What to Wear in India

by Brenna Holeman

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I have received a few emails about what to wear in certain countries around the world – especially what to wear in India – and I usually give the same answer no matter what the country: wear whatever you feel comfortable in, provided you’re aware of and respect the local customs.

When in doubt, it’s better to be a bit cautious, especially if you’re a first-time traveller or in a new country. In general, I look to the women around me and take clues from them as to what to wear. While I would love it if all women the world over could dress exactly as they wanted to, the reality is that you will probably feel more comfortable abiding to that culture’s norms.

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Lots of bright colours and patterns are the norm

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Wearing a dress made from an old sari – bought in Udaipur for approximately $10

Please note that this post has some affiliate links; as always, I only recommend products I use and love!

Of the countries I’ve been to, I loved my Indian wardrobe the best. My biggest piece of advice, no matter where you go, is to shop locally.

My dream is to one day arrive in a place like Thailand or India with a completely empty backpack and purchase all of my clothing there; not only is it usually much cheaper than clothes in Canada, the US, or the UK, but you’ll have a lot more fun with your fashion.

You also get to support the local economy. I can’t remember ever spending more than ten dollars on an item, be that a bag, a dress, or a pair of shoes. That being said, it’s probably a lot more practical to have at least a few pieces with you when you arrive!

I’d also recommend bringing a good guide to India with you; as much as blogs help, I always love having either a physical guidebook or a great e-book downloaded and ready to go. While guidebooks are often a couple of years out of date, I still love carrying one with me for those times when I don’t have wifi or service on my phone (they’re great reading material on long train rides, too). They’re fantastic for quick information like maps, important phone numbers, and so on.

I personally brought the Rough Guides guidebook to India with me, but the Lonely Planet guide to India is also a winner!

Here are a few of the things I wore while in India; of course, these are just my own recommendations, and your opinions may differ, but I hope it gives you a rough guide.

What to wear in India:

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1. Scarves.

I believe scarves are the number one item for any travelling wardrobe, in pretty much any country. Not only are they incredibly easy to find, they can be used in so many ways.

I ended up buying five or six different ones in Southeast Asia and India in a variety of colours and they were not only useful, but added that extra something to my outfits. In India, women almost always have their shoulders covered; I often wore a scarf around my shoulders, either tying it in front or securing it with a safety pin or knot. This meant I could still wear the t-shirts and tank tops I already had with me, but I was both dressed appropriately and still kept cool. They’re also super cheap – I never paid more than a few dollars for each.

Another suggestion might be to take a travel scarf with you – these scarves have zippered pockets so you can keep your money and travel documents safely around your neck at all times. Practical… and much cuter/easier than a money belt!

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What was once a potentially inappropriate outfit – a black tank top – is easily remedied by a scarf. The mirror selfie, on the other hand, is unforgivable.

Another thing you can do with a cheap scarf is to cut a hole in the middle, making it into a poncho-esque top (words I never expected to type on this blog, let alone recommend). I did this to a blue scarf I had, and was able to wear it as a top and as a scarf whenever I wanted.

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First a top…

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And then a scarf! Also that goat and I had exactly the same facial expression in every shot

Scarves are also very useful as head coverings, which are required for entry to some places, so it’s important to have at least one on your list of what to wear in India.

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One more reason to buy scarves… if you go for a thicker variety, which I ended up buying in Nepal, they can be used for warmth (not only as scarves, but as blankets or wraps). I definitely encourage you to buy these locally! Click here to see what to wear in Nepal.

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2. Long skirts.

I am a huge fan of long skirts when I travel to hot countries. As most women in India cover their legs, I wanted to follow suit – I also find long skirts to be incredibly comfortable and surprisingly cool. I wore a longi I had bought in Myanmar; a longi is essentially a long piece of fabric that you wrap around you and then tie at the waist, and I was able to recreate this with a sarong I bought in Thailand.

Be inventive with your wardrobe, especially if you’re travelling for a long time with the same clothes. You can always wear leggings under your skirts for extra coverage and/or warmth.

My favourite maxi skirts right now are ones that have a lot of stretch to them (did I mention the amazing food in India?) and ones that can easily be thrown in the wash.

I really like skirts that have roominess and versatility; this long skirt comes in a variety of colours. If you’re going for a bit of drama – perfect for in the evening, or for a photoshoot at the Taj Mahal! – there’s nothing wrong with wearing a skirt with volume that you can spin in.

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Wearing a Burmese longi

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A sarong converted into a long skirt

3. Cotton blouses.

It may seem counter-intuitive to wear white when travelling, but I found white cotton blouses to be the easiest things to wear in India. Not only do they keep you a lot cooler than a black or dark-coloured top, they are easy to wash and dry really quickly.

I had two or three cotton blouses on rotation for my entire time there. Many tourists also buy kurtas, or long blouses, to wear over their t-shirts. I bought a really light cardigan to wear over tank tops, which also works.

While I bought a few cotton blouses in India, I arrived with two already in my bag (you need something to wear to the market, after all!).

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A cardigan bought in Pushkar allowed me to still wear my tank tops from Thailand

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If you’re going to attend Holi, be warned that everything you wear will be ruined. I personally think this shirt got infinitely better.

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Or… just screw all this advice and buy the loudest shirt you can find

4. Genie pants.

Genie pants, or harem pants, are everywhere in Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent, so you’ll always be able to find a pair in a colour or pattern you like. Despite being an almost cliched part of the backpacker uniform, I still felt I was able to make them look fashionable. I almost never wear trousers, but I found these to be amazingly comfortable and really fun to wear. Still trying to figure out how to wear them in London…

I’d start off with a pair of harem pants like these ones (or a couple of pairs if you’d like to try different shades), which are ideal for travelling. I love that you can dress them up or down!

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These wardrobe tips can also apply to some other parts of Asia, including Nepal!

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5. Saris.

Saris can be incredibly cheap in India (I paid approximately ten dollars for each, but be warned that you get what you pay for). I felt absolutely beautiful whenever I put one on, and was encouraged by my Indian friends to wear them while in the country, so I wore them for special occasions. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to tie one, but after I was shown once by a friend it was fairly easy to do.

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6. Leggings.

I have to admit that I hate leggings, and I never wear them in London. While travelling, however, they can be great to wear under short skirts for coverage or under genie pants for warmth. I brought along a black pair from Canada and they were invaluable during my travels around Asia and South America.

I often committed the fashion horror of all fashion horrors and wore leggings under jean shorts whenever I’d go hiking or do more adventure-based activities. True hikers and adventurers might scoff at me (and fashionistas may laugh at me) but that combination always did the trick for light hikes.

Please note that if you’ll be doing serious hiking in India, you’ll definitely need more than just leggings!

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7. Shoes.

