What Should I Wear in Singapore? A Practical Guide for Tourists


Singapore, a bustling city-state known for its diverse culture and iconic skyline, draws in tourists from all over the world. With a tropical climate and a blend of western and eastern influences, knowing what to wear in Singapore can be a challenge for first-time visitors. This article aims to shed light on the essential packing items and clothing tips necessary for a comfortable and enjoyable trip to this popular destination.

Understanding the climate in Singapore is vital when deciding on what to pack. The city has hot and humid weather all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 31°C. Therefore, it is crucial to opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk when choosing your clothes. Moreover, don’t forget to factor in the indoor activities that Singapore has to offer, as many air-conditioned facilities can make the temperature feel significantly cooler.

Apart from the climate, one must also keep in mind the cultural diversity of Singapore when planning their wardrobe. Although the city is generally modern and cosmopolitan, modest attire is still appreciated, particularly in religious or cultural sites. Avoid overly revealing clothing and remember to pack attire suitable for various occasions, including sightseeing, shopping, and fine dining.

Key Takeaways

  • Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk for the hot and humid climate of Singapore.
  • Be mindful of cultural diversity and pack modest attire suitable for religious and cultural sites.
  • Prepare for indoor activities, as many are air-conditioned, causing a significant temperature difference.

Understanding the Climate

Singapore’s climate is characterised by its consistent and tropical nature, which makes it important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Located near the equator, Singapore experiences hot and humid temperatures throughout the year, with little variation in its weather patterns.

Daytime temperatures in Singapore generally range between 30 to 35 degrees Celsius (86 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit), with cooler temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) during the nighttime. These consistently warm temperatures, along with a high humidity level of about 94%, can lead to a sticky and uncomfortable atmosphere.

The island nation does experience two distinct monsoon seasons, with the Northeast Monsoon typically occurring between December to early March, and the Southwest Monsoon taking place between June and September. However, it should be noted that the monsoon seasons in Singapore are not as intense as those found in other Southeast Asian countries. During the monsoon seasons, rainfall may be more frequent, but temperatures still remain high.

Given Singapore’s tropical climate, it is advisable to wear light, breathable clothing such as cotton or linen, which help to wick away moisture and keep the body cool. Dressing in layers is also a practical approach, as it allows for quick adjustments throughout the day and night, depending on the day’s activities and temperature changes.

In conclusion, when visiting Singapore, it is essential to understand the consistently hot and humid climate to ensure appropriate clothing choices are made for maximum comfort and enjoyment. With this knowledge, visitors can confidently prepare for their trip and make informed decisions on what to wear in Singapore.


Essential Packing List for Your Singapore Trip

When preparing for your trip to Singapore, consider packing a variety of comfortable and light clothing items that can easily be mixed and matched to create a capsule wardrobe. The weather in Singapore is typically hot and humid, so opt for fabrics that will keep you cool, such as cotton or moisture-wicking materials.

Begin with a selection of shorts, tops, and t-shirts perfect for daytime activities in the city. These clothing items should be lightweight and ideally made from breathable materials like cotton to keep you comfortable during the day. Hiking enthusiasts can pack a pair of durable, moisture-wicking hiking shorts or pants for exploring the many trails that Singapore has to offer.

Dresses are another essential item to include in your packing list. Opt for light fabrics and versatile designs that can easily transition from day to night. Not only will these dresses keep you cool during the day, but they can also be dressed up for evenings at finer dining establishments.

In addition to your essential clothing items, consider a few key accessories that will help you enjoy your time in Singapore. A comfortable, broad-brimmed hat or cap can provide essential sun protection, while lightweight and supportive walking shoes will make it easier to navigate the city’s streets and attractions.

Keep in mind that many of Singapore’s shopping centres, museums, and other attractions are air-conditioned, so packing a light sweater or jacket for these environments can also be beneficial. This will help you maintain a comfortable body temperature as you move between the outdoor heat and indoor coolness.


In summary, your packing list for Singapore should prioritise comfortable, light clothing items like shorts, tops, and dresses made from breathable fabrics such as cotton. Additionally, consider packing a few versatile accessories like a hat and supportive walking shoes, as well as a light sweater for indoor areas with air conditioning. By focusing on a capsule wardrobe and keeping the climate in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for your Singapore adventure.

