What Should I Wear in Taiwan?

There’s no dress code in Taiwan. You’ll only need to adhere to a dress code during professional encounters and when visiting certain clubs, hotels, or restaurants. Keep reading to learn about how to dress comfortably.

I’ve lived in Taiwan and experienced every season. I’ve gathered my experience and other information to help you understand what to wear in Taiwan.

What’s Appropriate to Wear (Refer to This First)

ShortsFine for men and women
Crop TopsAcceptable, but not common
ShouldersIt’s fine to show your shoulders
TattoosNot taboo; don’t worry about showing them
Colors to Avoid WearingNone (with a potential caveat)
Face MasksNot required
Sandals / Flip-FlopsEveryone wears them
Yoga PantsAcceptable

Notes (read these, also):

  • Avoid wearing certain colors during some festivals or celebrations for superstitious reasons.
  • Be mindful of where you are before choosing your apparel. For instance, if you’re teaching, your school may not allow you to wear flip-flops.
  • This isn’t related to what you should wear, but you should always carry your passport when visiting Taiwan. You’ll need to identify yourself if you ever find yourself in a sketchy scenario.
  • Cosplaying — for instance, anime characters — is fine and common around Taiwan. I see a number of people doing it in Ximending all the time.

What Not to Wear in Taiwan

According to “policies,” you shouldn’t expose your [1]:

  • Butt
  • Belly
  • Breasts

The government laid out these rules — in Taoyuan, not the rest of Taiwan — to combat betel nut beauties, women who dress in skimpy outfits to attract folks to betel nut stands.

To an extent.

A decent percentage of girls I see walking around Taipei and other cities wear sports bras and tank tops. No one bats an eye at them.

You probably shouldn’t walk around in bikinis or shorts where your butt hangs out. I don’t see people wearing these in Taiwan. Except bikinis at beaches, of course. But then you might want to consider avoiding micro bikinis.

A Note on Tattoos

As of 2024, Taiwanese people don’t have issues or will not give you weird looks if you have a tattoo. I have a tattoo, and no one treats me differently. I can also go into hot springs without any issues (unlike in Japan).

There’s no stigma associated with ink here. Most Taiwanese I see also have tattoos and proudly show them.


If you’re looking for a job as an English teacher, you may want to consider hiding them. Many (maybe even most) schools won’t care that you have them. But being able to cover them MAY increase your chances of getting a job.

Fabrics to Avoid

There aren’t any banned or frowned-upon materials, but you should reconsider delicate fabrics, leather, and anything that’s heavy and non-breathable. As the country’s humid, rainy climate can damage them.

Dress Code: Are Taiwanese Strict?

Taiwan doesn’t have a universal dress code. Many businesses, such as hotels, nightclubs, or restaurants, will have dress codes.

Before visiting places, check their website for dress codes. You could also call or email their customer service and ask.

Taiwanese people aren’t fragile, so if you’re wearing a skirt or a tank top, they won’t shun you.

I’ve seen many men (mostly old) walk around shirtless and not get in trouble. However, some locals I talked to said it’s “weird.” Unless you’re visiting a beach.

You’ll notice more people wearing professional attire if you’re in more upscale areas like the Xinyi Shopping District in Taipei. Most of the time, this is work clothing.

During the Chinese New Year, red clothing is auspicious. Men should pack a red sweater, and women should pack a bright, but not overly revealing, red dress. Avoid black and white, as they signify mourning.

I imagine they apply to all folks — tourists and locals alike.

If you enter someone’s home, take off your shoes. No one wants your dirty shoes on their floors. Hosts will usually provide house slippers.

However, don’t take your shoes off in public. Many Taiwanese people spit chewed betel nut on the ground, and you don’t want to step in that.

Dress Code for Women

Most Taiwanese women wear T-shirts or tank tops as tops. Many will wear short shorts, skirts, ulzzang pants (or a similar style), parachute jeans, and skinny jeans. More have been wearing yoga pants lately.

The above paragraph should tell you a lot about how much Taiwanese people don’t care.

I’m not a woman, but I’m basing the following information on my experience with my wife and what I’ve seen while wandering around different parts of Taiwan.

You won’t offend locals with different clothing choices, but dressing like the locals will help you blend in.

Visiting Temples or Other Religious Sites

Visiting temples or religious sites requires more consideration. Avoid short shorts and skirts; opt for knee-covering bottoms or just above. Or consider wearing pants.

Many folks I’ve seen wear whatever they want. Refer to the word “consider.”

If you’re visiting a place like a mosque, you should check the dress code ahead of time.