Well yeah, obviously you are going to wear shoes, unless you’re that girl I met who didn’t wear shoes for three months in India (you do you, I guess?). But alongside my usual trainers and flip flops, I decided to buy leather sandals and slip-ons from around India. Again, they are really comfortable, and they looked so much cooler than my imitation Havaianas from Khao San Road in Bangkok.

Make sure to have at least one sturdy pair of closed-toe shoes for journeys on public transportation, especially trains – those bathrooms can be a tad bit dirty, to say the least (hell, even train bathrooms in England give me the creeps).

I’d also recommend bringing at least one pair of reliable walking/hiking shoes you feel comfortable in. I personally always bring Keds when I travel, as I find them both comfortable and fashionable. They also last a long time – I had the pair in these photos for a good three years through 25+ countries – so they’re a great investment.

I now swear by Naot sandals when I travel; they’re super comfortable to walk all day in. As it’s nearly impossibly to find sandals that are both cute and comfortable, I really wish that I had had these when I went to India the first time.

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It also helps if you have a predilection for shoes like these

8. Jewellery.

I have often read that travellers should not wear jewellery. Anyone who has ever met me knows that I simply do not abide by that rule, nor do I believe in it. I wore enough jewellery in India to become every airport security staff’s nightmare on a daily basis.

The key is to wear local jewellery – I would never go out dripping in diamonds and gold (mainly because I can’t afford any of it, but also because I don’t like it as much). Wearing jewellery from the place you’re in is not only fun, but collecting these pieces is a great way to bring home cheap and easy-to-carry (as in, wear it all so that you don’t have to pack any of it) souvenirs.

While I have long heard rumours of jewellery attracting too much attention, I believe that most thieves are a lot smarter than we may think. They’re probably not going to go after your cheap bangles. They’ll be after your smart phone, camera, passport, laptop, tablet, credit cards, and cash (joking… but not really).

Here’s the thing: wearing cheap jewellery doesn’t make you look like you have money. Simply being a foreigner does. The simple fact is, if you’re travelling in India, you have money. Wearing a few rings from the local market isn’t going to make you look any richer than you already do. Even though I regularly look like Mr. T, I have never had any jewellery stolen from me in any country.

And here’s where, of course, I reject my own theory: beware of kids rushing up to you in groups. I was swarmed a few times in India and the first thing I did was grab my bag and lift my arms up to my chest. I hate to sound so paranoid and/or like I hate children (only one of those statements is vaguely true), but this is a common technique for pickpocketing.

I have also had children try to take off my bracelets while doing this – who knows if they were actually trying to steal them, but I didn’t particularly feel like finding out. More often than not the kids just want to chat and play, but it’s better to get a feel for the situation first.

At the end of the day, when travelling in any country, I try not to bring any jewellery that I would be devastated to lose. Also, one last tip, because it’s worth saying here: of all the items of jewellery I’ve heard of going missing or being stolen while on the road, the worst offender seems to be long-chained necklaces of silver or gold. They are easily ripped off. So yeah, just go to the local market and buy some beads, okay? Everyone wins.

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Another tip – wear your local jewellery and clothing when you go to the markets. Wearing these things establishes that you have already bought some, and you know the deal. Whenever I haggled with someone for a new bracelet or scarf, I could simply point to whatever I was wearing and say, “But I only paid X for this one.” It worked every time.

Belts and bags are also really great things to buy – I always went for really colourful and sparkly ones, because my fashion choices haven’t changed since my mum found me in her closet at two years old, draping all of her brightest clothing and sparkliest jewellery on myself.

Finally, as you can see, I’m wearing bindis in most of these photos from 2011. As a white woman, I personally wouldn’t wear a bindi anymore. At the time, I was encouraged by women in India to wear bindis – I was often given sheets of them as gifts from friends or people I met – but I think, knowing what I now know about cultural appropriation, I would choose not to wear them again.

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Indian earrings

9. Makeup. 

You’ve probably noticed that I’m wearing makeup in these photos. It’s absolutely fine to wear makeup when travelling – if you wear makeup at home, why not wear it abroad? As India can get quite warm, it’s best to avoid heavy makeup on your face (such as a heavy foundation). I personally wore concealer, powder, bronzer, eyeliner, and mascara every day, and my go-to eyeliner was actually kohl that I bought in local Indian markets.

My very best makeup tip? Use an eyeshadow primer, even for eyeliner. I hate to say this stuff changed my life, but as someone who wears black eyeliner every single day… this stuff changed my life. I can put on my eyeliner in the morning and it won’t budge all day. My favourite eyeshadow primer is this one by Urban Decay – one tube tends to last me a year, so it’s a great purchase.

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At the end of the day, only you will know what you feel most comfortable in. What I found was, by dressing in the local clothing and jewellery, I felt both physically and mentally comfortable. I did draw attention to myself… but so did the other people I was travelling with, and they were wearing jeans and t-shirts.

In my month in India I only received positive responses from Indian people regarding the way I was dressed. Many women came up to talk to me, or vendors in the market would compliment my style. I believe that dressing respectfully in the local fashion shows appreciation and admiration for the culture and its people.

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Another shot from Nepal; note the long skirt, white blouse, scarf, colourful bag, oodles of jewellery, and ridiculous grin

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What to wear in India

Have you been to India? What does your wardrobe consist of when you travel?

If you’re interested, here’s another article I wrote about feeling fashionable while travelling. Additionally, you can check out what to wear in Thailand, what to wear in Nepal, what to wear in Bhutan, what to wear in Russiawhat to wear in Cuba, what to wear in Canada in winter, what to wear in Kenya, and what to wear in Colombia

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Expatkerri December 16, 2014 - 4:04 am

If I could just wear all your clothes, that would be great. You look AMAZING in all these shots, and it’s very very inspiring! I love the blue scarf as a shawl. And where do you suggest buying the soft white blouses from? I don’t have any and need to invest!

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 11:09 am

You are too kind Kerrilyn. As mentioned in the article, I usually shop locally!

Joanna Brown August 31, 2016 - 7:16 pm

Hi I am travelling to Dehli on Sunday and then Bhutan can you recommend where to buy some white shirts, harem pants and scarves in Dehli when I arrive so I can recreate your wardrobe which looks fantastic and very stylish as well as practical?

Brenna Holeman August 31, 2016 - 8:21 pm

I’d recommend asking your hotel/hostel where the local markets are on that day and checking them out! I also found some cool shops and markets in the Karol Bagh area. Have fun!

Jennie December 16, 2014 - 8:01 am

Lovely post 🙂 I practically live in harem pants when I’m in South East Asia, they’re the comfiest thing ever. A few too many of my outfits do revolve around leggings though i’m ashamed to say, and I do find myself washing and wearing the same outfit over and over again. My travelling photos lack a little variation! Defiantly going to take some inspiration from your long skirts and scarfs and try and mix things up a little bit.

Jennie x

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 11:07 am

That’s awesome, thanks for letting me know Jennie!

