What to Wear on Kerala Trip | Weather & Best Season

You have scheduled your Kerala vacation, and the following query is about what to wear in Kerala. With a wide variety of scenery, from the hot concrete of the city to the breezy hill stations and humid backwaters and beaches, you may be wondering what to pack for Kerala. 

Overview: What to Wear in Kerala


You may also have other questions; can you wear shorts in Kerala? How is the weather in Kerala? Is the dress code strict in Kerala? The following complete Kerala packing list so that you can know precisely what clothes to wear in Kerala depending on the time of year and your destination.

Whenever someone asks me what to wear in Kerala, I first tell them to pack at least two clothes daily. Kerala is humid and hot throughout the year, with only hill stations and monsoons providing some relief from the heat. 

As a rule of thumb, light, breathable clothing is essential. That means wearing materials like cotton and linen or sweat-wicking fabric.

The following packing list for your Kerala trip is exactly what people should wear. I have also included a list of what to pack for Kerala, including travel documents and other necessary gear.

What clothes do they wear in Kerala?

What to Wear on Kerala

Many locals wear traditional Kerala clothing. Traditionally, Hindu women in Kerala wear the Kerala saree, also known as Mundum Neriatum. It is a woven, two-piece dress.

One half of the dress consists of a full-length piece of fabric fastened at the waist. The other half consists of a long cloth on the left shoulder. It had usually tucked into the blouse or attached at the waist. 

The traditional colour of the Kerala saree is white and gold with a golden border called kara. Hindu men traditionally wear Kerala dhotis, also known as mundu. A mundu is an ankle-length garment wrapped around the waist. 

Like the saree, it has a golden kara border. In the rural areas of Kerala, most men wear a specific type of mundu known as Kasavu mundu, which had woven from thick fabric.

The dominant religion in Kerala is Hinduism, followed by Christianity and Islam. The Kerala saree and dhotis are traditional clothing worn by most religions in Kerala but predominantly by those of the Hindu faith. Kerala sarees had generally worn by Christians only on special occasions.

While you will see many people wearing traditional Kerala clothing on the street, there are plenty of casually dressed locals. 

Mainly, it consists of light, modest clothing. Women usually wear dresses or skirts that fall below the knee. Skirts had typically paired with a blouse. Men usually wear a shirt with jeans or trousers.

What is the weather like in Kerala?

Remember to consider how hot and humid Kerala is. North Indian states experience heat waves, but as the southernmost state of India and the closest to the equator, Kerala’s heat and humidity remain constant for most of the year. 

Hence, deciding what to wear in Kerala depends on the season. Seasons in Kerala are as follows:

Summer season: March to June

Average temperature: 28 – 35 °C (82 – 95 °F)

Day and night weather in Kerala is hot and humid during summer. The summer season in Kerala is between March and May. It is essential to wear in Kerala is like light, breathable clothing to keep yourself calm.

It is very humid, so you will feel hot and sticky even after spending a few minutes outdoors. Choose to wear cotton and linen fabric or clothing labelled as sweat-wicking. It would help if you changed several times daily, so having plenty of clothes is also crucial.

In summer, hilly areas like Munnar, Wayanad or Thekkady are slightly more relaxed. Temperatures drop to 20°C (68°F) in the mountains. 

Rainy season: June to August

Average temperature: 20 – 30 °C (68 – 86 °F)

The monsoon season in Kerala is hot and humid, with heavy rains. The waterfalls are in full swing during this period, and the scenery is very green. Most outdoor activities will be closed due to the possibility of torrential rain.

During monsoons, you must wear sturdy, comfortable footwear in Kerala with a good grip in case the ground becomes slippery. 

You’ll still need light, breathable cotton clothing, but always carry a lightweight raincoat and plastic or waterproof bags to protect valuables in downpours. Mosquito repellent and sunglasses are still required.

Winter: November to February

Average temperature: 18 – 28 °C (64 – 82 °F)

Winters in Kerala are pretty warm. At least there is no ice or snow. However, winter brings some respite from the hot and humid weather. Many tourists find winter the most pleasant time to explore Kerala as it is not too hot.

Conditions are best if you want to participate in hiking or other outdoor activities, as it can be chilly outside.

If you are travelling to the mountains, the temperature can drop to 18°C. Kerala is chilly, so that you might bring cardigans, jackets or jumpers for higher altitudes. Light, cotton clothing is still appropriate for this time of year.

Winters are a bit drier, so you should be OK with just an umbrella rather than a raincoat, and you may also benefit from bringing moisturizer or lip balms.

Best season to visit Kerala

The best season to visit Kerala is usually winter, which starts in late November and ends in February. Generally, December is the best month to visit Kerala as the green landscapes remain from the receding monsoon season and cool but warm weather.

What not to pack for Kerala?

Let’s start with what you don’t need to bring to Kerala.

Oversized raincoats:

You won’t need extra padding if you bring a lightweight raincoat with a proper durable, water-repellent (DWR) coating. The weather is hot even when it rains. A high-quality, light rain jacket like the Mountain Warehouse Waterproof Jacket for men or women is a wise choice.

High heels:

Leaving high heels at home is best unless you go to Kerala for a formal work affair. They also come in the way when you cross uneven terrain or obstacles, which is as much in the area as in the countryside.


Can women wear shorts in Kerala?

Some people hate girls who wear shorts a lot, and some people support and love girls who wear shorts and some people. 

What kind of dresses to wear in Kerala?

Although women in Kerala usually wear sarees, the traditional dress is called Mundum Neriyathum. 

Can you wear jeans in Kerala?

It is accepted everywhere in Kerala. But most girls in Kerala like to wear long tops. 

How much money is enough for a trip to Kerala?

A standard five-night, 6-day tour package with 3-4 locations costs Rs. 15,000-25,000.