Clothing Checklist for Singapore

Breathable and Loose-fitting Attire

Since Singapore experiences hot and humid weather most of the time, choosing breathable and loose-fitting clothing is essential. Opt for materials such as cotton, linen, or silk, which are comfortable for everyday wear and help regulate body temperature. This will ensure that you remain cool and dry throughout your trip.

Casual Wear: Shorts and T-Shirts

You’ll find that most locals in Singapore wear Western-style clothing like shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. As a visitor, you can follow this casual dress code during daytime activities. Bringing a few extra t-shirts in your bag is a good idea, as you might sweat more than expected in the tropical climate.

Protective Gear: Hats and Sunglasses

Shielding yourself from the strong sun is important, so don’t forget to pack hats and sunglasses. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can help protect both your face and neck, while good-quality sunglasses with UV protection are essential for safeguarding your eyes.

Swimwear Essentials

If you plan to visit beaches or swimming pools, make sure to pack your swimwear. It’s also a good idea to bring a cover-up or sarong for when you’re not in the water, particularly if you plan on visiting waterfront cafes or restaurants.


Dressing for Evenings and Special Occasions

When it comes to evenings and special occasions in Singapore, you may need to dress up a bit more. For dining at upscale restaurants or attending cultural events, pack a few smart-casual outfits or a semi-formal dress. Remember that some religious sites or formal settings might require more modest attire with longer sleeves and pants.

Footwear: Comfortable and Walk-Friendly Shoes

Lastly, invest in comfortable and walk-friendly shoes for your trip to Singapore. This can include sneakers, sandals, or other supportive options that provide adequate cushioning and support as you explore the city. Ensure that your footwear is suitable for both urban and natural environments, as you might find yourself walking on various terrains during your stay.

By prioritising these clothing essentials, you’ll be well-equipped to handle Singapore’s climate and atmosphere, ensuring an enjoyable and comfortable trip.

Must-Have Items for a Singapore Trip

Day Bags and Backpacks

When packing for a Singapore trip, it is essential to have a comfortable and lightweight day bag or backpack. This will allow you to carry all your necessary items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a cap, an umbrella, and a lightweight jacket. When choosing a bag, opt for one that has multiple compartments for better organisation and easy access to your belongings.

Photography Gear: Don’t Forget Your Camera

Capturing your memorable moments in Singapore requires a good camera. Ensure that you pack your favourite photography gear, including a high-quality camera, spare batteries, and a memory card. Furthermore, consider bringing waterproof accessories to protect your camera during outdoor activities or unexpected rain showers.

Insect Repellent: Stay Bug-Free

  Singapore has a tropical climate, which means it’s essential to protect yourself from insects and bugs. Remember to pack an effective insect repellent along with other accessories like sunglasses, lightweight scarves, and sun-protective clothing to keep you comfortable during your trip. This will ensure a carefree and enjoyable experience as you explore the beautiful city-state.

Tech Accessories: Extra Chargers

Staying connected during your Singapore trip is vital, whether for capturing memories or keeping in touch with loved ones. To maintain a charged and ready-to-go electronic device, bring a portable charger, a universal travel adapter, and extra cords. Having these tech accessories on hand will make for a stress-free experience as you explore Singapore’s vibrant city life.

Remember the essentials:
- Day bag or backpack
- Camera and photography gear
- Insect repellent
- Tech accessories (portable charger, universal travel adapter, extra cords)
- Cap, sunglasses, and other clothing accessories
- Umbrella
- Waterproof boots or shoes
- Lightweight jacket
- Sunscreen

Singapore Style Guide: Tips and Advice

Singapore is a vibrant and multicultural city-state that has a unique blend of modernity and rich cultural heritage. Its tropical climate, hot and humid weather, along with diverse fashion influences, make dressing in Singapore a delightful challenge for visitors. In this Singapore Style Guide, we offer tips and advice on how to blend in with the local style while staying comfortable in the warm weather.

The first thing to know about dressing in Singapore is that lightweight, breathable fabrics are essential. Stick to materials such as pure cotton, linen, or silk, as they help keep you cool and comfortable by absorbing perspiration and allowing your body heat to escape. Polyester/spandex blends can also be a suitable choice. Remember to pack an extra t-shirt and deodorant, as the humidity may cause you to perspire more than you’d expect.