Scarlett December 16, 2014 - 5:02 pm

I love your blog so much, Brenna! I’ve been reading it for months but this is the first time I’ve commented (that sounds a little creepy now that I write it…?!)

You write so beautifully and all your photos are so great, I’ve done quite a bit of travelling since leaving high school, I’ve had to settle for a little while at the moment for uni but your writing is such an inspiration and reminds me of everything I love about travelling, and now I’m working to save up for a trip next summer. So thank you for the inspiration!

I love this post as well, your fashion sense is so amazing, and I totally agree about blending in, I always try to as well (even though I am firmly of the belief that every woman should be free to wear whatever they like), I just find it less hassle sometimes, especially in countries like Morocco and Nepal I found covering up/blending in did sometimes help to deflect unwanted attention. I love how you combine locally bought clothes with everyday items, it always works so well and I love all your Indian outfits.

Anyway sorry for slightly long/fangirl-y type post, I just wanted to show my appreciation!

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Aw, what an amazing comment! Thank you for putting a big smile on my face, you are too kind. I agree that it is often less hassle to try to wear local clothes and blend in… and I always find that much more fun!

I hope you get to travel again soon and thanks again for your lovely words. Don’t be shy to comment from now on!

Ashley December 16, 2014 - 5:06 pm

I loved this post, Brenna! Thanks for the tips- especially the idea to cut a hole in scarves to use a top- I will definitely try it! Reading this made me so excited for my trip to India next year! I can’t wait to shop there, even though I’m sure it will be fairly overwhelming and I’m the world’s worst haggler. PS you look great in all these photos and you make all these random articles of clothing and accessories look effortlessly stylish.

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Oh wow – I’m sure you’re going to love it! Don’t worry, haggling is the kind of thing you learn to do quickly. I always make a few mistakes at first in a new country, but you’ll soon learn what’s a fair price.

Thank you so much for your nice comment!

Elina December 16, 2014 - 9:44 pm

You look absolutely lovely in these photos! What a great post too, I am planning a trip to India next summer and this is going to be very helpful. One thing I wonder though, how do you manage to keep your hair that amazing throughout your travels? Mine always seems to get all frizzy and messy and tangly in all the worse ways.

Brenna Holeman December 17, 2014 - 1:33 am

Thanks, Elina! Whenever I travel to warm locations I have the same hair routine: wash with shampoo and conditioner, add a bit of serum to wet hair, and then air dry. It also helps to scrunch your hair with your hands as it dries. I suppose I’m quite lucky – my hair dried naturally in all of these photos – but in recent years I bought a small straightener that works on wet hair to help smooth frizz. They’re quite cheap, so I recommend buying one!

Camille December 17, 2014 - 1:28 am

You always look great while traveling! I couldn’t pull off half the things you do, but I live in scarves no matter where I am.

Brenna Holeman December 17, 2014 - 1:34 am

Aw, thank you so much! I’m sure you look great, too. Scarves are such an amazing thing to have while travelling…

Laura December 17, 2014 - 1:16 pm

I love your travel fashion ideas. I never feel brave enough, but I’m going to try to be on my trip to South East Asia next year – I’m packing super light and will buy most things along the way.

Brenna Holeman December 17, 2014 - 1:20 pm

I really think that’s the way to go! Clothes are so much cheaper there, and a lot of fun to both shop for and wear.

jessica wray December 17, 2014 - 10:41 pm

That scarf hole idea is genius! I also one day would love to travel somewhere with nothing and just buy all my clothes there. It would be so fun! These outfits are all so fun and colorful, you look great!

Brenna Holeman January 1, 2015 - 3:48 pm

Thank you so much, Jessica!

Alisa December 17, 2014 - 11:07 pm

I love your fashion style! You always look so classy and pretty. I’d love to dress more like you do (sadly it’s mostly jeans and sweaters here). Maybe I’ll try out some of your tips during my trip to Southeast Asia in three days. 🙂
I also really want harem pants now, they’re so cute.

Brenna Holeman December 18, 2014 - 12:27 am

Thank you so much, Alisa! That’s really nice of you to say. I definitely think you should try out some of the fun fashion in Southeast Asia… harem pants are the best. Have fun!

Naomi December 18, 2014 - 11:45 am

Oh, my friend. It feels weird to leave a comment that begins with a story about the reader but oh well, here goes: recently I was having a bit of a crisis wondering if I should really head to the Subcontinent for a few months, or if I should just hurry up and go back home to Melbourne, which I am so desperately missing. So, in exasperation, I asked the universe for a sign. And just a few hours later, what I do encounter but this entry at the top of my blogroll – and upon seeing your photographs and just how beautiful, colourful and imaginative travel can be, such a crazy feeling of wanderlust and inspiration welled up in me that I thought, ‘India! YES, YES!’ So cheers to you, for being a constant inspiration! And, like, both an intrepid traveller & total fashionista 😉 Can’t wait to see what outfits you post from the next destination! xx

Brenna Holeman December 18, 2014 - 11:54 am

Oh my Goddddddddd that is the best comment ever. I am SO happy you are going to India! I know with 100% certainty that you are going to absolutely love it and find it to be such a rewarding experience. Just promise me you will take lots of photos and write lots of beautiful words about it, as I know you can. I hope we run into each other again in this big old world very soon. xxx

Katie @ The World on my Necklace December 18, 2014 - 1:56 pm

I could never bring myself to wear harem pants (we call them poo pants because it looks like the person wearing them is wearing a full nappy) but I love all of your other clothing tips. Will definitely keep in mind for when I get to India 🙂

Brenna Holeman December 19, 2014 - 1:35 am

Thanks for your comment, Katie! I disagree, though – I love harem pants and I think it’s easy to make them look very stylish!

Sheherazade Draw December 19, 2014 - 4:16 am

lovely lovely post! I would wear everything in it! no one beats you in travel fashion!

Brenna Holeman December 21, 2014 - 4:32 pm

Aw, thank you so much!

Zalie December 19, 2014 - 6:02 am

Ummm… you looked AMAZING travelling around India ( and of course you still do)!! These are really great tips, I really need to invest in some white cotton shirts!! I seriously laughed so hard at you looking like Mr. T( I pity the fool) and being every airport security staff’s worse nightmare because of your jewellery hahah! I don’t put on my jewellery until after I pass through security but I always have it in my carry-on and they ALWAYS have to pull it out and examine it…I don’t know which is worse. xoxo

Brenna Holeman December 21, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Ughhhh yes I think we both suffer from the perils of wearing/having too much jewellery when we travel. Thank you for your nice comment sister!

