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What Should I Wear?

Netherlands

The Dutch are much the same as the Canadians and Americans. Guys won't stare at you any more than they would at a Dutch girl. We don't have a dress code whatsoever. You wear what you like. Period.
Bloem, Huizen, Netherlands

I travelled in the Spring and packed black jeans, black turtle neck sweater, silver vest, Aerosole comfy but attractive shoes and a rain jacket. I looked just like the locals and could go anywhere. Next trip I plan to bring the same wardrobe!
Barbara, Vancouver, Canada

In Amsterdam, female music lovers attending a performance at the Concertgebouw (the city's concert hall) need not worry excessively about dress codes. When I was there I found the audience a genial mix of young and old who appeared to be less concerned with dressing up and much more interested in the quality of music that they were enjoying. However, I should mention that while many women wore simple slacks, there wasn't a pair of jeans in sight.
Evelyn Hannon, JW Editor

Nepal

In Kathmandu strappy tops and short skirts are not recommended. Local styles often are tight fitting on the top, cropped short to show your belly. You can go sleeveless, and have low cut necklines - so long as you don't show your breasts. Skirts or trousers should be long. However the tourist trekkers outside Kathmandu are often seen in shorts and this whilst curious to locals does not seem to offend. If you are trekking however the local Kurtar Suruwal or Punjabi outfits cannot be beaten. Buy a set from a fabric store. It will have three pieces of fabric, one for the top, trousers and a long scarf. The fabric shop will be able to recommend a tailor to get it made up for you in a day or so. What is great is that the tops are worn long, giving you some privacy if you 'need to go' whilst out on trek. And you get a great shopping experience thrown in too.
Liz, UK

Don't wear anything too skimpy. The Nepalese are still pretty conservative. Best bets are T-shirts and Track Pants or Jeans. Nothing too fancy. Make sure you have a good pair of trekking shoes and a good pair of shades.
Joan, Singapore

Whether it be in the city of Katmandu or trekking in the mountains, skirts are the best item of clothing to have. You can wear pants, but skirts are more culturally acceptable and they work better while using the toilet. I brought four skirts (ended up loaning one out to a friend) and one pair of pants with me for 22 days in Nepal. I wore a skirt everyday finding it more comfortable then wearing pants. The only time I recommend wearing pants is when you are trekking, to avoid getting it caught on branches and such. If you stay in villages, I recommend changing back into a skirt. Also if you have a favorite skirt style, bring it and you can get one tailored just like it in Katmandu for about $5. And, if you are going to be spending quite a few days in Katmandu or any of the other cities, I suggest you purchase one or two scarves to cover your nose and mouth, as the pollution is quite bad. I purchased two wonderful scarves for around $8.
Jane, Littleton, Colorado

The practicality of T-shirts and pants made from quick-dry material outweighs fashion in my traveller's wardrobe but they can look drab in comparison with the beautiful colours worn by the women of Nepal. They wear the dupatta, a long scarve, draped over both shoulders with the middle portion covering their chest. This modest and fashionable choice is now included in my pack for that welcome touch of brightness.
Wendy, Mission, Canada

In Kathmandu, you're best off taking loose Ts and buying a pair of hippie pants in Thamel and wearing these night and day to stay cool and comfortable. Also found that long sleeve tunics and colourful scarves are nice for blending in. In places like Pokhara which are more touristy and laid back, the usual cropped cargos, Ts, skirts, flip flops apply. For trekking in the Himalayas, a study pair of boots, long or cropped hiking pants, technical Ts/long sleeves, a down jacket for night and a pair of track pants for hanging in huts in the evening are all practical. I would recommend against wearing short shorts and tanks tops as it offends the locals.
Rina, Vancouver, Canada

New Zealand

If you're going on a short hike anywhere in NZ, I suggest you take some kind of thermal underwear, along with shorts or trousers, T-shirts and comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. Also suggest you bring a hat of some kind and possibly even one of those rain jackets that fold up. It's just that the Crowded House song: "Four Seasons in One Day" really does apply here. It could be sunny one minute and raining with howling wind the next. And some areas of NZ bush are still pretty remote so you want to be prepared.
Katelyn, Auckland, New Zealand

When travelling in Wellington, New Zealand during the months of July and August (winter season for them) bring jackets, a sweater, thermal stockings and umbrella. Wellington is the second windiest city in the world and the weather is so very unpredictable.
Phoebe, Manila, Philippines

Even in the summer, it's cool in New Zealand, so its best to take a layered approach when packing. Rain comes often to the South Island, and its quite windy, as well. Bonus: The local people sell wonderful hand-knitted sweaters that are available in many of the shops. So, think about treating yourself to one if it gets too cool for you.
Anita, Littleton, New Zealand

Nigeria

I lived in Northern Nigeria for one year. Shorts, tight pants, sleeveless tops, clinging shirts, low-necklines and capris are all BIG no-nos. Nylons or socks are not necessary, though. Most women there seem to favor sandals. My typical outfit was a long, loose skirt, and a comfortable 3/4 sleeve cotton blouse or tunic which covered my derriere. Nigerians are big on ironing. The "grungy" look will win you zero points. No self-respecting Nigerian woman would leave the house without taking a bath first. In crowded and more conservative areas, like Kano's old city, you might consider draping a sheer scarf over your head. You still won't pass for a local. You will, however, get more respect and less harassment, since they will assume you are a fellow Muslim. These scarves are plentiful in the markets. You can also buy beautiful fabric by the yard and have a tailor make whatever outfit you can think of, all very affordable. Things are bit more relaxed in the South. You might see tank top but women still cover their legs with long skirts.
Julie, Albany, USA

Norway

I travelled in Norway during the summer, and found comfortable casual clothes acceptable everywhere. If you have dress pants, you won't need a skirt. Plan your summer wardrobe so that you can layer as it can be quite cool. Be sure to take a sweater, rain jacket and light folding umbrella as there may be rain squalls many days.
Ruth, Ottawa, Canada

When travelling in Norway, wear comfortable, casual clothes and you'll fit right in: For the winter, pack walking shoes/boots, jeans, sweaters and ski parkas/wool coats. For dining out, a skirt, tights/stockings and low shoes will be appropriate. It's a pretty sure bet that casual dress is the norm for the summer months, too, but I can't say definitely as I visited in the winter only. Also, just a side note: As a rule, Norwegian women wear little if any make-up--I found this very freeing, especially when on vacation!
Kristin, San Mateo, USA

 

 

 

 
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