In terms of style, Singaporean fashion is influenced by both its multicultural heritage and its status as a global city. This means you’ll see a mix of traditional clothing, such as sarongs and cheongsams, alongside contemporary and western attire. To dress like a local, embrace this diversity by incorporating both traditional and modern elements into your outfits. Keep the look sophisticated and stylish to fit in with the city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere.

When dressing for Singapore’s outdoor activities and attractions, choose casual outfits that can help you stay cool and comfortable. This might include light-coloured summer dresses, shorts, and short-sleeve shirts or blouses. It’s also important to factor in footwear – opt for comfortable sandals or sneakers that offer support for walking in the city or exploring nature reserves.

Although the outdoor temperatures in Singapore can be quite hot, many indoor spaces are air-conditioned. Thus, it is advisable to carry a light jacket, scarf, or cardigan when visiting shopping malls, movie theatres or museums to keep yourself warm in these cooler environments.

Lastly, always remember to adhere to any dress codes for religious sites, such as temples, mosques, and shrines. Modest clothing, which covers the shoulders and goes below the knees, is typically required when visiting these locations. Carrying a sarong or light scarf can be a versatile accessory for situations that require more coverage.

By following these tips and advice, you will be able to embrace Singapore’s diverse style, dress appropriately for the climate, and blend in with the local fashion scene.

Gender-Specific Clothing Tips

Women’s Clothing Tips for Singapore

In Singapore, women can choose clothing that suits their body shape while keeping them cool and comfortable. It’s important to note that although the younger generation may dress more casually, low-cut tops and high-cut shorts are not common among locals. Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics like linen, silk, and cotton. They will not only be more comfortable in the heat but will also wash and dry quickly.

In general, casual dresses, skirts, and trousers in natural fabrics are great choices. It’s also a good idea to pack an extra t-shirt, as the weather can be quite hot and humid, leading to sweat. Don’t forget your deodorant!

Men’s Clothing Tips for Singapore

Men in Singapore can also benefit from wearing lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk. Casual attire, like jeans and t-shirts, is acceptable for most situations, provided that they are neat and clean. Singaporeans appreciate cleanliness and tidiness, so avoid looking scruffy.

In addition to t-shirts, consider packing short-sleeve button-up shirts and shorts made of natural fabrics for added comfort. As with women’s attire, carrying an extra t-shirt and deodorant is advised due to the hot and humid climate.

Kids Clothing Tips for Singapore

Children’s clothing in Singapore should be focused on comfort and keeping them cool in the tropical climate. Opt for clothes made of lightweight, natural fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk that will allow their body heat to escape and absorb perspiration.

For both boys and girls, pack a selection of t-shirts, shorts, and comfortable footwear, ensuring their clothing is suitable for the weather and local customs. Keep in mind that Singapore experiences occasional haze, so having a filtered mask for kids may also be a good idea during those times.

Weather-Ready Packing: Preparing for Singapore’s Climate

Singapore is known for its tropical climate, with temperatures remaining relatively consistent throughout the year. The average temperature in January, for instance, is 26°C (79°F), with highs of 30°C (86°F) and lows of 23°C (73°F). The country experiences a Northeast Monsoon season, which brings plenty of rain, particularly in the afternoons and evenings. With this in mind, it is essential to prepare your clothing and gear accordingly for a comfortable trip.

When packing for Singapore, prioritise lightweight, breathable materials such as cotton, linen, or silk for your clothing. This includes shorts, singlets, and t-shirts, as these will help keep you cool and comfortable in the heat. As you may find yourself sweating quite a bit in the humid climate, it can be a good idea to pack additional t-shirts.

For those planning to visit the city’s upmarket bars and restaurants, packing smarter clothing is recommended. Women may want to pack nice dresses and heeled shoes, while men should include collared shirts and closed shoes. Singaporeans often dress up for evening outings, and adhering to this trend will help you fit in and respect local customs.

It is crucial to be prepared for the unpredictability of Singapore’s weather, as monsoons can bring heavy rain. Ensure you bring a sturdy umbrella to withstand potential downpours, and prepare ahead by selecting water-resistant clothing or items that dry quickly. You might also consider packing a lightweight, waterproof jacket for added protection during rainy periods.

