Planning your Goan vacation? Well, your packing list is one less thing to worry about now, ’cause I already made it! Here’s your COMPLETE guide on what to wear in Goa!
Hey gorgeous! Who doesn’t love Goa? It is one of the most popular vacation destinations in India. Whether you’re traveling to Goa as a college student, on your honeymoon or with your family, it is always fun! With wonderful sunny weather, fun night life and relaxing beaches, it is every Indian holidayer’s paradise!
What to Wear in Goa
If you’re planning a Goa trip anytime soon, and wondering what to pack, you’re in the right place! Here I’ve created a full guide on what to wear in Goa, including packing list and outfit ideas! Also, I’m gonna add in a lot of tips on what NOT to wear in Goa, too!
So let’s go!
Goa Dressing Tips: Things to Keep in Mind While Planning Outfits & Packing
1. It’s really easy to rent a car or two wheeler in Goa. Goa is not exactly a backpacking destination, so it’s not necessary to pack light! So feel free to carry your cute accessories and dresses!
2. Before going to any destination it’s important to check the weather in advance so that you can plan accordingly. The weather in Goa is almost always hot, so Goa dress code is summer clothing (more on that below). What do you want to check is whether it’s the rainy season, or dry and check the temperatures before you start your packing.
3. Planning the accessories is very important when planning what to wear in Goa. Jewelry is almost unnecessary at the beach, since the humidity and sand will ruin most metals. Plus, wearing jewelry can make swimming in the sea or playing at the beach very uncomfortable. And if you’re carrying small stud earrings, there’s a very high chance they’ll slip off and you’ll lose them in the sea. So avoid carrying any expensive/ delicate pieces or metal jewelry.
Your Goa accessories should be inspired by the local weather. So you can carry shell, bead or acrylic jewelry, which can withstand the humidity and looks more tropical weather appropriate.
4. Same for handbags. Absolutely avoid faux-leather, since the humidity will ruin the finish, and they seem really inappropriate at the beach. So carry fabric, jute or plastic/plexi bags. Go for cross-body bags since they are comfortable and leave you hands-free for your beach time.
You can also go for a tote bag if you’re going to be out all day at the beach. Your tote can your beach towel, shopping items and other paraphernalia. Or leave everything at your hotel and just carry your phone in a waterproof belt-pouch!
5. Footwear is very important for any tropical vacation. Your shoes should be as comfortable and beach friendly as possible. Ideally, they should be the shoes that you don’t mind losing! If you wanna know what to wear in Goa, flip-flops and open toe sandals are the best choice for beaches. So if I were planning a Goa trip, my first task would be to go buy a really cute pair of flip-flops that can go with most of my sun-dresses!
If you want to carry heels for a day outing, sightseeing or night outs at Tito’s, etc. Go for open-toe wedges, preferably espadrilles.
If you like closed-toe shoes, try boat shoes. Although, open-toe shoes are the best idea since they are easy to clean and dry in case water or sand gets in. Even if you’re not at the beach at all times, streets and markets in Goa can be pretty sandy and may have puddles. Also, it’s best to be dressed for impromptu plans or long walks when you’re on vacation. It makes you feel more carefree and have more fun!
6. You will need lots of day-to-night outfits, especially if you’re living far from the beaches. While traveling, it’s really common to be out all day, right after breakfast and return to your hotel only post dinner. So plan your outfits accordingly. They should be suitable for multiple activities.
How to Plan Your Goa Outfits
If it’s your first time in Goa, it’s a good idea to visualize your vacation activities, so that you can
plan your outfits accordingly. This kinda applies to all genders: what to wear in Goa for men’s outfits too. Here are the common things that you will be doing, for which you can plan your outfits:
- Lounging by the beach, reading or hanging out with friends
- Lunches or dinners at the beach shacks
- Drinks at a casual bars
- Visiting a nightclub or dance club
- Beach hopping
- Swimming in the sea
- Watching sunsets at the beach
- Playing sports like softball or volleyball
- Street shopping or flea markets
- Visiting churches
- Kayaking or motorboats
- Making sandcastles or having beach picnics
- Visiting old Portuguese houses
- Visiting spice farms or cashew nut shopping
- Dinners at different restaurants, trying feni or local Goan cuisine
What to Wear in Goa: Women’s Outfit Ideas
Polyester/Nylon shorts + tank top
I personally prefer cotton, but if you’re gonna be at the beach for long, you want quick drying outfits. So it’s a great idea to avoid cotton and go for nylon instead. You can be comfortable after swimming in the beach even if you don’t have a chance to change immediately. Tank tops are great for beach sports or lounging. They’re so comfortable and easy to style!
Crop vest + spaghetti + skort
Skorts or divided skirts are a great idea when you want to look cute but be comfortable. Pairing them with a vest gives your outfit the layered look that can help hide love handles or other problem areas!
