This page is all about dress code; Madrid style. The people in Madrid have their own distinctive style. Here you can find out how to blend in. Madrid's weather is distinctly seasonal, and this also influences what people wear. We've talked here about the different types of clothes depending upon the season, to help you prepare for your trip in advance. Or you can use this guide as a good excuse to go shopping for a new outfit.
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There's a wide variety of dress codes in Madrid, from hippy to sophisticated. Posh in Spanish is 'pijo' (pronounced 'pee ho'). The pijo's dress with sophistication. They tend to dress smartly with shirts, jackets, expensive shoes. At the other end of the spectrum there's the hippy dress code in Madrid. You'll find a large proportion of the 20 - 30 age group are relaxed and bohemian in their style. You'll find these two opposite groups happily rubbing shoulders in many bars.
If you're looking for somewhere to buy grungy, colourful bohemian clothes, head for El Rastro. This is Madrid's biggest and oldest street market. It's on every Sunday morning.
See our dedicated page on El Rastro for more information.
If you are a bit of a hippy at heart and want to go and blend in with the 'boho crowd', head for La Latina, where as soon as the sun is out, the streets are choc-a-bloc with people chilling out, chatting and drinking beers or 'tinto de verano' (red wine with a type of lemonade).
Metro: La Latina (Green Line, L5)
The winter in Madrid is cold and the summer is hot. See our page on the climate in Madrid.
Dress code in Madrid is strongly influenced by the weather. If you're not used to the high temperatures of the summer, you may feel that it is already hot during April and May. At this time the Madrileños are still in sweaters, jackets and jeans. You can spot the tourists a mile off in their summer clothes.
Always wear sunglasses. No matter what the weather you will see people with enormous Jackie O style sunglasses.
The dress code in Madrid to opt for during the spring is trousers or long skirt, with a lightweight top and a jacket you can take off easily if you get too hot.
Open toe shoes don't make an appearance until May or June, except with some of the more hippy crowd who will wear flip flops in spring - but with jeans, not shorts.
If in doubt, err on the conservative side, but unless you're used to the heat, make sure you're wearing something lightweight during the hotter months. I was once walking in a strappy top and cardigan during what I consider to be hot weather. I was baking. And I've lived in Spain for years. While all around me everyone was still dressed for winter. A cardigan or shawl is a good idea for women.
In winter don't be shocked by the dress code in Madrid of wearing fur coats. It's mainly the older population, and everywhere you look you'll see fur. Again, everyone is smart, and the Spanish people love to wear scarves.
Depending on the look they wish to achieve, you'll see scarves around shoulders, tied in the hair, around the neck or around the waist.
It's a good idea to try and blend in, and not to look too much like a tourist because then it shows that you've taken the time to respect the peoples' customs here - a good idea if you want to start to build rapport.
Following the dress code will also mean you will be less at risk from petty crime such as having your bag stolen. Thieves know that tourists will probably have cameras, credit cards and money with them.
We also recommend you see our page on Madrid safety tips.
It's also nice to respect the dress code in Madrid and to experiment with the myriad of new styles that you'll see here. Avoid 'I love Madrid' t-shirts, Bermuda shorts and socks with sandals.
Dress code in Madrid is renowned for its unique style. There are hundreds of reasonably priced shops that sell the elegant and stylish fashions preferred by the city's residents. At the other end of the spectrum, you can easily blend in with a more bohemian look. Really anything goes as long as it has some kind of style or uniqueness. Dress code in Madrid incorporates a lot of colour, and it's fun to experiment and try to blend in.