A tropical climate for most of the year means that all you need to bring are lightweight clothes for your holiday in Thailand. If you plan to spend time at a beach resort, then you might also want to bring shorts and swimming gear.
In theory, all you really need to bring is your passport, plane ticket, and some means of getting money. All the rest can be easily purchased while you are in Thailand.
I frequent many Thailand forums and lots of guys ask about dress codes. The only place I have ever seen a specific dress code is at the Thai temples. The basic code is to dress business casual. Don’t wear shorts and tank tops to a temple. Ladies need to cover up even if it means throwing a sweater or light jacket over bare shoulders. To be safe dress like you were going to church.
For nightlife, you can wear anything from jeans or shorts to casual or dress slacks. Shirts can be polo, button down, T-shirts or tank tops. It doesn’t really matter. If you are in Pattaya or Phuket, almost anything goes. Wear what you are comfortable in.
I live in Hawaii and see tourists in Waikiki wearing beach attire while shopping downtown and the girls in bikinis look great but the fat guys without shirts are absolutely gross.
I see this all over Pattaya, too. If you weigh over 300 pounds, please wear a shirt. No one wants to see your fat gut. I also don’t want to see you in spandex. Common sense should prevail – wear a shirt and shorts and you will be fine. I don’t care if you want to display your tribal tattoos. Cover it up and dress like you were going to a bar back home.
I understand wearing swim gear at the beach. I just don’t see it when you are at a bar at 10 o’clock at night. Go back to your room, shower, and dress appropriately. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie – just dress casual.
Another thing to consider is that you are a visitor in a foreign country and I would hope that you would want to represent your country properly. I was always taught to be a good ambassador, follow the rules, and show respect. It doesn’t take much but it makes a big impression. Your entire country will be judged by the actions of a small minority.
So, pack the bare essentials. Shop around in Thailand to find some great prices on clothing. The prices are so good you may want to bring an extra bag or buy one when you are there. Bring your tropical clothes, cover up, and have a great time.