No trip to the Thai islands is complete with out at least one visit to a glittering local temple. Dressing in appropriate clothing when you visit these spiritual sanctuaries doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on holiday style.
Thailand's stunning, peaceful temples, also known as wats, can be found in almost every town and it's worth seeking out the small local temples as well as the larger tourist attractions to get a true feeling for the local way of life.
Whether you’re visiting a Chinese temple in Phuket’s Old Town or Samui’s iconic Big Buddha monument, it’s important to observe the correct etiquette, particularly when it comes to what you’re wearing. Shoulders and knees should be covered and shirts buttoned high. In fact, the only clothes to be removed are your shoes.
Dressing in the modest clothing required for a temple visit doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave your sense of style behind. In fact, temple-appropriate outfits can be chosen that not only look great but also suit for the tropical climate.
Below are a few suggested outfits.
To get your temple outfit just right, loose linen trousers are an unbeatable choice for both men and women, ticking all the boxes when it comes to modesty, comfort and style. To cope with the hot climate, loose cotton and linen materials will also allow your skin to breathe, helping to keep you cool.
Colourful patterned maxi dresses are a must in this year’s holiday wardrobe, and their loose, flowing design is the ideal choice for ladies that want to infuse their temple ensemble with a little femininity. As well as covering the knees, maxi dresses come in an array of different cuts to flatter every body shape. Multi-hued prints add a tropical twist and you can finish off with a light bolero or loose white shirt to cover the shoulders.
Pashminas are possibly the most versatile item of clothing any woman can pack in her suitcase. Not only do they add a certain chic to every outfit, but they also double up as sarongs for the beach and stylish shoulder coverers for temple trips. If you forgot to pack your pashmina, you can head to the local Thai market to pick up a new one. A rainbow of hues and patterns are available in Thailand so you will definitely be able to find one to match a multitude of outfits.
Shirts that Suit
No matter how hot it gets, a tank top is not acceptable in a Thai temple. A t-shirt or polo shirt is fine, although you might find a linen button down shirt a little cooler. A stylish button down shirt will also work well if you’re heading out to a restaurant for dinner after your temple trip. Burberry’s Brit monochrome short-sleeved shirt is an ideal choice. It's crafted from a fresh blend of cotton, linen and natural ramie and it features Burberry’s classic check print for gentlemen that want to make a timeless style statement while they are out and about.
Slip on, Slip off
Closed-toe shoes are more appropriate for wandering through temple grounds, even though you will probably have to take them off before you go inside any of the gold leaf buildings. Slip on shoes or smart sandals are the ideal choice. For a striking 'off-duty' look, Kurt Geiger's limpid skate shoes offer practicality and comfort. What’s more, there are no pesky laces to worry about so you can slip them on and off with ease.