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Silly Q maybe but... what's a western girl to wear?

Travel Forums Asia Silly Q maybe but... what's a western girl to wear?

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1. Posted by louloul (Full Member 75 posts) 8y

Hi guys,

A simple Q&A here, providing you have visited before...

Im off (with my husband) to Rajastan & Kerala in May and wanted your advice on what clothing to take? I know its gonna be so hot but I wanted to keep things trendy but without standing out a mile or disrespecting anyone along the way.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Lou

2. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

kerala is very much a beach community, their tolerances there are relatively high but in inner towns or rural communities or when your visiting temples etc, you should wear sleeved tops and long trousers or skirts
round the beaches your ok to wear what you want really, its a hindu state with a high ammount of christians so its not too harsh, but remember there are a lot of muslims who also holiday there and these are extremely offended by topless women, so bikinis are ok for beach towns but u should still expect the glances and people staring
if you can put up with that your ok
i went into temples wearing a tshirt but my partner had to cover up a little in some of them
ive not been to rajastan but, i would assume that because of its northern loaction and the fact that its inland, there will be a larger muslim community and as such its advisable to wear sleeved tops, but you could be ok with short sleeved tops
check the weather for rajasthan in may, im not sure if its cooler or hotter at that time of year, the weather may well decide your choice of clothing for you
hope this is good advice
carl

3. Posted by masterblaster19 (Full Member 119 posts) 8y

whatever you do, wear something loose and something that covers your shoulders and knees and chest.
however uncomfortable you are being hot, you will be far more uncomfrotable with men masturbating on the street in front of you and calling you a prostitute.
You will have a much more relaxed and enjoyable time if you cover up.
Jenn xx

4. Posted by louloul (Full Member 75 posts) 8y

Really? So I guess i'll have to cover up completely aside from the beach location. Its gonna be sooooo hot and i don't own any long skirts. Think I will invest in some linen trousers but if i want to wear a vest top, would this be suitable with a light weight shirt type thing to cover my arms and off course not (what i would consider) low cut? Any suggestions?

Louise

5. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru 1757 posts) 8y

Just a simple advice " Have u legs covered till ur knee cap and have u arms covered till shoulders, the cut shouldnt be too deep"

While u visit places of worship, cover ur head, arms and legs

Do not hang out too late at night in isolated places, when u feel lost take advice from older men and women and avoid the middle aged men.

Arif

6. Posted by hobo1985 (Inactive 52 posts) 8y

female fashion in the UK is in your favour- many of the high street shops have dresses with elbow length sleeves. Twin a dress with linen trousers- probably the coolest items of clothing you going to get hold of before you get there!

7. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 8y

I am off to India tomorrow, 3 weeks working in Bangalore, then a week in Kerala/Goa or Hampi and Ooty (not decided yet)

I have brought my usual work clothes, hope the office will have air con! Only packed one pair of knee length shorts (just in case I end up on a beach), but have also brought some cropped trousers, are these ok to wear in towns & cities? I will be on my own, so don't really want to attract too much attention, even though I expect a bit having blues eyes & fair hair.

8. Posted by claireh (Respected Member 318 posts) 8y

Yeah, long shorts/cropped trousers (not tight), long skirts (skirts also very handy for long bus journeys - you'll see what I mean), tshirts covering shoulders and high cut. South India is relatively relaxed (but still do cover knees & shoulders out of respect), but in the north (especially Rajasthan), locals are very offended if you don't cover up and staring is a very big problem, so best be covered up rather than be annoyed the whole time! I would also advise to take a light scarf you can wrap around your head and cover arms to your elbows - very useful if you suddenly feel 'under dressed' or if men are staring, and you won't be too hot. You can easily buy tunic tops and wrap skirts/long trousers in most markets in tourist areas v cheap (£1-3) if you're not too fussy about style

9. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 8y

Quoting claireh

Yeah, long shorts/cropped trousers (not tight), long skirts (skirts also very handy for long bus journeys - you'll see what I mean), tshirts covering shoulders and high cut. South India is relatively relaxed (but still do cover knees & shoulders out of respect), but in the north (especially Rajasthan), locals are very offended if you don't cover up and staring is a very big problem, so best be covered up rather than be annoyed the whole time! I would also advise to take a light scarf you can wrap around your head and cover arms to your elbows - very useful if you suddenly feel 'under dressed' or if men are staring, and you won't be too hot. You can easily buy tunic tops and wrap skirts/long trousers in most markets in tourist areas v cheap (£1-3) if you're not too fussy about style

Great, thanks for the tips! I love kaftan tops, so hoping to buy some when I'm out there. I also have quite a few scarfs which I have packed- very useful for covering up & keep the sun away.

10. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

you will enjoy it no matter what u wear laura
as i pointed out above, the beach towns are as relaxed as uk really
when i was in goa a few years ago, i sen loads of topless women on the beach, my g/f was one of them
and its obvious ur gonna get people staring, you can usually shrug them off
on one occasion a group of muslim men started hurling abuse at her in some unknown language,
i had to attempt to stand up to them knowing that it was really her fault and not theirs, but in reality, they have the choice to look away
the owners of the beach shack came out and helped calm the situation
walking round all the beach towns in goa (not necessarily on the beach but im talking in the shops) my g/f was wearing a bikini top, and people will stare anyway, so u expect it and ignore it
panjim was a bit more stern though, i did advise her to wear a more suitable top when we went there, but she still wore a short beach skirt or shorts in the main city, nobody actually made an issue out of it, and i dont look like the kind of person who would stamp on somebody if they did make an issue, im under 9 stone so i hardly made people wanna look away
its not too big an issue there
kerela is a little more rural and as such, semi naked women are a bit more taboo down there, beaches are fine u can do what u want but i didnt see any topless women
walking round the streets of the beach towns i did see a lot of open tops and bikini type clothing so your safe there
heres some guidelines if they help
north has a higher concentration of muslim, so its obvious to expect people who are offended by bare skin
this does have to be respected to an extent as its their community
south is more chilled and its commonplace to see bikinis in most places, apart from in and around temples and places of worship
goa is totally chilled out, most beaches are topless friendly most of the time,
dont even worry too much in mapusa or panaji,
its ok to wear normal hot weather clothes like bikinis and wrap around skirts but u have to expect to see people staring
if in doubt, buy a shawl or somehing while your there for next to nothing
heres the craziest story ever, and its not about womens clothes
while i was in kerala i took a trip upto periyar,wildlife sanctuary near thekkady
on the way thru it started getting cooler and i was only wearing a tshirt so we stopped off in this little town in the middle of nowhere and found a clothes shop
i went in to buy a top and the only thing i could see that i liked was a camoflage jacket
here it is
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t148/sradwxikerala/kerala%20pics/elephant%20ride%20in%20thekkady%20periyar/IMGP0549.jpg
anyway i thought nothing of it, and left the shop buttoning it up to get warm and i walked out into a large group of maybe 200 muslims protesting against the us presnce in iraq
i stopped to look as they walked by with the billboards and stuff, plus my taxi was over the other side of the road so i had to wait for them to pass
they just stopped dead in the street and went quiet and looked at me open mouthed then started shouting stuff at me
i felt so small when i realised my jacket has U.S.ARMY embroidered on the front in bold red lettering
ive never been so scared in my whole life, i ran thru the middle of them and jumped in the taxi shouting at the cabbie to get going
as we pulled away i shouted out the window,
its ok, im english!!!!!
i dunno why, fear makes u do silly things
but thats on the extreme side of things and it was purely coincidental, but definately something ill look back on and smile
i thought they wanted to kill me
at the time there was a lot of conflict in iraq so i really dont blame them if they did feel that way
i understand how and why but it was just inocent
my thoughts on the subject are:
cultural differences can sometimes make for scary situations, u have to be tolerant and understanding of others around you, whether they are a majority or a minority
i havent led their lives so i cant judge
which is why i stood up to them guys on the beach when they were hurling insults at my g/f for being topless
we were the minority and they saw that and decided to have a go at us (or just her)
once i stood up they quietened down a bit but it was still going on
but if i could go back and change it, i wouldnt
thats why we go to these places,
to see and experience the differences in culture
and if we cant be ourselves when were there, then its just not as good,
we are tolerant of other religions and their choices here in uk so why should they be intolerant in their countries
i will probably be slammed for saying that and if i have offended anyone i will apologise as its not meant as an offence
i do respect all other cultures, but i also expect other cultures to respect mine
if we are all a little more tolerant of others then we can all get along a bit better right?
carl

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 18, 2008, at 5:58 PM by sradwxi ]