Blend In With India Clothing - Guide to the Clothing of India
Finding clothing suitable for your India trip can be confusing so this guide will hopefully clear things up for both men and women.
1. Blend In
When travelling, it is best to blend in as much as possible, especially when travelling to places such as India who have a conservative view on dress especially for women. It is important to understand that it is respectful to adhere to their clothing views as you are a visitor in their country. Therefore modest clothing should be worn. This means no revealing tops and short skirts.
What you might find is that purchasing Indian clothing before you arrive might set you back a whole lot more than if you purchased clothes once you get there. So the best idea is to bring one set of modest clothing and then go shopping as soon as you arrive.
3. Being Conservative, Safe & Respectful
A general rule is to cover your legs, shoulders and chest. Long sleeved tops are often necessary in summer to shade you from the sun; hats and sunglasses too. Scarves for women are a great accessory as in most religious places they require you to cover your head, so not only can you use a scarf to protect yourself from the intense sun and conform to the modest dresscode, you can be accepted at these religious spots while being respectful.
4. What to Consider
Before considering what to wear, there are several things to contemplate. These include the season you are travelling in, whether it will be hot, cold, humid or wet. Also the terrain and footpaths are not like those you will find at home so sturdy footwear is essential and make sure you leave your high heels at home!
Traditional Indian Clothing
The traditional clothing of India includes saris and salwar kameez for women, and the dhoti, lungi or kurta for men. However it is important to understand the distinction between male and female wear.
Western fashion has seeped into India and has become somewhat common especially amongst males. Largely due to the growth of empowerment amongst Indian women, many are starting to wear low jeans, plunged tops and sleeveless tops, however it is not recommended for visitors to take on when travelling to the area.
Travelling in Summer
Summers (usually March to June) can be extremely hot and humid and your body is not likely to get adjusted in any hurry. It is therefore important to stay hydrated and cover your body in light cottons to counter the sun. Make sure also that wherever you stay has air-conditioning and opt for the air-conditioned parts of transport even if it means spending a little extra. This way you will be able to enjoy your trip even in the midst of summer.
Travelling in Winter
October to February is generally the winter months when India’s sun retreats but it depends largely on where within the sub-continent you are. North India, especially within the Himalaya region, the climate can drop dramatically. It is advisable to bring some warm woollens and innerwear such as thermals especially if you plan to do some of the mountain treks.
Places of Worship
When visiting places of worship, it is important that you are respectful. This means being fully clothed (conservative clothing), remember to remove your shoes and women usually use their scarves to cover their heads.