Bermuda, a former British colony, retains many of the conservative qualities of the United Kingdom. Not least among these is the island's reserved attitude toward clothing. Of course, there are concessions in the warmer weather, hence the famous shorts named for the island.
Whether you select functional travel attire for touring or elegant apparel for evenings out on the town, be sure to pack clothing made of lightweight fabric and natural fibers such as silks, light cottons, and linens. Easy-wearing lightweight fabrics serve the dual purpose of being breathable in the warm weather and providing comfort for lounging.
Travelers will notice that locals are always fully dressed, despite proximity to the beach. Sun dresses, shorts, and t-shirts are common on hot days, but beachwear is considered inappropriate anywhere except the beach. In shops and on town streets, you should follow suit and be fully dressed. There are no nude beaches on Bermuda; in fact, nudism is illegal. When considering what to pack for the beach, there are a few essentials: a bathing suit, sandals, t-shirt for sun protection, sarong or other cover up, hat, and sun glasses.
If you're thinking about playing some golf during your visit, bear in mind that Bermuda's golf courses all enforce a strict dress code. Proper golf attire and soft-spiked golf shoes are required.
If you are traveling to Bermuda between the months of December and March, remember to pack a raincoat, umbrella, and sweater to protect yourself from sudden rain showers and crisp nights. To help refine your packing list, read more about local weather conditions here.
You've probably come across the term "resort wear" or "resort casual" while planning for your trip to Bermuda but may be confused as to what it means. If you can imagine the typical dress at a country club, this is a good descriptor of resort wear. This includes collared shirts, like polos or button downs, dresses like sundresses, and linen or khaki bottoms in the form of pants, shorts, capris, and skirts. This style is not elegant enough for a dinner party, but fancier than what you'd wear lounging around, like jeans and a tank top. When resort wear is required, everything you wear should be cleaned and pressed, but it doesn't have to be boring. Aloha print shirts are favored, but other bold colors and prints are certainly welcome. Most people find it easy to adapt their own personal style in a resort casual setting.
Some upscale restaurants have a dress code called Gentlemen's attire, which hints at a dress for women and coat and tie for men. Still, smart casual clothing is appropriate for most dining establishments. Leave the cut-offs at home, because very informal clothing is frowned upon in most establishments.
If traveling for business, you'll be dressed appropriately in a tropical weight suit, however, do not be surprised to find local businessmen wearing Bermuda shorts, as they are an important wardrobe staple on the island. In fact, the shorts are so well-received and versatile that they can be worn for a morning in the garden or an evening meal in an upscale restaurant. Authentic Bermuda shorts can only be found here, and visitors who enjoy the style may want to take advantage of the prices and availability on the island.
Over-all, visitors will typically find that clothing norms on Bermuda are not too different than what they are used to back home. As long as you pack breathable fabrics in styles that are inoffensive, you will be well received on the island.
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