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What to Wear in Mumbai (Ultimate Guide)

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Got a trip planned to Mumbai, India? Mumbai can be fun to visit any time of year, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is hot and very humid year-round, with temperatures averaging around 89°F (that's 32°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

To stay cool in the heat, it's important to wear light and airy clothing. Cotton, linen, and technical fabrics are all good choices. And don't forget to pack a pair of sandals or lightweight sneakers. With a comfortable pair of shoes, you'll be able to explore everything Bombay has to offer without foot fatigue.

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Mumbai—whether you're visiting the Gateway of India, taking a ferry ride to Elephanta Island, exploring the Haji Ali Dargah, or strolling through the markets of Crawford Market.

Editor's note: Mumbai is in the tropics, which means seasons like summer, winter, spring, and fall don't apply. Most tropical destinations do have a wet and a dry season, but temperatures are typically warm year round.

What to wear for a trip to Mumbai

What should women wear in Mumbai?

Mumbai is generally hot, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: cropped pants, shirts or tunics, comfortable flats or loafers, long skirts, and maxi dresses. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Mumbai has to offer. Keep in mind that Mumbai is culturally conservative, so it's important to dress modestly too.

Cropped pants

Cropped pants might not be the first thing you would think to pack on a trip to Mumbai. But they can actually be extremely versatile and practical. For example, if you're going hiking, cropped pants will allow you to move freely while giving you more coverage than shorts. They will also keep you cool and comfortable. And of course, cropped pants can be dressed up or down as needed. Just make sure to choose a pair that is made from breathable fabric and that has a comfortable fit.

If you're stuck for ideas, here are some of my favorites:

Shirts or tunics

Shirts or tunics are one of the most versatile and easy-to-wear items you can pack for Mumbai. They can be dressed up or down, and they work well in a variety of settings, from the beach to the city. When choosing shirts or tunics for your trip, look for ones that are made from lightweight fabrics such as linen or cotton. These fabrics will help keep you cool and comfortable in the warm weather.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:

Comfortable flats or loafers

Packing the right shoes for Mumbai can make the difference between a comfortable trip and a difficult one. While there are many factors to consider when packing your shoes, comfort is always the most important. Flats or loafers are a great option for travel, as they can be easily slipped on and off at security checkpoints and are generally super comfortable to walk in.

Why not grab yourself something new before you go:

Long skirts

Many women pack skirts as a staple for their travel wardrobe, but often overlook the long skirt. Though less popular than their shorter counterparts, long skirts offer a number of advantages that make them ideal for travel. For one, they tend to be more versatile than short skirts, as they can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. They also offer more coverage, which can be important in hot weather or when exploring more conservative cultures like Mumbai. And don't forget, long skirts are often more comfortable than shorter styles, as they are not going to ride up or constrict movement.

If you're stuck for ideas, here are some of my favorites:

Maxi dresses

A maxi dress is the perfect Mumbai staple. It's comfortable, flattering, and can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. Whether you're exploring or just relaxing, a maxi dress will keep you cool and stylish all day long. It's also a great way to cover up for modesty if you need to (simply add a long-sleeved cardigan over the top). And packing a maxi dress is a breeze—simply roll it up and tuck it into your suitcase. When choosing a maxi dress, look for one made from lightweight fabric such as linen or cotton. Avoid bold prints and opt for simple colors that can be easily accessorized.

This is the kind of thing I mean:

What should men wear in Mumbai?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: cotton shirts, sandals, linen trousers, loafers or dress shoes, and loose-fitting clothing. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Mumbai in comfort and style. While you won't need to be quite so covered as the ladies, it's still a good idea to respect cultural norms and not wear anything that would draw too much attention.

Cotton shirts

Cotton shirts are a travel must-have for a variety of reasons. They're lightweight and breathable, making them perfect for a variety of climates. They're also easy to wash by hand or in a machine, and they tend to dry quickly. Plus, they can be dressed up or down, making them versatile enough to wear for just about any occasion. Choose a style that suits your needs—whether that's a classic button-down shirt or a breezy tunic top.

These would be perfect:


While many people think of sandals as nothing more than summertime shoes, they can actually be a versatile and practical option for year-round travel to warmer destinations. For one thing, they're comfortable and easy to wear, which is ideal for exploring Mumbai. They also offer good ventilation, which is important in hot weather. Just bear in mind that sandals should provide good support for your feet and ankles, which you need to help to prevent injuries.

Why not treat yourself before you go:

Linen trousers

Linen trousers might just be the perfect staple for a warm-weather vacation. You already know they are made from a light, breathable fabric. Plus, they can be paired with a variety of tops to create both casual and dressy looks. When choosing linen trousers, it's important to look for a pair that fits well and complements your overall look. This will help you feel your best when exploring Mumbai (and taking all those vacation photos).

Don't have anything suitable? Grab one of these:

Loafers or dress shoes

While most people focus on packing their casual clothes and shoes for travel, it's important to remember to pack a pair or two of dressier shoes as well. Loafers and dress shoes can come in handy for a number of different occasions, from wedding receptions to nights out on the town. And while you might not want to spend a lot of money on shoes that you'll only be wearing occasionally, it's still worth investing in a good quality pair that will be comfortable and last for years to come.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Loose-fitting clothing

When packing for Mumbai, it's important to choose clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable. Loose-fitting clothes are ideal, as they allow air to circulate around your body and help to regulate your temperature. Look for lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen, which will help you to stay cool even in the hottest weather. When choosing colors, stick to light shades which will reflect rather than absorb heat. And don't forget to pack a few items that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. With a little planning, you can ensure that you'll be comfortable and stylish no matter what the weather is like on your trip.

If you're stuck for ideas, here are some of my favorites:


When is the best time to go to Mumbai, India?

The best time to go to Mumbai is during the country's dry season, which runs from roughly October to March. During this period, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it ideal for exploring everything Mumbai has to offer. That said, you can often avoid the crowds and find a great bargain on hotels and airfares outside of the peak season—the only real downside is getting caught in the occasional monsoon downpour.

How do people typically dress in Mumbai, India?

Many people dress in Western-style clothing, though more traditional styles are also common. In general, women tend to wear brightly-colored clothes with intricate patterns, while men usually prefer more subdued colors. And while there is no one “typical” outfit, there are certain garments that are often worn. A typical item of clothing for men is the dhoti, a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and legs, as well as traditional robes known as Kurtas. Women might wear a saree or salwar kameez.

What should you NOT wear in Mumbai, India?

Mumbai is culturally conservative, so you'll want to dress modestly to stay respectful. This generally means you should avoid wearing anything too revealing, at least outside of tourist resorts. As a general rule, take your cue from the locals: if people around you are mostly covered, you should cover up too.

I hope these recommendations for what to wear in Mumbai will help make your visit unforgettable. Now that you have a better idea of what clothing to take, it's time to pack your suitcase—and then go ahead and enjoy everything Mumbai has to offer!