Appropriate Clothing for India?

Jun 19th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Appropriate Clothing for India?

Appropriate Clothing for India?

I am a women traveling to India (Delhi, Agra, and Trichy) this July for the first time. I am trying to figure out what type of clothing would be appropriate, considering the heat/monsoon and to be culturally sensitive.

Are tank tops inappropriate? Are knee length shorts too short? I've heard that Delhi is more sophisticated these days, and that many Indians wear tank tops and jeans these days.

Is southern India very different in terms of their cultural mores regarding clothing. Is it more conservative?

I want to be fashionable but also not offend anyone. At the same time, it'll probably be unbearable hot/humid and wet while I'm in India, so wearing long pants and shirts might not be feasible.

Any advice will be appreciated.

briar10016 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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How old are youIn Delhi and Agra, I would not wear a tank top or pants shorter than capris. My 20 yr old daughter did wear a tank top, with capris one day in Delhi and she felt so inappropriately dressed, we bought her a cotton shawl to drape over her shoulders. Indian women tend to cover their shoulders and knees, and we never saw cleavage out in public.

Lots of jeans seen, but they are so much hotter than cotton pants or capris; Gauzy or light cotton tunic tops will also be cooler than t-shirts, and eliminate a lot of the gawk factor.

According to my other daughter, you'll see more skin in the south.
lcuy is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:17 PM
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Hi, i wore loose t shirts and capris in Delhi and Agra...And sometimes long pants depending on where we were going.

In South India (Kerala)..wore tank tops and long shorts (to the knees)..It was perfectly fine.

I was with some people that wore long pants and long sleeved shirts the whole time...and some people wore shorty shorts and tank tops (they did not seem to fit in)

I Have never had a problem with clothing in India, wear what u feel comfortable in..but cover up to a certain degree..

It is not only disrespecful to some, but u will get lots of stares!!

TracyB is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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I would say no tank tops or shorts,not even in the south.

I bought a few Shalwar Kameez while there and also several of the tunic shirts called Kameez. I wore loose pants and some t-shirts and was comfortable the whole time.

Actually you are better off with sleeves and pants in lightweight fabrics as they are more absorbent than naked skin.

In 1965 I seem to remember 100+ days and then I wore sandals and dresses.

Fashion has evolved a bit since then.
Nywoman is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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Did you see the "1,000 Places to See Before You Die" series on the Travel Channel? The woman in that lasted less than a day in Delhi in shorts before she bought shalwar kameez. I found wearing shalwar kameez quite comfortable, and it definitely cut down on the hassles. So consider wearing what the locals wear - although I wouldn't try a sari, I'd be too worried it would fall off! And if you cover up with cloth you don't have to slather on suntan lotion, which I hate.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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I was planning to buy a sari in Delhi and now I'll also pick up some shalwar kameez too. This will give me an excuse to go shopping and buy some beautiful Indian textile!

I'll probably bring some sun dresses and capris, and see how it goes.

Thank you fodorites! Your advice is so helpful.
briar10016 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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You can find salwar kameez on ebay (figure out the size by bust size). These are perfect for India, plus you get the dupatta (scarf), which is wonderful to keep the sun off, bugs off, etc. They are loose, modest, comfortable, and you get lots of nice smiles from ladies when they see you.

Don't wear shorts or tank tops, they are culturally inappropriate. Jeans are too hot. Indian women of all economic strata take great pride in their appearance, and dress beautifully, and notice when you look like a scraggly tourist.
Marginal is offline  
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