Hayley @Lovepuffin December 22, 2014 - 6:27 pm

I simply cannot WAIT to try some of these out in February, Brenna! You always look fantastic though, even if you were wearing a bin bag! 🙂 x

Brenna Holeman December 23, 2014 - 6:31 pm

Aw, thank you so much Hayley! You are going to have such an amazing time…

Jodie Young December 29, 2014 - 10:10 pm

You look amazing in all of these outfits, I wish I could pull them off like you do. Scarves and genie pants are two items I always pack for travelling in warm weather.

Brenna Holeman December 29, 2014 - 11:54 pm

Aw, thanks Jodie! I’m sure you look great, too.

Katie @WorldWideVegetarian.com January 6, 2015 - 7:50 pm

I am leaving for India tomorrow and am struggling to pack clothes. I loved all the photos, and I found this post really invaluable. The clothes there are so beautiful! I can’t wait!

Brenna Holeman January 7, 2015 - 1:21 am

Oh that’s awesome! You’re going to have an amazing time…

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Renate @ Renate's Travels January 20, 2015 - 10:08 pm

Wow, I seriously love your style! I’m totally longing to go back to India now just so I can try to look as good and colorful as you do in these photos, no joke!

I also try to blend in a little with the local clothing customs when I travel, but it always just looks “half way”, haha. I normaly don’t have much room to bring much stuff home with me, but I always find room for bracelets and scarves (and sometimes interior stuff from places like India and Morocco).

Brenna Holeman January 21, 2015 - 3:42 pm

Thank you so much, Renate! I’m sure you look fabulous. Bracelets and scarves are always amazing souvenirs, I find…

angelnx January 22, 2015 - 12:06 pm

I love indian wear, Beacause women almost always have their shoulders covered n i like your sarees ,dresses, salwar kamiez,

Lee B January 25, 2015 - 8:31 pm


If I could look half as chic as you when I go to India, I’ll be lucky! I was researching for something else today, but at the top of my ‘to do list’ today was to figure out what I should take/wear in India in March when I go for almost a month. And suddenly I find your website and this article pop up… good karma! You certainly do have style, and even with your blonde curls and mesmerizing blue eyes, you fit in better than any of the other travelers in your pics!

I too don’t wear t-shirts or shorts or jeans normally. When I first started traveling was when I was still working full time, I always tried to look nice, because for work I had to wear a man’s uniform. Even now when I travel, I receive so many compliments, from both other tourists and the locals… and I really believe I get treated a little differently because of the way I dress. I try to blend in too, as much as possible, but I have yet to travel to Asia, so that’s going to be a new experience for me.

I have made lots of notes from your helpful article, but still have questions… when you were traveling in India, where did you buy these items? at a store, or just at markets? And, in only larger towns, or anywhere? I may try to email you, as I have other questions you may be able to answer for me, but for now, I am your newest fan…

thank you!

Brenna Holeman January 26, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Hi Lee, thanks very much for your comment! To answer your questions: yes, I bought the items almost exclusively at markets. There are tons of them around, especially in smaller cities (in my experience, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Udaipur, and Varanasi were the best for shopping). The big cities usually don’t have the smaller, more traditional markets, at least what I could see… but I could be completely wrong!

Have an amazing time in Asia, although I’m sure you will! Thanks again for your comment…

Manali Parashari February 2, 2015 - 1:00 pm

Hello Brenna…it is such a nice blog and your posts are just awesome…..keep it up!!!!!!

Brenna Holeman February 2, 2015 - 3:01 pm

Thank you!

Sourav February 9, 2015 - 8:53 pm

It is nice to see avid travelers like you in traditional Indian outfits! This visual story speaks of your love for Indian ethnic fashion which you have gracefully flaunted. If you have every happen to visit Gujarat, a n Indian state in Thar desert, do make sure to try colorful outfits there. The textile handicraft of Gujarat is exported to different parts of the world.

Brenna Holeman February 10, 2015 - 2:56 pm

Thank you for your comment! 🙂

Rebecca March 4, 2015 - 8:03 pm

I cannot wait to get to India! I just found your travel blog and it’s FULL of awesome inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing! The winter here in Canada won’t quit so I hope you don’t miss it too much.

Brenna Holeman March 5, 2015 - 4:26 pm

Thank you, Rebecca! That’s so nice to hear. I hope you’ll keep reading 🙂 And yes, I’m fine with my mild London winter… it’ll be 16 this weekend!

Andrea March 29, 2015 - 3:46 pm

I will go going to India in August and was wondering whether you would recommend a backpack or rolling suitcase? We will be do some traveling around the country (on train, buses, etc).


Brenna Holeman March 30, 2015 - 3:57 pm

I often find backpacks easier but it really depends on what you’re used to and how much you’re bringing. Small suitcases can definitely be just as easy…

neha verma April 3, 2015 - 1:01 pm

Hello Brenna What a nice blog that gives nice information of different places of India and the dresses that are Wear in India. Really nice. thanks keep it up.

Ivy April 11, 2015 - 5:43 am

Brenna, finding your blog has been a god-send! I am going to be spending my freshman year of college in India and am so excited/nervous/overwhelmed/clueless about what is to come! After a little research I found out how modest casual Indian fashion is and I was a little worried about how to pull it off. But, this blog post in particular has helped me so much! It has inspired me because you look so cute in all of your outfits! I think I will love the fashion in India, I can wear all the colors, patterns, jewelry and scarves that I want. 🙂 The colorful country seems perfect.
Anyways I have a question!

Do you think I should buy a lot of my clothes when I arrive in India? or should I bring the majority of my clothes?

Also, what are your favorite travel bags? From what I gathered, you bought your purses in India. However the only thing that worries me a little is safety!
Did you have any worries about your bag being stolen or pick pocketed?

Sorry for so many questions! I really hope that you see this & have time to reply! 🙂

Thank you so much girl


Gowthami June 2, 2015 - 8:09 am

Beautiful post…. you look pretty in all these outfits!! great pics:)

Brenna Holeman June 2, 2015 - 2:20 pm

Thank you very much!

Charlie June 19, 2015 - 11:14 am

I never leave comments on blogs, but I just wanted to let you know how inspiring I’ve just found this article – you manage to look completely immersed in the culture without looking like you’re trying to hard! Your outfits and photos are ace! Thanks x

Brenna Holeman June 19, 2015 - 4:47 pm

Aw, thank you very much, Charlie! That is really nice of you to say.

Laura June 24, 2015 - 4:36 pm

Thank you so much for the inspiration! I’m headed to Chennai this week to work on low-cost healthcare solutions/ designs, and this blog was a huge relief for me.

Modesty (especially since I’ll be in rural areas as well) was a concern for me, and your tips are so helpful! Let’s just say you’ve convinced me to bring my suitcase half- empty and leave with it full of stuff I find there!

Your photos are also very beautiful – were these taken on a DSLR or just a phone?

Jamie July 12, 2015 - 9:47 am

I am traveling to India by myself in the fall and this article has been the most helpful one I’ve read yet! Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge, I cannot wait to put it to use! One thing I’d add to your list are Elephant Pants because they are so comfortable and cute!

