India, my most fascinating adventure yet. A country filled with wonder, excitement and new discoveries around every corner. No really, one minute you might see a cow crossing the road, to then having a moped go by with two car doors hanging off the back (true sight by me).
I happened during the hottest period of the year. April and May are the peak months in the Indian year, and when I was there in the first week of April it was already 40c. This can make for excruciating days when you are sweating buckets and the dehydration sickness sets in. So what you don't want to do is where clothing that will make you feel even worse. Plus what's the deal in India with modesty or covering up etc? Is that a thing? Well here's my handy guide on What to wear in India in April and my examples.
What I wore:
Day Time Dressing
Loose clothing is an absolute must. It's so hot in April, you will sweat like crazy and the last thing you want is tight restrictive clothing. Not only will you get more hot, but also so sticky and you'll end up feeling disgusting all day. Opt for loose light clothing like cotton trousers, or flowing dresses.
I'd also advise longer dresses as you'll want to keep the sun off you as much as possible. It's striking a balance, but you don't want to burn. Midi flowing dresses are perfect for this. Also cotton pants are a life saver as they help to keep you cool and stop insect bites. I found the ones I got were perfect for mixing and matching and I actually dressed them up in the evenings too as it's still really hot.
Feel free to dress with an Indian cultural flare- beading, pom poms and embroidery are perfect.
Make sure you wear sensible shoes too. The pavements are mostly not in the best condition and there could often be litter and or items on the ground so you'll want to make sure nothing is going to trip you up or hurt you.
What I wore
Bag: ASOS (Similar)
What I wore
Top- Zara (Store only it appears)
Now I'm not saying start parading around in your underwear, but this isn't the Middle East. You can show some flesh and you won't get into trouble. However if you are a white woman, prepare to get alot of attention. I'm not sure why but people wanted photos everywhere I went, especially parents who want you to have photos with their kids. I also got stopped by men alot wanted to walk with me. I found it wasn't untoward, but if you are dressed more revealing, then this will get more intense and you might feel uncomfortable. The women in India I came across wore the most incredible clothing, but it wasn't revealing, so you'll probably get alot of stares if you have your cleavage on display.
In the cities, if you want to wear your crop top, go for it, but if you are going to the more older, rural parts of town then I'd suggest just throwing a shawl or pashmina around your shoulders as it tends to be more conservative.
What I wore
Heels- Kurt Geiger
Evening wear is pretty much whatever you want. Dinner is as formal or unformal as you make it, so not really any difference. Although I generally found the women in India to dress so classy so maybe bare that in mind. I also went to a club in Delhi and the women dressed how we would in England so bring with you your favourite dresses. However Delhi is of course a metropolitan city, but when I went to Jaipur for example, it was alot of casual as it's very popular with backpackers.
Be warned though, the heat continues way into the night and it's still mid thirties at 9pm.
What I wore
Oh this one, you have to if you are in India. I was dying to try on a sari and thankfully the wonderful staff at my hotel helped me (ignore my stoney face in the photo I was very happy!). It's not at all cultural appropriation, in fact the people I spoke to were delighted when I showed interest. You can go to any material shop and pick out a sari, salwar kameez, kurti or any other traditional clothing or of course you can borrow like I did.
One piece of advice I was told though by the hotel staff was that if you are non- Indian, whilst it isn't rude to wear them out and about, in the more older part of towns, don't wear the more elaborate designs- only because you'll cause quite a stir. I went to a mosque for example and wore a long cover robe, and even then I drew a bit of attention, again merely out of curiosity (There's still a huge fascination with British people even after the hell we put India though. It's been 70 years since independence but that past is still there)
Plus sari's are not simple pieces of clothing- oh no! And they can be quite tight around the legs, so walking is more small steps, so practically in older parts of towns you might trip on the uneven pavement.
Temples, Mosques and other places of prayer
This one speaks for itself. Wear what is appropriate for each religion and always dress modestly. Be respectful and if you are asked to leave your shoes outside, do so. Don't worry about them being stolen- I mean, I'm sure they could be, but everyone leaves them outside so it's the norm.
The photo above is me at Jama Masjid, a mosque in Delhi. I was given a robe to cover up by body shape (women should wear loose clothing that don't reveal shape) but it wasn't necessary to cover my hair. As you can see in the background, the other women didn't wear headscarves either.
I don't know about you, but before going I had my opinion of what a mosque would be like, but this shattered that. It's a place of community and meeting. Families gathered and chatted, kids ran around and played in the courtyard. It had the most amazing sense of belonging.
What I wore
And of course no hot country visit would be complete without swimwear. This ones pretty standard to be honest but had to include it for completeness. For the love of God though please wear suncream and also mosquito spray. Especially if you are around water, mosquitos can be very present and I got bit alot on my legs.
And that concludes my top tips for what to wear in India in April. If you have any questions just pop a comment down below. Hopefully you'll feel inspired to travel to India very soon!