- Hats – Whether it’s to protect you from the sun or to keep your head warm, you’re going to want a hat for this leg of your trip.
- Scarves – A great fashion accessory that will also keep you warm!
- Sunglasses That Stay on Your Head – Whether you’re hiking, horseback riding, boating or kayaking, you’re going to want a pair of sunglasses that you won’t have to worry about losing!
Women – DON’T Wear in Patagonia (Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, El Chalten)
- Dressy Clothing – Even if you’re going to a nice restaurant, high heels and dresses are going to look out of place in these hiking cities.
- Flashy Jewelry – Theft and robberies are less of an issue in Patagonia (I did wear my wedding ring here), but wearing over-the-top jewelry will look out of place in such an outdoorsy area.
- Heels of Any Sort – Even wedges were a bad idea to wear in Patagonia! Stick with flat shoes and boots. The streets are still a bit iffy, plus there are some serious hills!
Men – Do Wear in Patagonia (Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, El Chalten)
- Comfy Hiking Clothes – Same as the ladies! Comfy hiking clothes are A-OK in Patagonia.
- Layers – You’re likely going to experience quite a few temperatures throughout the day. Be sure you can take layers off as the day heats up.
- Hiking Boots – Invest in a water-resistant pair of hiking boots before coming to Patagonia.
- “Dressy” boots or sneakers – when going out at night, it’s good to have another pair of comfortable shoes to change into, besides your hiking boots. My husband liked his boots like these or just a pair of sneakers works too.
- Jeans – Again, jeans are nice to change into after you’re done hiking and want to head out for the evening.
- Sweaters – Packing a few nice sweaters is a good idea for dinner or for wearing as a layer while hiking.
- Hats – Whether it’s to protect you from the sun or to keep your head warm, you’re going to want a hat for this leg of your trip. (My husband brought both his oilskin hat and also a winter hat.)
- Sunglasses That Stay on Your Head – Whether you’re hiking, horseback riding, boating or kayaking, you’re going to want a pair of sunglasses that you won’t have to worry about losing! (My husband personally wore these sunglasses because they stay on his head and are lightweight.)
Men – Don’t Wear in Patagonia (Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, El Chalten)
- Dressy Clothing – Even if you’re going to a nice restaurant, suitcoats and dress pants are going to look out of place in these hiking cities.
- Flashy Watches – Theft and robberies are less of an issue in Patagonia, but wearing flashy jewelry and accessories is still not a great idea. Plus, it’ll look out of place in such an outdoorsy area.
I’m happy to answer any questions about what to wear in Argentina in the comments section at the end of this post! I know this is a lot of information, but the moral of this story is to avoid overly flashy and expensive attire while here and to wear comfy clothing that breathes well… and you’ll be just fine.
- Read next: 20 Amazing Places to Visit in Argentina
- Read next: How to Spend 10 Days in Argentina – The Ultimate Itinerary by a Local
- Read next: Best Day Trips From Buenos Aires
- Read next: Iguazu Falls – How to Visit the Argentine Side Without a Guide
- Read next: Argentina Must-Do – Riding Horses Through the Andes
- Read next: 14 Things to Know Before Hiking Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina
- Read next: What to Expect When Walking With the Penguins on Martillo Island, Argentina
- Read next: Preparing & Drinking Mate – Argentina’s Beverage of Choice
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