Also check out: Stylish Travel Clothes: What I Wear When I Travel
Sundress + espadrilles
If you’re going for tropical vacation, a sundress is a must. Sundresses are extremely comfortable and cute and personally, I really love them! Pair them with wedges or espadrilles for a very summery look. If you’re wondering what to wear in Goa for plus size women, sundresses or divided skirts are great ideas.
Culottes + crop top
Culottes are more comfortable at the beach than palazzo pants, since they’re cropped, and you don’t have to worry about them getting muddy. So go for a cool pair and add a crop top, bandeau top or off-the-shoulder top! Culottes can even work as airport looks.
Bikini + Kaftan
This is the quintessential vacation look! If you’re not bold enough to wear a bikini, go for a
monokini or one-piece bathing suit. And you need a sexy cover-up, so Kaftan is a great idea! Alternatively, you can opt for a long shirt or cover-up.
Flowy maxi dress + flats
If you love long skirts or dresses, it’s a great idea to carry something light-weight, since you can wear it both at the beach or while doing street shopping. They’re also a great idea for visiting churches or while sightseeing. So pair them with open-toe flats and create a great outfit for your daytime activities.
I love scarf dresses and they’re always in style. Mini scarf dresses give serious summer vacation vibes and suit every body type. So go for a colorful belted scarf dress and pair it with flip-flops for those pool parties and shack dinner dates! They are great day-to-night outfits and look great in pictures!
Beach dresses come in many different styles, such as halter neck, strapless, off-the-shoulder, bodycon or flared. Personally, I love me a cute halter cotton beach dress any day! Bright colors and I’m all in! Pair yours with flip-flops for the beach or sneakers for daytime sight-seeing trips.
Some other pieces you can carry are comfortable cotton capris, sleeveless tops, baby-doll tops and body-con dresses.
If you’re wondering what to wear in Goa in February or December, go for tops or tees with culottes or capri tights. Carry a light-weight jacket in a quick-dry material, or a sweater. Washable scarves and water-proof/washable sneakers can be good accessories.
Clothes to Avoid in Goa
While summer vacation dressing can be really easy, it’s still possible to go wrong. There are certain pieces of clothing that just feel inappropriate at a tropical vacation destination such as Goa. Here’s what to avoid when it comes to Goa dress code:
Jeans: While a pair of jeans seems inevitable to pack for any vacation or trip, jeans can be really uncomfortable and itchy at the beach. Because they are cotton, they take a really long time to dry and can get muddy at the beach. Skinny jeans may even be tough to fold up, and loose ones can look shapeless.
Denim dress: Same reason, denim takes a long time to dry and it can feel heavy and look bad when wet.
Jacket: This really depends on the time of the year you’re going in. From March to September, wearing a jacket will feel really unnecessary and unfashionable. However, during the winter months you may need a light-weight jacket. And you may also want to carry one for your flight in case you get cold.
Mini skirt: While miniskirts may be great for sightseeing during the summer months, they are not very versatile when it comes to beach vacations. They won’t allow you to sit at the beach without being self-conscious! They don’t allow freedom of movement for your seaside activities. That’s why they don’t make for day-to-night outfits that you need in Goa. They may work for pool parties or just beach-side walks.
Leggings and pantyhose: If you’re uncomfortable wearing shorts or mini dresses, you may feel that adding a pair of leggings or pantyhose may make it more comfortable for you. However, it may get even more uncomfortable with tights since you may not be able to find a good place to change before you go swimming in the sea.
Plus, they can even get itchy or cause infections if you don’t change them after your time at the beach. Leggings can actually be a good idea in the winter months, when you don’t want your legs to get cold.
Tight maxi dresses: Something tight like a body-con dress can feel pretty uncomfortable at the beach if you’re unable to sit in it.
Cocktail dress: Save these for parties in the city. Unless you’re going to a really fancy wedding or gala, a cocktail dress would feel inappropriate, even for beach parties in Goa.
Palazzo pants: Wondering what to wear in Goa from your existing wardrobe? Well, palazzos are not the best answer. As I mentioned before, they can get sandy and sticky at the beach, and outside in case of puddles or what-not.
High heels like pumps or stilettos: While wedges and flats give vacation vibes, pencil heels can just seem out of place and inappropriate for beach vacations.
High maintenance dresses or delicate fabrics: There’s a place for everything and Goa is certainly not a place for anything high maintenance. You are there to enjoy a summer vacation and lightweight, low maintenance clothing is definitely the Goa dress code. So save your expensive clothing for the city excursions and don’t take them to Goa!
Leather dress or skirt: Even in the winter months, leather can feel extremely heavy for the Goa weather. Goa has hot and humid weather for most of the year and leather will not only get ruined in the humidity, but also look inappropriate for the weather.
