What to Wear in Singapore

Last updated on December 27th, 2020

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 every day.

Patricia, Singapore

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

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 to hit.

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

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