D is for Dress Code

Skirts below the knee, nothing sleeveless, closed toe shoes, no t-shirt material, trousers are fine but only full length … did I mention it’s hot?

I’m not unfamiliar with dress codes and I scrub up pretty nicely when I remember to brush my hair and trade in PJs for skirts and blouses, and I don’t really feel “restricted” by the dress code for work. I do, however, find it terribly stressful. Singapore itself doesn’t seem to have strict rules around what you can and can’t wear – apparently it’s impolite to show people your underarms (but many women wear sleeveless and simply don’t lift up their arms) and, walking down the street, exposed fleshy bits isn’t an uncommon sight. Generally, though, I look at beautifully dressed women who walk down the street looking thoroughly composed and unaffected by the heat and I envy them.

I experience horrible anxiety around clothing over here, not because I’m worried about being dressed inappropriately but because the humidity is so unbearable that my check list is along the lines of: is it appropriate for work, will I melt walking to the bus, will I freeze when I’m on the bus, will I have unsightly sweat patches when I arrive at work after walking from the bus stop …

Unfortunately, a lot of my clothing is black and simply not suited to the temperature here. Despite thorough packing (and repacking), I am struggling to make it to work without melting. Granted, even when I wear shorts and a t-shirt across the road I swelter and melt.

I am learning to keep my pashmina handy to wrap around my shoulders when I’m on public transport (and, after yesterday, I’m wondering if I should have a blanket handy, too). Not being able to wear a singlet and shorts all day every day also means that when looking for accommodation I have to factor in how much I’ll melt before I even make it to the bus … Eek! It’s all very frustrating!

Dress codes. Life was easier when I lived in my PJs and never left the house.


7 comments on “D is for Dress Code

  1. Everyone is always very well put together! Where are you originally from? What is the formality difference in clothing in Singapore and your home? I’m from Austin, Texas and people’s clothing is a lot more formal in Tokyo than back home!

    • I’m from Australia. The Dress Code isn’t much of an issue when it comes to following it, it’s just the damn weather that gets in the way! How long were you in Singapore?

      • I’ve only been there for short trips – usually in conjunction with another trip. I regularly stopover on the way to Indonesia and other cities. The longest I think I have actually been in Singapore at a time is a week. I was there five times last year and have been in six times so far this year. That’s been about average for the last six years. Usually just a day or two and then on to Jakarta is my most common route.

  2. I would die! I can’t handle the heat, let alone in too many clothes!

    P.S. This A-Z thing is AWESOME. I’m soon going to be asking you if I can steal the idea to tell my travel adventures…?! 😉

    • Just when I think I’m acclimatising I overheat and try to stab people who don’t get out of the way of my stalk to the air conditioning vent.

      P.S. Of course! I’m glad you’re enjoying it =) I suggest preparing some ideas for topics in advance though. Would you believe I was thoroughly stumped for ‘P’ but I’m totally ready for ‘X’?!

  3. Pingback: J is for Jeans « dodging commas

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