Despite liberal attitudes towards clothing in places like The Bahamas, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands retain a slightly colonial sense of propriety in dress.
Swimsuits and bikinis are perfectly acceptable on beaches, but one should take care to cover up before leaving the shoreline as this is not only a social faux pas, but also illegal in cities and towns in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Covering up is key, as bare midriffs and short shorts on women will likely meet with disapproving glances. Men should not walk around shirtless or with unbuttoned shirts. Other than this, dress on the islands is very casual. Men usually do not wear ties or jackets and nobody bothers with raincoats.
Comfortable clothing is essential. Lightweight cottons and linens are advisable for day wear to prevent over-heating. Light woolens are suggested for evenings. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics, which may not be as breathable as natural fibers.
Wear a hat to keep your scalp from burning and use sunscreen to protect your skin, even if you do not burn easily. The sun is very strong in the Caribbean, and sunburn is not a pleasant travel companion.
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