what to wear, travelling in style, fashion for travel

The Do's & Don'ts of Dressing Up in Other Countries

Planning to spend some time away from Singapore or Malaysia? We've found a style guide that'll help you dress up in style if you're travelling to Europe, Japan, Korea, Dubai, or other far countries.

Here, we pay particular attention to the do's and dont's for each country/region to help you understand the their fashion trends and cultural norms.

1. Europe - France, Italy, England

Do's: Here's a destination where almost everyone dreams of going. People in Europe enjoy styles like effortless chic, classic, luxurious, minimalist. Functionality with style is important to them too. That's why you'll find women mainly dressed in top coats, shirts, and jeans.

Photos via collagevintage.com & darjabarannik.com

 Don'ts: Avoid clothing that are too colorful and 'cutesy', which are not part of Europe's style culture.

2. Japan and Korea

Do's: While you can adopt Europe's style culture for these two countries, the Japanese and Koreans love mixing and matching between different styles. Streetwear and Sports Luxe are popular hits. Think chic and stylish. Take note of the weather too. If it's summer, avoid layers or fur clothings.

Photos via theblondesalad.com & lookdepernille.theyouway.com

Don'ts: Avoid mixing too many styles into one outfit. You'll look like you've never travelled before. Due to Japan's and Korea's attractive shopping scene, you will be walking a lot so heels wouldn't be a good choice. Sneakers and flat pumps would complement the Sports Luxe and Streetwear looks respectively.

3. The Middle East

Do's: If you are heading to a Middle Eastern country, Dubai for example, you need clothes that do not expose too much of your body and skin. Do not be afraid of looking "un-fashionable" for being too covered up. Long sleeves tops with aztec and bohemian prints are popular in the Middle East. Want to look more like a native Middle Eastern? Draw winged eyeliners!

Photos via fashionandstylev.blogspot.com & bloglovin.com

Don't: Absolutely no slit skirts, mini skirts, shorts, and tube tops. According to their culture, apparels that reveal too much are deemed as unsexy.

4. Maldives or Carribeans

Do's: Dress as if you were about to head to a beach in Thailand (Huahin, Pattaya, etc.). Summer dresses, maxi dresses, resort wear, shades, straw hats, shawls, gladiator shoes are common fashion items in the Maldives and Carribeans.

Photos via collagevintage.com & garypeppergirl.com

Don't: Leave your sweaters at home. These places are sunny and warm, but not humid. If you need a coverup on top of your bikini, go for something lacey.

Photo on the right via Pinterest

5. Cold Countries - Switzerland and Iceland

Do's: It can be difficult to balance between keeping yourself warm and being stylish, especially in Scandinavian countries like Switzerland or Iceland. Some travellers try too hard and end up overdressing. Some simply lack style. A general rule of thumb would be to choose just one item that will make you warm, like a wool coat or bomber jacket. It could also be a body hugging turtle neck top.

If you need more warmth, consider wearing thermal wear (i.e. Uniqlo's Heat Tech) underneath your outfit. For bottoms, you can for a pair of jeans and wear inner leggings. For footwear, you can choose between sneakers, when it's snowing, or a pair of flat boots.

Photos via collagevintage.com & collagevintage.com

Don't: Avoid suede bags and shoes because once these items get wet by the melting snow, they'll get ruined. 

6. Asian Countries - Thailand, Hong kong, Taiwan

Do's: The weather can be as warm as humid as in Singapore and Malaysia. But, if you want to look fashionable while travelling to these countries, go for sporty, minimalistic, casual and chic. The key is be unique and portray a strong look.

Photos via thechroniclesofher.blogspot.com & modernlegacy.com.au

Don't: Singapores/Malaysians tend to dress down a lot when they visit Thailand (i.e. Singlet, slippers, and shorts). It's actually okay to dress up there. Try stylish sandals or gladiator shoes. When travelling to Hong Kong or Taiwan, avoid fur and boots.


The next time you're about to travel, don't forget to refer back to this guide for the style-conscious traveller!


This article first appeared on Fiercebook and was translated from Thai by Getfash.

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