Holiday Dress Code: What I Wore in Thailand

We Brits love to make a statement with our clothes, we’re practically famous for it! Vivienne Westwood wasn’t just born into the designer elite darling, she was homegrown in Derby! Big-up the North massiv! Us British girls consider ourselves quirky, vibrant and fashion-forward. So naturally, going on holiday gives us the opportunity to flaunt our wares and update our wardrobes.

The only thing worse than severing your holiday spends in forfeit of those £100-a-pop must-have spangly gladiator sandals, is stepping off the plane and realising they are totally impractical for the country you’re visiting. So they spend 2 weeks locked away in your suitcase of shame, gathering dust and tipping over your baggage allowance.

Lesson learned, jazzy sandals are not your friend.


So for those of you who are serial-overpackers or always seem to cripple your pre-holiday credit card in aid of your wardrobe, I thought it might be helpful to put together a mini photo diary of what I wore whilst travelling in Thailand last year and I’ll be dropping some hints and tips for how you can prepare your travel outfits.

*Warning, Fashion Blogger, I am not. You’re in for a fun read…

Here’s me, May 2014, at the Grand Palace (Bangkok, Thailand). It was about 40 degrees, my feet were lobster-red and swollen and I felt like I was about to melt into a pool of my own sweat, Wicked Witch of the West-stylie. Delightful. But from the cankles upwards, I reckon I was looking downright traveller-chic (if I do say so myself).

What to Wear in ThailandT-shirt (H&M), Jumpsuit (New Look), Floral Backpack (from Mum’s retro collection)

This post isn’t supposed to be a smart-alec guide of what to wear in Thailand, because you should definitely not listen to me pack the clothes you feel most comfortable in. But for me, being really pale and blonde (a bit of a rarity in Asia), I preferred to dress more modestly in Bangkok, in attempts to avoid attracting too much attention as a tourist.

The main religion is Buddhism, yup I did my research, so it’s definitely worth bearing that in mind before whack your collection of Kylie-style hot pants (circa 2000) in your hold-all. You’re going to need something respectful to wear to temples, so my hareem jumpsuit and shirt combo worked a treat, and meant I didn’t have to hire second hand cover-ups at the sites.

TOP TIP: You could keep a light-weight scarf in your backpack, which is small enough to carry around with you all day and ideal for wrapping around your shoulders if you need a quick modesty-filter! It’s a lovely way to accessorise too… and a great excuse to buy a scarf.Dress (Urban Outfitters), T-shirt (as above), flip flops (Havaianas knock-offs, 75p on Thai market – classy bird)

Before I flew, I’d bashed out a quick ol’ Google search on ‘what to wear in Thailand’. In all honesty, I’d expected Thai fashion to be quite prudish, and that in order to blend I’d need to stash away my milk-bottle legs and pasty shoulders for the majority of the trip.

I was wrong, Thais are not shy.

Shock, horror! The streets of Bangkok aren’t that different to your average Costa-Del beach front! Certainly Koh San Road was littered curb-to-curb with Westerners and locals sporting bikini tops, shorts and not much else! And I don’t even want to go into what they consider to be a harmless game of ping pong…

I generally tried to cover up a little more in Bangkok. But when we moved on to Koh Tao later in the holiday, the vibe on the beach resort was completely different. I’d feel quite happy pottering down to breakfast in a bikini and a beach dress, and not feel inappropriate, exposed or in the slightest self-conscious.


One of my holiday staples were these little denim jeanshorts, which I’d pair with t-shirts and Vans for day trips or wedges for a meal in the evenings. They are super versatile, I wore them in the city and on the island, and comfy too!

Legs 11

Jeanshorts (Topshop), Wedges (Gabor), Stripy T-shirt (H&M)

TOP TIP: Stock up on ‘basics’. I’ve learnt this little gem from my sister who’s always papping on about having a few ‘classic’ pieces in her ‘capsule’ wardrobe. Errr, in English, Sis?! Basically, she buys a few carefully selected items, which tend to be plainer, of a better cut/quality – which all go with each other.

A massive clothes orgy, that’s what it is!

The point is, take less. If you’re clever with what you pack and all of your individual pieces work together, you’re on to a winner because you’ll have double, triple, even quadruple the outfit combinations than packing lots of floral/patterned junk you’re only likely to wear once! You can do the maths.

I was silly, I didn’t pack light. I lugged a 25kg wheely case around the pockled streets of Bangkok.

The moral of this story, I should have listened to my sister…




One thought on “Holiday Dress Code: What I Wore in Thailand

  1. Pingback: Top Tips: How to Pack Light for Long-Term Travel | My Happy Rucksack

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