Indonesia Inquiry

Clothing Advice

March 22, 2011 Communities and Cultures Travel & Living Abroad Travel Advice 0

Dressing well, comfortably, and respectfully is doable in Indonesia.  Factors to consider are the weather, the environment (e.g., urban or rural, business or religious, home or public, etc.), access (e.g., tailors, shopping malls, or online), finances, quality, and style.  If you have questions or need referrals, ask an Indonesian or an expatriate for specific tips.


== General Advice==

— Dress is normally casual and light clothing is advisable due to the hot, humid climate.

— Trousers or slacks and shirts are generally considered appropriate but a jacket and tie are required for formal occasions or when making official calls.

— For certain formal occasions long-sleeved batik shirts (for men) are acceptable.

— For travel to mountain areas, a light sweater or jacket is recommended.

— Halter-tops and shorts are frowned upon in most places except around sport facilities or on the beach.

— Proper decorum should especially be observed when visiting places of worship.

— Clothing Tips:


== Advice for Women ==

— What is a “jilbab?” –

— Dress conservatively in public settings.  Dress formally for meetings, interviews, seminars, etc.  Sometimes wearing a scarf (selendang) over your hair/head can work to your advantage.

— Searching for clothing, shoes, and undergarments that fit well can be a challenge for foreigners.  Generally-speaking, the major department stores are your best bet for finding the right items.  For certain things (e.g., bras and bathing suits), you may want to bring them from your home country.  Bringing more than you think you will need is probably a good idea given that garments often don’t last long due to rough washing, sun drying, and plenty of wear and tear.  When buying items in Indonesia, buy more than one of the same item if you like it (i.e., stock up).  You never know when you will see it again.  If you have time and the resources, there are excellent tailors and seamstresses in Indonesia who can cater to your specific clothing requests and requirements.

— What Should I Wear, Where? – (click on “I” for “Indonesia to get specific tips)