A question lingering on your mind since you booked your flight to India or even before, well India is a democracy and you have the freedom to wear yourself as do many Indians, who are more obsessed with western outfits than the traditional. To be honest, the traditional clothing is limited to festivals, ceremonies, or marriages and almost everyone in the cities could be found sporting a pair of denim jeans and a nice T-shirt or top on a casual outing and when it comes to the workforce men wear as western clothes as you do, Shirt, pants and sometimes the added on tie and blazer. When it comes to the working women they at some places have the liberty to wear traditional Salwar-suit or Sarees and or Tops / Shirts and they prefer the image of the modern working Indian women dressing up in smart formals or casuals, which as per them are more comfortable and easy to handle than the traditional.
Most married women wear a saree (a long piece of cloth with a blouse), Rajputi Poshak in Rajasthan, and other traditional outfits depending on the region, but when they are on holiday even they shift to modern outfits as they are away from their home, society and are no more bounded by the social norms and tend to enjoy their purchases and get dressed in funky jeans, trousers with beautiful tops and or party dress, so it’s not that they don’t wear western outfits. The upcoming generation is open to the fashion and trends across the globe and is no far behind to follow.
Are you still confused about how to dress-up when in India, here is an insight which is my personal observation been born and brought up in an Indian City? I rarely see young unmarried women in traditional unless you’re in a rural area or it’s an occasion well India is a country of festivals and festivities so the chances of seeing a woman dressed up in traditional Indian attire are good, but you can make out with the sparkling and heavy dresses. But the dressing culture in India is so vast and varied which changes from city to city, region to region and from person to person you cant catch up with it, here is a pic of a saint in his maximum clothing whereas many roam around naked as well so it’s difficult to say whats the best outfit for you.
The best way to do this is to pack a few pairs of clothing and try to go shopping before you actually begin your tour, this way you would be aware of the way people dress up in India as you observe them walking past you, and also to your surprise you would be amused by the pricing, Indian clothing is cheaper and you would be delighted to wear them as people are more amused watching a foreigner dressed up like an Indian out of surprise, curiosity they would be glad to have a conversation with you so pack light for India with some extra space in your baggage for clothes you buy from India since they are cheaper and colorful and you would not like to pay extra baggage when you return, keep this in mind. Well, you can pass India in a couple of outfits and slippers, and when you return you would be carrying all the good memories and heavier bags back home.
You are free to dress as you would back at your home. Well, keep in mind the places you will visit for the day, keeping your modesty in the places you visit. If you are out sightseeing monuments, you can enjoy whatever dress you have packed up as there would be many tourists as well as Indians visiting the place and mostly all dressed up to their will, from shorts to crop tops anything in between. But when it comes to temples you need to show some respect to the Gods, as some religious places have a code of conduct –
Also no matter what you wear in India or how your looks are you would be asked for a selfie or a chat at places, don’t take that personally and feel good about the unexpected stardom you are receiving which you would never get back home. You can respond to them in a polite manner by saying “NO” in English or “NAHI” in Hindi and ignore them and move on keeping in mind if once you get yourself clicked with one person there would be a queue of people who would try to get a picture of themselves, their spouse or kids and get them pictured with you, so if you have the time go ahead and enjoy the paparazzi’s or stick to the No in Hindi “Nahi” and continue to move on.
The best time to visit India is during the winter which begins at the end of September and lasts till mid-march the weather is cooler and pleasant and you would enjoy the most during this time of the year as compared to harsh and hot summers, keep in mind even during the winters the mercury can be high especially for people coming from colder countries. So it is advisable to wear cotton, linen, and or silk at all times, rather than wearing fancy synthetics which can make you feel uncomfortable. Well above the cotton you must sport some warm clothes or at least keep a jacket or sweater handy, especially at dusk and dawn, and you can wear a nice tee, shirt with trousers, jeans or shorts (if you aren’t feeling cold) and PAJAMA (it is truly Indian) as your on holidays aren’t you.
Since men in Indian society are not looked upon seriously when it comes to their dressing sense and have the upper edge to wear anything as they would usually wear back home. But keeping in mind the geographical and weather here are some recommendations which could help you pack light and make your journey easier through the Indian terrains.
P.S: The writer of this blog is a man so don’t be offended ladies.
Well, you will be looked upon cause staring is not awkward in Indian Culture and we tend to stare freely when we find something different someone fairer than our tone. Being fair is a blessing in India and you can find various beauty products claiming to make you fair for men and women equally alike. Since you have that extra edge it’s just out of curiosity that people will turn back to take another look at you, but that’s okay in Indian Culture and you must admit it too. Whatever you dress in – you will be amused to know you certainly are impressing others without the extra efforts put in cause you are whiter and brighter than most in the country.
In general, wearing loose clothes is favorable when in India, especially down south where the weather is more humid. You can wear what you prefer as long as it ain’t too revealing from shorts to crop tops all are okay to be worn in India.
General dressing up Do’s & Don’t for women –
Well, some decency in clothing is expected but not demanded.