The best outfits to wear on your trip to Jamaica combine a casual style with lightweight fabrics to keep you cool. You will want several swimsuits and sundresses or T-shirts during the day, and a few dressier outfits for the evening. Many restaurants in towns like Kingston do require button shirts, slacks, and closed-toe shoes for dinner.
At the beach, you can comfortably wear your favorite styles of swimwear such as a bikini or cute one-piece swimsuit, but make sure to bring a kaftan, sarong, or cover-up when you stroll away from the sand and surf. The overall vibe for your wardrobe can celebrate fun colors and a relaxed style as Jamaica has a vacation feel, especially at the beach!
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When you visit Jamaica, plan to wear clothes in a casual style like sundresses, t-shirts and shorts, or swimwear and a coverup. The only time you need to dress up a bit is for an evening out in one of Jamaica’s cities like Kingston. The rest of the time, you will notice a casual and comfortable style worn by residents and fellow tourists alike.
Casual wear includes items like jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, polos, shorts, skirts, sundresses, and sandals. It does not mean athletic or athleisure wear such as sweatpants or hoodies, though--save your hoodie for a chilly morning jog down to the beach, and wear a nicer shirt during the day!
If you want to meet someone special during your trip to Jamaica, you may want to check out 15 simple tips for how to look hot in casual clothes.
Jamaica stays quite warm year-round, with January temperatures commonly staying near 80℉! This means that wearing clothes made out of lightweight, breathable fabrics will help you feel comfortable during your trip to Jamaica. Great lightweight fabrics include organic cotton or linen.
You can find out how linen keeps you cool and comfortable in hot and humid weather by checking out this list of the advantages of linen for clothing. You may also want to explore sustainably made moisture-wicking synthetic fabric to keep you from feeling sticky and hot on your trip.
Go bold as you pick colors and patterns for your clothing, though! This is a time to celebrate color and fun styles. If you have a choice between a navy blue maxi dress or a hot pink polka dot maxi dress, go with the polka dots!
Long Sleeves for Mosquitos
In the evening, you may encounter swarms of mosquitos or sand flies, especially if you go for a moonlit stroll down the beach. To avoid getting bitten, you should wear long sleeves and long, lightweight pants for evening excursions.
Easy solutions to this problem include carrying a long-sleeve button-up shirt with you to toss over your shoulders when the bugs come out. You could also bring a light jacket or a long-sleeved T-shirt if you don’t mind looking super casual. Check out the 15 best ethical button-up shirts here!
T-Shirts and Shorts
You will notice many tourists and locals wearing casual t-shirts and shorts combos during your trip to Jamaica. This practical outfit helps you stay cool in the hot weather! Plus, you want to prioritize comfort while on vacation, and what feels more comfortable than your favorite tees?
While you can wear almost any fun t-shirt design, do not pack anything with a camo or military-looking print. It is actually illegal for anyone outside of the official military to wear camouflage in Jamaica! (As a pro tip, keep this in mind as you select backpacks and duffel bags, too. This is not the time to haul out the camo shoulder bag you scored at a Military Surplus store).
If you need some casual shorts to add to your vacation wardrobe, take a look at the 20 best affordable and cute lounge shorts here.
Another low-key staple for your Jamaican vacation wardrobe is a selection of cute tank tops. You can match a tank top with shorts, a skirt, or light pants. For a dressier look, pair a tank top with a maxi skirt and nice sandals.
Try statement earrings, a longer tank, and a stylish purse for a day out shopping. Or go low-key with comfy drawstring shorts and a fitted tank for a day lounging in your hotel. You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable tank tops to consider for your trip here.
While you certainly can wear jeans during your trip to Jamaica, you may find that light linen pants or shorts feel more comfortable. The denim in jeans is made out of thick twill-weave cotton that can feel damp and clingy in humid weather.
Linen will feel lighter and more breathable on your skin, whether you plan to visit the beach or take a hike during your vacation. You can find out if linen or cotton is better for clothing here.
Hiking Shoes and Backpack
If you want a true tropical adventure during your trip to Jamaica, you may want to try hiking a famous trail like Dunn’s River Falls to see a gorgeous waterfall. But since you don’t want to hike in your casual beach swimwear, consider packing hiking shoes, a backpack, and comfortable active wear like hiking shorts and a tank top.
Make sure you bring a lightweight long-sleeve garment like a jacket or button-up shirt for your hike as well, in case you encounter a swarm of biting insects.
You can find the 18 best affordable and vegan hiking boots of 2023 here.
When you leave the beach to go buy lunch, make sure you wrap a colorful sarong around your waist. You can definitely wear your bikini under a sundress or cover up pretty much all day at most locations during your trip. But you do want to put on some type of cover-up when you leave the beach--after all, swimwear styles belong in swimming locations!
If you need more cute ideas for beachy outfits, check out this list of 20+ cute outfit ideas for an amazing beach date.
Of course, one of the most important things you should pack for your trip to Jamaica is your favorite swimwear! Jamaica is not a super conservative place, and you should feel comfortable wearing a bikini on the beach if that is your preference. But you should feel equally comfortable in a one-piece or more athletic style of swimwear if that is your preference.
You can find the 13 best affordable and sustainable bikinis of 2023 here.
Swim Cover Up
Make sure you bring a cute swim cover-up with you to the beach or pool. You may want to hastily wrap it around yourself before a quick jaunt into town if your friends decide to go on a shopping spree.
But you may also want a cover for practical reasons--the sun can get quite hot in Jamaica’s tropical climate, and you can easily drape a wrap or cover over your shoulders to prevent sunburn.
Make sure you buy swimwear and swim covers from brands that use sustainable practices. You can find the 80 best affordable and sustainable swimwear brands here.
Another definite necessity for your trip to Jamaica is a stylish sunhat to help you stay cool and avoid getting sunburnt. You can style a broad-brimmed sunhat at the beach with a maxi dress and sandals for a date, or toss a straw boater on for a morning stroll with a jacket and shorts.
If you need help finding the perfect stylish sunhat, check out this list of the 20 best women’s beachwear brands of 2023!
It makes sense that you will need sunglasses for a hot, tropical vacation destination! A good pair of sunglasses will reduce eye strain and protect you from the bright glare of sunlight on the ocean besides protecting your eyes from strong UV rays.
If you want fashionable and sustainable shades, take a look at this list of the 15 best affordable and sustainable sunglasses.
If you have space in your luggage, you can certainly pack a pair of cute heels or wedges for dinner out in the evening, but for days at the beach, you will want flat sandals so you can walk easily across the sand.
You can pair these practical, cute sandals with a sundress, a bikini and cover-up, or just shorts and a tee. Take a look at the 10 best affordable, vegan, minimalist barefoot sandals to get great footwear options for the beach.
The best way to put together a pretty, practical outfit for your trip to Jamaica is to pack two or three cute sundresses that will fit comfortably over your bikini or swimsuit. Bring a jacket or cover-up for cooler evening strolls, and a pair of comfortable sandals for walking along the beach.
Pick dresses that speak to your favorite themes and colors, like florals, neons, or even prints of cats or superheroes! If you’re in the market for new sundresses, consider the 15 best affordable sundresses made in the USA.
A maxi dress can also feel cool and comfortable at the beach or for a day shopping with your friends for vacation souvenirs! As always, you will want to look for a dress made out of cooling fabric like cotton or linen. Sandals you can easily walk in make a good footwear choice to pair with this long dress.
Check out the 15 best affordable maxi dresses made in the USA here.
Polo and Shorts
For guys, a polo and khaki shorts make the perfect outfit to wear in the city or on tourist activities. You can dress down the outfit with sneakers, or go dressier with loafers. At the beach, you can certainly keep things more casual, but you will see people dressed a tad nicer than is common in American cities.
You can find the best organic cotton shorts for men and women here.
Dress Shirt and Slacks
If you plan to eat out much during your stay in Jamaica, you should also bring a dressier set of a button-down and slacks or khakis. Pair this ensemble with nice loafers or dress shoes when you go out in the evening, as the dress code at many sit-down restaurants may require something more formal than your swim trunks!
Take a look at the 15 best affordable chinos and khakis here.
If you love to snorkel you may want to pack your own gear to bring to Jamaica for your vacation You can rent equipment at some of the beaches, but you will save a lot of money if you bring your own instead.
This holds true for any specialty swim item you may need. For example, if you need a maternity swimsuit, you should get one ahead of time to bring with you instead of trying to shop on-site! You can check out the 10 best sustainable maternity swimwear brands here.
Of course, you will need a couple of beach towels to lounge on the beautiful sandy beaches! You can also use your towel as a handy cover when you walk back to your hotel if you forget to bring a jacket or cover-up, or as a hasty replacement for an umbrella if it starts to rain!
As you shop for your beach essentials, do your best to support brands using sustainable practices. For example, take a look at the 10 best affordable swimwear brands made in the USA here.
While you can comfortably wear sandals all day at the beach, you should pack at least one nicer pair of closed-toe shoes for evenings out, and one practical pair of hiking shoes or sneakers for tourist activities involving a lot of hiking or walking around. Dressy sandals will serve at some restaurants, but you may want o bring a pair of heels, pumps, or flats in case closed-toes shoes are part of the dress code for an establishment you want to visit.
You can find the 13 best affordable, vegan, and sustainable heels to try here.
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