Edinburgh's strong winds and heavy rain make warm clothes and sturdy
umbrella a must at any time of the year. July is the warmest month,
reaching an average high of 18 degrees C. or 65 degrees F.
J. Ward, G. McLachlan, Edinburgh, Mini Rough Guide
It seems that no one wears anything but dark pants, skirts and
beautiful blouses. The young people seem to be "really hip", but
the woman dress nicely. Don't wear expensive jewelry and leave your
white tennis shoes at home. You may as well wear a huge sign that
says tourist if you wear white tennis shoes
Gail, Columbus, GA, USA
Scotland can be a wonderful warm day that turns suddenly cold and
rainy. Plan for layers.
I travelled from Glasgow to North Berwick on train and then back
to west coast and up to the Orkany Islands by car. My travels included
informal visits, shopping, pubbing, museums, galleries, boat tours,
hiking and walks, castle and garden tours.
Blue jeans are a must. Everyone wears them. You can dress them up
or down. With a nice long sleeve blouse or a tshirt. Black walking
shoes also went with my black cotton blend slacks - again dress
up or down with a tshirt or blouse. I wore these slacks at nicer
restaurants and for a more presentable look. I also brought a pair
of beige cotton pants with a matching jacket as at it was spring.
I wore this outfit a lot as I could add a scarf or hat to change
the look. I chose red walking sandal with a back strap. These went
Bring at least one sweater (I had a red one) or plan on buying a
traditional Wool one while there. I also recommend a sweatshirt
or plan on buying a tourist one. I thankfully brought a pair of
silk long underwear and matching longsleeve top. These came in so
handy for under my jeans as it can and will get chilly. I also wore
them as PJs. Of course 4 pairs of undies, 2 bras, 2 camisols or
tanktops, and 2 pairs of cotton and 2 pairs of wool socks.
A rain jacket/ wind breaker is a must and bring a compact umbrella
and hat. Although a back pack was good if you were hiking not so
good for castles and shopping - just too bulky and it radiates "tourist".
. I had a large sideshoulder handbag.
Although I brought a simple black skirt I never wore it nor had
the inclination to. If you feel you need a skirt there are so many
charity shops you can pick one up no problem.
Mix and Matching casual layers is the key.
JudyMarie Cooper, British Columbia
Cover your legs! The quickest way to attract lots of undesirable
attention is to wear short skirts or shorts, since legs are considered
more erotic than breasts. Slip-on shoes are essential-- it's culturally
appropriate to take off your shoes when stepping on any carpeted
surface or mat. Pretty much anything else is acceptable. In Dakar,
the capital, people tend to dress up more than in the US; older
(30+) women in traditional clothes, younger women like they're going
clubbing. I didn't choose either of these options; I just wore what
was comfortable since I knew I would be easily identifiable as American
no matter how I dressed. But no shorts or short skirts!
As a Singapore resident, I just want to emphasize that we are virtually
an island on the equator so every day is hot and humid. The only
fabrics that make sense here are cotton, linen and lightweight silk.
This is not a city for nylon. As a tourist, cotton capri pants and
a lightweight blouse with a short or capped sleeve (for Muslim mosques,
etc.) will work everywhere. Tank tops are fine if you're not visiting
religious centres. A lightweight sweater in your bag is a must,
though, as the airconditioning can be fierce in some places. No
one wears raincoats; it would be like wearing a portable sauna.
Just tuck a small umbrella in your bag if you're visiting in Dec-Jan
or August-Sept. No stockings required even for the dressiest of
events. Singapore is a fashionable, but informal city. Use sunscreen
When travelling in Singapore the smartest piece of clothing advice
that I can recommend is to pack a pashmina. Watch out for the air
conditioning. The local transit system as well as any indoor building
blasts cold air onto your body, that has just become extremly hot
from the permanent tropical weather. This item of clothing can be
worn over your arms in a very fashionable manner, as well as around
your waist to add a funky look to almost any pant style. Another
huge 'must' is an unbrella. You never know when the rain is going
Adrienne, Bolton, Canada
I was sent to Singapore for a project, and ended up staying there
for more than a year. Singapore is very modern, but, dressing very
sexily will not be acceptable in certain places. Dressing less revealingly
will get you better bargains and less stares. The locals generally
look down on westerners if they're dressed inappropriately, therefore,
dress wisely. Happy shopping!