By preparing your wardrobe and gear with care, you will be well-equipped to enjoy everything Singapore has to offer, no matter the weather.

Travel Essentials for a Smooth Singapore Trip

When planning a trip to Singapore, it is important to pack the right essentials for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Singapore’s climate is hot and humid, so it is crucial to bring clothing and accessories that can help you stay comfortable throughout your visit.

Lightweight and breathable clothing made from materials such as cotton, linen, or silk are ideal choices for staying cool in Singapore’s tropical climate. Pack plenty of short-sleeve shirts, shorts, skirts, or dresses to stay comfortable during daytime sightseeing. Also, don’t forget to pack a few extra t-shirts as you may sweat more than usual in the humid weather.

In addition to comfortable clothing, a few essential travel accessories can make your Singapore trip easier. Consider packing the following items:

  • Day Bag: A decent-sized day bag is essential for carrying essentials such as sunscreen, an umbrella, hand sanitiser, and a pashmina for air-conditioned spaces that may feel too cold compared to the outside temperatures.
  • Quick-Dry Travel Towel: A compact, fast-drying travel towel is versatile and can be used for wiping away sweat or as a picnic blanket in parks.
  • Visa & SG Arrival Card: Ensure you have the necessary travel documents, such as a passport, completed Singapore Arrival Card, printouts of pre-booked activities, SIM cards or portable WiFi, and a card holder.
  • Packing Cubes: These assist in organising your luggage and make it easier to find items in your suitcase. Packing cubes are particularly useful for separating dirty and clean clothes.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: To stay hydrated, bring a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day. Singapore has many water fountains that dispense clean and safe drinking water.

Remember that while you will spend a significant amount of time outdoors in Singapore, many activities also take place indoors, such as shopping centres and restaurants. It’s essential to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, to show respect for local customs and traditions.

By packing the appropriate travel essentials, you can ensure that your trip to Singapore is a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Avoid These: What Not to Wear in Singapore

When visiting Singapore, it is essential to dress appropriately for the hot and humid weather. While comfort should be a priority, there are specific items you should avoid wearing during your time in this beautiful city-state.

In terms of clothing materials, it is best to avoid heavy fabrics like denim, as they can be uncomfortable, hot, and restrictive. Instead, opt for lightweight materials such as cotton or linen, which will allow your skin to breathe and help you stay cool in the tropical climate.

Singapore is known for its cultural diversity and conservatism, so when visiting religious sites like temples or mosques, dress modestly by covering your shoulders and knees. Refrain from wearing revealing clothing such as tank tops, short skirts, or shorts to respect local customs and avoid attracting unwanted attention.

Also, avoid bringing any clothes with offensive slogans or images that may be considered disrespectful or controversial. Singapore is a multicultural society, and displaying such messages on your clothing could potentially cause offense to locals.

When it comes to footwear, leave your high heels and uncomfortable shoes at home. Singapore is a city-state best explored on foot, so prioritize comfort and wear shoes that will enable you to walk for extended periods with ease. Opt for comfortable sandals, sneakers, or walking shoes that are ventilated.

In addition to clothing, there are certain items which you should not bring into Singapore due to strict regulations. For example, medications containing pseudoephedrine, such as some cold and flu medications, are banned in Singapore. Be cautious when packing your medical kit, and do your research before leaving home.

In summary, when packing for Singapore, avoid heavy fabrics, revealing clothing, offensive slogans or images, and uncomfortable footwear. Be mindful of the local customs, and be sure to dress respectfully and comfortably for the best experience possible during your visit.

Cultural Considerations

When visiting Singapore, it is essential to acknowledge and respect the local customs and culture. The multi-ethnic society in Singapore is diverse, with influences from Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other ethnic groups. This cultural diversity is reflected in their traditional clothing, such as the Chinese cheongsam and the Indian sari. Though such attire is typically worn during ethnic celebrations, there is no strict dress code in Singapore for daily wear.

Singaporeans often wear modern, Western-style clothing, but it is crucial to dress modestly when visiting religious sites, such as temples or mosques. Maintain a conservative appearance by covering your shoulders and wearing knee-length or longer garments at such locations.

