What to Wear in Jamaica

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls

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General Style Tips

  • Go for comfort over style.
  • Casual clothes in lightweight natural fabrics (cotton, silk and linen) will work best - it is warm and sunny but not unbearably hot all year round.
  • However the nights tend to be a little cooler so a sweater or wrap is worth popping in your case.
  • Daytime essentials include t-shirts or camisoles, sarong and shorts as most people spend their time on the beach or by the pool.
  • Buy sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) before you arrive as it is expensive here and do wear plenty. Also really important: sunglasses and a sunhat.
  • On the beach after dark, hundreds of tiny sand flies come out as the sand cools down; their bites cause terrible itching, so wear plenty of insect/mosquito repellent and take some bite relief cream - or avoid the beach in the evenings.
  • Mosquitoes can also be a problem, so use repellent and cover up with long sleeves and pants when you can, particularly in the evenings if you are outdoors. Avoid wearing any scent or perfume.
  • Also be aware that it is illegal to have army/combat type clothing or print.
  • Pack light as it's very easy to get clothes laundered.

What Shoes To Pack

  • If you plan to explore the island, take some lightweight comfy shoes for walking. We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
  • Be sure to pack some flat sandals for the beach. We love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Our advice would be to keep swimwear to the beach and pool, and cover up with a kaftan or sarong when walking around public areas.
  • For evenings, dress is casual; ladies tend to wear short summer sundresses - and take a pashmina as just after a downpour it cools very quickly but only temporarily.
  • Your pashmina will be a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit.
  • And a few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit too.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • For evenings, dress is mostly casual; long shorts or pants and short-sleeved shirts. 
  • But for dinner at Jamaica Inn a collared shirt and long pants are expected - definitely no shorts and t-shirts there.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • May, June, July, August, September, October and November is officially the rainy season, although it tends to start earlier these days. You do still get lots of sunshine in the rainy season, but it is interrupted by deluges of rain which last for up to 30 minutes at a time. Take a light raincoat and/or small travel umbrella for these times.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Jamaica

  • If you are keen to trek in the mountains be sure to pack suitable footwear.
  • Walking up the Dunn's River Falls is a popular trip. You can do it barefoot and in swimwear, but for a bit more protection we'd opt for shorts and a t-shirt, and dive shoes would be good for your feet (which will get wet!).

Other Things To Pack

  • A lightweight day sack or beach bag will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • The tap water is safe to drink in the main tourist areas, but if you do tend to buy bottled water consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for local voltage (110V).
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Rum of course is a popular buy, as are Blue Mountain coffee, spices and seasonings. Just remember any liquids must go in your hold luggage. For non-edibles look for local artworks and music CDs.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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Animated Martinique Collection