COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Is It OK For A Woman To Wear Blue Jeans Or Capri Pants In India?

Is It OK For A Woman To Wear Blue Jeans Or Capri Pants In India?

Old Oct 12th, 2009, 12:53 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 141
Is It OK For A Woman To Wear Blue Jeans Or Capri Pants In India?

Is it acceptable for a woman to wear either blue jeans or capri pants in the Noida/New Delhi area of India? This is a business trip so I know in the office it's "business casual", but what about outside of the office? I'd like to be comfortable but don't want to offend anybody.

Thanks!
cslasor is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 01:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,893
I'm not a woman but having been there, I know that as a tourist you'll be fine.
Craig is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 03:19 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
cslasor, you can wear just about anything your would normally wear around home. Indians don't care. Like everywhere, cover your shoulders when in a temple or mosque, but other than that, no problem. I wore chinos and jeans. Capri pants? No problem whatsoever. Shorts? However, in my book anyone over 25 wearing shorts while traveling should be arrested anyway, so no shorts. ;-) I met young women in Jaipur who were in black "Goth" outfits with their midriffs showing along with camisole tops. No one even looked at them.

I was a bit concerned like you before I went to India, but I found that the "warnings" on what a woman should wear in India WAY overblown. For goodness sakes, Indian women run around with their midriffs showing regardless of age or girth. LOL.

Indian people are warm gracious and friendly. A smile is your very best outfit
BostonHarbor is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 11:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
I am an honorary woman. Boston is right - there's really not an issue in terms of outraging public morals or religious taboo. Someone will let you know VERY fast if you are in danger of doing that.

The issue here is only this: if you are a sweet blond backpacker, a gap-year bunny or even a walking cellulite mud pool, in some areas men will assume you are what you look like. So if you, dress like a tart [in THEIR terms] then you'll be treated as such. Remember, many Indian men get their ideas about white women from pornography.

On a business trip, you'll be more than fine.

To be vulgar - but accurate, I do have to report that, in Indian business, labels work. The Devil does, indeed, wear Prada. In India, however, I'm not sure if she wears black.

Cicerone will know. Strangely enough, I don't recall seeing a single businessman or woman ever wearing black. Odd, eh? I look out my window in inner-city Melbourne, it's as if everybody is in mourning. God, I miss India.
dogster is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 12:02 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I would agree that you can wear jeans or capris. You can even wear shorts if you want, but I don’t know why you would want to for several reasons. (I agree on the over 25 comment above, and for those under 25 I would also agree that they may attract more stares than you may want. Indians are still a somewhat modest people in my experience.). Indians seem to me to be about the last people on earth who would speak to you about what you are wearing, unless you are going into a temple or mosque (and this is the same as you would find in many churches in Europe). You are a guest in their country and will be treated as such. You can wear leather shoes right up to the Hindu or Jain temple door and all that they ask is that you take the shoes off like everybody else – they won’t pour paint on them or call you names for wearing what they themselves have pretty absolute moral objections to wearing.

The comment above about the bared midriffs is quite illustrative, because those bared midriffs in conjunction with a sari seem to make the outfit modest for reasons I don’t quite understand. I will never forget an incident a few years go in Singapore when I wore a sari blouse and trousers over to a friends house who was going to tie my sari for a wedding we were attending – when I got out of the taxi she was scandalized to see that I was wearing the blouse on its own!! Out in public and everything! But somehow the blouse with the sari –while showing the same amount of skin -- was OK.

Indian women tend not to wear black, but do wear navy saris, esp in the evening, and of course jeans are everywhere these days. But colour really is important. As Diana Vreeland says, pink is the navy blue of India.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 04:11 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 897
You will find many Indian women wearing jeans with their Kurtas. especially the longer ones.
You will be fine, as long as you are not too business casual.
Nywoman is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 04:56 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 141
Thanks for all the advice! I feel better about it now. I hadn't even considered taking shorts - I live in Florida and I only wear shorts around the house and while working in the yard. Otherwise it's capris during the hot season. I even wear jeans and capris to work, because we're a very small remote office and nobody cares. But I know I'll have to dress up to normal "business casual" standards to go into the office in Noida.
cslasor is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 07:48 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Of Indian, Delhi descent, live in Delhi for part of the year.

See there are two Indias, even in her cities,

One you would find in your workplace in NOIDA and in places where the affluent and the Gen X, young professionals like your Indian colleagues, n students gather for leisure, entertainment, shopping, eating, hanging out, et al, like the malls, multiplexes, posh markets inc those pop with tourists like Connaught Place, CP, Janpath; restaurants, nightclubs. These are relatively more conducive to freedom, n here you wear practically the same outfits which you would anyplace in the West, while outdoors toned down a bit from the west

The other India you’ll find on the regular streets n public transport in NOIDA, Delhi, here you’ll find many in-your-face gazers and lechers, mostly who are under educated, who think a white woman in, say tight clothes is - available, ready ‘to be friends’, here also you’ll find more than half of the Indian girls wearing regular western clothes, inc the ubiquitous jeans, but being white its probably prudent, to reduce the gaze - to select smart; so wear jeans, but not huggers, avoid capri, n consider not tucking in the tops, tees

N avoid cleavage outside of the nightspots

Lemme know if you need any info about Delhi/NOIDA/Gurgaon, know these as the back of hand

N don’t forget to shop from the huge variety of bargains, n consider getting a nu wardrobe also, at a fraction of the cost at home

Cheers n have loads of fun in India
Sunjay is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 02:42 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,110
Hey Dogster! How are you recuperating? We're shipping out for Delhi on Nov. 15th. I'm having free floating nightmares . . . Talk me out of them. And tell me about the Udaipur mafia.

When will you be able to go back to Mother India?
indianapearl is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:29 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,272
The Udaipur mafia silenced Dogster by breaking his legs. We'll count on you IP to find out what really happened. Bring a photo and post daily...
Marija is online now  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:35 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,924
Indians are super aware of what others wear, although they may say nothing, they definitely notice.

Be comfortable, but check your choice of clothing before you leave for your trip. Bring jeans/capris that aren't too tight in the butt, tops that don't show cleavage (do the bend forward test in the mirror and make sure no one gets a free peek!). Don't show your mid-section unless you're wearing a sari.

Don't bring white jeans or white capris - very good chance they'll get dust smugged on them from sitting in cars or outdoor chairs. It's very dusty in Delhi.

Indian women love color in their clothing. Leave the black and drab at home, unless you can color it up with a nice scarf or printed shawl.

Last time I was there, I was totally shocked at how some of the teenager/young 20s INDIAN girls dressed in Delhi! Some were dressed flat out slutty in my opinion. Don't gauge your dressing by them. They have the money to spend and are trying to mimic "Western" designer dressing, but they are missing the part about being both modern and classy! Some looked like they were intentially just going for the shock value.
Jaya is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 01:45 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
lol lol lol Marija - you are amazing. My mafia legs are healed - well, kinda. I'm going to go searching for your itinerary indiana.

I didn't write about Udaipur 'cos I'm bored with low-life. A lot of my adventures on that last trip were, by necessity, close to home - 'cos I couldn't walk. But I must report that, sometime in the next couple of hours, I'm about to push the button on a last-minute lurch across the waves. I think.

Guess where?

But let's not divert our fashion post. This is interesting. I'll start another one about my travels - if they occur.
dogster is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 06:53 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,110
I will have my camera ready -- just need to know who to photograph. As I remember, the Dog sez the mafia inhabit an area across from the Jagat Niwas where we're staying.

I have no cleavage to speak of and never wear jeans when I'm traveling overseas, so I think I'll p-ass muster. I'm so looking forward to seeing the colors and textiles of India. I agree with Dogster that most big cities in the west look like everyone is in mourning . . .
indianapearl is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 10:04 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
lol indiana, that's just the Jagat Niwas sub-branch. They are very small-time. EVERY young man you see outside Jagat Niwas is connected. Mafia central, Niwas chapter is the little massage shop directly opposite the passage-way.

Relax, tho' indiana: you have to deliver yourself into their hands before they become an issue. You won't even know they are there.

Are you on that same itinerary you posted a while back?
dogster is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 10:11 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,110
Yup. Delhi-Amritsar-Jodhpur-Udaipur-Shapura Bagh-Agra- Gwalior-Orccha-Khajuraho-Delhi.

I'll keep a sharp eye for the massage "shop."
indianapearl is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 02:03 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,110
Oops! I forgot Jaipur after Shapura Bagh.
indianapearl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
simchi316
Asia
4
May 9th, 2013 11:39 PM
zabesca
Asia
8
Sep 27th, 2010 02:22 AM
briar10016
Asia
6
Jul 7th, 2008 03:04 PM
wanderlust53
Asia
17
Aug 15th, 2006 02:13 PM
TracyB
Asia
17
Sep 4th, 2004 04:40 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO