What to Wear in Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysian capital; Kuala Lumpur is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing city, both economically and physically. Its name literally means ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay and it owes its name to the fact that it is situated at the meeting point of the Klang and Gombak Rivers. Packing for KL could be a difficult task, but if you know what to wear in Kuala Lumpur, it will not be that difficult to mix fashion with their tradition.

What to Wear in Kuala Lumpur

Weather in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has an equatorial climate due to its location defined by hot temperatures all year round with abundant rainfall. Its climate is also influenced by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the west and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the east, which also provide protection for it. As it lies in close proximity to the equator, temperatures are hot and vary little over the year with averages from 27 to 28 degrees Celsius. The highs can be 33 while lows can come near to 22 degrees Celsius. The time from December to February is slightly cooler, but just by a degree or two. March and April are the warmest, but again the difference is only slight.

The wettest months occur when the southwest monsoon hits Kuala Lumpur between September and April. With such long duration, high rainfall is only observed in former and latter parts of these months. January and February are the driest months here with slightly reduced temperatures. Another dry period can be observed from June to August, which is an ideal time to visit Kuala Lumpur.

What to Wear and How to Pack for Kuala Lumpur?

Kuala Lumpur is hot and humid all year round, so packing light would help. You must also bear in mind that though it is a metropolitan, it is also a conservative city. To be comfortable here and not be stared at, you should go for clothes that cover most of the body and still don’t leave you feeling hot. Here are some suggestions:

Women – The most preferred dress for women in KL for sightseeing purposes would be cotton pants or long skirts, denim jeans, paired with casual cotton shirts which can be short-sleeved. You can go for shorts, too, but make sure they are not too short. Knee-length or below them is acceptable here, but most of the nice restaurants do not allow entry in shorts. You can also go for T-shirts just that they shouldn’t be too tight or bearing. Avoid tank-tops here. For evening purposes, you can pack a nice cocktail dress or skirts and pants along with a dress shirt will also work. Take a shawl, too, in case the air-conditioning is too cold. If you plan to visit the mosques here, carry conservative clothes that cover your body and a shawl to cover your head, as it is customary for everyone to cover their heads in mosques.

Men – This is a conservative city and you should bear that in mind before packing. Avoid strolling out in vests. You can make up for that by cotton shirts and shorts that come up to the knees. Bermuda shorts would be perfect or you can also go for khaki pants along with cotton shirts. Ignore synthetic fabrics as much as you can. For mosques, you will require something that covers your body, probably jeans and pants along with full-sleeve shirts. Restaurants also require formal wear. You can carry a jacket, too.

Kids – Pack cotton and linen clothes for your kids and avoid synthetic, as they can even lead to rashes. Shorts and skirts are fine if your kids are too young. Pantsuits would be perfect otherwise. Khaki pants or Bermuda shorts along with half-sleeve cotton shirts and T-shirts are also good. You can pair tunics with slacks, too.

Footwear – The main focus for packing footwear should be comfortable. KL isn’t much of a walking city and public transportation is cheap, but you will still have to stand and walk in your shoes. So, carry a pair of sandals or flats that goes with your skirts, jeans, or pants. Dressier sandals with low heels would be perfect for evenings.

Accessories – Apart from sunscreen and sunglasses, you will need a trendy bag, too. Also carry a shawl; it will be very useful at various places.

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