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What to wear in Mexico


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Armchair Traveler
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  • Added on: March 15th, 2006

I'm leaving on a 3-week vacation to Mexico on Sunday and I'm still debating on what to wear during my travels.

We are planning on spending a week in Puerto Escondido, a week in the Yucatan Peninsula near Playa Del Carmen, and 1 week in Guadalajara/Puerta Vallarta.

I've read that it's more acceptable for women to be in long skirts and mid-sleeve tops when away from the beach, and that shorts are considered a no-no for both men and women.

But what about when visiting the ruins or participating in activities; skirts and sleeved top are going to be too warm and cumbersome. So, would tank tops and capri pants be okay?

Help! Does anyone have any recommendations on what to wear? Thanks!


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Lost in Place
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Joined: January 1st, 2001

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  • Added on: March 16th, 2006
Well, you'll see many local girls, here in PV, wearing short shorts, mini skirts and tube tops, not in church though.
BTW no bra is a no-no, belly buttons are OK, nipples aren't.
"There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence."

Not the first Travis

Future Expat
Posts: 5020
Joined: May 27th, 2004
Location: Mah-Jongg, Mexico

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  • Added on: March 16th, 2006
Yeah, the touristy beach areas you mention are pretty casual. Just don't walk off the beach and through town in your bathing suit, etc., etc.

You should certainly dress more conservatively for Churches and cultural sites. Also, it's the interior cities that are considerably more conservative. In the Colonial cities, you see very few women exposing much flesh. I remember last summer in Queretaro, I noticed that not a single local woman wore shorts. Capris were fine though, I think.

Great that you want to dress respectfully, but you don't have to worry about it too much. Just take your cues from what the local women are wearing, not the tourists.


Armchair Traveler
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Joined: December 27th, 2005

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  • Added on: March 16th, 2006
I wore shorts the whole time I was in Mexico and nobody punched me in the face or anything.
"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." -- Winnie the Pooh


Extra Pages in Passport
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Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: March 16th, 2006
No matter how native you dress, you will always be a Gringo on a short vacation.

If you want to be respectful, wear long-sleeves and long pants. I recommend buying some hot weather clothes there. They have a lot of good light cotton clothes . I like the white lacy ones.

You can wear beachwear to a beach, and if you want to dress light, just cover it lightly.

My favorite hotweather shirt was bought in Mexico, and was unfortunately stolen. It was a polyster fabric of unusual lightness and great strength. It let the wind whisk througl, let me sweat, yet kept out the sun. I burn easily. I've never seen the like here for under a LOT of money.

Long skirts can be of light fabric and breezy construction.

Does this help?
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow


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Joined: March 7th, 2006

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2006
For men, shorts/bathers at the beach and preferably long pants away from the beach. I wore shorts during the day in the touristy areas and never saw a lifted eyebrow. At night it's smart to wear long pants unless you wish the locals to think you are socially clueless.

For women, cover yourself up away from the beach. Last time I was in Mexico I saw a latina girl in the lobby of my hotel in a thong. I mention this only because it was so out of the ordinary for that place and really stuck in my mind. On the street and in town ladies seem to wear nice skirts, often short, but more often (in my experience) jeans or slacks.

Mexicans tend to go out of their way to dress nicely. They often will lose a little repect for you if you are percieved as underdressed, particularly in the evening.
"Neato Burrito."


Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: April 2nd, 2006

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  • Added on: April 3rd, 2006
Hi everyone, glad to be here. My wife and I will be taking our first trip to Mexico in July and would appreciate any advice you guys can give on things to do, places to eat, etc.


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Mod Squad
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  • Added on: April 3rd, 2006
I would recommend this website.


Armchair Traveler
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Joined: April 3rd, 2005

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  • Added on: April 27th, 2006
I spend many days in PV anytime during the year. Summer is even more relaxed as to dress mainly due to the warmer weather and the offseason time. I wear levi shorts, in good condition, not torn and frayed and feel very welcome. But, when I go out on a really nice night on the town, I like to wear light slacks and a collared shirt. Tees are fine most of the time and sandals everywhere. It is the tropics after all! Love to relax and save dressing up for the City here.

San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL.
San Francisco, CA.


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: April 27th, 2006
Yes, tank tops and capri pants are okay.
*foxy little minx*

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