What to wear in Singapore

Singapore is a great place to go to escape the cold. Its temperatures stay within a pretty narrow margin– 23°C- 34°C (73°F-93°F) all year round. The humidity can vary, but you can be sure it will probably be humid when you get there and it may actually rain quite a bit as well. Just comes with the territory of being where it is on the planet. I thought I knew what to expect since my friend had been there pretty recently. Really, though, I had no idea what to wear in Singapore and ended up buying clothes while visiting.

Learn from my mistakes and learn what to pack for Singapore so you are super prepared. That means you can even pack a bit lighter because you’ll have exactly what you need.


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What to wear in Singapore

Singapore attire is pretty specific because you want to be cool and comfortable outside while understanding that being indoors can be very different. It’s not a place where people wear skimpy outfits, instead they tend to wear shorts or skirts and a t-shirt or a dress. Here are my “how to pack for Singapore” notes just for you!

Jess in Chinatown Singapore

Shorts

It’s not that Singapore is a prudish country or anything, but short shorts really aren’t a thing here. Regular shorts that go about mid-thigh is most appropriate, but at the very least, I would suggest not showing butt cheek or having the pockets peeking out from the bottom of the short. Besides, depending on your thigh situation, that wouldn’t be comfortable anyway.

Skirts

I’m a big fan of skirts because they make me feel girly and you can still switch up the style depending on what top you put with it. This is one of the pieces I ended up buying there. I got mine at H&M because it was flowy, long enough, and had a nice pattern with colors I could combine with it. If you don’t have a thigh gap, then you might want to grab some shorts to put on underneath to prevent chafing. Good grief, it’s one of the things I hate the most!

Dresses

Breathability is key here! A dress is great until you realize it’s the wrong fabric and you’re dying from all the heat trapped inside or it’s too itchy or whatever. You may even want to where a thin tank top underneath to catch the sweat so you don’t sweat through the dress. Gross but totally possible…and probable. And yes, I’m totally speaking from experiences, here.

Cotton shirts

I ended up buying 3 of these while in Singapore because I only had one with me. All my other tops were made of fabrics that were not comfortable in this kind of heat. They stand up to an Amsterdam summer, but not a typical SIngapore day! Whatever style you like is perfectly fine, I just stuck to a traditional solid color t-shirt.

Sandals or canvas shoes

Comfy sandals are key but they should also be good for sweat. I saw a lot of locals in regular flip flops, so if you like those, they are a great option. Alternatively, canvas shoes with low-cut socks are great as well. I felt perfectly comfortable in my New Balance shoes along with most of my outfits. They are breathable and great for lots of walking.

Jess in Cloud Forest

Other packing tips for Singapore

There are a few other things that I wish I took with me to Singapore. Some surprised me and some I guess I figured I could live without, but I couldn’t.

Sunblock

Yes, you should really take sunscreen with you no matter where you go. But on the first day, you’ll feel the effects if you are outside for any length of time without it. So, just bring it with you. My favorite kind is from Supergoop! Love the smell, feel, and ethos. I randomly discovered it when I was traveling and didn’t have sunscreen. So, there you go! Found a new product because I didn’t pack it. The silver lining, folks!

Lotion

With the sunshine as strong as it is, you will want to stay moisturized. I read a long time ago that you should do this right after you get out of the shower. I went for a thick cream lotion called Himalaya Herbals. Just grabbed it at the local drug store, but it made me feel so much more comfortable because, without it, I was so itchy.

Bug spray

They have mosquitoes in Singapore and they aren’t inherently dangerous, but there is a chance of them having diseases because of where they are located. Just to be safe (and after getting a few bites), I grabbed this Tiger Balm brand at the same drugstore I got the lotion from. I think it’s a good brand and I liked the fine mist spray. It has smell that makes you want to spray it on you once you are outdoors.

Electronics/gadgets to pack

Camera gear

To get the best photos in Singapore, you’ll need a wide angle lens for the tall buildings. There’s so much to see in this city/country and a wide angle lens is perfect for helping capture it all. If you want to take some night photography, a tripod is a must. Yes, they are a bit annoying to carry around, but it’s so easy to get from place to place here, just head back to your hotel and grab it when it’s time for night shots.

UK plug

I had no idea what plug they used! Way to go me. But luckily I always take an adapter/converter because you just never know and I like that mine has two USB plugs as well. Just a simple thing that is easy to forget about.

Sim card holder

I put this on a gift guide and Singapore was one of the reasons. You’ll likely need a new sim card when you arrive, so having a sim card holder is handy so you don’t lose your one from home. I can’t imagine what kind of a headache that would cause!

Day pack

Not really a gadget…but all your gadgets go in it, right? I used my PacSafe bag for years and love everything about it (except that it’s not super cute) and highly recommend the brand. Recently, I purchased a Tumi backpack from an outlet store in Hong Kong and although it doesn’t advertise safety features, I’ve noticed it has a few that makes me feel safer when I carry it. I got it because it has space for my laptop which was important to me. Another brand I’m in love with but haven’t bought yet is Peak Design. They have elevated the functionality and style of bags and hope to have one someday. See which works best for you.

Purse

A day pack is perfect for exploring all day when you need to take your camera, water bottle, umbrella or poncho, wallet, phone, external charger, etc. with you. But if you’re going out at night and going light, don’t forget to pack a small purse. They don’t take up much room in your luggage, but it saves you from taking your day pack when you’re dressed up and headed to a rooftop bar.


Singapore is a fabulous city and knowing what to pack and what to wear will make your trip even better because you’ll be much more comfortable. Packing for Singapore doesn’t have to be difficult and you probably have most everything you need already in your closet. So, go and have a fabulous time!!

Wishing you love and travels.

Hawker stall food tour in Singapore

2 Comments

  1. This post made me chuckle because I am TOTALLY that person who doesn’t pack correctly and ends up buying things to be more comfortable when I’m there. These are great tips. Even when traveling domestically, I’m trying to be a bit more frugal in my packing and these tips can be applied for that too.

    Reply

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