Sara, Illinois, USA
When I travelled to Singapore I found that a light, longish cotton
skirt (not very full) and a light blouse (with capped sleeves to
cover the upper arms) was very appropriate. In one afternoon, I
visited Hindu Shrines, Buddhist Temples, the Moslem areas, the Bird
Park, Botanical Gardens and of course, the very English Raffles
Hotel. I felt comfortable and correctly dressed everywhere I stopped.
P.S. It rained daily (in January) so don't forget to pack your umbrella.
Joan, Ohio, USA
Ljubljana has a "student" feel to it, whereas small towns are more
conservative. Plain, dark-colored casual clothes will take you almost
anywhere. On a fall trip, I wore twill pants rather than jeans,
and a simple black cotton knit jacket rather than a windbreaker,
and (to judge from the number of people who addressed me in Slovene)
I blended right in! As for dressier wear, many women have their
"good" clothes tailor-made, so make sure that whatever you bring
is well-made and fits you perfectly. Laundromats are few and far
between, even in Ljubljana, and even laundries are rare. Some hotels
will do your laundry, but it's expensive. Thank goodness, I'd brought
nylon underwear, but next time I'll bring a hand-washable, quick-drying
nightgown and a few extra clothes to get me through the trip.
Paula, Santa Fe, USA
In South Africa the dress code is generally casual (denims, t-shirts,
skirts etc.) when you are not working as the weather is mostly hot.
When at work the dress code is more formal eg. knee length skirt,
blouse and on cool days a matching jacket. Except for the upperclass
restaurants, your casual wear will be just fine in most restaurants.
If you intend on going to a club, you should dress hip as the youth
are pretty fashion concious. Men are required to wear a shirt (can
be casual) with a collar to clubs and for some silly reason many
clubs don't allow 'takkies' (running shoes). When on the beach,
most women wear one or two piece bathing suits. You can ditch the
top if you don't mind the initial mexican wave by the men. Dressing
too revealing in any situation though is generally frowned upon
as the majority of South Africans are pretty conservative. A last
thought - many people believe SA to be a dangerous place to visit,
this is only true if you try and 'do your own thing'. As with any
country/city it has it's hot spots that you can stumble into if
you don't know the area. Always travel with a recognised tour guide,
they know where to take you and where not to.
Nolan (an interested male), Johannesburg, South Africa
Do not over dress. Avoid wearing jewelry, expensive watches etc.
Be very wary where you go. Most women who live in South Africa do
not wear expensive clothing in public, but the majority wear skirts.
I seldom saw a woman of any race wearing pants or jeans. I never
saw a woman 'of color' wearing pants. Wearing skirts are part of
a cultural tradition for Black women. I will return to South Africa,
but everyone must be very careful when travelling in that part of
Ellen, Fort Worth, USA
South Africa is a little like countries in Europe - very fashionable.
When I visit, I wear Jeans, but always with fashionable boots/shoes
or sandals and tailored shirts, or whatever blouses are currently
in fashion. Most of the young girls wear jeans, and depending on
the season, the older ladies (40s & 50s) wear capris or jeans,
but generally, never sneakers. Summer and spring, mostly sandals
are worn. Also, for safety, know where you are going. I was born
in South Africa, so that is not much of an issue for me. It's a
beautiful country, especially the beaches, and the hotels, food
and shopping are excellent! And the exchange rate (US dollars) makes
it really worth visiting right now.
Debi, Sitka, Alaska, USA
Contrary to expectations many parts of South Africa get very cold
and sometimes reach freezing point during the winter months, from
the end of May to the end of July. Those who attended the 2010 World
Cup will have had a rude awakening. We don't have a particularly
strict dress code, jeans are perfectly acceptable casual wear and
the most comfortable clothing item to bring with you. Shorts are
very appropriate for the summer months between the end of October
and mid March.
Generally speaking we have more or less the same shops as everywhere
else, as well as some of our own, so anything goes really. For the
office keep it formal, a jacket is advisable as we tend to overdo
the airconditioning, especially when it is quite hot outside. Unlike
in Europe the office buildings tend to be kept at quite a chilly
temperature throughout winter as well, so your scarf and all layers
of clothing will generally stay on throughout the day.
That said, it's a lovely, easy going, country to visit, lots of
fresh air and outdoor activities. DO NOT wear safari clothing, no
self- respecting South African does, so we spot you quite easily
if you walk around in khaki coloured and cliched safari clothing.