In the business environment, Singaporeans generally prioritize professionalism. Formal attire is expected, consisting of suits for men and modest dresses or suits for women. Wearing traditional clothing at business events is uncommon, so it is preferable to stick to modern attire to appear professional and respectful.

While navigating Singapore’s cultural landscape, be aware of the national languages – Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English. Locals appreciate when visitors make an effort to learn basic phrases and greetings in those languages. As English is the dominant language in business and politics, it is likely sufficient for most interactions during your visit.

In summary, observing cultural customs and respecting local traditions are essential when travelling to Singapore. Dress modestly when appropriate, consider business attire in formal settings, and adapt your communication skills to engage with the diverse population.

Shopping in Singapore

Singapore is a shopping paradise for fashion enthusiasts, offering a vast variety of clothing to cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re after printed designs or solid colours, you’ll find a multitude of fashionable options in a range of price points and styles.

In Singapore, denim is a popular choice for casual wear, available in different cuts and washes to suit any occasion. Jeans are a wardrobe staple and can be easily paired with different tops, making them versatile and practical. For a trendy look, opt for printed or embroidered jeans and pair them with a simple top.

Blazers are a great addition to any wardrobe, perfect for elevating a casual look to a classy ensemble. With an array of fabrics, colours, and designs available, finding the right blazer in Singapore is a breeze. Consider a solid or subtly patterned blazer to add a touch of sophistication to an outfit.

As for tops, Singapore’s shops offer a wide range in various materials such as cotton, silk, and linen. From printed blouses to solid t-shirts, there’s something for everyone in the city. For a chic outfit, mix and match patterned and plain tops with your choice of bottoms, making sure to balance the colours and prints.

When shopping in Singapore, it’s important to remember the tropical climate. Lightweight fabrics should be your go-to for comfort and breathability. Cotton, linen, and silk are ideal choices that allow your skin to breathe and help you stay cool in the heat.

Dress according to the occasion, and if you’re unsure, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Opt for versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down with ease, helping you navigate Singapore’s various events and places in style. Overall, shopping in Singapore is a breeze, with high-quality clothing available for all budgets, tastes, and preferences.

What Should I Wear in Singapore? – Frequently Asked Questions

What attire is appropriate for Singapore’s climate?

Singapore has a hot and humid climate, with temperatures typically ranging from 27 to 32 degrees Celsius (80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. Light and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk are ideal for staying comfortable. Opt for loose clothing like sundresses, harem pants, and lightweight t-shirts to ensure you stay cool.

Are shorts and crop tops acceptable in Singapore?

Yes, shorts and crop tops are generally acceptable in Singapore as the weather is warm and humid. However, when visiting religious sites or conservative areas, it is recommended to dress modestly and with respect for the local culture. Keep a scarf or shawl handy to cover up when necessary.

How does Singapore’s dress culture influence clothing choices?

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population that includes ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians, and foreigners. The dress culture varies accordingly, with people wearing traditional attire and Western clothing. When in Singapore, it is important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions while dressing comfortably and practically for the climate.

What clothing is suitable for Singapore’s rainy season?

Singapore experiences occasional showers and thunderstorms throughout the year. It is advisable to carry a lightweight, waterproof jacket or an umbrella. Quick-dry fabrics and shoes that can handle a bit of moisture are also recommended. Avoid wearing heavy clothing or fabrics that take a long time to dry.

What are current fashion trends in Singapore?

Singapore’s fashion scene is a mix of international brands, local designers, and streetwear. Current trends lean towards minimalistic styles, sportswear, and athleisure. When dressing for a night out or an upscale event, opt for smart-casual attire, like button-down shirts, blouses, and slacks for a polished yet comfortable look.

Is modest dressing required in Singapore?

Modest dressing is not strictly required in Singapore, but it is respectful to adhere to modesty norms when visiting religious sites and conservative areas. It is advised to avoid revealing clothing in such places, and to wear clothes that cover the shoulders and knees. Additionally, it is always helpful to have a shawl or scarf accessible for covering up when needed.

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Shaan Nicol

Join a Kiwi expat who's navigated Singapore since 1992 on a journey through the city's hidden gems and vibrant culture at bestofsingapore.co. From the best chili crab spots to innovative architecture, discover what makes Singapore a global hub through the eyes of both a local and an outsider.

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