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How To Dress In Jamaica
Must Haves For A JA Vacay

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How To Dress In Jamaica | Dress With Rastafarian ColoursHow To Dress In Jamaica | Dress With Rastafarian Colours

How To Dress In Jamaica | by Sheree-Anita Shearer, Associate Writer

If you are from a tropical country, then you already know how to dress in Jamaica, just do as you would when you are back home. But, if you are from colder parts this is going to be a complete 360 and might take a few purchases before you are ready for a vacation in Jamaica.

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The first thing to note is that Jamaica has a very hot, humid climate (especially in the summer months, so you need to pack lighter and coloured clothes.

1. Tank Tops, Muscle Shirts & T-Shirts

The last thing you want to do is be stuck wearing a long-sleeved shirt on a hot day, and Jamaica has a lot of those. Packing a mix of sleeveless shirts and t-shirts means you have tops to wear around the resort, town or on excursions you might be going on.

Try to have a mix of basic solid coloured options and a few with “character” as well.

2. Jeans

One or two pairs are fine, you won’t need them very often. Some excursions might require jeans or you might want to go out one night and need a pair. But outside of that, you won’t be needing jeans on your trip to Jamaica.

3. Palazzo/Slacks

Something about palazzos and slacks just says I am on vacation. They are lightweight and not as rough and restrictive as straight denim pants would be. You can dress them down with a tank top or t-shirt around the resort or you can dress them up for a casual beachside meal.

Palazzos also come in fun, vibrant colours and patterns that a perfect for a tropical vacation.

3. Dresses

Dresses are for vacations. Not only do they take minimal space in your luggage, but also you won’t have to worry about matching anything. Just put on a dress your shoes of choice and you are ready to go. What’s even better is that there are dresses to suit every occasion, if you decide to stroll around the town and buy souvenirs or have a fancy dinner there is a dress that works perfectly.

4. Skirts

Skirts are also very versatile and you can get them in whatever style you want. But I think for vacation long airy skirts are perfect for an evening when you want to be cool but there might be 1 or several bugs hanging around that you are trying to avoid.

5. Shorts/Capris

Now, these will be a lifesaver on a hot day. You can pair them with basically anything and they just work. They are perfect for water-based excursions, like rafting where chances are you will get wet. I hardly think you would want to be stuck in wet pants for 5 minutes let alone 45 minutes to an hour.

Don’t just bring denim shorts though, again bright vibrant colours work well for vacations in tropical climates.

6. Footwear

You won’t need boots unless you plan to go hiking. But for excursions, basic gym sneakers work just fine. Flip Flops, Crocs or slides work for everyday strolling. Take a pair of formal shoes, in black, chances are you’ll wear them once. Or if you choose to go out more than once, bring outfits that work well with the shoes you are taking.

A decent pair of sneakers or loafers might be good for a casual night out on the town. Some venues won’t allow men to wear anything but closed-toe shoes, especially in restaurants and clubs. Water shoes for beach excursions are great to protect you from sea urchins or to climb up a waterfall.

7. Cardigan/Lightweight Sweater

I know I have been preaching about the heat but, depending on the time of the year you are visiting you might have a few cold evenings. Packing a cardigan or sweater, especially if you travelling in the December to April period,  is a good idea. A cardigan is perfect to take with you in late evenings if you are wearing a summery outfit and think it might get a little cold.

8. Pyjamas

Lots of people forget that they will have to sleep at some point while on vacation and almost always have to sacrifice a few outfits to get something to sleep in, that is usually too warm to sleep in. Here is your reminder to bring sleepwear. You won’t need to bring one for every day. Two or three sets for a 7-day stay is fine. Shorts work best but having one pant set doesn’t hurt, especially if you are travelling during the Christmas season leading up to spring.

9. Jewellery

Unless you plan on having many elegant dinners, don’t bother packing multiple jewellery options. You are going to be in water or on a zipline through the forest for most of the day anyway. Standard knobs, maybe two necklaces and a watch if you wear them are quite adequate. For any other jewellery, such as anklets etc., there is no use in bringing multiple pairs.

10. Hats & Sunglasses

Vacation essentials that are somehow always forgotten. Not only do they help to protect you and your eyes from the sun, but a big floppy hat and cool shades at the beach or pool are vacations must do's. For trips around the town, your favourite bucket hat or regular cap and your essential shades will do wonders for you.

11. Underwear

Pack as many as you feel you need, a safe two for every day seems logical.

12. Swimsuits & Coverups

I hope these were the first things you packed, you’ll be wearing them the most. A safe number to bring is 4. Especially if you are wearing two pieces, you can mix and match them on some days and have a brand new swimsuit without having the burden of having too much luggage.

So that is a list of what you’ll need. Don’t worry though if you forget them even after this reminder, you can grab many of these items here on the island, because where else would you learn how to dress in Jamaica, but in Jamaica itself. See you soon!

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References & Sources For How To Dress In Jamaica

  1. What to Pack for Jamaica - Tortuga,
  2. What to Wear in Jamaica,
  3. What to Wear in Jamaica: Packing checklists and clothing tips for your vacation,
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