Despite its status as a British Crown Colony, none of the traditional formalities are present on a day-to-day basis with regards to clothing in Turks and Caicos. Travelers will be immediately put at ease by the laid-back attitude that defines every aspect of life on the islands.
Most days are warm and sunny, so you can definitely leave your winter garb at home. Tourists find that they are most comfortable in lightweight, breathable materials that allow trade winds to cool them off, and in light colors so as not to attract the heat of the sun’s rays. In all that you do, it is important to consider the effects of the sun. In addition to daily and numerous applications of sun screen, bringing along a hat and sunglasses are essential. Some nights can be chilly during the winter, but a light sweater will do the trick in keeping you from shivering. Otherwise, how you’ll spend your days will help to determine the type of clothing you’ll want to bring.
Because nudity in a public place is illegal no matter where you visit in Turks and Caicos, you’ll want to remember to pack your swimsuit for your time on the beach, and if you have more than one you can bring all the better. In addition to your suit (and the aforementioned hats and sunglasses), bring something you can easily throw on to cover up if you need to leave the beach quickly, like a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, a sarong, or a maxi dress. Some restaurants and shops welcome everyone to come in as-is, but it is best to get a feel for the place and follow the lead of the other patrons before making your own assumptions on the matter. For the most part, swim wear off the beach or away from the pool is generally frowned upon.
This relaxed style spoken of throughout is even apparent when it comes to what people wear at night. Around town and on the beach, shorts are perfectly acceptable, and even most restaurants permit dress shorts. There are even reports of shops and restaurants right on the beach that take no issue with customers walking in sans shoes. Still, there are a small number of classier restaurants that do have a dress code. If you’re planning a formal dinner, bring along a nice shirt and slacks or a skirt or dress. Even in the nicer restaurants, it is extremely rare that a coat and tie is required.
When all else fails, default to resort wear, also known as resort casual. This is the trend for tourists throughout the Caribbean, and suggests that everyone is most appropriately dressed when they are wearing a collared shirt and linen or khaki bottoms, a sundress, or any other outfit that you might find in a country club or on a golf course. Clean and wrinkle-free is important, but comfortable and fun is a major element of this style a well.
Turks and Caicos visitors will find themselves able to pack in a way that makes them feel most comfortable as long as they keep appropriate attire for the weather on hand.
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