Thanks again!

Brenna Holeman July 12, 2015 - 9:00 pm

Have fun in India, Jamie! Thanks for the comment.

Dipika July 16, 2015 - 8:34 pm

Interesting blog…..U should visit northeastern part of India…

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juxnz August 20, 2015 - 10:04 pm

Great advice and love your mix of east/west fashions.
May I add something?
It pays to remember India borders the Himalayas and it can be surprisingly cold during the winter months (November to February) in the northern territories, including Rajasthan. If you’re travelling then, make sure to pack some warm clothing as well to layer on and off. It can be pretty chilly tearing around the streets of Delhi in a open-sided tuk-tuk, and picture standing on a frigid platform for hours, early in the morning, waiting for a train or bus (which are rarely on time). Brrrrr!
I’m returning to southern India later this year and the one thing I’m determined to find (you’ll laugh) are some of those pom-pom things you see on nearly every truck/bus/tuk-tuk etc, to decorate my car back home!

Brenna Holeman August 20, 2015 - 11:58 pm

Yes, good call! I briefly mention that I needed to wrap a wool scarf around me for warmth but you’re right, it can get very chilly in parts of India.

Have an amazing time! I love those pom-poms. 🙂

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Steph September 7, 2015 - 8:31 am

Oh, these are stunning… India is under two weeks away for me now and getting more and more real by the minute… Gorgeous photos – I’m determined to pack light with mostly t-shirts and buttonups, then buy skirts/scarves/pretty things when I’m there. Normally I stick to “safe” jeans and an inconspicuous t-shirt, so I’ll be using the trip to expand my style comfort zone for sure! Thanks for the wonderful tips xxx

Brenna Holeman September 7, 2015 - 10:29 am

Oh great, that sounds wonderful! I’m glad that you found the article helpful. Have an amazing time!

Amanda September 21, 2015 - 12:32 pm

So excited to find this post. You look stunning. I’m off to India soon and am confused about what to pack – I so don’t want to take cargo pants! I love that you combined the structure of the button down shirts with the flowy skirts, and broke it up with a belt. Did you find you needed closed in shoes a lot? I’ll be taking a sleeper train and am sure I’ll need more than sandals for the bathroom facilities there:/ Did you wear leggings under long skirts? Thanks for this inspiring post. So in love with all of these colours.

Brenna Holeman September 21, 2015 - 2:46 pm

Hi Amanda, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found the post useful! How exciting that you’ll be in India soon. I would definitely take closed-toed shoes and yes, be prepared to wear them on the trains. I did wear leggings under my skirts when it was a bit cooler (i.e. in the early mornings or at night) and it’s always nice to have the extra coverage.

Have a great time!

Lori Dominick September 25, 2015 - 3:42 am

Thank you so much for this blog! I am leaving for India next week – and I’ve been stressing out about what to wear! I don’t have time to do a lot of shopping before the trip – this has been VERY helpful!

Brenna Holeman September 25, 2015 - 10:59 am

Oh, that’s so great! Thank you for letting me know… and have a fantastic time. 🙂

Brenna Weaver October 19, 2015 - 11:55 am


Thanks for such an informative article. I’m off to India in 3 weeks and can’t tell you how much you’ve helped with packing preparations. It’s so great to get decent information (not to mention absolutely beautiful photographic examples) from someone who has first hand experience.

Off to shop! Xxx

Brenna Holeman October 20, 2015 - 11:51 am

Oh that’s great, thank you so much for letting me know Brenna! Great name, too 😉

Zoe November 2, 2015 - 2:51 am

Hi, fab post I love you’re look in these photos! I’ve just arrived in India and I can’t find any chunky belts or long skirts like yours anywhere. Do you remember where you found them?
Thanks 🙂

Brenna Holeman November 2, 2015 - 11:01 am

I found the belts at markets around India, but I’m afraid I can’t really be more specific than that as they were often just small roadside markets or small shops, etc.

As mentioned in the post, I bought the longi in Myanmar, and I used sarongs I had purchased in other countries as skirts. This post wasn’t so much meant to be a shopping guide in India but what to pack for the holiday, but I’m sure that you’d be able to find most of these items at local markets and/or shops! You might even want to try a shopping mall in a larger city. 🙂

Good luck and have a nice time!

kim December 7, 2015 - 8:33 am

Hi Brenna
I’m going to India in 2016 and I read in one of your posts that you used a straightener for your hair.Can you tell me what the electricity is like there.I would also like to use a hair drier

Brenna Holeman December 7, 2015 - 10:23 am

The electricity was mostly fine in urban areas, although keep in mind that hair dryers take up much more power (and often cause more problems) than other electrical items. The best thing I can recommend is buying a very good quality converter… otherwise, I would just buy a hair dryer on your first day in India so that you know it won’t be a problem!

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Vera December 23, 2015 - 1:52 pm

I really love harem pants, but I cant wear them 🙁 I’m rather short and so I look stupid with ankle- or calf-lenght pants u_u

Also, you are beautiful 🙂

Merry Christmas & Greetings from Austria

Abitha December 31, 2015 - 1:21 am

I am from India, I tell my friends the same when they travel to India and nearby countries.
You look beautiful in all those outfits especially the bindi on you is very pretty.

Brenna Holeman December 31, 2015 - 2:51 pm

Thank you very much, Abitha!

arya January 8, 2016 - 9:49 am

good post

Suman BanjaraBharat January 16, 2016 - 6:35 am

You look beautiful in saree.

Victoria January 24, 2016 - 12:23 pm

Working my way through South Asia and STILL stressing about catering to both the heat and conservative cultures . this post has been a blessing ! I’ve heard that fun breezy pants are easy to come by in India but did you have trouble finding long skirts or dresses ?

Brenna Holeman January 24, 2016 - 10:40 pm

It’s definitely easier to buy trousers, but I found plenty of stores/stalls that also sold long skirts!

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kuheli February 15, 2016 - 12:01 pm

Where did you get those awesome belts from?

Brenna Holeman February 15, 2016 - 1:06 pm

Markets in Thailand and India!

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Ellen February 20, 2016 - 5:43 pm

Hi! I found your post so incredibly helpful! Thank you for all those amazing pictures as well. I’ll be staying in Mumbai, India for two months for work and was wondering if you had the chance to visit Mumbai on your trip. If so, are there any must see spots I should check out?!

Brenna Holeman February 21, 2016 - 4:00 am

Hi Ellen, I’m glad you found the post helpful! I have never been to Mumbai so unfortunately can’t give any tips. Have an amazing time in India!

KausikM February 27, 2016 - 6:11 am

Thanks for describing Indian dresses and other helpful information for tourists in India, they were much helpful to me.

