It's great to dress to impress but when travelling in some countries it is perhaps more important not to make an impression. Many an Aussie traveller has been guilty of causing offence in a foreign country and while some simply do not care, many are unaware they have done so.
Appropriate dress standards vary enormously from country to country and even from one town to another, so it is easy to get it wrong if you are not paying attention.
And don't assume specific standards only apply to Middle Eastern or Asian countries, as even very liberal countries can have cultural quirks. In Brazil, for example, it is perfectly acceptable to parade up and down the streets of Copacabana in a bikini so skimpy it is barely there, or to dance in the Rio Carnival in little more than body paint, yet topless sunbathing on the beach is both prohibited and frowned upon.
Women need to be particularly mindful of local customs, particularly in Muslim countries, where head coverings are sometimes required and conservative dress is almost always advised. Many conservative countries require you to cover your shoulders, arms, legs and even ankles, and dressing appropriately can be as much for your own safety as for avoiding offence - exposing too much flesh can send the wrong message and attract unwanted attention.
Malaysia is a good example of a country where dress standards vary a great deal from one part of the country to another.
Tourism Malaysia director Shahrin Moktar says while most of the country is very liberal and it is acceptable to wear clothing such as shorts, the eastern states are much more conservative and visitors need to be more modest in their clothing.
Moktar says while it is unlikely locals will say anything about inappropriate clothing (out of respect for tourism), it will cause offence and possibly cause you to be stared at.
"You do have to know where to wear certain things in Malaysia," he says. "Without intention, you can hurt other people's feelings."
Moktar says travellers to Malaysia also need to be prepared to cover up if they want to visit some religious sites.
"If you want to enter a mosque, you have to have a long dress or trousers," he says.
So how do you find out about local customs and the different requirements of places you are going?
The first step is to do some reading before you leave home, so you don't arrive with a suitcase full of inappropriate clothes.