Taiwan fashion is quite similar to its neighbor countries China and Japan, although between the two, Japan has more influence in terms of clothing. As such, expect a pretty modern fashion sense in big cities like Taipei and Hsinchu. Similar to modern industrial countries, you can freely wear almost anything as long as it is not too revealing to catch people’s attention. With this, Western travelers find it easy to decide what to wear in Hsinchu.
While shorts, miniskirts and tank tops are fine, you will definitely tend to overdress instead of being casual due to the year-round windy climate in Hsinchu. Pretty much anything goes as long as it is lightweight and comfortable. Choosing what to wear in Hsinchu will most likely depend on the current season or weather conditions. During summer months, the city can be somewhat hot and humid, and so, if you plan traveling there during these months, better pack cotton T-shirts, pants, skirts and breathable sandals or shoes. In addition, better bring footwear that you can easily slip off, particularly if you plan on visiting sacred temples and shrines. Expect to sweat a lot when humidity rises, at least until you can adapt to the weather conditions.
Most women wear summer dresses or shorts. There is no need to pack too many clothes since numerous shopping centers are available in Hsinchu selling cheap clothes. Jeans are a staple clothing item, especially when strolling in public places like markets and shopping malls as well as historic buildings and museums. While women can expose legs, bare arms and a hint of cleavage will bring stares and remarks.
Hsinchu experiences evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year. Therefore, better bring a waterproof jacket and umbrella to protect yourself from sudden rain. Remember that the weather is unpredictable and may quickly change in a matter of minutes so bring that stuff when leaving the hotel. You can also wear layers so you can easily add on or take off your clothes when getting around the city, adjusting to the general temperature.
If you plan to come around Chinese New Year or Christmas, do not forget to bring a suitable warm jacket. Long-sleeved pants and shirts are also practical must-bring items when you are traveling during these months as well as wool stockings and hand gloves. If you plan to go hiking on mountains or hills in Hsinchu, do not forget to bring comfortable hiking shoes and long pants since mosquitoes are common in national parks. A reliable sun/rain hat and a windbreaker are valuable item to bring. When visiting sacred places and temples, better wear some decent clothing such as long trousers, below-knee level skirts and long-sleeve tops.
In general, most local people have a laid-back sense of clothing. When deciding what to wear in Hsinchu, the rule of thumb is to be comfortable and casual. As long as your clothes are not wrinkled or dirty, you will be fine. Taiwanese people are mindful of one’s image and if you dress nicely and neatly, you will be treated with more respect.