Much like laws, dress codes are something tourists are expected to follow when visiting a foreign destination. Also similar to the unusual laws to keep in mind when travelling, there are numerous unusual dress code rules that you should follow as well to ensure that you respect the local culture and avoid things like fines.
Here are 11 unusual rules from around the world to watch out for on your next vacation abroad:
1. You can’t drive wearing sandals in Spain
Driving wearing sandals or flip-flops, or any open-toed-shoe is never a good idea. However, in Spain, it is also a punishable offence.
2. Don’t wear your bikini away from the beach
Many countries have rules against wearing swimwear on the street. Authorities in Majorca and Barcelona in Spain, as well as in Hvar in Croatia, the Maldives and Turkey impose hefty fines on those wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts in the street.
3. You can’t wear camouflage clothing in Barbados
Barbados, along with some other Caribbean countries like St. Vincent, and St. Lucia ban the wearing of camouflage attire for anyone not in the army. Not even children are exempt from this rule, and adults found flouting it will be faced with fines.
4. No wearing high heels in Greece
Historic sites in Greece, such as the Acropolis or Delphi, do not allow women to wear high heels. This is to prevent causing damage to these ancient monuments.
5. In some places, women can’t wear trousers
In both Sudan and North Korea, women are not allowed to wear trousers. According to reports, women can face harsh punishment for wearing trousers in both these countries.
6. Men can’t wear makeup in Sudan
The same harsh interpretation of sharia law that prevents women from wearing trousers in Sudan deemed male models “indecently dressed” and “offensive” for wearing makeup at a fashion show.
7. Wear modest clothing to religious places
From churches to mosques and temples, visitors are required to cover up as a mark of respect at many sacred sites. This usually means you should cover your shoulders and wear long skirts or pants, though some places also ask you to cover your head.
8. Only wear Speedos in France
Many public swimming pools in France have banned loose-fitting swimming trunks for men. So if you’re found not wearing close fitting Speedos, you won’t be allowed in for a dip.
9. Dress classy for Harrods in London
London’s famous luxury department store won’t allow you in if you’re wearing “clothing which may reveal intimate parts of the body, or which portrays offensive pictures or writing”. This includes ripped jeans, high cut Bermuda or beach shorts, swimwear, athletic singlets, cycling shorts, flip-flops, thong sandals, and dirty or “unkempt” clothing.
10. No niqabs or burqas in France
France has infamously banned the wearing of any face-covering headwear in public. This includes masks, helmets, and balaclavas as well as burqas niqabs and other veils
11. Baring skin and cross-dressing are illegal in Saudi Arabia
Whether you’re local or foreign, women in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to flash even an inch of flesh. Arms, legs, and heads must all be covered up. At the same time, cross-dressing and “behaving like women,” is also illegal for men.
Do you know of any more unusual dress code rules to keep in mind when packing for a trip? If so share them in the comments below.