Business Dress Code

I used to have a link for what the government recommended for wearing in a professional setting (in 2015), but they shut down the page. Fashion has likely changed since then.

Here’s the formal attire it recommended:

For MenFor Women
Button-up shirtSlacks
Leather dress shoesSkirts with leggings

I’d imagine you can get away with faux dress shoes.

Whatever event you’re going to, or your job will likely have a dress code.  Ask future coworkers or other staff at the company you’re working for what they recommend wearing.

What to Wear in Different Seasons

Just because Taiwan has no dress code doesn’t mean you should wear whatever. After living here for over 5 years, I HIGHLY recommend dressing for the weather.

That’s what I’ll talk about in the following sections…

1. Spring, Summer, & Fall

SeasonMonthsAvg. Temp
SpringMarch – May60.4 – 84.6 °F (15.8 – 29.2 °C)
SummerJuly – October76.3 – 93.7 °F (24.6 – 34.3 °C)
FallSeptember – November66.7 – 88 °F (19.3 – 31.1 °C)

Use that table to help you gauge what’s comfortable. Otherwise, I recommend wearing the following:

  • Waterproof jacket / poncho: Carry one around.
  • Shoes with good traction: Taiwan has a lot of slippery sidewalks.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes.
  • Shorts / skirts / sundresses: Dress light.

If you need a good brand with lightweight clothing, I recommend UNIQLO’s AIRism line. These clothes DO accumulate a lot of sweat and smell stinky fast. But they do an amazing job at keeping you cool.

If you’re considering hiking, I suggest you dress a bit more conservatively — not for the people, but for the snakes and bugs. I’ve often worn shorts and T-shirts when hiking and regretted it afterward due to the high number of bug bites that covered my arm and legs.

Then, you’ll want high-top boots to protect your ankles from snakes. They have 6 species of venomous snakes that could inflict a lot of damage if you’re not careful [2].

2. Winter

Anyone from colder countries can get away with shorts and a lightweight raincoat. Adventuring in the mountains will require heavy winter coats.

Depending on your cold sensitivity, you may want to consider merino wool socks, gloves, and a thermal sweatshirt.

Winter in Taiwan lasts from December to February. Temperatures during these times average 57 °F – 69.3 °F (13.9 °C–20.7 °C). If you’re in the mountains during this time, you’ll experience much colder temperatures.

What Should English Teachers Wear?

T-shirts and shorts are acceptable with many cram schools. What you’ll actually wear depends on your school. Some schools require teachers to dress “professionally.”

I have a friend who has to wear button-down shirts and pants at his school. Other schools won’t care what you wear. You’ll likely dress casually like a local in that scenario.

If your school doesn’t tell you the dress code, wear lightweight attire — shorts and a shirt. Or ask your employer about the dress code beforehand.

Where to Buy Cheap Clothing in Taiwan

Here’s where I recommend getting cheap clothing:

  • NET: A Taiwanese brand with cheap clothing with weirder fits.
  • UNIQLO: Japanese brand that has great fits, the AIRism line (great for heat), and others.
  • Lativ: An online-only store that I don’t use, but it’s very popular here.
  • GU: I don’t shop here, either. But they have better-quality clothing than NET and are cheaper than UNIQLO.
  • Wu Fen Pu ( 五分埔): Wholesale district, may have fake clothing.
  • 2nd Street: A second-hand store where I typically buy cheap clothing.
  • Fifty Percent: Another option.
  • Night markets: Clothing may be lower-quality.

As a dude, I get my stuff from NET and UNIQLO. I’ll use the former for tank tops and the latter for anime t-shirts and AIRism. My wife doesn’t typically shop for the cheapest clothing, so I can’t help there.

Taiwanese Fashion

Taiwanese (girls, at least) borrow fashion styles from South Korea, Japan, and Western countries. Guys mainly wear shorts, flip-flops, and T-shirts.

This video, from 5 years ago, is pretty spot-on on Taiwanese fashion (and street fashion) in 2024:

If you really want to blend in for some reason, find videos of walk-throughs in Taiwan — ensure they’re uploaded recently. You’ll typically see what a majority of people wear.

Beauty Standards

Here are the observations that I’ve made based on people I’ve talked to about Taiwan’s beauty standards:

  • Pale skin
  • Small face
  • Skinny / thin / petite
  • Not strict on height
  • Small nose
  • Big eyes

This video does a better job of explaining Taiwan’s beauty standards (from foreigners’ perspectives):


From what the video states, if you’re considering being a model, Taiwan has grown more accepting of varying skin colors and body sizes.