What's Up?

How to Dress Like a Local

2 August, 2019

As arrival day draws nearer, many UPCES students have pulled out their suitcases and started to pack. Each semester, the UPCES staff gets several questions about the type of clothes to pack for their semester abroad in Prague. All of our students have a variety of personal styles and many of the things they already own will be perfect for their life in Prague. There’s absolutely no need to go buy a new wardrobe to dress like the Czechs do. As you’re starting to lay out your clothes, here are a few situations you might have to dress for and how the Czech people typically dress for each of them.

 Clothes Blog Image

Class

Generally, Czechs dress to be in public. This doesn’t mean that they throw on a three piece suit for their lecture, but it does mean that they take the time to put on a casual dress, jeans, or sweaters for class. Generally, leggings are reserved for active wear or worn under dresses or skirts as an extra layer when the temperatures drop. It’s extremely uncommon to see Czech students wearing traditional “American” college apparel, such as Charles University sweatshirts, baseball caps, or sweatpants.

 

The Theatre

As you probably already know, the Czechs love the arts. Prague comes alive in the evenings with countless musical, theatrical, dance and operatic performances. Czechs dress up for these events and it’s completely normal to see everything from a sundress to an evening gown at these performances. A good rule of thumb is to dress like you’re going to a wedding or other semi-formal event. Czech women are typically in a dress or dress pants and men are typically in a sport coat and trousers. Czechs embrace their fancy side while enjoying some of the world’s finest performers!

 

Dinner Out

Prague is home to a wide variety of cuisines and restaurants so there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re into traditional Czech food or vegetarian appetizers, Czechs usually employ a snappy-casual wardrobe when it comes to being in public places in the evening. Similar to going to class, Czechs opt for pants, skirts, collared shirts, blouses and dresses.

 

Shoes

Since they live in a historic city, Czechs see many cobblestones and are prepared to walk on them. For this purpose, you’ll see very few Czechs sporting sky-high heels on their way to work, class or formal events. The UPCES staff encourages you to bring boots that are made for walking and to leave your stilettos at home. Czech students opt for boots, loafers, sneakers and ballet flats and shy away from flip-flops, wedges, or other open shoes, especially because walking through the city can mean encountering puddles and dirt. UPCES staff also recommends waterproofing your shoes prior to arrival in Prague.

 

As always, if you have any questions about packing, don’t hesitate to reach out to the UPCES staff at your convenience. We look forward to seeing you in your “Czech wardrobes” in just a few short weeks!