What To Wear In Thailand (And What Not)

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People don’t always consider dress codes or etiquette when planning a trip to Thailand. This article focuses on what should and shouldn’t be worn in Thailand. In addition, the weather in Thailand is hot and humid, so it is advised to pack comfortable summer wear that isn’t revealing.

Thai culture is modest and conservative regarding what they wear and how they present themselves, especially in public areas and cultural sites. Because of that, what a person wears can impact how they are seen or treated by the locals, so keeping a respectable image and cleanliness is essential.

Related: Does Thailand Have Winter?

Everyday Attire In Thailand

The weather in Thailand is hot, sunny, and very humid, so sweating is expected no matter what they wear. Although it is hot and humid, wearing something not too revealing but still comfortable is recommended.

The best thing for guys is short-sleeved shirts like polo shirts, button-down collared shirts, or t-shirts, and for pants, go for good quality cargo shorts or Bermuda or golf shorts.

Women should wear something light that covers up nicely too. For example, women can wear skirts, shorts, and summer dresses with tops that don’t show cleavage and sometimes cover up their shoulders too.

In temples and cultural zones, wearing revealing clothes is frowned upon. So wearing long pants or a long dress and a long sleeve shirt is the best option when entering these areas.

Not only should they wear clothes that cover up, but they are also expected to remove their shoes when walking around certain areas. A later section will go into more detail about what to wear in temples.

What Shoes To Wear

People in Thailand walk a lot to get from place to place, even though there is local transportation. Therefore, getting used to walking is excellent for saving money and staying fit. Because of all the walking, it is essential to wear comfortable and easy-to-wear shoes like flip-flops.

Shoes that are made of rubber or plastic material are recommended since it rains a lot in Thailand. When going out, shoes like flip-flops, slipper-like shoes, crocks, and so on are the best option.

When someone wants to go hiking or trekking, it is best to wear trekking or running shoes. Although it is not recommended to wear closed shoes with socks every day because of the extreme heat and humidity.

Something that is frowned upon when it comes to footwear is walking barefoot. Some people prefer walking around without shoes, which is not recommended. In Thailand, it is considered offensive to go into homes or businesses after walking barefoot and collecting city grime on the soles of their feet.

Women are not recommended to wear high heels because the sidewalks in Thailand are not in the best condition. In addition, walking in high heels for prolonged periods can cause pain. If heels are a must, wear low wedges or espadrilles to give better footing and balance.

What To Wear At The Beach

The locals in Thailand are often fully clothed at beaches. Still, it is entirely acceptable for guys to wear only swimming shorts and for women to wear two-piece bathing suits.

Although when leaving the beach, it is crucial to cover up because it is not acceptable to walk around dressed like that down the main street.

Many shops scattered around the beach towns of Thailand sell cover-ups and wraps that someone can use when they want to leave the beach but don’t want to completely change clothes.

Women must cover up enough so their chest and midriff can’t be seen when leaving the beach. Use a sarong or a wrap to cover up as needed.

For men, wearing a t-shirt with sleeves is OK, nothing sleeveless, though. Also, consider wearing sunglasses or a hat to protect against the sun if needed.

It is only acceptable to wear the bathing suits and swimwear mentioned above at the beach, never in town. Sunbathing topless or completely nude is never OK in Thailand, with no exceptions.

What To Wear When Visiting Temples

A collared shirt and knee-length shorts can be worn by men, but long pants are always recommended. Whether a man or woman, everyone is expected to dress conservatively when visiting a temple.

T-shirts are permitted, but a more formal shirt with short or long sleeves is recommended. In addition, women must cover their cleavages and shoulders and wear at least knee-length pants or skirts.

People can expect to see a monk whenever they visit a religious building. When passing a monk, everyone should lower their heads out of respect. No one must touch the monks when you meet them at temples, especially the women visiting the temple.

It is considered impolite for men to enter a temple while exposing too much skin (shoulders, chest, or stomach). People wearing short shorts should definitely not visit the temple before changing into something more concealing.

Likewise, if a woman’s cleavage, shoulders, or thighs are visible, she will not be allowed to enter the temple. Most famous temples offer visitors free wraps if they do not bring appropriate clothing.

Everyone Should Keep Themselves And Their Clothes Clean

It is critical to always put the best foot forward. Always dress neatly and avoid smelling bad. Then, if someone needs to do laundry, there is no shortage of choices in Thailand when looking for a place to do laundry.

There will be either full-service facilities at hotels or coin-operated options nearby. If clothing starts to become torn or no longer suitable to wear, then multiple 7 eleven’s sell clothing.

Apply plenty of deodorants and take a shower every day. Two showers per day are even better. Staying clean and fresh is very important to have the locals’ respect. Applying baby powder can help prevent discomfort when sweating or it’s raining.

It is recommended to not go more than a day without showering. The heat, hangover from the wild party the night before, or the garlic and cumin in the Thai food could all be factors in foul Odor, so keep those in mind.

However, the situation necessitates more than a casual dismissal. Deodorant is available at any of the world’s 7-Eleven locations.

What To Wear In Bangkok

Both sexes are expected to dress modestly, with shoulders and knees always covered and ankles preferably but not required to be covered.

Longer shorts, capris, pants/trousers, or a knee-length or longer skirt are recommended for the lower half. Any tops are acceptable as long as it doesn’t reveal any shoulders or cleavage.

Recommended Fabric To Wear In Thailand

In hotter climates, natural fibers like silk and linen help keep people cool and comfortable. And some polyester blends, whether fully synthetic or semi-synthetic, are well-known for their ability to wick sweat and dry quickly.

As a result, they are not usually rumpled after being packed and washed. Of course, better options are available, but these are the best. Blends with other fibers, such as cotton, are acceptable as long as the fabric is soft and light.

When dressing for the evening, stick to darker colors and patterns. Colors that are lighter or brighter will show dirt and grime more easily. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy to avoid due to the high levels of sweat, stains from Thai food splatters, and general grime that covers most surfaces.

Jeans are a popular choice of clothing in Thailand. Still, most Westerners will struggle with the heat and feel very uneasy. In addition, jeans are bulky to pack and dry slowly when hung on a clothesline.

Shirts made entirely of cotton take much longer to dry than those made of cotton blends. They’re also challenging to keep wrinkle-free and don’t work well for keeping cool.