Macy March 2, 2016 - 5:36 pm

I love reading all of your entries! They make me so excited to begin a journey of my own. This summer I am traveling to Manipur, India. I know you have to be pretty modest overall, but I’ve heard I may have to cover my elbows while in Manipur. Have you been to Manipur or do you have any advice when it comes to covering elbows or not? Thanks!

Brenna Holeman March 2, 2016 - 5:43 pm

I haven’t been there, so unfortunately I can’t advise you on that area specifically… but I’d highly recommend that you take some long-sleeved tops! Cotton blouses are my favourite, you can cover up but still remain cool.

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Rohini March 16, 2016 - 5:48 pm

Hello, Brenna Holeman! Well, I am from India and I find this article really interesting. Most foreigners while visiting India do wear white clothes. I must mention here that your various attires are really beautiful. Please visit Kolkata, the city of joy. I am sure you would love the bong (bengali) culture and the bong food. 🙂

Brenna Holeman March 16, 2016 - 10:27 pm

Thank you very much! I’d love to go back to India one day.

Rohini March 17, 2016 - 8:11 am


Brenna March 25, 2016 - 6:55 pm

I’m travelling to India to volunteer this June and this article made me 100 times more excited. I was pretty nervous about how to dress as I didn’t want to be disrespectful or anything but this helped a lot! Also the fact that we have the same name is wonderful!

maria April 5, 2016 - 1:44 am

You just made me feel so much better about what I have packed so far. I am leaving for Golden Triangle on Wed 4/6. I aim to look as comfortable, tasteful and beautiful as you! Thank you for this!!! Maria

Brenna Holeman April 5, 2016 - 10:42 am

That’s great, Maria, thank you for letting me know! Have fun 🙂

Jacqueline April 29, 2016 - 7:04 am

Hello Brenna ! Great article on what to wear in india, lovely pics 🙂 thanks for sharing. Keep sharing your travelling experiences.

sam wilkins May 3, 2016 - 2:31 am

It’s so awesome that sarees are so cheap when you shop in India. My daughter is going on a trip to India and she wants to bring clothes that fit the culture there. After reading through this, I think it would be fun if I could buy her some sarees before she goes and have her buy a few more while she is there.

Niv May 10, 2016 - 12:06 am

I have lived in India long enough to spot foreign tourists and the first thing I notice is the way they dress. I love how the colors and patterns are vibrant in your dresses. While people residing here look out for modern clothing like jeans and shorts, I feel the ethnic clothes are probably the most comfortable and the best looking garbs we can wear in the hot sun. Im gonna start dressing like you and make heads turn 🙂

Amber Styers May 13, 2016 - 3:20 pm

UM, this is an awesome article on what to wear! I love looking at all of your clothes and the fact that you wore jewelry! Stunning pics, and you look and seem really positive, LOVE IT! Thank you! I can’t wait to go to India!

Ashtyn May 22, 2016 - 4:09 am

Hello… I don’t know if you have already answered this question and I looked through most of your comments and didn’t see it but where did you buy your harem pants, belts, and skirts… You always look so put together and pretty in all of your pictures. Thank you so much for these great tips because it’s my first time going to India and I’m very nervous.

Brenna Holeman May 22, 2016 - 1:08 pm

Hi Ashtyn, all of this clothing is easily found in most markets in any big city (or even towns) in India. Most of what I’m wearing in this post was locally bought in either India or Thailand! Look up where the nearest handicraft market is and I’m sure you’ll find lots of great options. 🙂

Have an amazing time – I’m sure you’ll love India!

Elen May 26, 2016 - 11:29 am

I LOVE this post and every outfit in it, and thank god it’s not just another “cover your bum and chest in India” post, like so many out there… I live in Nepal, and spend every day in leggings and kurtas, but try to go for the prettiest kurtas with mirrors or tie-die or embroidery. And I especially love the bag you’re wearing in many of these posts–I made a trip to Gujarat especially so I could stock up on these mirrored embroidered treasures 🙂

Philippa May 27, 2016 - 2:37 pm

Loved this post! Planning a trip to India with my dad and this made me so excited! I think I will arrive there with a backpack and be leaving with about 3 suitcases!

Brenna Holeman May 27, 2016 - 2:57 pm

Ha ha, that would be my plan, too! Have an amazing time…

Emily August 9, 2016 - 3:26 pm

Loved this post. Thanks for the tips! I noticed you wore a bindi often in your pictures. Did you find that this was accepted by the locals? I’m asking because I have heard that they’re only for special occasions and shouldn’t be worn just for fashion. What did you find?

Brenna Holeman August 9, 2016 - 3:40 pm

Hi Emily, thanks for your comment. In some cases the local people actually gave me bindis to wear, so I assumed that was acceptable. Many Indian women wear bindis every day, not just for special occasions.

That being said, I understand your concerns about wearing bindis, as it can be seen as cultural appropriation. I asked women about this while in India and everyone said they loved that I was wearing bindis, but I don’t know if I would do the same today.

Sridevi February 9, 2023 - 6:17 pm

Hi Emily, I am an Indian so can tell you wearing it is not mandatory. Yes, it does complete the look when wearing Indian outfits is what my adult self feels, but I don’t do that everyday per se. When visiting temples, you will find red vermillion powder that is customary to put as a dot but that’s about it.

I know I am a tad late to this blog party but hopefully it benefits anyone who references this from now on

Lee August 12, 2016 - 1:36 am

Put your hands up if you’re reading this 2016 ✋
Love this article great tips

Diana August 17, 2016 - 10:34 am

Amazing blog post and so interesting to read.

Brenna Holeman August 17, 2016 - 10:55 am

Thank you!

Shefali August 20, 2016 - 4:07 pm

I am from India and I love writing posts about outfits and beauty. As a fashion blogger, I completely agree with these tips. Great post 🙂

Brenna Holeman August 21, 2016 - 4:17 pm

Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoy the post!

southcast September 1, 2016 - 11:15 am

beautifully explained 🙂
agree the tips above (y)

Vicky September 14, 2016 - 10:05 am

Super duper stylish! You look awesome in all those photos! I’m less so, is it something you can learn? I’m heading there in 6 weeks and have mostly slim fit t-shirts and western style yoga trousers from H&M/New Look etc (so not massively baggy but still pretty cool patterns). Should I ditch all my stuff before I leave Indonesia and arrive with an empty bag or is there anything I can do with these items that I haven’t the creative imagination for?

Brenna Holeman September 14, 2016 - 10:08 am

I would keep those items until you start shopping in India, just in case you don’t find anything you like right away. I think you can easily pair those items you already have with things you find in markets, for example, one of your t-shirts from home with a market-bought skirt, scarf, and jewellery. Or you can wear the trousers with a new cotton top. I hope you have a great time!

sinead October 3, 2016 - 2:07 am

Hi there i loved this blog on india i am going on my first solo trip in january and terrified but excited. i love your outfits and the colours so vibrant can i ask where you got your skirts ? also the thick belt to go around them which is exactly what i am looking for ? thanks so much for all the information it is brilliant for someone such as me who has no clue what to expect !! thank you thank you thank you….

