I'm soon going to be travelling from the UK to India on business.

India being pretty hot, I'll clearly need some kind of a hat to protect my head and face from sunburn when I'm outdoors (I have pale skin).

Here in London though, hats aren't big - the only hats I own are a baseball cap (which could look touristy rather than businesslike) and a woolly hat for winter (which would be counterproductive).

What kind of hat can I wear in India but still look businesslike?

The industry is software development, the level of formality (here in the UK) is shirt-with-a-collar and smartish trousers, but not suit or tie. Would a baseball cap be ok?

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    You need a parasol. And possibly someone to carry it. – bmargulies May 15 '15 at 14:36
  • @bmargulies, I hadn't thought of that, but now you mention it ... ;) – A E May 15 '15 at 16:15
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    Couldn't you wear a baseball cap while outside in the sun, then take it off and put it in your bag once you enter the building? Which is when, presumably, the people you're meeting for business would actually see you. Some people also carry umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun. – Jay May 15 '15 at 18:50
  • It's not the heat that will give you sunburn — it's just the Sun (or clouds, which scatter the sunlight). – jvriesem May 15 '15 at 19:13
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    @jvriesem I don't think AE was suggesting that the heat causes sunburn, just that it's correlated with sunburn due to both being caused by the same thing. – David Richerby May 16 '15 at 9:03

You don't need a hat. If you're traveling for business and are in the IT industry, you'll spend all your time in air-conditioned offices, hotels and taxis, and will spend very little time outside. As a rule, only the poor walk in India, and the campuses of Indian IT firms are generally in suburbs that are virtually unreachable by public transport anyway.

A baseball cap would be fine if you want to protect your head while sightseeing, but would (IMHO) be too casual for a business setting. Then again, I'd find a baseball cap and a collared dress shirt to be a rather odd combo anywhere.

  • Thanks for info @jpatokal, maybe I'm over-thinking things on the hat front. – A E May 15 '15 at 12:46
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    @GauravAgarwal I'm generalizing, but "as a rule", yes, particularly for the middle-to-upper class types who work in the IT industry. I spent a year working at a three-letter IT corp you've heard of in Gurgaon and Noida, and I never saw my Indian colleagues leave the office gates on foot. – lambshaanxy May 16 '15 at 12:25
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    @jpatokal I worked in Mumbai for a startup and walking was common enough to office if you lived nearby. I walked to office everyday, where the office was a mere 15 min walk away! – Gaurav Agarwal May 16 '15 at 12:30
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    @GauravAgarwal I await your socioeconomic characterization of the desperate souls I saw crossing the NH-8 on foot every day. In a city like Sydney or SF, I could easily have walked or biked the ~3 km distance from my apartment to the office; in Gurgaon, this would have been little short of suicidal. hindustantimes.com/india-news/… – lambshaanxy May 16 '15 at 12:57
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    Heh... I've visited India on business (software development) a few times (Hyderabad and Bangalore). While in Hyderabad, I stayed in Banjara Hills area - and there were plenty very much non-poor people walking on streets. As I was staying there every time for more than a week, I used weekends to explore the cities - and, honestly, not only poor people walked. Also, while our office was away from the city centre - it was still very much reachable by public transport and many people who worked there commuted by bus. – Aleks G Jun 16 '15 at 19:23

With a UV index of nearly 14 you need to be extremely careful when outside during the day. Even on an overcast day, the UV index will be half of what it would be on clear day, so you could easily have a higher UV index in India on an overcast day than in Britain in the summer on a clear day. Also, the UV radiation can penetrate light clothing and irradiate your skin with an effective UV index that is high enough to cause a sunburn.

This means that the fabric the hat and all your other clothes are made of, is important. You should only use clothing that blocks most of the UV radiation, e.g. Coolibar UV Protective Clothing.


I've never been to India, but I'd suggest a Fedora. In the Western countries, it looks like the only socially acceptable "business hat" option, unless you want to look like Uncle Scrooge or Oliver Hardy.

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    Generally lighter-weight but a similar style would be a Panama hat. – mkennedy May 15 '15 at 16:17

If you are on a business trip, these should be your priorities:

  1. Do NOT wear a hat in inside any premises if those are pertaining to your business.
  2. Use an umbrella when out (That is going to help you more, and is socially acceptable as well)
  3. Your requirements would also depend on the city you are planning to visit.
  • Nice comment - but it doesn't really address what type of hat, does it? Perhaps you can update your answer. – Mark Mayo May 21 '15 at 12:02
  • I'm telling him not to wear a hat. And that is the best thing to do. – Victor Juliet May 21 '15 at 12:45
  • p.s. I am from India :) – Victor Juliet May 21 '15 at 12:46

i suggest you to wear these following hats

1.Panama Hat

  1. baseball-style cap

Panama Hat

Panama Hats are the best hats ever made. The incomparable material they are crafted from, toquilla straw, makes them light as a feather, fresh for a warm sunny day, and stylish with any attire. Worn by world leaders, Hollywood stars, singers and celebrities, Panama hats have become a symbol of elegance, luxury and sophistication. Genuine Panama Hats are manufactured exclusively in Ecuador. They acquired their name after being commercialized in Panama during the construction of the canal in the early 1900's. ***Panama Hat***

Baseball cap

A baseball cap is a type of soft cap with a rounded crown and a stiff peak projecting in front that is why these are moslty used for hot days. The front of the cap typically contains designs or logos of sports teams namely baseball teams because these teams are playing in hot weather so, they want to save their face from sunlight.

**baseball cap**

i suggest you to think about these caps because these are best for india`s weather


While you'll probably be spending most of your time indoors and in air conditioned rooms, another thing to realise is that in India the sun is not as strong as it would be on a sunny day in the UK. Yes, it gets to 40+ degrees C but because of the pollution you will likely not get sunburned. (Even if you could stay out in that kind of heat long enough to get burned)


You can use a Baseball cap, but having an umbrella would be good. It will completely protect you from sunburn and sweating. And most companies have AC, you aren't supposed to be in the sun very long.

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