What to Wear in Jamaica

by | Sep 23, 2017

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Last updated on November 19th, 2023

Anything goes. It’s hot here so pack light. If you spend time on the beach topless seemed to be acceptable.

Jean, Ames, USA

I disagree with Jean. There are some culturally correct rules. I’ve been to Jamaica many times and westernized clothing is the norm. I lived in a t-shirt and jeans. However I won’t recommend parading around in shorts (except on the beach) especially in restaurants or in the countryside. You’ll draw a lot of unwanted attention from men and glares from women.

Shala, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

In Kingston, women are very proud. I suggest wearing dresses and suit — dresses mostly to visit and suits if you’re going to work. If you wear jeans the locals will look at you like you’re a “bad girl from downtown”.

Marie, Moncton, Canada

Since I am Jamaican I would suggest being moderate in dresing. Though one can wear anything I would suggest being more covered up than not for less unwanted attention. We tend to wear Jeans and T-shirts or skirts, whatever we wish to. It is terribly hot at times though so keep that in mind as well as the fact it rains almost everyday in some parts of the country.

Monique, Montreal, Canada

Be culturally correct. I’ve made many trips to Jamaica, mostly staying in rural areas and I have three recommendations for other women: (1) pack lightly (2) dress conservatively and (3) have a sun lotion with a minimum SPF35. I’ve learned from experience that local women wear skirts and blouses or dresses (sleeveless is ok). If you wear tight or revealing clothing the men will proposition you; the women will glare and, possibly, lecture you very loudly. Most embarassing! Pareos are great because they’re light-weight, pack easily, and are versatile (becoming a skirt, shawl, head covering). Loose light pants that can be rolled up work well and don’t draw unwanted attention. Ditto for flip-flops, sandals, or flat-heel shoes. Please leave the fancy “bling” (jewelry) at home. If you like jewelry, help the Jamaican ecomony and buy from a local craftsperson.

Deb, Kentucky, USA

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