Heavy fabrics like silk or velvet: I know some people have a preference for stiff and heavy fabrics, but with its hot weather, Goa is the place to wear cottons, linens, nylon, polyesters and other light materials.
Full sleeved tops: If you’re going in the summer months, Goa is definitely the place to avoid full sleeves. In the winter time, full sleeve tops would still not be a good idea, because the weather is erratic and keeps changing throughout the day. So it’s best to carry a loose, lightweight jacket instead, which you can carry and take off whenever you like.
Formal jacket or blazer: When you’re on vacation, you want to try the cool, summer dress code and avoid looking stuck-up in formal or semi-formals. So just go for simple, summer casual clothes instead.
Textured, ruffled, lace or sequin dresses: While these may be okay for night outs in Goa, they’ll feel uncomfortable if you decide to take a stroll at the beach afterwards. Sand can get stuck in textured fabrics and make them look dusty and dirty quickly!
Goa Packing List
Now that we have been through tips on what to wear in Goa, let’s make your packing list. Yay! How many clothes you carry will depend on whether you will be washing them on the trip or not. So do check the washing machine and dryer situation at your hotel or Airbnb before you pack. A packing list is a very personal and individual thing. However I’ve made a basic packing list for your Goa trip so that you can pick and choose the things you need. You can modify it as per your own requirements.
Shorts – 1-2 pairs
Tank top – 1-2 nos.
T-shirts – 2-3 nos.
Crop top/ halter top
Lightweight maxi dress (optional)
Swimsuit/bathing suit/washable top + shorts combo – 2 no’s.
Night wear – 4 to 6 nos.
Lingerie + Strapless bra
Extra panties for beach changes
Tote/cross body bag
Necklaces/ stud earrings
Sneakers + socks
All day liquid lipstick
Other make up if required (blush/lip liner/concealer?)
Make up brushes + sponge
Waterproof pencil eyeliner
Make up remover
Nail polish + nail polish remover
Hand towels/ napkins
Beach towels – 2 to 3 no’s.
Plastic bags for carrying wet towels/clothes at the beach.
Dry snacks + clips/rubber bands + fork + spoon + paper napkins
Camera + batteries + memory card
Facewash + Face-scrub
Toothbrush + toothpaste
Tickets ( flight/train )
Phone + ear phones + phone charger (have a good playlist!)
Laptop + charger + mouse + mouse pad
Novel/books for flight or beach
Comfy/Ugly Outfits to Avoid in Goa
Now that we’ve gone through so many tips on what to wear in Goa, outfit ideas and what to pack and what not to pack, let’s also finish this article by making a list of what outfit ideas to avoid. While researching for this article, I did a Google image search for your outfit ideas that fashion bloggers had suggested. I was really disappointed to see that so many of those outfit ideas were outdated or not at all stylish! You don’t wanna ruin your Insta pics with fugly clothing do you?!
So I made a list of outfits to avoid in Goa. These are just based on the latest trends and personal preferences or what I feel would be comfortable and appropriate for a summer vacation at the beach, so take it with a pinch of salt. Ultimately, just wear what you really like and not what I like! Basically, you want to avoid looks like try too hard. They scream wannabe. You want to go for simple ensembles – they look cool.
1. Baggy trousers (they only work in rare cases. Loose trousers usually hide the figure’s curves and look frumpy, which is not a good look at all!!)
2. Harem pants (Ugh! So 2005.)
3. Lose off-the-shoulder tops (No offense to this top-style, but keep ’em fitted. They look frumpy on most body types.)
4. Maxi dresses in dull colors with large confused prints (So outdated. It’s the era of neutrals or bright colors. And if you like prints, go for tropical or floral prints.)
5. Full sleeved or bodycon dresses (Over and done with.)
6. Full face of make up (is SO not Goa. Save it for the city.)
7. Scarf +kurti combos (You can do better.)
8. Jeans with folded bands (Like why? They look like you can’t even Goa.)
9. Chunky statement necklaces (Too heavy for the lightweight look Goa calls for. Save them for spring festivals.)
10. Cover-up over a t-shirt (What exactly are you covering up?)
11. Denim on denim (Regular street style rules don’t apply in tropical beach destinations.)
12. Cowgirl looks (It’s 2019. Cowgirl looks went out of fashion nearly 15 years ago. Keep up girls!)
I hope bashing on other fashion bloggers doesn’t sound too bitchy of me but it’s kinda my job to keep you guys up to date with the latest fashion. And I can’t let you go to Goa in beach-inappropriate, frumpy or outdated clothes!
Anyway, I hope you found my guide on what to wear in Goa helpful. How are you going to dress for your vacation? If these trips were helpful, let me know below! If you wanna check out more of my vacation pics from different destinations, do follow me on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom!
Check out next: Our LookBook, from which a lot of these looks were taken.
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]