Ho Chi Minh City - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Work is business casual; public is always casual - unless attending a gala of some sort. - Sep 2021

Vietnamese people like to look good, but the local definition of “good” is very...local. Because of the hot climate, sleeveless dresses and low-cut clothes are common for women. It can be quite jarring to see so much exposed skin. Men tend to wear short-sleeved shirts. Shorts are rare. Ties are common for business meetings, rare otherwise. In the Consulate, business attire is the standard. - Jul 2019

It depends on your work - but overall it's better to keep yourself groomed and clean - even Vietnamese people from the lower end of the economic scale keep themselves pretty clean and well-presented. There aren't any worries for women and covering up - local women tend to be pretty free - very short skirts and super low cleavage is totally fine. - Mar 2016

Professional attire at work. When you go out in the day most of the local woman are covered from head to toe to avoid the sun. But at night, out come the short skirts. - Aug 2015

Work is professional attire with some leeway for the heat. Suits and ties are expected in any formal or important meetings. In public, women do not tend to wear a lot of shorts. Lots of dresses, skirts. The clubs/nightlife scene is anything goes! - May 2014

Men mainly wear long pants and short sleeve plain shirts and women are dressed up very, well. In a this would be too sexy for an ex-pat kind of way. Westerners can wear whatever they would like. Even to nicer bars and restaurants/clubs, you'll see westerners in flip-flops. In general, ex-pat men wear less than a full suit at work, and ex-pat woman go for comfort and style. - Jul 2011

Men mostly wear dark trousers and a light long sleeve shirt in the office, women wear tight little skirts and trousers and high heels and ride around on motor bikes with the heels. The dress code is pretty relaxed, I see a lot of skin on the younger girls, spaghetti straps etc. Older women are more conservative. - Sep 2010

Shirts, trousers, tie. Women need to look as professional and attractive as possible to hold their own in the face of local women, who tend to dress provocatively. - Nov 2009

Casual to dressy. Open toe shoes year round are okay. - Dec 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More