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Wardrobe for India

rdaws

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Gents,

Found out today I'm being transferred to New Delhi from Chicago. Never having been to India (or even lived in a hot climate), I'm at a loss for the wardrobe to bring along. My assumption is that nearly nothing I have will be appropriate (most of what I have is fairly heavy wool, cotton shirts, leather-soled shoes, lined trousers, etc.).

So what would make the perfect India wardrobe, assuming I'm starting from nothing? I'll be working in a business-casual environment with the occasional need for a sportcoat and I'll be spending nearly all my weekends traveling Asia (the transfer is for 6 months, and I want to make the most of the regional availability). Obviously, the goal here is to use your experiences to match the wardrobe to the particulars of the environment... things like cotton trousers because you can't find a drycleaner, dainite shoes 'cause the streets are muddy, etc. rather than a discourse on how to dress for a business casual environment.

Any other tips you can give me for living in India appreciated as well, but for now I just want to fill up the suitcase with things that'll work!
 

dpopat

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Originally Posted by rdaws
Gents,

Found out today I'm being transferred to New Delhi from Chicago. Never having been to India (or even lived in a hot climate), I'm at a loss for the wardrobe to bring along. My assumption is that nearly nothing I have will be appropriate (most of what I have is fairly heavy wool, cotton shirts, leather-soled shoes, lined trousers, etc.).

So what would make the perfect India wardrobe, assuming I'm starting from nothing? I'll be working in a business-casual environment with the occasional need for a sportcoat and I'll be spending nearly all my weekends traveling Asia (the transfer is for 6 months, and I want to make the most of the regional availability). Obviously, the goal here is to use your experiences to match the wardrobe to the particulars of the environment... things like cotton trousers because you can't find a drycleaner, dainite shoes 'cause the streets are muddy, etc. rather than a discourse on how to dress for a business casual environment.

Any other tips you can give me for living in India appreciated as well, but for now I just want to fill up the suitcase with things that'll work!


India is big. Where in India? When? Climate changes drastically. If you're going in August, bring 50 rainjackets and umbrellas and no suede or leather 'cause it rains cats and dogs (or cows).

Regardless of where you go, if you are not accustomed to spicy food, prepare for the shits.
 

rdaws

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Originally Posted by dpopat
India is big. Where in India? When? Climate changes drastically. If you're going in August, bring 50 rainjackets and umbrellas and no suede or leather 'cause it rains cats and dogs (or cows).

Regardless of where you go, if you are not accustomed to spicy food, prepare for the shits.


New Delhi, January -> July.
 

Eustace Tilley

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Paging aj_del.
 

afterglow

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You're lucky New Delhi is a bit more comfortable weather-wise than other places like Mumbai. That being said, it'll still feel like an oven from April onwards as will much of Asia.

My suggestions: linen & poplin shirts, linen trousers, cotton chinos, wicking undershirts & underwear, summerweight blazer, possibly loafers instead of oxfords. If you wear a watch with a strap, change the strap out for a bracelet or get a waterproof strap. Start carrying handkerchiefs.
 

rdaws

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Originally Posted by afterglow
You're lucky New Delhi is a bit more comfortable weather-wise than other places like Mumbai. That being said, it'll still feel like an oven from April onwards as will much of Asia.

My suggestions: linen & poplin shirts, linen trousers, cotton chinos, wicking undershirts & underwear, summerweight blazer, possibly loafers instead of oxfords. If you wear a watch with a strap, change the strap out for a bracelet or get a waterproof strap. Start carrying handkerchiefs.


Ah, then a related question - is it a bad idea to run around Asia with an expensive watch? Would I be better served by a Timex than a Rolex?
 

aj_del

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Its quite cold in January and very hot in July.

Regarding what to wear, normal office wear should suit you fine. Cotton shirts (preferably non iron) and lightweight trousers. I got some tropical weight trousers from Howard Yount and they are fine here.

Regarding shoes, the normal shoes you wear to your office. Really didnt understand the reluctance to wear leather soled shoes here. I wear them all the time.

regarding linen, hardly anyone besides politicians wear linen here. By teh time you get to your office, you would look as if you slept in the office. Your office would be AC, your car would be AC and your residence would be AC, etc.

Dont worry so much ... I assume you would be working out of a full AC building in Gurgaon / Noida or somewhere.
 

Viral

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Originally Posted by rdaws
Gents,

Found out today I'm being transferred to New Delhi from Chicago. Never having been to India (or even lived in a hot climate), I'm at a loss for the wardrobe to bring along. My assumption is that nearly nothing I have will be appropriate (most of what I have is fairly heavy wool, cotton shirts, leather-soled shoes, lined trousers, etc.).

So what would make the perfect India wardrobe, assuming I'm starting from nothing? I'll be working in a business-casual environment with the occasional need for a sportcoat and I'll be spending nearly all my weekends traveling Asia (the transfer is for 6 months, and I want to make the most of the regional availability). Obviously, the goal here is to use your experiences to match the wardrobe to the particulars of the environment... things like cotton trousers because you can't find a drycleaner, dainite shoes 'cause the streets are muddy, etc. rather than a discourse on how to dress for a business casual environment.

Any other tips you can give me for living in India appreciated as well, but for now I just want to fill up the suitcase with things that'll work!


This is crazy............I made the EXACT same move from Chicago to New Delhi for a 2-year stint from 2002-2004 (for work also).

Here's what I did, also starting from scratch:

* stocked up on BR chinos, about 5 pairs in different colors (Old Navy would be better in retrospect, they'll be washed very roughly and put to the test, so the cheaper the better)
* bought about 4 cotton button down/OCBD shirts (also from Gap/BR, don't recall exactly)
* bought about 4 linen shirts from BR
* bought 2 pairs of flip flops (they will get lost, stolen, or worn out - trust me!)
* brought a few shorts, t-shirts, etc. for evenings and weekends
* brought 1 pair of slacks I already had
* brought 1 navy blue sport coat
* brought 1 pair of sneakers
* brought 1 pair of "dress" shoes from BR (they actually made decent shoes back then)
* brought extra undershirts, underwear, etc. as you will find yourself bathing often (twice a day)
* brought a winter coat and a couple sweaters as New Delhi gets very cold overnight for about 45-60 days starting in December. It gets down to the freezing mark overnights and most residential buildings don;t have insulation the way we do here. Not sure where your firm is putting you up, but I would look into obtaining a space heater ASAP.

In general, don't bring anything that would need dry-cleaning or what you consider your nicer stuff. The environment there is quite dusty and clothes will get dirty often. Since you're going over the winter, you need a winter coat as it gets to be very cold at night.

Not sure what your social preferences are, but you might want to bring a couple outfits for perhaps hitting up a lounge/bar or two (jeans and a dress shirt).

I could go on and on, but I think I covered the basics. Out of curiosity, what type of work do you do?
*
 

bringusingoodale

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Quit/Resign.

You are going to fuking India dude. Indians are coming here dude.

 

dbc

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Originally Posted by rdaws
Ah, then a related question - is it a bad idea to run around Asia with an expensive watch? Would I be better served by a Timex than a Rolex?
Again...depends which part of Asia. In Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc- I don't see no reason why you should worry at all.
 

IronRock

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Would you wear a Rolex in NYC? Same applies in New Dehli and other Asian cities. If you find yourself in an area that makes your ass contract then you need to hide the Rolex.
 

Eustace Tilley

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Take the Rolex - you're going to a major international city, not the outskirts of Timbuktu.
 

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