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What Should I Wear?


When touring a sacred site in Bali it is improper for women or men to enter wearing shorts or a very short skirt. One is provided with a sarong to cover the legs. Be aware of the respect accorded these areas and dress appropriately.
Evelyn, Sacramento, USA

I travelled in Bali and I suggest that you pack cool cotton clothing.
Melodie, Perth, Australia


It is advisable to bear in mind that when Bangladeshi women go out they generally try to look their very best. Wearing old or torn clothing is frowned upon for foreigners who obviously have enough money to replace them. Formal events tend to be quite formal -- when attending weddings, cultural events, or even visiting friends for dinner, makeup and jewelry is definitely not out of place.
Karen, Calgary, Canada

Foreign women are far from a common sight in Bangladesh, even in the capital city of Dhaka. While it's unlikely that anyone will ever directly tell you that something you have chosen to wear is inappropriate, you will likely find that you experience much less harassment if you try to dress in a manner similar to that of the local people. I would highly recommend investing in shalwar kameez - it's cool in the hot months, suitably modest, and easily purchased in any of the local markets. If you do not want to go this route, try for light, loose-fitting clothing -- no shorts, miniskirts (or really skirts that show any leg), or sleeveless tops. This is particularly important in areas where foreigners are less common.
Karen, Calgary, Canada

In Bangladesh cover up as much as possible. Younger women will definitely have problems. Even my elderly mother who was covered up everywhere but her legs was groped . Wear baggy clothes. Buy a shalwar kameze from a local shop. You're going to get hassled anyway if you're female and white, but if you show legs, arms, cleavage, etc., then you're inviting problems. Outside the major cities, people are more relaxed, but it's difficult for women to travel independently. If they're inappropriately dressed, it's even more difficult.
Antonia, London, England


I'm a Belgian and I live there so I know it well. Belgium is a very modern country, we even have some very famous fashion designers here. You can wear about everything here, just keep it decent. Don't go running around half naked, but shorts, short skirts, tops -- nobody will look surprised or trouble you. We generally miss the weather to go running around in summer clothes. So, if you come to Belgium (even during the summer) always bring something for rain, for sun, for cold, for every type of weather actually. You can only be sure it won't freeze during summer, and it won't be hot during winter, but for the rest every type of weather is possible at any time.
V�ronique, Brussels, Belgium

In Belgium, everyone wears tight pants and black is very common.
Brooke, Simcoe, Canada


Anything goes-just keep your top on at the beach. The Europeans tend to go topless but I never saw a local without her top. In fact, a lot of local women swim in shorts and a t-shirt.
Pam, St. Paul, USA

I think the other advice given about Belize is only appropriate for the beach resorts on the Cayes. I lived on the mainland for a while and it is definitely important to cover up. Knee length skirts and t-shirts are fine- anything that reveals too much flesh will get you harrassment from local men.
Lizzie, York, Canada


Baggy jeans and sweatshirts do not go over very well in Bolivia if you are in the cities. I recommend nice jeans and pants and shoes with heels. Only if you are traveling back pack style or going out to run would I break out the sweats. Otherwise Bolivian women are much dressier.
Kelsey, Miami, USA

If you're headed to the highlands around La Paz, think layers. You will experience all four seasons in one day. Fleece is nice, but you can purchase wonderfully warm alpaca sweaters there (called: "chompas").

In the lowlands, in Santa Cruz city, young women dress very stylishly. Short skirts, sleeveless tops, etc. But be aware, you will draw a lot of attention as non-Bolivian. Think hot and humid from Sept-April, then cool and humid the rest of the year. Again, layers are good, also clothing that dries quickly.
Brooke, Cambridge, USA


Don't be afraid to wear tank tops in bright colors or tiny bikinis, you'll blend right in. Also, buy tons of local accessories such as big dangle earrings- super trendy there- and fun!
Dana, Calgary, Canada

Brazilian women are often dressed up -- even to travel to the local supermercado (supermarket). So leave baggy jeans and sweat pants at home in favor of something [more dressy] even though you might feel over-dressed by American standards.
Maggie, Kentuky, USA

When travelling in Brazil, wear natural fabrics like linen,silk or cotton. The temperature is VERY hot during the Summer. In S.Paulo people dress nicely especially when they go out at night. Don't wear gold it only tempts the thieves! Enjoy the country and their beaches.
Celina, Englewood, USA

In Brazil, basic simple clothes are best, and...(For safety sake) try to avoid any gold jewellery (real or not).We even bought cheap plastic watches for the trip.People like to dress up to go out, so you'll look underdressed in jeans and a t-shirt at a bar. Wear nice clothes but nothing too showy.
Mimi, Calgary, Canada

Remember that little bitty bikini you bought, but would be ashamed to wear in North America? In Rio even grandmothers wear bikinis, so take it along and abandon yourself to the worship of the sun. A one-piece bathing suit is unheard of in Brazil.
Ed. note: O.K. but be sure to pack lots of sunscreen!

Naomi de Moraes, Venice, California


I would highly recommend skirts over pants in much of undeveloped Asia, not because of femininity or cultural mores, but because of cleanliness. The bathrooms in this part of the world are pretty tough by Western standards and the floors are usually quite wet and nasty. Since many of these cultures use water to clean themselves instead of toilet paper, the water tends to get all over the floor. It is much easier to squat and hold your skirt over your waist then it is to squat and hold up the bottom of your pants from touching the floor.
Durfee, Boston, USA

Nice short sleeve shirts and long skirts were the only practical pieces that one could wear in Burma, partly because of the bathroom facilities and also because of the culture. As well, you will fit in better since that is how many of the Burmese women dress. In the morning, street vendors sell freshly picked bunches of jasmine that can be tied into your hair and the fragrance lingers for hours.
J. Kate, Vancouver, Canada

In Burma, even if it's very hot, try to avoid wearing sleeveless dresses or T-shirts. It is generally not considered "culturally-correct" in this country.
Anna P., Denmark


In over 50 trips to Bermuda I learned that while casual resort wear is fine at the beach resorts, Hamilton is a major city where international business is conducted. Don't wear short shorts, revealing tank tops and sneakers -- they mark you as a tourist, not a good thing in an island where crime is increasing. Wear casual skirts, pants and something more formal than 'I survived the bermuda triangle. Take a light raincoat for island showers and a sweater for the evening. In summer it is hotter than you think. Cover lightly to prevent sun burn. Carry a small secure bag, not an open tote. Although I love this place, I have had money stolen from me on three different occasions.
Elizabeth, New York, USA




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