8 Ways to keep from looking like a Tourist in the Dominican Republic
If you’re considering a trip to the Dominican Republic, you’ve probably already read a bit about what to wear. Most likely, you’ve been told to wear light, comfy clothing, to dress for beach weather and comfort. There’s just one problem:
Most sites treat the Dominican Republic like any other country in the Caribbean, and it’s not. It has its own unique customs and culture, and dressing like it’s any other Caribbean resort destination will mark you as a tourist. But, there’s a fix for that:
We can tell you what the most common mistakes are and how to avoid them. It’ll go a long way towards making your time in the D.R. more pleasant (you’ll see why near the end of the list). So, to that end, we’ve made a list of eight tips for dressing like a local in the Dominical Republic.
Let’s start with a wake-up call:
1: Dominicans dress for fashion, not comfort.
As we mentioned, most sites prioritize comfort. It’s understandable: the average temperature in the D.R. is 78F and it gets humid. If you saw a forecast like that at home, you’d be putting on something light and airy.
That makes you stand out, here.
Dominicans will ignore muggy weather, heat, and discomfort in favor of looking good. So, now the question becomes, what looks good in the Dominican Republic?
2: Think “Tight and Bright!”
Well-fitted clothes mean a lot in the Dominican Republic. They don’t go for baggy pants or loose dresses, and this applies to men and women. On top of that, women in the Dominican Republic often favor bright, eye-grabbing colors like orange, red, and yellow, and both men and women have obvious Spanish influence in their styles of dress. So, pick out your best form-fitting blouses and skirts, and throw some color in there. Men: hit a tailor before your flight.
Quick heads-up, though: “Tight” doesn’t mean “skimpy.” As a matter of fact, there’s something you should keep in mind about the Dominican Republic:
3: The country is more conservative than you think.
It’s not the ’50’s, but modesty is important, here. Don’t show too much skin, and don’t treat it like a nightclub or spring vacation in the United States. Outside of the water, wear a wrap over your swimsuit, and please, don’t wear a bikini—it screams “tourist!”
On the upside, this gives all of you women a chance to try out a different sort of style:
4: Long Skirts and Dresses, plus some really high heels.
Women in the Dominican Republic love long, colorful flowing skirts and dresses, sometimes with floral print patterns. Get fancy with it.
While you’re at it, dig out a pair of high heels. No, higher than that.
And, if you think you haven’t prettied up enough yet, wait ’til you see our next tip.
5: Spend some money on Hair, Nails, and Makeup.
These three things are extremely important to Dominican fashion, and letting any of them get sloppy is a sure-fire indicator that you don’t belong. Keep them well-managed and perfect. Don’t worry—salons are easy to find in the Dominican Republic.
As for the men in the audience, we have a tip for you, too:
6: Men: Pay attention to your shoes.
Men in the Dominican Republic keep their shined, and scuffed up monstrosities stand out as much as a woman with bad makeup. Luckily, shoeshiners are everywhere in the DR.
You should probably know, though, some of these rules can change…
7: Social Context is everything in the Dominican Republic.
As much of a faux-pas as it is to walk into a business meeting in a Hawaiian shirt, you need to double-up on that mentality in the Dominican Republic. Pay attention to what people wear in different places. If you’re around a church, up the modesty. If you’re at home, feel free to relax.
After all, you need to remember:
8: How You Dress says a LOT about you in the Dominican Republic.
As we mentioned before, paying attention to these rules will help your time in the Dominican Republic run a lot smoother. The reason is that Dominicans pay a lot of attention to the way you dress. It’s a symbol of who you are. Think of how the U.S. handled fashion in the 50’s.
If you follow these tips, though, you should find a welcome every bit as beautiful and inviting as the Dominican Republic, itself.
Written by Connor Johnson
Connor Johnson is a flexible content and copy writer located in the Boston area. He supplements his writing with in-depth research and general marketing skills. He can be contacted here.