Sri Lanka is a hot, often humid country. The dress code is also quite socially conservative, so it’s best to leave any revealing clothing at home and opt for loose-fitting clothes, made from materials like cotton and linen, which don’t show too much skin. It’s a good idea to make sure shorts, skirts, and dresses are no higher than knee-length at most sites.
If you visit any temples during your stay, the dress codes tend to be tighter. You’ll want to make sure your knees and shoulders are covered. They will expect you to take off any hats and shoes (but it’s fine to keep your socks on; the temple floors get hot so you might need them!).
Sometimes you will be expected to take off your shoes in other venues too, like cafes and restaurants. For this reason, make sure you bring shoes that slip on and off easily, like sandals.
A sarong wrap (or scarf) is a versatile piece that can be used as a cover-up, shawl, skirt or even a blanket. They are suitable for anyone, regardless of gender, and are a worthwhile item to pack for your Sri Lanka trip!
It’s wise to travel to Sri Lanka with a lightweight waterproof coat and a travel umbrella too, especially if you’ll be there during the monsoon season. Even a five-minute downpour in Sri Lanka can leave you drenched, so be prepared!