In yesterday's paper it's been reported that our city mayor will be travelling to a number of cities and coutries around the world in an effort to build links between us and the places he visits. He is, however, very fond of red trousers.

Potential odd question, but are there any countries that you should be aware of a dress code regarding red?

  • I suppose it's plausible that there could be some connection to a local religion, tradition, or superstition. Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 8:21
  • 2
    Red is often associated with political parties, it may appear that he's making a statement of political affiliation. But then I doubt many people will think that. Many countries will expect senior politicians to dress a certain way and will certainly regard it as odd, but probably not offensive. I dunno, interesting question.
    – SpaceDog
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 8:37
  • Him being a dignitary, I would surprise people would take offense. Hugo Chavez used a red shirt as a trademark.
    – user141
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 10:23
  • which was a political statement, proving SpaceDog's point...
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 12:14
  • I can imagine that could be risky in LA, as it could be taken as a sign of association with Bloods.
    – vartec
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


So generally, no, there is almost no country that has an issue with particular colour of clothing of any kind.

HOWEVER, there are two major caveats: sports teams, and gangs.

For example, wearing a La Boca soccer jersey at the La Plata stadium in Buenos Aires could see you in a bit of trouble. And wearing the wrong gang's colours in another gang's neighbourhood in some locales could cause you grief too. So if that was something he or you were worried about, if planning on attending a sports event or checking out some of the sketchier areas of a city, it might be worth knowing about.

However, there are certainly SOME instances of colours being banned. Just earlier this year, Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe banned the colour white (I kid, that's a satirical website, but it shows that it's a ridiculous concept).

Some countries have banned certain natural dyes from being used in food and clothing, because they were derived from substances like arsenic or mercury. Then artificial dyes have some problems too, but that's off-topic.

So then we look at some historical cases where colored clothing has actually been banned. Some of these come under Sumptuary laws, and I'll highlight some below.

The first written Greek law code banned women from wearing embroidered robes and men from wearing gold rings. No other specific colours though.

Ancient Rome limited the number of stripes on your tunic, and only members of high standing could wear purple tunics.

Many other limitations on groups of clothing, courtesans wearing 'flame-coloured' clothing and more can be seen in that list. However, none of them past or present cover

Possibly the only instance where I can find an item of red clothing could be potentially problematic is in recent history, where several countries used a red fez as indication of military status. However due to its rise in tourism, pop culture (Doctor Who famously wore one in his 11th incarnation) this is decidedly no longer an issue. In addition, the British used to be known as Red Coats for their red military clothing, until beaten in the first Boer War, at which point the logic of camouflage won out.

So in conclusion, aside from those who might consider red trousers a fashion faux pas, wearing red trousers should cause no real offence anywhere, unless you've managed to upset a sports fan or gang member. Don't wear a red Liverpool top at the wrong game, for example.

  • 2
    You probably do not want to wear red colors when attending a Chinese funeral. Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 3:03
  • 3
    @Heng-CheongLeong You probably don't want to wear red clothes when attending any funeral anywhere Out of respect i'd wear black.
    – Simon
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:41
  • Being an Everton fan living in Liverpool I'd like to say that someone wearing a red top would not mean that you are suddenly declared a "Kopite" (Liverpool fan) and lynched. In fact I wouldn't think twice if I saw someone at Goodison park wearing a red top. A liverpool shirt, yes, but not just a red top. Also, Liverpool and Everton have a long tradition of tolerating each other See the friendly derby
    – user9533
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:52
  • A little late, but hopefully not too much, another possible issue with clothing is wearing camouflage in some caribbean islands
    – gmauch
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 20:35

In Thailand, red shirts are associated with United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, an opposition group. I don't know how red trousers would go.

As an additional note, during the period of mourning for King Rama IX, people (presumably locals, though I don't know) are encouraged to wear sombre coloured clothing.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .