Before I left for India, I scoured the internet trying to find anything I could get my hands on regarding what to wear. I didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, but I also didn’t want to totally change up my style and pack things I wouldn’t be comfortable in for several weeks of travel.
Here’s what I knew: India is hot. Hot hot hot in April in the northern part of the country (Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra, etc.). And India is conservative: no shoulders or knees can be shown.
I also packed a scarf with me every day so that when I entered places of worship, I could cover my head properly. Some of the sites had bandana-type things that you could borrow, but I felt more comfortable using my own.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hand sanitizer were also an absolute must, and I didn’t leave the hotel without them every day. Bug spray was another nice-to-have.
As far as makeup and accessories, I kept it simple. A black cross-body bag that zipped and had theft-proof pockets; some bangles, which I purchased there, and a pair of earrings; and simple powder and waterproof black eyeliner and mascara.
I’ll write up a full packing list soon, but if you’re struggling with how to dress, hopefully this helps! If you’re going in cooler months, I suggest taking a cardigan or jacket. I packed one and probably used it once in an air-conditioned restaurant. If you plan to do any sort of hiking, be prepared for that with the right footwear. If you’re sticking to mainly cities and small villages, what I’ve listed should work perfectly for you.