Traveling is great fun; it’s a time to switch off and an opportunity to experience new cultures and enjoy fresh delicacies. If you are traveling abroad, you need to be aware of the different cultures you may come across, and this includes an understanding of the dress code in the country you are visiting. If you do not adhere to the dress code, you may seem, at best, disrespectful, or in the worst-case scenario, you could end up with a criminal record.

Although most countries are relaxed when it comes to their dress code, many countries have specific do’s and don’t when it comes to appropriate outfits to wear. Muslim countries are particularly conservative with their dress code, and some countries have dress codes that just seem a bit bizarre!

These are some of dress codes to expect when you go traveling to different countries throughout the world.

Driving Rules in Spain

Most people wouldn’t dream of wearing sandals or flip-flops when driving, as they can be slippy, uncomfortable, and extremely dangerous. If you are hiring a car and driving in Spain, make sure you wear appropriate footwear while driving. If you wear inappropriate footwear, including open-toed shoes, flip flops, or sandals, you could face more than just a potential accident; you could also receive a fine. It is a punishable offense to drive in these types of footwear. Make sure you take other types of footwear with you if you intend to drive while traveling in Spain. It is also worth considering that there are fines in place in some areas of Spain, Turkey, and the Maldives for women who wear bikinis on the street. If you are wearing swimwear, save it for the beach.

No Heels Policy in Greece

On the subject of footwear, if you are visiting Greece, you need to be aware of the policy they have in place. If you visit historic sites, including Delphi and Acropolis, and you wear high heels, you may find some stern faces greeting you. High heels can cause damage, and this is why they are not a popular footwear choice for ancient monuments in Greece. As a general rule, if you wish to do a lot of walking, high heels should be avoided anyway, as they can be uncomfortable. It is worth also bearing in mind that in some areas of Greece, fancy dress is offensive. If you are planning to visit the country for a stag or hen night, and intend to dress-up for the occasion, you might want to think twice about your outfit choice, or at least check the rules of the place you are visiting first.

Don’t Hide in the Caribbean

Wearing camouflage is popular these days, and not just for soldiers. We have seen camouflage in the shops for years, and it’s still popular today, but in some places, it is not the fashion trend it is in others. If you are visiting the Caribbean, it is best to keep your camouflage outfits at home. In some places, you are not allowed to wear camouflage, and if you are wearing it, and you’re not in the army, you could find yourself with a fine. This rule applies across the board, no matter what age you are; even children should avoid wearing this type of attire.

Modesty is Best in the United Arab Emirates

As with many of the other countries mentioned, the United Arab Emirates expects visitors to respect their culture. Women should dress modestly and should not wear short skirts or anything revealing. Women should not wear skirts, which are knee-length or longer, and tops should have sleeves and should not be revealing. Alternatively, women can wear trousers instead. There is also a dress code in place for men. If you are traveling to the UAE, you should wear pants or jeans, and tops which have sleeves. Men are advised not to walk around bare-chested, even on the beach. In some places, women are not allowed to wear swimsuits on public beaches. If you wear a swimsuit out with the beach, you could find yourself facing a charge.

Keep Covered in Saudi Arabia

It is imperative to consider the culture of any country you are visiting, as some of the penalties for breaking the rules can be extremely harsh. In Saudi Arabia, for example, you must be completed covered up. If you bare any flesh at all, you could be committing a criminal offense. Saudi Arabia also has harsh penalties for cross-dressers. If men are wearing women’s clothing, they could face a criminal charge. If you are visiting churches or mosques in any country, it is respectful to wear appropriate clothing. It is worth checking the rules if you are planning to do this, as some places also require you to cover your head. As a general rule, keep your attire conservative.

Show Your Face in France

France has completely banned any face-covering headwear, and the rule applies to masks, balaclavas, and helmets. It also covered burqa niqabs and veils. There are no religious exemptions on this; you need to show your face in public, regardless of your beliefs. Incidentally, France also has a strange rule for men who decide to go for a dip in the pool. You must wear tight-fitting speedos, instead of loose shorts, if you’re going for a swim. We’re not quite sure of the reasons for this strange rule!

Sudan and North Korea Rules

Another strange rule which doesn’t seem to have any apparent motive is the ban on women wearing trousers and if they do, they can face charges. There are many stories about women facing arrest for wearing trousers, quite unbelievable in the 21st century! Other rules in Sudan include the prohibition of men wearing makeup. Men could face problems if they are wearing makeup in Sudan.

