As we all know, life in the Tropics is busy, hot, humid, spicy, and yet you often find yourself in temperatures not far off from winter extremes (thanks A/C). So how does one cope with all of these situations, while still looking like a half decent person? We’ve prepared a checklist of items that will save your behind in sticky situations.

1. The face towel.

No one likes the feeling of a sweaty brow, nor do people like to look at one, but we can’t avoid it when eating spicy food or running for the train. That’s why you’ll want to carry a handkerchief around, and why not get fun with the print and try paisley or polka dot.

2. A good watch.

We’re all used to checking the time on our phones these days but there’s nothing more elegant than wearing a watch. It doesn’t have to be a flashy one like a Rolex but take some care into picking out the right face size and strap. It’ll impress the ladies too.

3. Breath mints.

Som Tum is delicious but it isn’t the most friendly dish when there is plenty of raw garlic in it. Keep a toothbrush handy at the office, or at least carry breath mints with you at all times.

4. A breeze for your skin.

Linen and cotton are the best kinds of fabrics to be wearing in tropical heat. They breathe because they aren’t synthetic, and that’s how you’ll minimise the risk of those mid-morning sweat patches creeping in. Lucky they are fabrics that look really sharp as shirting.

5. Rain shoe covers.

Tropical rain doesn’t like your innocent little dress shoes. In fact, it’s almost set out to destroy them! What to do? The Thai man must fight back by wearing rubber rain covers on their loafers, saddle shoes, brogues, or boots. Yay! They come in really wild colours these days.

6. A good long umbrella.

There’s nothing like a really good umbrella to accessorise your outfit, and who says you need cold rainy weather to pull it off? The sun is just as good an excuse to shade your brow from the blasting heat.

7. The canvas shoe.

Nothing says “I live in the tropics” like a good pair of canvas shoes like some classic Converse Chuck Taylors, or perhaps some Supergas if you like a more rounded toe. They breathe, go with anything, and will go well with shorts or chinos.

8. The iced coffee cup.

Of course you’re not taking your flask to Starbucks after lunch, it’s way too hot for that and besides, the lady behind your office makes cha yen just the way you like it. You get one almost everyday, which adds up to an ungentlemanly amount of waste. Ever thought about your own personal cup to her? You’ll be making a forward thinking move.

/ Illustration Lauren Yates /

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