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What not to wear in India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Claire, May 26, 2015.

  1. Claire

    Claire New Member

    Myself and my best friend (female) will be traveling to India in June end, we needed some honest guidance to what we should not be wearing there, as we know there is a culture difference. We need to know what will be acceptable and what should be totally avoided, as we don't want to be looked at by people as some animals in a zoo or even offend people.
    My main type of clothing which I was concerned about is a pair of shorts and a tank top.

  2. Shiv

    Shiv Member

    It really depends on where you will be traveling in India, each part of India is different and has a different culture. In some parts of India it is acceptable for girls to wear shorts and in some parts it is not. It would be good for you to mention which all parts of India you would be visiting.

  3. Preet

    Preet New Member

    Metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore are ok with shorts tank tops (not the ones which show a lot of cleavage though!). If your going anywhere else apart from this then you can easily wear your 3/4 pants or skirts with tops be it sleeveless or full sleeves. Do carry a cotton scarf with you though in case you feel you are being looked up, you can easily cover up. If you wish to see some religious places then it would be best to cover up in full in light cottons as a form of respect.

    I would also like to add that the metro cities which I have mentioned there are even places within these cities which are ok for you wear shorts and tank tops and some are not.
    BadBoy likes this.
  4. KK

    KK Member

    It all depends on where you will be visiting in India, at some places it doesn't matter much to what you may wear but it some places it matters a lot, so it would be a good idea for you to give information about the places you would be visiting.
  5. Shik

    Shik New Member

    Don't wear anything too revealing and don't act like your on the beach. I am not saying you need to cover up totally but keep it moderate, depends on the surrounding and atmosphere of the place. Material wise carry cotton clothes with you especially linen which is best for hot weather.
  6. Anurag

    Anurag Member

    Times in India have changed, and in most parts of India there is a lot of modernization. Girls wearing skirts of shorts is not taken offensively, but in the modern places, so you need to know what kind of area you are going to and wear clothes accordingly.
    If you have a list of place you will be visiting then forum members can tell what kind of clothes would be suitable to wear in each location.
  7. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    This is a good thread to at least inform the potential tourists on the dress code of sorts. Some tourists, particularly Americans who come to the Philippines wear very short shorts and I have met some American women wearing braless semi-transparent tops like they are in the beach but actually in the city of Manila. So I guess wearing decent clothes will be safer for a tourist. And maybe shorts are not allowed inside temples and other holy places.
  8. turtledove

    turtledove Member

    As previously mentioned, it really does depend on which part of India you're visiting. In metro cities, it's generally okay to wear slightly more 'revealing clothes' - so shorts and skirts are more common in those areas. However, in rural areas, I don't think western clothing is a good idea. You'd probably get a lot of stares when walking down the street, so I wouldn't recommend it. I would suggest taking some conservative clothing with you no matter where you're going, so that you can change if you ever do feel uncomfortable.
  9. btalivny

    btalivny Member

    For evident reasons, it is recommended not to wear anything too showy. You are in a country which has been living in an old school mentality for centuries. Yes, they have been breaking out of this shell at great speeds recently but you must still be wary. I tend to wear religious neutral clothes as to not cause unnecessary offense.
  10. Gabydi

    Gabydi Member

    What I think is that no matter what you wear they'll stare at you because you're different. Times have changed in India and they know that foreigners are just different so they won't judge you, maybe if they stare is for other reasons. If I were you I wouldn't show cleavage at all, but everything else I would wear without a problem. Indian people are very nice and hospitable they won't be judging you, just as someone recommended if you're visiting temples do cover up.
    amelia88 likes this.
  11. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    As everybody else said, it depends on where you are in India. India has diverse cultures and lifestyles so it may differ from place to place. In larger cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore you can travel quite unnoticed if you use a modest dress code. Times have changed and people here now understand the importance of tourism.

    But in holy places I suggest you to follow a conservative dress code. It is better to avoid shorts or short skits in such places. As you can see @Preet has already given you some very good practical suggestions in this regard.
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think this is a problem for a lot of tourist that go to India, especially if your visiting from a European country and the weather isn't that good.

