Last updated on July 17th, 2019 at 04:43 am

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Understanding what to wear in Thailand.

What to wear in Thailand and how to pack so that you feel comfortable, appropriate, and safe from the sun? All of the necessary info is right here in this post.

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I have lived in Phuket, Thailand collectively for about two years now. Living in Phuket has made me appreciate some fashion choices I did not consider before at all. Like shorts, for example. At times it gets so hot, from February till May, and overwhelming that I want to take off my skin. 
If I had to summarise it in a short sentence it would sound like this:
“Flip flops are life, nothing leather, and yes you will need more than a bathing suit.” 

This post is part two of my Thailand series. Read my general tips about traveling to Thailand here.

What NOT to wear in Thailand:

  •  Anything made with polyester. Not only it is hot and sticky, attracts oil stains, that are difficult to remove, smells, even if you wash it with time, it is also bad for the planet because it decomposes forever.
  • Leather accessories. It is humid and sunny 99% of the time. Leather is the first one to decompose in these kinds of conditions. If it is a dark-colored leather, it will stain anything it touches.
  • Umbrellas. When it rains, it pours here. Nothing will save you 🙂 So save some space in your luggage for some souvenirs. One can always buy a raincoat for 2$ at the local 7/11 store. 
  • Heels. Unless you are planning to go out then disregard this statement. Thailand does not have any sidewalks. The roads that they have they share between scooters, cars, other pedestrians, and potholes. In general, the surfaces are uneven and not exactly pedestrian friendly. However, if you do want to seem taller (and skinnier) platforms are an excellent compromise.
My following recommendations are based on local culture, customs, Phuket climate, and personal lifestyle. Phuket is a beautiful island full of activities, beaches, restaurants, cafes, and shopping. There is also nightlife spots that are located in or close to Patong, Karon, and Kamala area. My following advice is for people who come to enjoy the day time activities and a beach scene.

What to wear in Thailand:

Dresses. This is my go-to cheat solution if I do not know what to wear that day. A good plan would be to pack everything flowy and not clinging to body parts. Pieces out of silk, rayon, viscose, modal, lyocell, or lightweight cotton are the most comfortable options for the hot and humid climate of Thailand. Please make sure that nothing is see through.

Shorts. Shorts are the new black! 🙂 In Phuket, one cannot do without shorts. They can be different lengths and styles, but they have to be above the knee to keep you fresh. I have found a couple of options for you.

Flip flops. See my point about shoes above. They match everything, easy to put on and off and made out of rubber which is waterproof. I live in those. 


Platform sandals. If you want to go out or spice up your everyday style, then platform sandals are a good option. 


Two sets of bathing suits. When one is wet the other one might save the day. You can always buy more right on the beach or at the store. Depending on your budget there are options for any wallet. 

A pareo. It is not only a good idea on the beach but also at the places of worship. Thai people are somewhat traditional when it comes to temples and other religious or government locations. Covering your shoulders, cleavage, and knees is a must. 


Microfiber towel. It dries quickly and doesn’t smell like cotton when it is humid. It is not bulky, so it takes little space in the bag and is lightweight when wet. And it costs way cheaper (190 Baht vs. 399 Baht for cotton), and doesn’t attract stains. 
T-shirts. After the first couple of days or years, the skin gets sensitive. Furthermore, there are so many things and activities one doesn’t have time to think about fashion. “Be comfortable first, that is the slogan of the island life.” 
Summer Jewelry. Whether for day or night a little sparkle saves the day and the mood. Diamonds would be overkill, but simple everyday jewelry is the perfect finishing touch.


Two pairs of good sunglasses. One pair for days on the island, the other in case you lose the first one. If you are planning any water activities, then a well-fitted pair is perfect. You can always pick one up at the local seven eleven. I love aviators for giving almost any outfit a relaxed vibe. I think it is also important to note that all shades are different in style and color. That makes my accessorizing a lot easier and gives more options.

Good to have but you can buy it on the location:

  1. Beach bag. There are two kinds of people on the beach: ones that bring a full on bag (moms with children) and others who bring only necessary things like phone, wallet, and keys. I am the latter if alone. Here are options for both. 
    Don’t be a tourist, be a prepped superstar traveler! 


  2. Ocean shoes. If you are planning to go to remote areas, beaches, and snorkeling in shallow waters, then these shoes should be your priority. They dry quickly and weight almost nothing. 
  3. Good walking shoes that can withstand moisture is a must. This place is a perfect place for hiking and trekking so plan accordingly – Lightweight Skechers with memory foam and arch support. I would not recommend doing any jungle trekking in open shoes because of dirt, insects, sharp branches and stones, and mosquitoes.
  4. Snorkel mask. While you can rent a mask everywhere the thought of some guy hugging that same mask with his gums before is nauseating. They are sold everywhere. Talk about a souvenir money well-spent!
  5. Sunscreen and after sun lotion. Yes, you have to use it every day before, and after sun, so your skin stays tanned and toned longer. 
Please be mindful of the activities that you are doing. I saw a girl wearing a long summer dress on a rafting and ATV adventure. Others were very uncomfortable with massive sunburns and scratches from jungle trekking. Blisters, cuts, and ripped skin all can be avoided if you plan for every activity that you are planning to do.

Hope you enjoyed the post! Have you been to Thailand? Do you have any tips? Share them right below! Hit that “like” button and don’t forget to SHARE.

What to wear in Thailand


Always improving one's surroundings.

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