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2016 - 10:06 am

Hi Sinead, I’m sure you’re going to have an amazing time! The skirts are from a variety of places, almost most styles can be bought in markets in India (I found at least one big market in each city/town I went to). The belt I got in Thailand although it was actually made in India (again, from a market). Trust me, I’m sure you’ll find lots of treasures once you’re there, the shopping is fantastic! Have fun 🙂

Melissa October 9, 2016 - 5:47 pm

I LOVE you blog and your posts are so helpful! I’m a solo female traveler heading to India for the first time, so I just have 2 quick questions if anyone can help.

First – You style is amazing, but I’ll be in northern India during January and have been told that temperature drop to freezing, so I’m not completely sure how to dress for that weather. I was thinking a wool shawl like the one you have from Nepal, and layer leggings under pants. Any other suggestions so that I can dress with local clothes but stay warm? I might need my Western down jacket but would prefer not.

Second – where did you get that amazing belt from? The one that ties in the back. Looks awesome!

Emily Rose October 23, 2016 - 2:47 pm

I’m going to India too, but I’m looking for a white blouse like the one you wore in the photos. Where do you find a comfortable blouse that’s good for travel?

Simone December 12, 2016 - 2:35 am

Brenna! It is SUCH a pleasure to meet you via your blog! What an onslaught of inspiration and excitement I have received from just reading one post! I’m off in January for Vietnam and India (hopefully a few places in between) for the first time, and I’m so excited to explore even more so after your words and wisdom. Also very tempted to just pack a pretty much empty backpack in terms of clothing, and buy everything there! I have to ask where you got your bangled belt, its simply stunning. I am absolutely going to be looking out for a similar one, and going to have so much fun dressing like the local countries with no fear. Thank you!

Vaibhav Singh December 23, 2016 - 7:22 am

Hello, Thanks for sharing such a fantastic blog.I really appreciate your blog to share information about what to wear in India …Visiting in India is amazing experience. This is amazing place with historical monuments and rich traditional culture. Specially dressing style culture, festivals celebration of india attract every tourist.great blog….

Kalai December 28, 2016 - 11:07 am

Hi.i just saw ur post.im kalai by the way from Malaysia.just love ur stories n photos. U have a great sense of fashion n u look amazing in each photo.tq for the beautiful post n stories

Brenna Holeman January 4, 2017 - 4:28 pm

Thank you!

Julianna December 28, 2016 - 7:24 pm

Beautiful posts, Brenna. I’ve come back to this same site time and time again. I’m heading to India for my first time in a few weeks and I’m excited and open to all the people, culture, and country will offer. Thank you for for sharing your detailed accounts of what to wear. You look adorable.

Bek December 30, 2016 - 6:15 am

Hi, this was great information. Do you happen to know if they cater for larger women in their clothing sizes?

Jane Fairman February 17, 2017 - 9:50 pm

What a lovely website giving exactly the sort of info I wanted. So much more than just ‘cover your shoulders’. Really lovely pics of you looking great.
I’m returning to India after a 35 year gap with my best girl friend. Off on an adventure. Are you up for giving advice ?
Best wishes
Two very grown up ladies who in their heads are your age !!
Jane and Jane

Sooshmita March 4, 2017 - 2:09 pm

you looked amazing in sari , do you recommend similar dress code for going to Sri Lanka ?

M C Batchelor March 5, 2017 - 11:39 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog. I will be going to India in April and will be applying your tips. I love your colourful style!
Thank you very much, all the best on your trips!

Brenna Holeman March 6, 2017 - 12:27 am

That’s amazing, have a great time! 😀

Katerina Athena March 6, 2017 - 2:57 am

I’ll be going to Northern rural India this summer to work on a farm. I’ve been before and I definitely will be wearing culture appropriate clothing but I was wondering if you happen to know any shops online with really simple light weight kurtis/dupattas? I can find infinite amounts of fancy outfits but I really just need simple and light weight since it will be summer and scorching hot! I will be traveling alone and do not want to draw any attention to myself. (i’m greek but can pass for a lighter skinned desi girl, Mostly people assume I’m sindhi or nepali. Any leads would be much appreciated! Thanks so much!

Joselen Rodriguez March 7, 2017 - 4:48 pm

hello any advice for those attending the Holi celebration

Dipak March 23, 2017 - 4:42 pm

Not only you kept it kool and chic but ethnic too. Loved the blog and your colorful attires.

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Cristina April 23, 2017 - 10:07 pm

I’m leaving for northern India in exactly one week. This post is incredibly helpful as the flowly clothing I will be bringing will keep me cool or at least I hope so. So it’s nice to know that I can pick up a traditional dress or skirt while I ‘m there. Thank you!

Brenna Holeman April 23, 2017 - 10:53 pm

I’m glad you found it helpful, Cristina! Have fun in India 🙂

Phoenix's mom April 30, 2017 - 2:32 am

Thank you for this post. My 14 yr old daughter and I are going to New Delhi next week presenting at Women Economic Forum, and I had no clue what to wear.

Being from Canada (too), there is a significant population of Indians in our area, and I found items for my daughter to wear as soon as we step off the plane…none for me, and I was a little stressed by it. With your pictures, I have been able to put together a couple of things I feel comfortable starting out in until I can get to a market.

On our way home, we have a 14 hr layover in London. Any recommendations?

Jenny July 14, 2017 - 7:53 am

You look so beautiful in traditional Punjabi dress material…Thew goat shot is ROFL!!! and the desert one so deep…Thank you for the share….

kiana September 8, 2017 - 7:27 am

Thanks for the great advice and photos. Yours has been the only one I’ve read out of 6 that actually talked about buying the items there and just taking a mostly empty suitcase. I tried to do that in Peru and Thailand and I’m glad I did. Surprisingly, I had a really hard time finding solid print, cotton tops in Thailand. I hope that won’t be a problem in India. Thanks again!

ana October 12, 2017 - 12:55 am

i passed by your picture with the skirt that has the tule on the bottom and loved it so much im glad i came to fall on your blog later on the day. you are pretty, i wish to travel for a really long time just like you xoxo

Brenna Holeman October 13, 2017 - 4:21 pm

Aw, thank you very much, Ana!

ana October 12, 2017 - 12:57 am

im always such a cheap bitch and end up never buying anything because i dont want to waste money but in india i musttttt the outfits are so good. also im always afraid of choosing something that turns out to be the ugliest thing that has ever existed and only finding that out when i come back to my mothers awful feedbacks

Kates December 11, 2017 - 6:11 pm

Do you have any suggestions on where can i go for shopping? Id love to go and buy tons of long skirts, fabrics, tapestries, sarongs, etc 🙂

Zahra January 6, 2018 - 10:20 am

What a fabulous blog, ty. I can’t wait for my trip this summer! You’re so brave and fabulous to travel alone!