    India is an hot country but at the same time it's a different culture so what you'd wear in a hot city in Spain for example, probably wouldn't be appropriate in some parts of India.
  13. kral789

    kral789 New Member

    I am planning to go India, i know someone there so this threads are helping me.Thank you all
  14. Codygr89

    Codygr89 New Member

    Think about it this way, would you let your daughter wear what you are going to wear to school? If not, then you probably need to cover up some more :)
  15. kokosflocken

    kokosflocken New Member

    If you want to be absolutely comfortable ( I mean with staring and such), cover up. And contrary to popular opinion, covering up in the blazing sunshine is actually a better idea than wearing shorts and tank tops. I would go with anything that ends below the knee, and on the top, nothing low cut. Sleeves or lack thereof are not too big an issue.
  16. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    That's been the case for me with quite a few places I've traveled in Asia - I'm a fair skinned reddish haired girl and going to rural places in Japan for instance had people staring, gawking and pointing - but more in an amazed way than anything threatening. So I think there is often an element of that when it comes to foreigners - if we look rather different from the local population then definitely there will be some degree of attention irrespective of our clothing!
  17. innaf93

    innaf93 Member

    Well, first of all just be sane when selecting clothes for traveling, high heels and minis are not advised most of the time. But also it depends on either you visit a bigger city or small village.
  18. angelina22

    angelina22 New Member

    In Metro cities you can wear western outfits but in rural area western outfits will not be comfortable you could wear some long types of dresses also.
  19. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    It is a nice thing to know although i wasn't aware that it was so rigid. I am curious what would happen if you actually go somewhere dressed in a wrong way. Is it only for your temples or anywhere in town. I guess not everybody who come the is able to know this info. Is it offensive, would people give me the eye or something. Here in Serbia we have some regulations about police and official buildings. Also for churches but no strict law or even a thumb rule.
  20. oneself

    oneself New Member

    In the larger cities (Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore) and areas where there are hoards of tourists (Goa, Kerala, Agra), you can generally get away with less conservative clothing. This means that you can bare your shoulders and knees but not much more than that. No matter where you are, you’ll receive lots of attention in spaghetti straps and short shorts. Bathing suits are obviously okay at the beach, but be aware that while you’re sunbathing there may be lines of Indian men leering at you from the palm trees

    In small villages, holy sites and any destination that sees even moderate tourism, dress conservatively. Never wear shorts or a short skirt. Capris are okay, as are skirts that fall below the knees. Keep your shoulders covered, either by wearing a shirt with sleeves or by draping a shawl around you—even in the heat. Don’t let the fact that you can see lots of bellies through the gaps in a sari fool you into thinking that showing some skin is okay in conservative areas.
  21. artyarson

    artyarson New Member

    First off, everything depends on the weather when it comes to clothing. Check the forecast before getting your bags packed. Don't wear anything that would make you feel uncomfortable. Chances are, this will affect your journey impressions.
  22. Chirag Patel

    Chirag Patel New Member

    Wear approiate clothing depending on the weather. It all goes down what time your visiting India. There are monsoons in India so make you're bring a raincoat. Overall dress approiate because the culture in India is very conservative.
  23. Rezonate

    Rezonate Member

    Dress code in India depends on where you're traveling to and even then the times have changed so much that in most areas you're more likely to wear almost anything you want. However in some sacred places when you visit it's better for you to cover up and you are required to wear a cover over your sandals or shoes.
  24. Rezonate

    Rezonate Member

    My best advice is to dress comfortably according to how you feel. For me when I travel I'm most comfortable in jeans a shirt coupled with a hat. I even wear sports outfit maybe a sporty shirt with shorts and some good running shoes. If you're not comfortable in the way you dress there goes half of your day.
  25. mayasupernova

    mayasupernova New Member

    No matter what you wear, people will always stare at you. You are after all a foreigner and they can see that from miles away. From the way you walk, dress, to the way you behave and act. You should make sure you cover yourself, not completely, but in a normal way, do not show cleavage, or naked legs. I think a pair of trousers and a top with long sleeves will be ok. And yes, a scarf, too.
  26. TravelCheap3

    TravelCheap3 Member

    When I took a trip to Delhi, I was completely fine with a t shirt and a pair of shorts. Nobody really gave me any funny looks. Make sure that you're not too revealing. That's really what gets you stared at.