Whatever indication you might have gotten from watching Bollywood movies, Indians in daily life are nothing like that. They dress conservatively. You can wear tight fitting clothes, but females exposing flesh below the collarbone, above the midriff and above knees is very much frowned upon, especially in rural areas.
You cannot go wrong with loose fitting clothes. They work well with the weather as well. If you want to purchase a few clothes beforehand, search for “kurti”s on Amazon.
However, to be decent, you should keep your legs below knees covered. While such rules never apply to men, who can pretty much wear whatever they want, you won’t find Indian men wearing shorts. Indian woman also wear skirts reaching to their ankles, although the beaches of Goa and college students are common exceptions!.
There’s a common perception in India that foreign women are promiscuous, and wearing inappropriate clothing perpetuates this. You will get more respect by dressing conservatively. Covering your legs and shoulders shows respect for the culture when visiting temples. Also avoid strapless tops! And if you must, cover your arms and shoulders with a scarf to be modest.
Dress with the weather in mind. It gets hot and humid starting April through September… wearing thick fabric clothes such as jeans and nylon padded bras can soon make you overheated like a sauna.
- Cotton clothes are your best bet.
- Open toed sandals with a good sole are better than flip-flops and sneakers.
- Polarized sunglasses and baseball hats will help you look and stay cool.
- Khaki pants (or shorts for men) with lots of pockets will be a blessing
- Wear only water-proof makeup, as you will sweat a lot.
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