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What NOT to wear when traveling

While a skimpy swimsuit may look great on a mannequin -- or you -- it's wise to pack what's appropriate for where you're going.

While packing for a trip, we often run across items that raise questions like: "It's functional, but is it stylish enough?" or "Can I wear this to certain tourist sites?"

Slideshow: The 10 items that should be left at home

To help you avoid any fashion blunders, we've put together a list of 10 items you should always skip when packing for your next trip.

1) Fanny pack

Though practical and lightweight, a fanny pack just doesn't look good on anyone. In fact, it's one of the most unflattering accessories you can wear. So unless your vacation falls during Halloween and you're planning to attend a party as a 1980s jogger, lose the fanny pack.

What to pack instead: If you're in need of a hands-free solution, try a money belt or a small cross-body bag. They're much more flattering -- and socially acceptable.

2) Sandals with socks

Unless you're wearing sandals on the plane and need to quickly warm up your feet, never pair sandals with socks. And even then, stick to solid-colored socks and remove them well before your plane lands -- the fewer people who spot you wearing them, the better. The best option is to avoid the geeky-looking duo altogether. 

What to pack instead: If you don't want your feet to be overexposed (or if you're trying to prevent blisters), go with closed-toe shoes. There are plenty of stylish pairs out there, including breathable sneakers and flats that will keep your toes at just the right temp.

3) Convertible pants

You know the ones that detach at the knees -- unzip them and voilà! Suddenly you're wearing shorts. In theory, convertible pants are a great idea. Unfortunately, they're not the most fashionable of options. So unless you're headed to a safari camp in eastern Africa where it'll be just be you and a guide scouting for animals, leave them at home!

What to pack instead: If you're traveling to a place where temperatures are inconsistent, pack a variety of clothing, including ample pairs of both pants and shorts. Throw extra layers in your day pack so you're not caught off-guard.

4) Stiletto heels

It can be tempting to throw a flirty pair of four-inch heels in your bag, especially if you're planning a dressy night out while on your vacation. But it's best to leave these shoes at home, especially if you're traveling to a city riddled with cobblestone streets. Not only are they bulkier than flats and take up more room in your suitcase, but stilettos are also incredibly uncomfortable (don't let the three minutes you wore them in the store fool you). 

What to pack instead: Opt for a cute pair of flats or sandals. You'll be thankful you did when you avoid a trip to the emergency room because of a sprained ankle.

5) All-white sneakers

Not only is their level of stylishness up for serious debate -- particularly in Europe where pairing them with jeans is a definite fashion "don't" -- but bright white sneakers will show every speck of dirt. So unless you plan to carry around a toothbrush and a bottle of sneaker cleaner with you, stay away from them while traveling. Plus, white shoes can make your feet look larger than they actually are.

What to pack instead: As a general rule, it's best to avoid wearing white clothing and accessories when traveling. Go with darker colors that hide dirt well.

6) Skimpy swimwear

In general, American men should avoid packing Speedo swim briefs for beach vacations. Reserve these bottoms strictly for swimming competitions where speed takes precedent over fashion. Ladies, you should only wear a thong bikini if you're modeling for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition. There's something to be said about leaving some things to the imagination.

What to pack instead: It's hard for men to go wrong with a cool pair of trunks or board shorts. Women should plan to pack at least two swimsuits: one for sunbathing and one for more active adventures. It's wise to familiarize yourself with local customs before traveling to beaches in Europe, Asia, Australia or the Middle East.

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