May 19, 2017

Ah, time to head south for warmer climates, relaxed beaches and the distant sound of reggae. As one of the most cherished destinations, every year countless American journey to America’s vibrant southern island neighbor. If a Caribbean resort or cruise adventure is calling your name, prepare to be immersed in a sea of white beaches, savor the fresh seafood and vibrant array of frozen cocktails.

For those wondering what to wear on your Caribbean vacation, rest easy. We have your ultimate fashion guide.

While the Caribbean region represents a rich cultural history celebrating influences from a variety of regions, ranging from the British to African to French, there are ways to pack for every island. To our fashionable travelers, these guidelines cover you for the entire Caribbean. These tips pair particularly well for cruise goers visiting several iconic beaches throughout the region, such sailing in between Antigua, Montego Bay and the Cayman Islands.

drone image of carribean islands


Caribbean Attire For Her

For a general guide, embrace bold vibrant colors and stylish patterned pieces. Jeanette Johnson, the fashionista fromJ’s Everyday Fashion, perfectly captures the chic casual style. Combining a wide brimmed hat with a lightweight festive floral dress and shoes amenable to cobbled roads, she could easily be on any island in the Caribbean.


Our vibrant acquaPloumanac'h jumper flawlessly captures the dynamic atmosphere of the Caribbean while offering light lawyering to keep you comfortable on cooler days.


While your time exploring the cities and lounging poolside or along the beach will add a casual element to your vacation, Bonnie Rakhit, founder of The Style Traveller, reminds everyone that lush cruises and resorts host upscale affairs in the evening.  Her stunning evening gown fit right in aboard the luxurious Queen Mary 2.

From exploring the islands of the Caribbean to lounging at the beach to making a splash at the formal affairs, make sure to include:

  • Swimsuit and cover up;
  • Shorts and cropped pants;
  • Long pants and light sweater;
  • Maxi dresses, sun dresses or skirts with blouses;
  • T-Shirts and sleeveless shirts;
  • Wide brimmed hats;
  • Beach bag and sunglasses;
  • Fitness clothes or activity specific attire (including shoes);
  • Formal wear.

Caribbean Attire For Him


Gentlemen also need to sport the casual beach chic style for the relaxing days at the beach, enjoying the cruise ship pool or exploring some of the most renowned sites in the Caribbean. Male fashion blogger Adam Gallagher fromI Am Galla encapsulates the ideal look on his venture to the Mayan ruins Chichen Itza. He is also known to pair brightly colored shorts with a white or neutral button down shirt.

A post shared by Adam Gallagher (@iamgalla) on

When looking for a casual yet elegant look, maximizing on comfort, polo shirts or a lightweight button up to pair with shorts and pants on cooler days. Our boldPloumanac'h kiwi polo shirt or casual t-shirt provides a comfortable, yet stylish, solution.


To cover all your Caribbean bases, make sure to pack:

  • Swimsuit and sunglasses;
  • Shorts and pair of jeans or long pants;
  • T-shirts, polo shirt and long sleeve button up
  • Lightweight jacket;
  • Formal wear (suit or tuxedo depending on accommodations).

Faux Pas to Avoid

For women, between the combination of unpaved roads and soft sand, skip the stilettos. If you want to add a heel for clubbing, consider a sturdy wedge. Another one that should go without saying, but unfortunately needs to be said boils down to sandals with socks.

While travelers often attempt to paint all tropical destinations with the same fashion brush, the Caribbean attire differs from say, the Pacific Island’s like Hawaii. That means gentlemen should go easy on the floral button ups.


Embracing The Caribbean Patterns

Instead of Hawaiian themed decor, we recommend bold solids, the occasional patterned shorts or vibrant patterns for women. TheFashion Guitar knocks the women’s patterned pieces out of water on her trip to Cuba and the Bahamas.


 

Special Considerations for Cruises

Each cruise ship approaches evening dress codes differently, either specializing different themed days or having restaurant specific attire. High-end luxury cruises often times promote a more elegant attire for the evening, even requiring tuxedos and elegant formal gowns.
Know the specific dress code for your cruise.

Updating Your Wardrobe

To avoid the stress of what to wear, consider adding in a few key garments to bridge the gap between your current wardrobe and Caribbean specific attire.  At Ploumanac’h, our Italian stylists create elegant fashion solutions ideal for travelers looking to blend style and comfort.

Adding a sleek yet casualsmeraldo poplin button up for him can jazz up and resort.

For her, a linen chemisier will capture the vibrant culture and fit right in with the most stylish visitors.  


Regardless of what you wear, make sure to take time to soak in the scenery and enjoy the ambiance. You know what you may discover when enjoying your toes in the sand.

About the Author

Alexandra Black-Paulick
Columnist
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