New Zealand through the eyes of a Brit – Part 3: Jandals, Singlets and Togs

Now that you understand basic New Zealand lingo, British guest blogger Sam’s next lesson is a tutorial on how to dress like a New Zealander.

So we’ve covered the mighty jandal (now auto-correcting to “vandal”), but there are other items of apparel that have different Kiwi names and are used in different ways.

Typical Kiwi bloke
Stray driver modelling the latest in Kiwi fashion

The alternative to jandals is going barefoot. Now I understand that this is not an item of clothing; however, it falls into this category as it goes nowhere else. Don’t be surprised to see “cuzzies” in shops, supermarkets or walking the street with nothing on their feet. You’ll definitely see it in beach towns like Raglan, but also at the local Pak N Save (like ASDA) in Auckland City. The beauty of this is that if you are a poor traveller who can’t decide if you should buy a crate of beers or get some new footwear, you no longer need to choose…beers all round!

becky-lengIn the UK the singlet, or in English, “vest” is typically an item of clothing worn under a shirt or jumper to keep you warm during the long cold winters or on the beach (probably while on holiday in Spain or Greece) when very hot. In New Zealand, however, it is an item of clothing that can be worn in any place, or on any occasion and in any season. And with the freedom it offers I guarantee that within a month of being here you’ll be wearing one most days. They come in various designs from sports teams to not sports teams and in all sizes. For men, make sure that your vest is baggy to the point where a nip slip might occur; ladies, you should probably do the opposite.

Crayfish boat trip, Maraehako BayPants are trousers and NOT to be confused with underwear as I found out while visiting the doctors, but the less said about that the better.

“Togs” translates to swimwear. My favourite togs are Boardies which aren’t really swimwear, more like light shorts which are always far too big and slip down your bum. As such you’ll need to wear your underwear underneath, defeating the point of swimwear. So leave your Speedos at home and stick on your Boardies and get down to the beach. I’d recommend Raglan bro, that beach is sweet as – oh no, they’re getting to me!!

Boardies are best

Next time: Eating Hangi with the locals

Sam profile picGuest blogger Sam Berwick recently arrived in New Zealand from London. As a Brit in the ‘land of the long white cloud’ for the first time, he now describes Kiwi culture as “funny, strange and down right crazy” and that’s after only a few months! In this blog series, Sam’s shares his unedited thoughts, observations and advice as a Kiwi culture survival guide for all visitors.

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