India|| travel India ||Budget travel in India ||travel outfit tips|| clothes to wear in India as tourists || dress code for tourists in India|| tips to buy budget friendly travel outfits in India || best travel clothes for tourists in India || best outfit ideas for tourists in India|| kurta pajama || salwar kurta|| stoles ( chunni)||harem pants|| scarves|| palazzo pants
As an avid traveler myself, I came to realize the importance of dressing appropriately as a tourist. This is one thing I learnt from experience. It is very important to dress up in a manner that is not disrespectful to the culture and sensibilities of the people of that place. No one gave me any tips but my more than 3 decades of travel taught me the role clothes play during travel.
Based on my personal experience, I have put together very simple easy to follow, budget friendly tips for appropriately dressing as a tourist in India.
1● Avoid revealing clothes
Keeping in mind the sentiments of local people, it is advisable to wear clothes that are not revealing. You as well as the locals will be comfortable and free you to focus on the main goal, sightseeing and soaking in the culture.
To avoid unnecessary attention from roving eyes and local romeos, it is advisable to pay attention to your clothes. Make sure that the fabric is not see-through.
2● Choose clothes made of natural fibres.
Cottons are best for Travel in India. You can also opt for linens. In India, winter months are limited. Until you plan to go mountaineering in the Himalayas or travel to Leh and Kashmir, you will not need thick woolens.
Cotton clothes are best while traveling in India. The fabric is breatheable, comfortable and budget friendly. While sightseeing, the natural fabric will be soothing and you won’t feel flustered and hot as you explore the places.
Clothes made of soft linen are also very comfortable and affordable. If you already have enough cotton or linen clothes for travel, good for you. Otherwise, you can easily purchase clothes under 2$ a piece.
3● Pack according to your purpose.
If your itinerary involves mountaineering , obviously you will require clothes and equipment for that purpose. My suggestion is to bring appropriate clothes and gear along with you as specialized clothes and other accessories are not easily available or even if they are, might not be up to your expectations.
Bring appropriate clothes like jackets,special shoes and thermals etc for mountaineering purposes. Otherwise, simple day trecks in other parts of India, only require basic clothes and good shoes.
If you plan to travel to religious places in India, wear clothing that covers you appropriately. Also, a versatile garment like a cotton stole or scarf( locally known as Chunni, dupatta for women and gamcha for the men) is very handy. You will be required to cover your head in reverence while visiting places of religious significance.
A stole is very handy, as you can cover your head to avoid the harsh sun and you can wrap it around your arms while in a crowd or traveling by public transport. Also, it will help to keep you warm if there is a nip in the air.
This versatile piece of garment is handy for men too. In India, men can be seen carrying it everyday. It is popularly known as a Gamcha.
During corona times the Chunni and the Gamcha were more popularly used as 😷 masks as they are more breatheable, everyone owns one and as every one is not able to afford masks. Though I definitely wouldn’t suggest it as a substitute for a mask, it can help you cover your face to avoid a tan or sunburn.
Where should you wear a swimsuit, bikini, shorts, noodle strap tops and other short clothes?
This is my personal suggestion from the point of being a native and a person who loves to travel.
● If you are at a beach where you see others dressed in swimwear, you can safely don your two piece. My suggestion is to first study the ambience and use your discretion. Avoid isolated stretches of the beach and stick to the crowd. Do not venture out on the beach alone, late at night.
● You can comfortably wear shorts, dresses and straps clothes at your hotel or guest house. Here again, use your discretion depending on your location and crowd.
● Strictly avoid short clothes in crowds, public transport or around strangers.
4● Shopping for cotton and linen clothes in India.
If you are planning to pick up a few outfits to travel in India, you will find a large variety in local Indian markets at very reasonable price.
Simple, everyday travel clothes can be purchased under 2$ a piece. For a better quality you might have to shell around 5$ a piece. Make sure to bargain, as the shopkeepers have a habit of asking triple the costs of the item. This practice is prevalent all over the World, as I encountered during all my travels and your bargaining skills will be tested.
If possible, you can take the help of your guide or hotel staff to help you negotiate a reasonable price.
My suggestion is to stick to fixed price shops to avoid being overcharged by unscrupulous shopkeepers.
5● List of Clothes for India Travel
Here is a handy list of clothes to choose from:
● T-shirts( loose)
Loose, cotton T- shirts or tops are very convenient. These can be paired with just about anything. Avoid crop tops and noodle strap tops in crowded places and places of worship.
These can be easily purchased from all local markets and are reasonably priced.
● Palazzo pants
These are available in various colors and prints.
Very comfortable and versatile. You can pair them with T-shirts, tops or kurta.
As these are a favorite with tourists, markets are very well stocked with Palazzo pants.
● Harem pants
Again very popular with tourists so easily available at local markets. These are also available in all sizes for both men and women. Very comfortable and breezy, can be paired with T-shirts, tops, kurtas.
● Normal lounge wear( not nightdress)
Can wear loungewear too. Avoid the night dress look. Basically a top and lower is fine. This is also easily available in all local markets.
A kurta is a loose cotton shirt. It is very comfortable to wear. If you want to dress up for the local feel, a kurta is for you. It looks very smart and is available in various colors and designs for both men and women in all local markets. Pair your kurta with jeans, trousers,pants or even palazzo pants or harem pants.
This is the lower garment of the kurta. It is the Indian version of harem pants. Cotton Salwar kurta sets are comfortable and budget friendly. Again, they are available in all local markets. These come in various colors, patterns and designs.
● Dhoti Salwar or Afgani pants
It is a very popular version of a salwar. It gives a lot of mobility and can easily be worn with T-shirts and tops. All local markets keep them in stock.
● Stole, Gamcha or Chunni (dupatta)
This is from my personal collection. You can find them in a number of colors and designs.
A gamcha or dupatta is a must have. It is a versatile piece made of cotton. These are available in a large variety of designs, colors and prints. I suggest, this is one garment you must purchase that will serve multiple purposes.
● Cap or Hat
This is a standard tip for tourists all over the World. A cap or hat will provide you much needed relief from the elements. Caps are easily available in all local markets.
Tip: If you don’t want to bargain, these products are available easily at reasonable prices online. Amazon, Flipkart, myntra and Indiamart will deliver all these at very reasonable cost.
For footwear sturdy sandals( flat) in the summers are comfortable and walking shoes or sneakers during winters will be handy.
For mountaineering purposes, you will require specialized footwear. I suggest, you bring it along as it might not be easily available here during your travel.( such items are available in metro cities, in selective shops that a rare)
Follow these tested tips from a native and enjoy your trip to Incredible India.