What to wear in India

What to Wear in India

Style tips for India

  • When deciding what to wear in India, remember to carry minimal clothing – both clothing and laundry are cheap.
  • Take pants and some full-sleeved shirts and t-shirts for comfortable traveling.
  • Jeans are popular, but will probably be too hot for most.
  • Full-sleeved clothes are ideal protection against sun burn during the day and mosquito bites at night.
  • Sleeveless shirts, if decent can be worn without any problems but they give less protection from the sun and mosquitoes.
  • In the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Pune, etc you can wear shorts but we wouldn't recommend it.
  • If you are traveling out of the main tourist areas, the best and most comfortable wear are the local loose pants and long top called Lehngas, which are readily available and very reasonably priced.
  • A sunhat is a must for the summer, and a travel umbrella gives great protection from both rain and sun.
  • Quality sunglasses are a must too.
  • If you're trekking, light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours – even after prolonged wear.
  • And we like Thorlos hiking socks too – they have options designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable in all climates.
  • If you will need swimwear for your hotel pool or the beach, make sure you take it with you as it's difficult to buy and expensive.
  • If you are looking for a highly versatile travel jacket to bring along we recommend the SCOTTeVEST range. Their range of jackets have been specifically designed with traveling in mind and include RFID security (to protect your passport information), 23 secure pockets and personal connectivity integration.

Pack for the weather

  • Indian summers are very hot. So, if you are planning to go in the period of March, April, May and June, pack light cotton clothes. Do not wear synthetics as you may develop some skin allergies or heat burns.
  • Winters (October, November, December, January and February) in India are quite cold, especially Northern India. So pack some warmer layers. Also pack some thermal underwear, especially if you are planning to roam around.
  • We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Shoes to pack for India

  • Be sure to have some good sturdy shoes with you since your feet will get dusty and dirty (try Hotter shoes, they are incredibly comfortable and look great too).
  • It's best to avoid high heels, flat sandals will do just fine. We love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range – using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing tips for women

  • India is very traditional and some heads will turn if you dress provocatively in public. Short tops, short skirts/shorts, tight or body-revealing clothes etc should be avoided. You might invite unwanted attention from certain men who stare and pass comments at women to amuse themselves.
  • Clothes should cover both shoulders and knees.
  • Even in the big cities when you are not in the tourist hotels or shops, cover up; a loose cotton shirt or t-shirt with cotton pants or an ankle length skirt would be good, and cover your shoulders.
  • While visiting places of worship (temples, gurudwara or mausoleum), women must wear long skirts or pants and have covered shoulders. Also, don't forget to remove your footwear before entering any religious place.
  • It is advisable to carry a light pashmina or scarf with you to cover your head in case it gets too hot. Some religious places also require you to cover your head, so it will come in handy then too.
  • Why not take a sarong that can double up as dress, shawl or cover up.
  • The leather RedDog BagPod is a really versatile and stylish bag that can be used from day to evening. Wear it over the shoulder or convert it to a clutch, or use it to keep your belongings and travel documents tidy and easy to find.

Clothing tips for men

  • Loose cotton shirts or t-shirts and long linen pants work well and give protection from both sun and insect bites.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Regions of India

  • Rajasthan is coolest and driest from October to March. If you are planning on walking the Kumbhalgarh ramparts you might like to take walking poles… and plenty of water.
  • If you are traveling by train a pashmina or sweater will come in handy as the air conditioning can be fierce. For long or overnight journeys you will also benefit from earplugs, an eye mask and your own toilet roll. Your own cotton sleeper sheet is advisable too in case of bed bugs.
  • What to Wear in Goa

Travel essentials for India

  • Make sure you take a good sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) with you – it's expensive in India. But buy insect/mosquito repellent out there – you will need plenty.
  • Away from the main hotels toilet facilities will be basic and more likely a hole in the ground; take your own toilet paper and anti-bacterial handwash. A microfiber travel towel is a good idea too – these fold up really small and dry quickly.
  • No matter how good a sleeper you are we suggest you pack ear plugs as this can feel like a country that never sleeps.
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a LifeStraw Filtration Water Bottle. And another tip for trying to avoid “Delhi belly” is to have a mouth full of antiseptic mouthwash when you shower.
  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees – use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Soft, fine cashmere pashminas are beautiful, whilst tea and Indian spices are always popular and will easily fit in your case.

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