Home Travel 80+ Dress Codes (Inside & Outside The U.S.) Travelers Should Know

80+ Dress Codes (Inside & Outside The U.S.) Travelers Should Know

by SharonKurheg

When you travel to a different country, there may be different social norms in place there than what you’re used to. Behaviors that are absolutely accepted where you live may be considered 100% taboo in the place  you’re visiting. Here are some examples:

It’s not just behaviors, though. Rules in other countries can include stuff as simple as what you wear. Here are some strict dress codes that need to be followed when you visit other countries that are potentially considered “unusual” to us in North America:

Antigua

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Australia

  • You’re not allowed to wear an all-black outfit and felt shoes, with black make-up or a covered face (because only cat burglars do that).
  • It’s illegal to wear hot pink hot pants after midday on a Sunday.
  • You must have a neck to knee swimsuit in order to swim at Brighton Beach in Melbourne.

Belgium

  • It’s against the law to wear a burqa or niqab.

Barbados

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Cameroon

  • It’s against the law to wear a burqa or niqab.

Chad

  • It’s against the law to wear a burqa or niqab.

Chechnya

  • Women must wear headscarves indoors.

Congo-Brazzaville

  • It’s against the law to wear a burqa or niqab.

Croatia

  • In the city of Hvar, tourists will be fined for walking around public in their swimwear, or being shirtless.

England

  • If you visit Harrods, the store won’t allow you in if you’re wearing “clothing which may reveal intimate parts of the body, or which portrays offensive pictures or writing.”
  • It’s illegal to stand within 100 yards of the reigning monarch without wearing socks

France

  • It’s illegal for people to cover their face (examples include burquas, niqabs, motorcycle helmets and hoods)
  • Men are required to wear speedos (bikini or boxer brief style) in public pools
  • Women who want to dress like a man must first ask the police (this is an outdated law from the 1800s that’s just still on the books)

Greece

  • Although noy illegal throughout the country, high heels are not allowed on Greece’s ancient sites (to better protect and preserve the sites)

Grenada

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

India

  • Women are banned from showing their genitals, buttocks, anus or nipples in public.

Italy

  • In some destinations around Cinque Terre, it’s illegal to wear flip flops, ballerinas or high heels (it’s a safety issue).
  • Men cannot wear skirts.
  • Women must cover their shoulders when visiting a church or temple.

Jamaica

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Kuwait

  • It’s against the law to imitate the appearance of the opposite sex (heads up to our travel friends who are trans or who cross dress).

Madagascar

  • It’s illegal for a pregnant woman to wear a hat.

The Maldives

  • Western-style swimwear such as speedos and typical 1- or 2-piece bathing suits is limited to resorts and so-called “bikini beaches.” Visitors to public beaches must be more covered up.

The Netherlands

  • Since 2018, it’s been against the law to wear helmets, scarves, hats, fake beards, full face masks, burqas or niqabs in public places.

Niger

  • It’s against the law to wear a burqa or niqab.

Nigeria

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

North Korea

  • Women should not wear jeans (or any kind of pants/trousers)

Oman

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.
  • Women must have arms and shoulders covered at all times.

The Philippines

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Poland

  • Although not technically illegal to wear clothing with Winnie the Pooh on it, Poland does have a ban on the character around playgrounds and schools. Because he doesn’t wear pants, they think the cartoon character may be too risqué for the likes of impressionable children.

Russia

  • Women are not allowed to wear a hijab in the Stavropol Territory and Republic of Mordovia.
  • Since 2014, lacy women’s underwear (read: less than 60% cotton) is also illegal in Russia (and Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well), in the interest of women’s health (but don’t worry, this law doesn’t count for tourists).

Saudi Arabia

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.
  • Men are required to wear clothes covering their shoulders and legs at all times.
  • Men must never go shirtless; not even at the beach.
  • Men cannot cross-dress.
  • Women must dress modestly at all times, covering both their knees and shoulders (Sleeveless shirts, short dresses, loose tops, shorts, crop tops and miniskirts are all forbidden).
  • Women must wear a headscarf in some places, including Riyadh.
  • Women must never wear bikinis.