We wear jeans and shorts with sneakers and other comfortable walking
shoes when we go to the game reserves. Keep your cameras in your
bag and your belongings within sight, we unfortunately have a lot
of poor local and foreign people that might be tempted to convert
them into a family meal for the next 2 weeks by selling them, should
you leave them lying around carelessly (as in many cities around
Thuli, Gauteng, South Africa
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:
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
While in the more remote areas of South America I made the mistake
of wearing t-shirts with embroidery and writing across the chest.
The embroidery seemed an invitation to touch and the writing had
many men (shorter than I) reading my chest. I would have been better
off and less conspicuous by wearing clothes more in line with what
the local women were wearing. I also found that wearing shorts anywhere
(even though people say that shorts at the beach are fine) really
was more an invitation than I realized--especially in very religious
countries where the only women who wore suggestive clothing got
paid for their time.
Dana, Bellingham, USA
I traveled in Central and South America. In these countries--think
conservative. In most Central and South American countries, short
skirts, shorts and bare arms and shoulders are seen as very provocative,
even offensive to local and indigenous populations. You will certainly
attract leering glances at the least. Please note that this applies
away from the typical "US-like" beach resorts where you can get
away with more. Also on the Brazilian beaches and surrounds - you
will feel overdressed if you're in shorts and T-shirt! But, in more
isolated areas, have some respect for the locals and stick to longer
skirts or loose pants and at least short sleeves rather than sleeveless
Charlotte, Sydney, Australia
This what I learned from traveling in Peru and Bolivia. Take khaki
pants. Layer your clothing. If you travel to the Amazon, take a
lightweight, long sleeved white shirt (like a man's dress shirt)
to keep both the sun and the bugs off you. Leave jeans and other
denim clothing at home. They're too hard to wash (or rather get
dry). Hiking boots are really a life saver. Don't wear form fitting
clothing. Women in Peru and Bolivia dress modestly.
Connie, Los Angeles, USA
In some places in Buenos Aires it's safer for a woman not to wear
skirts. They're considered to be provocative and men (mostly low
class men) could tease us, say embarrassing things when we pass
Griselda, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentine women, in business situations, dress in a way that would
be considered too provocative in the US. However, as a US business
woman working in that country, I want to appear professionally "nun-like."
Here are my two personal basic rules of dress. Stick with tailored
suits with above-the-knee skirts or pant suits. Add one more accessory
than you normally would in the US. For example, in the US you might
only wear a pin on a blazer. In Argentina wear a pin and a necklace.
P.S. Plan to dress in layers. It can be cool in Buenos Aires especially
in the evenings. (And down to the 40s in the winter June-August).
Wear a blazer or bring a sweater that you can take off when it warms
Argentina is as varied as the United States when it comes to climate
and landscape. However, when you visit Buenos Aires, you will soon
realize it's nothing like the rest of the country. The standard
attire is neat, fitted clothing, black leather coats, smart boots
with heels, small jewelry. You will feel out of place wearing baggy
jeans and flannel. Solid, sober colors and earthtones fit in better
than bright flashy prints. The key is to be neat and sleek. Outside
of Buenos Aires, stick to jeans, khakis, more casual (but conservative
in color and cut) clothing, especially if traveling with women only.
When traveling the countryside, wear comfortable clothing, layer
when possible. Avoid the miniskirt/short shorts, although you will
see it occasionally. For dressier occasions, stick to the Buenos
Holly, Fargo, USA
South Korea see Korea
I used to live in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu but have
since moved away. If any JourneyWomen are going that way, here is
my advice for sister travelers. Vanuatu is a lush, tropical paradise.
During summer it is kind of hot and humid but during winter, the
weather is just divine. So whatever time you decide to visit, I
suggest you pack light clothes - shorts and tank tops are the norm.
However, if that is not your style, I suggest you pack a few colorful
summer dresses. P.S. A light sweater or shawl will come in handy
to deal with any air-conditioned interiors.
In Solomon Islands, as well as most other countries in the South
Pacific, shorts should be knee length at least. Women in this part
of the world should not show their thighs. Bathing suits are only
appropriate at resorts or public beaches (of which there aren't
too many in the Solomons, public beaches that is). Swimming in a
bathing suit anywhere else, especially in or around villages, is
disrespectful; you must be fully clothed to do so.
Nadine, Vancouver, Canada
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