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How to dress in Jakarta as a Woman

clothing requirements

How to dress in Jakarta as a Woman
Photo by alexandra lammerink on Unsplash

Foreigners always assume that Indonesia will have more strict clothing requirements as it is the largest Muslim majority country in the world. This isn't necessarily true. Read on to find out more!

Urban Locations

Short shorts are permissible on the beaches, but when heading to villages, trousers or skirts that drop below the knees are seen as appropriate. Sleeveless tops are also considered to be appropriate. Make sure to carry a light scarf you can place over your shoulders. When you visit temples or mosques, you can wrap the scarf on top of your head.

You can see locals wear denim and long sleeve tops, but when you're not comfortable with the weather, it might be just too hot for you! Therefore, wear clothing that is advisable for such extreme weather. On the other side, around Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bandung, you can always wear tank tops and never feel awkward or even frowned upon. The islands are totally packed with tourists wearing anything they want in the tourist destinations like Gilli and Lombok. Indonesia governs a fairly broad style of apparel and is not very restrictive!

When you're curious about what to wear, it just depends on where you go and what you do. Indonesia is split into three times zones and there are separate sets of the regulations regarding one's clothes within the time zone. Only try to change your clothes there depending on the temperature. Pick out tops that encourage your body to breathe. Cotton is a supportive fabric that you should wear on hot days. Also, urban areas are a bit more relaxed when it comes to clothing. So you might want to stay in Jakarta, in service apartments. You can check out properties like Ascott Jakarta, for instance.

Public Locations

There are several options for clothes that are covered and modest. Clothing in Indonesia will be in accordance with the country's ethics and culture. Therefore, you must try to be in line with the principles that exist in public spaces like temples or mosques. No matter where you go in this country there are strict rules pertaining to clothes when entering sacred places. If you are wearing shorts, you may have to cover up with a skirt. You might have to wrap a shawl around bare shoulders too. Therefore, when visiting mosques and temples make sure to be aware of the types of clothes you wear. You will not be allowed to walk in with footwear. You will be asked to politely remove it at the entrance.

Rural Locations

People prefer to dress very comfortably in rural areas, wearing sarongs, scarves, kebaya fabric, and so on, for instance. Furthermore, the villagers like to sew clothes themselves. Usually, the villagers prefer to knit clothes rather than go to shops and buy garments. So, in rural communities, you will find many talented weavers. For rural regions, you can try wearing beautiful dresses that will bring about your femininity if you do not like to be stared upon. However, it is up to you. The villagers are friendly and are going to be quite curious about your attire if you wear something out of the norm to theirs.

Conclusion

When in Indonesia, you must wear clothing that is appropriate to the weather mostly. But when visiting sacred or conservative areas, you may want to go a bit more conservative. Or else, you might have to go through the trouble of purchasing sarongs and shawls to cover up. Therefore, pack your suitcase according to the places you will be visiting. And you will be just fine! So do not worry!

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Pushpitha Wijesinghe
See all posts by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

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