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

Formal dress is required maybe three times a year, however on those occasions local formal (a long sleeve batik-shirt of special fabric) is perfectly acceptable and worn by most people. Consulate attire is casual by department standards, and many American employees opt to wear the local equivalent of business casual (a short sleeve batik shirt or equivalent blouse). Surabaya is more culturally conservative than Jakarta, and East Java is the heartland of Indonesia's traditionalist variety of Islam. Outside of Bali and a few other tourist areas it is advisable to dress modestly. - Nov 2018

Business casual to casual. - Oct 2015

Modest and conservative dress is recommended but not necessary. Attire ranges from full niqab to just-stepped-out-of-the-ocean. To play it safe, men should wear slacks and button-up shirts or batik to business events; women should wear knee-length skirts or slacks and sleeved blouses. While it is perfectly acceptable to walk around in shorts, tee-shirts, and flip-flops (and I do regularly), you will be pegged as a bule immediately. Have a business casual wardrobe on standby. Women may want to bring a scarf or two to cover their heads as the occasion arises. A funny aside: it is perfectly acceptable to go to the supermarket/convenience store in your pajamas. - Apr 2015

This is the beautiful part. The Batik shirt is the Indonesian equivalent to the Aloha shirt. Millions of flowery or traditional patterns exist for every taste. Short-sleeve Batik with slacks is the standard. Long sleeves with more formal Batik and black pants for formal engagements. - Oct 2012

Modest. - May 2012

Batik, an ornate local motif used especially for shirts, coupled with black dress slacks is considered formal wear. Suits are also acceptable, though the batik is much more comfortable in a tropical climate. Slacks and dress shirt is standard wear at the Consulate. - Oct 2010

A little more relaxed than Washington D.C. Batik shirts work for almost any occasion for men. Women should keep local customs in mind and not reveal too much. - Aug 2009

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