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Strolling around the Singapore Helix Bridge
Strolling around the Singapore Helix Bridge | © Jordan Opel / Unsplash
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What To Wear on Holiday in Singapore

Picture of Jaclynn Seah
Singapore Travel Writer
Updated: 13 April 2018
Packing your bags for your trip to Singapore? Here’s a rundown on essentials you need to pack and what to wear on your next holiday to this tropical country.

Dress light

Singapore is blessed with hot summery weather all year round, with temperatures ranging from 26 to 34 degrees Celcius on average throughout the day – and it never really gets that much colder or hotter than that. This is a great time to pull out your clothes that are thin, lightweight and breathable as Singapore’s climate is very humid, so load up on deodorant and expect to perspire the moment you step out the door.

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Light clothing and flipflops, the unofficial Singaporean uniform | © Alaric Sim / Unsplash

But bring a jacket

Because of the tropical temperatures, Singaporeans often make a beeline indoors in the afternoon, which is why air-conditioned shopping malls are very popular throughout the island as a respite from the heat. Oddly enough, the malls often overcompensate for the heat and sometimes it gets positively chilly, particularly in movie theatres. Singapore is probably the only place where people put their jackets and scarves on as they head indoors instead of when they step outside.

Singapore Changi Airport Boy
Always have a jacket on hand for indoors | © Hanson Lu / Unsplash

Carry an umbrella

Even if it makes you feel like a middle-aged aunt, a portable lightweight umbrella is the best accessory to carry around with you in Singapore. It offers both protection from the intense midday sun and the sudden torrential tropical downpours that tend to happen without much warning.

Slather on the sunblock and throw on your sunglasses if you are outdoors for an extended period of time in the day – unwitting tourists are often caught off guard by the sheer intensity of the sun in Singapore and end up with painful sunburn souvenirs to take home.

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An umbrella for sun and rain protection | © Ryan Cheng / Unsplash

Go casual

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city, and dress style is generally urban, casual and practical – t-shirts, jeans, shorts, sneakers and even flipflops are commonly seen clothing just about anywhere you go. The only places that you will usually encounter dress codes are in the more upscale downtown restaurants and clubs where smart casual or cocktail styles are enforced, so pack at least one nice outfit and shoes if you want to enjoy the nightlife.

Fashion trends in Singapore are heavily influenced by a mix of American and European trends, as well as that of East Asian countries like Japan and Korea. You can easily find popular international brands in the shopping malls, from H&M, Forever 21, Zara and Uniqlo just to name a few, and there are an increasing number of Singaporean designers gaining momentum as well.

People eating satay at Lau Pa Sat | Courtesy Singapore Tourism Board
Casual wear in Singapore | © Singapore Tourism Board

Have a modest cover up

If you are visiting religious institutions while touring Singapore, be sure to dress modestly with longer garments that hit below the knee and cover the shoulders. Shoes that can be easily removed will make your life easier when you enter these sanctums, and a shawl for ladies to cover up is always useful to have just in case.

Selfie at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Scarves are great multi-purpose travel accessories | © Marco Verch / Flickr