I did think it was funny, and most westerners would think it as funny as I did to find out, that most of the scarves you wore are for cleaning out a charas or hash pipe. It’s really thin material meant to be ripped off. It has that distinctive pattern.

Brenna Holeman January 7, 2018 - 5:20 am

Yes, I did know that – someone told me while I was in India. I still loved the variety of colours, though! 🙂 I hope you have a fantastic trip!

Robin April 8, 2018 - 2:01 am

Thank you so much for your wardrobe tips! I’m going on a short term mission trip to Kolkata and then north to Siliguri. I’ve had to rethink my wardrobe as we will be visiting small villages. I want to be appropriate wherever we go. Thinking the harem pants and long skirts are the way to go as it will be super hot there in the coming weeks. Don’t want to stand out too much (tho I will regardless with my fair skin) but want to be comfortable etc. Thank you for your blog, super helpful!!!

Carrie April 18, 2018 - 8:44 am

so cool! i loved this post and you made me excited to travel. Thats it..im going with an empty backpack! thank you! <3 ps you look simply amazing in all that clothing.

Jennifer August 3, 2018 - 1:18 am

wow! you looking pretty in all outfits. it was great information about who wants to travel around India. thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog .i am looking forward to reading the more interesting topic about different traditions and lifestyles.

Dido Smith August 26, 2018 - 1:59 am

I’m going to India next week . I’ve read lots on what to wear and what to take . I love what you wear ❤️❤️❤️❤️ . Now I’m going to pack really ( as opposed to just light ) Thankyou so much for this fabulous blog ? Dido

Brenna Holeman September 5, 2018 - 4:17 pm

Thank you very much! Have fun 🙂

Lidia August 29, 2018 - 6:01 pm

Hi ! Excelent post ! I wish you could extend about what did you say about not wear bindi anymore please. We are traveling next year and we don’t want to offend their traditions. Thanks !

Kate Middleton September 5, 2018 - 9:40 pm

I absolutely loved this article–it was so helpful! I am going to India next week for 6 months and I can’t wait. I was wondering if you remembered where you got the patterned scarf, black top, and pants in the picture of you with chai? Thanks so much!

Siddharth Pendharkar October 10, 2018 - 11:59 pm

I think you have visited the tourist attractions in North India.. There are a lot of different Indias within India..
I stay in Mumbai, India. Come to India again and contact me. I would love to show you some different places..
I like that you have travelled to so many countries in 12 years..
Best regards..

elizabeth Tixier November 16, 2018 - 1:53 pm

OK I have a question….. You look amazing and the Harem pant and skirts look so cute because you are wearing flip flops. I think I will be doing so much walking and will be needing walking shoes. I think I’ll look stupid. Should I just stick to womens cargo pants?

Amy November 21, 2018 - 5:23 pm

I love your style! I don’t say this lightly (or ever), but each one of your outfits is so beautiful and well put together. You are absolutely gorgeous & your writing style was so enjoyable to read!

Brenna Holeman November 21, 2018 - 6:24 pm

Aw, thank you so much, Amy! That is so kind of you to say 🙂 So glad that you liked the article.

Gunu Board April 1, 2019 - 9:12 am

Hi Brenna, Wow look all the things you said and all your tips – thank you. What was the best way to travel? We are going to Delhi and I really would like to go and see the golden temple but flights are about £300.00 (there are three of us) by train it is 6 hours one way? What would you recommend? Thank yu

Sam Weaver May 1, 2019 - 6:10 pm

It’s great that you mention here that wearing long skirts while visiting India is actually comfortable and cool. I have always thought that since India is a very hot country, wearing long skirts will make it even hotter. Now I will share this tip to my sister as we’re both planning to have our very first out of the country travel in India. We are excited to go shopping for some cool outfits and hopefully, we can buy some really amazing skirts and dresses for our Indian trip.

Maharaja Train July 11, 2019 - 4:02 am

Wow ! Very Nice article, I absolutely loved this article–it was so helpful! I am going to India next week for 6 months and I can’t wait. I was wondering if you remembered where you got the patterned scarf, black top, and pants in the picture of you with chai? Thanks so much!

Kristina Weems July 12, 2019 - 11:59 am

This blog was so very helpful, as I’m traveling to India next week and had no idea what to pack! You’re the best. 🙂

Stella Mary October 2, 2019 - 9:13 am

Helpful hints to help travellers. India is a great country with multi-languages, cultures and traditional wears based on the culture. Hence each traveler will have the same question “What to wear in India”. Thank you for the post.

Cece December 26, 2019 - 3:15 pm

Hi there!
I’m going to India in 5 days!!! I am bringing 4 pairs of pants and 3 sweaters with me because it’s, well winter. I was wondering if you think jeans and dress pants are okay and respectful to the culture. If not, then I guess I will be buying a lot.

Neha Das May 5, 2020 - 1:11 pm

Interesting article!!! I have been looking for fashion style guidance. This is an amazing article. Thanks for writing it.

Sagar Biswas March 24, 2021 - 12:13 am

Hi there!
I’m going to India in 5 days!!! I am bringing 4 pairs of pants and 3 sweaters with me because it’s, well winter. I was wondering if you think jeans and dress pants are okay and respectful to the culture. If not, then I guess I will be buying a lot.

Brenna Holeman March 25, 2021 - 1:36 pm

Oh yes, I believe that will be totally fine! Many people wear jeans in India, especially in the bigger cities. Have fun!

Sridevi February 9, 2023 - 6:30 pm

Brenna, you do look stunning and it’s really amazing to see you in that riot of colour that to me represents India. I am an Indian who’s been here all my life. In the big cities, you can wear whatever you want – to the cosmo kind of places (clubs, pubs, shopping malls, etc) but temples anywhere require you to be conservatively dressed. In smaller towns, it’s better to be a bit conservatively dressed so you don’t draw more attention to yourself.

Even as a locality, I usually go in slightly conservative choices in new cities I travel to and observe the crowd and then know better. Temple towns like Kashi are better conservative as you don’t know what place/ancient temple/local market you’re going to find next (it was practically a treasure hunt for me) and you don’t want to be restricted by dress code/inappropriate attire.

Google pay works almost everywhere in India so that may help you better than carrying a lot of currency. This may work for people on slightly longer trips.

At the local shops, always start bargaining at half the price quoted by the shopkeeper. They usually keep margin for bargaining so that’s where you begin.

Hope this helps the travellers of 2023!

Piara January 31, 2024 - 9:33 am

I’m planning to go to India this summer. I adore what you wear. I’ve read lots about what to wear, but your advice is truly genuine. Now I’m going to pack well. Thank you for such an informative blog.


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