Spain

  • Some cities, including Barcelona (since 2011), do not allow people to wear swimwear on the streets.

St. Lucia

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Sudan

  • Men cannot wear makeup, shorts or sleeveless shirts
  • Women cannot wear shorts, pants/trousers, sleeveless shirts, anything see-through, or shirts shorter than mid-calf

Switzerland

  • It’s illegal to hike naked in Switzerland- you WILL be fined.

Thailand

  • It’s illegal to go out in public without wearing underwear.
  • You must always wear a shirt while driving.

Trinidad and Tobago

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Turkey

  • You can’t wear swimwear on the street.

Uganda

  • The government bans what they consider to be “indecent dressing.” This includes skirts above the knees, or shorts.

Zambia

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Zimbabwe

  • It’s illegal to wear camouflage.

Meanwhile in the United States…

All of the above are laws that could get you fined, flogged or thrown in jail; don’t mess with them. However in my research for this, I discovered several dress-related laws that are apparently still on the books (you know how some states have weirdo, bizarre laws from way back when? The ones that made sense then, but don’t anymore and nobody pays attention to them? These are some of them):

  • Alabama – It’s illegal for men to wear a fake mustache to church (it’s also against the law in that state to drive blindfolded).
  • Arizona -In Tucson AZ, women still can’t legally wear pants/trousers.
  • California – In Carmel CA, wearing mismatched outfits is against the law. In the same city, women also can’t wear high heels unless they have a permit from City Hall (According to Carmel’s tourism website, the ordinance was enacted in the 1920s to curb off lawsuits from women who tripped over tree roots in the pavement).
  • Colorado – It’s illegal to out in public dressed in a way that’s “unbecoming” of one’s sex.
  • Connecticut – Since the year 1703, “any utterances from a man in a bow tie are not to be credited.
  • Delaware – in Lewes DE, pants that are form-fitting around the waist have been banned for both men and women since 1967
  • Florida – in Sarasota FL, it’s illegal to sing with a swimsuit or bathing suit on (it’s also illegal for men to wear strapless dresses in Miami).
  • Georgia – Showing your underwear in a public parks will earn you a $1,000 fine
  • Illinois – Since 1964, it’s been against the law to fish in men’s pajamas in Chicago IL.
  • Hawaii – you can’t wear coins in your ears (you also can’t appear in public only wearing swimming trunks).
  • Kansas – In Natoma, KS it’s illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits.
  • Kentucky – Women cannot walk down state highways while wearing a bikini in they’re between 90 and 190 pounds, unless they’re accompanied by an offier or another official.
  • Louisiana – If you’re in Delcambre LA and wear pants htat sag below the waistband of your underpants, you’re looking at six months in jail or a $500 fine.
  • Maryland – It’s illegal to be in a public park in a sleeveless shirt.
  • New Hampshire – it’s forbidden to sell the clothes you’re wearing to pay off a gambling debt.
  • New Jersey – Since 1999, this law prohibits people from wearing a bullet-proof vest while you’re committing — or attempting to commit — a crime.
  • New York – Since 1845, it had been illegal to wear a mask in New York. The law was repealed in the year 2000 (but it’s still against the law to wear slippers in public past 10pm).
  • North Carolina – Women must cover their bodies with at least 16 yards of cloth at all times
  • North Dakota – In Fargo, ND, a person who is wearing a hat while they are dancing or is present at an event where people are dancing could be jailed (it’s also illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on).
  • Missouri – It’s illegal for women in Saco MO to wear hats that may frighten children, animals and timid people.
  • Ohio – In Cleveland, OH, women are forbidden from wear patent leather shoes in public
  • Oklahoma – In Schulter OK, it’s illegal for women to gamble “in the nude, in lingerie, or while wearing a towel.”
  • Rhode Island – It’s illegal in Providence RI to wear see-through/sheer/transparent clothing
  • South Carolina – You cannot change clothes in a gas station without the permission of the owner.
  • Texas – It’s against the law for children to have unusual haircuts.
  • West Virginia – You can’t wear a hat in a theater.
  • Wisconsin – in St. Croix WI, women are not allowed to wear anything red in public.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: