What to Wear in The Philippines

by | Sep 23, 2017

colourful mandala
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last updated on November 19th, 2023

Ed. note: Ruth is Editor of the newsletter, Network for Living Abroad, a resource for study, work, living and travel abroad. It’s great! Want to know how to get a subscription? Contact her at [email protected].

I have lived in the Philippines before. If you are travelling to this destination I suggest: any conservative outfit such as t-shirt and long pants (lightweight but not transparent). No jewelry. Revealing clothes attracts gropers, rude men and pickpockets. A handkerchief is handy to wipe off sweats, or just to protect your nose from smog.

Jennifer, Orlando, U.S.A.

You can wear ANYTHING in the Philippines especially in the main cities. Shorts and sandals work best with the weather

Weng, Manilla

In Manilla people dress very well . Business women wear designer clothes but they avoid black. P.S. If you are travelling with a man you can pass this info along–Business attire for men may be suits or at least white or light shirts with a tie. For social occasions, men wear a “barong tagalog” or an open shirt.

Ruth Halcomb, Sherman Oaks, California

Women usually cover up — avoid unwanted attention by sticking to jeans/pants or knee length shorts/skirt with tops that have sleeves. This is the general attire here. Polo tops are popular and very comfortable. Natural fibers are the best for work clothing/suits etc.

Louise, Sydney, Australia

Because of the heat and humidity, try to wear lightweight clothes made primarily from natural fibers, preferably cotton. Carry a collapsible hand fan and use it when necessary. Take a flashlight, baby powder and industrial strength deodorant. In a country where power failures and reductions (“brown-outs”) are frequent, a flashlight is essential. In the Philippines, count on three to four hours of brown-outs (ergo no air-conditioning) per day. If you are trying to conduct business under these conditions, you’ll be grateful you remembered to douse yourself with baby powder before leaving your hotel in the morning.

Barb Ouimet, Montreal, Canada

Proper attire is very important in the Philippines. When going to a bank, or other business foreigners will be better treated by dressing in something more formal than shorts, flipflops and a tank top. Foreigners that dress in beachwear everywhere they go will be viewed poorly. When visiting a home, look for a row of shoes at the entrance – this is a sign that you should also take off your shoes.

Joan, Tuscon, USA

Pack shorts, skirts and t-shirts. This is what I saw being worn there as it is always hot, even after it has rained. But malls, cinemas and hotels are all air-conditioned so that you will get very cold in a shorts and t-shirt outfit. I suggest you carry a light, cotton shawl (easy to carry and put in a handbag) at least to protect your arms when you’re indoors.

Issa, London, UK

Follow JourneyWoman for curated articles, tips, news and content from our community and our partners.


We always strive to use real photos from our own adventures, provided by the guest writer or from our personal travels. However, in some cases, due to photo quality, we must use stock photography. If you have any questions about the photography please let us know.

Disclaimer: We are so happy that you are checking out this page right now! We only recommend things that are suggested by our community, or through our own experience, that we believe will be helpful and practical for you. Some of our pages contain links, which means we’re part of an affiliate program for the product being mentioned. Should you decide to purchase a product using a link from on our site, JourneyWoman may earn a small commission from the retailer, which helps us maintain our beautiful website. JourneyWoman is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you!

We want to hear what you think about this article, and we welcome any updates or changes to improve it. You can comment below, or send an email to us at [email protected].

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *