Your attire in the Bahamas will likely depend on the weather. The Bahamas stretches across an area roughly the size of California, so the weather varies somewhat from island to island.
Some islands are slightly dryer while others get more rain; it's always good to be prepared for rain or shine whether you're staying in one place or island-hopping. Whatever your plans, comfortable clothing is essential.
Lightweight cottons and linens are advisable for day wear, while light woolens are suggested for evenings. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics, which may not be as breathable as natural fibers. Additionally, waterproof clothing and rainwear are a necessity all year long. Rain showers in the Bahamas usually come up suddenly, come down hard, and end fairly quickly, so you need to be prepared with a waterproof jacket or umbrella. Opt for something easy to carry that you can quickly slip on and then put away again when the sun reappears.
The Bahamas has been known as a vacation destination for longer than most of the Caribbean, and with 2201 miles of coastline on more than 700 islands and 2,500 cays, beachwear is a necessity. Therefore, unlike some of the other islands in the Caribbean, it is not considered inappropriate to leave the beach in your beachwear. The Bahamas is a bit more laid back than some of the islands that retain more staunch cultural standards from their days as British colonies. However, you should still use common sense and not show up to even a casual restaurant in shorts and a bikini top. It is always best to have some sort of cover up on hand, be it a simply sarong or maxi-dress, a shirt to pair with your dried-off swim trunks, or a t-shirt and shorts. Protecting yourself from the sun is one of the most important things you can do during your visit, so floppy or brimmed hats and visors as well as protective glasses are a must.
If you're staying at an all inclusive resort or high end hotels, you might find you feel most comfortable donning what is known as resort wear, or resort casual. This is clothing that is clean and pressed, not fancy enough for an elegant restaurant, but not casual enough for just lounging at home. Typical resort wear is a collared shirt, khaki or linen bottoms, or a sun dress. This doesn't have to be boring; indeed, bright prints, patterns, and colors are encouraged.
There are a lot of natural attractions and landmarks to explore throughout the island's, and if you're like most visitors you'll plan to spend at least a certain amount of your time visiting the most popular attractions. So that you are most at ease and comfortable as you traverse the local landscape, clothing that is light in weight and color, and breathable will be best. Don't forget comfortable walking shoes and those ever present hats and sunglasses.
If you are traveling for business, a lightweight suit, jacket, and tie are appropriate. The usual Western formalities and courtesies are observed. For an evening out at a formal restaurant, men can choose either a tie or a jacket, both are not necessary, and women can go for a nice pair of slacks and blouse, or a dress that is slightly more formal than a sundress.
It may seem overwhelming, but for the most part the clothing you choose to bring with you to the Bahamas should reflect your own personal style. Just use common sense when it comes to what to wear and when and you'll be find on these diverse and accepting isles.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.