I’ve noticed a fair number of times in the last few days Tasty Thailand is getting people arriving on our site who are trying to find out what color of clothing is appropriate to wear in Thailand.
I’m guessing most are would-be-holidaymakers who are worried about making the wrong impression on their first trip to Thailand. Seriously. Don’t.
Thais are very open-minded about most things and the color of clothing you wear in Thailand certainly isn’t an important issue. There are a few rules but, even if you break them, you’re not Thai so just about every Thai will forgive you.
But for some quick hints on appropriate clothing colors to wear in Thailand, this should help:
1. White and black are both appropriate for a funeral. It doesn’t matter which you wear.
2. Don’t wear black to a wedding. It’s deemed to send bad luck to the happy couple.
3. Thais don’t often wear red, but many westerners do (including me) and nothing negative is ever said about it. (But see additional information below)
4. Up until two years ago, everyone wore yellow shirts on Mondays to honor the King of Thailand. But since the Thai protest group Pantamit (supposedly pro-monarchy but many don’t believe so) started to wear yellow shirts, now most ordinary Thais don’t.
Pantamit has a bad reputation (they’re the group who illegally took over Suvarnabhumi Airport for a week – see photo above) and normal Thais don’t want to associate themselves with them, so there go the yellow shirts. If you want to support the King, a pink shirt is okay.
5. Red shirts too are not worn very often any more anymore as the anti-government group Sua Daeng (‘Red Shirts’ in Thai) are seen by some as too aggressive and were even called ‘terrorists’ by the government they’re fighting against (they’re not terrorists!).
So the best rule of thumb is, unless you want to show you’re a Red Shirt supporter, don’t wear a red shirt.
And that’s it.
The main rule of thumb in Thailand is dress more conservatively than you would at home, women should always wear bras but particularly in Bangkok, and extremely short or revealing clothing, if you’re female, in the Thais’ eyes just makes you look like a hooker.
Other than that. Which color you wear isn’t a big issue.