No Short Skirts in Uganda

If you are visiting Uganda, it would be advisable to leave the miniskirts at home. Women have faced arrest for wearing short skirts in Uganda, and they don’t look too favorable at shorts either. If you want to ensure you stay within the law in Uganda, make sure you stick to long skirts, dresses or trousers.

Conservative in Iran

In Iran, the dress code is traditional, and both women and men should dress in this manner. Women should wear headscarves and trousers in public places and men should also wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts. If you are visiting a religious site, they may request that you put on a chador, if you are a woman. The rules are less strict than they may be in other countries. According to the Iranian national tourist board, you may be asked to change your attire rather than face harsh penalties if you are not following the dress code.

Visiting Morocco

Morroco doesn’t have any strict rules in place when it comes to the dress code, but it is recommended that tourists dress modestly. This is to avoid unwanted attention, more than anything else.

Dress Codes in Different Companies

There are also some wacky dress codes in place, depending on where you work. If you want to pick up some work while you travel, these are some of the dress codes you might want to be aware of on your travels. In the NHS in the UK, workers must wear shoelaces which match, and no open-toe shoes are allowed. Socks also need to be plain, so stay away from anything outlandish if you plan to pick up some work here.

Maybe not surprising, Disney doesn’t really like men having massive beards, as they feel it takes away from their image. Men were not permitted to grow beards at all until recently, but although this has changed in recent times, it is still advisable to keep your beard in check, if you wish to work here.

Harrods in London has a dress code even for their customers. If you are wearing beach gear or are looking particularly unkempt, forget about taking a visit to this store, as they’ll probably just point you in the direction of the nearest exit. Even ripped jeans are forbidden in the store.

When traveling and working, the dress code may not be something you consider, but it is better to be aware of the dress code at places you work before you start, especially when you are traveling and don’t understand the etiquette. Many travelers pick up work as they go, and it is a good idea to be prepared with the right outfits before you head off.

How to Follow the Dress Code

You must follow the appropriate dress code for the country you are visiting. If you fail to comply with this, you are potentially disrespecting the country, as well as landing yourself with a hefty fine. In some countries, you could even end up in prison if you fail to adhere to the dress code. If you are traveling throughout different countries, it can be more challenging to get into the mindset of the cultures you may come across. These are some steps to take to ensure you follow the appropriate dress code, wherever you may be.

Plan your trip – make sure you plan your trip, so you know which countries you will be visiting before you take off. If you can’t plan, don’t forget to find out about the dress code before you visit. Travel books will be able to give you some more information, or you will be able to find it online.

Check cities and towns – it is not enough just to look at the dress code of specific countries; you should also check the different towns and areas within the country. The rules may differ depending on where you visit, and it is always better to be safe than sorry – especially when a fine or prison sentence is a possible outcome.

Follow the lead – it is a good idea to follow the lead when it comes to the dress code in other countries. Take a look around you, and you’ll probably get a good insight into the standards expected in the area you are visiting. Always take the lead from locals, as they’ll know better than anyone. Don’t pay as much attention to what other tourists are wearing, as they may be breaking the law without realizing it!

Conservative Dressing – if you are unsure about the dress code, it is better to be safe than sorry, so stick to traditional dress. When dress codes are in place, they usually relate more to covering up than anything else, so this is worth bearing in mind. It can be easy to forget about dress codes, but if you are doing a lot of traveling, you need to be aware of this. More is always more in these cases.

If the country you live in doesn’t follow any specific dress code, it can be challenging to consider that others do. When you travel, you need to be aware of different cultures, and this includes the dress code. If you don’t pay attention to these, you will be viewed as disrespectful, but the consequences could be even worse. In extreme cases, people have found themselves facing  charges for wearing inappropriate clothing

You should also find out the dress code of any companies you decide to work for, just in case they have specific rules around this. It is a good idea to plan your trip, as you’ll have a better idea of what countries you are visiting, their dress codes and you’ll be less likely to make mistakes with your outfit planning, as a result. Some places have quite relaxed dress codes, while others take their dress code extremely serious; this is especially true in Muslim countries, where short and tight clothing is usually not acceptable. Travelling is much more enjoyable if you stick to the rules of the land. It is all about respect when it comes to traveling to other countries, and fitting into the way the locals live.

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