The Segmental Info System

Clothing and Attire in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

Swimwear is the attire of choice for much of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

Photo credit: © Rodolfo Arpia |
Clothing in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

When planning your trip to the Mexican Caribbean, take some of the region's clothing customs into account.  This will help you to remain comfortable while avoiding offending local sensibilities.

Whatever your plans in the Mexican Caribbean, comfortable clothing is essential. Lightweight cottons and linens are advisable during the day, while light woolens are suggested for evenings. Try to avoid synthetics, which may not be as breathable as natural fabrics. The coastal areas and the higher altitudes can be very cool and pleasant in the mornings and evenings. But the interior, away from the sea breeze, can be stiflingly hot, so be prepared with light clothing.

Additionally, waterproof clothing and rain wear are a necessity all year long. Rain showers in the Mexican Caribbean usually come up suddenly, come down hard, and end fairly quickly, so you need to be prepared with a waterproof jacket or umbrella everywhere you go. Opt for something easy to carry that you can quickly slip on and then put away again when the sun reappears.

The Mexican Caribbean, especially Cancún, is an area of relaxed conventions. Cancún is a tourist's vacation destination from the ground up. People come here to enjoy the luxurious accommodations, sun, and sand. You'll see people in swimming attire lounging everywhere. Other more remote areas of Mexico may be a bit more traditional, and you should probably only wear swim wear on the beach or at the pool. Also, if you are traveling for business, a suit, jacket, and tie are expected, and the usual Western formalities and courtesies are observed.

The traditional dress of Mexico uses natural fabrics and European elements.  Fabrics made from agave, cotton, and bark were dyed using local plants, so clothing was quite colorful.  The actual style of dress varied by region, but mostly saw women wearing sleeveless tunics, skirts, and shawls, and men in pants, shirts, and a blanket cape.  Because Cancun was largely uninhabited before it became a resort area, it is rare to see locals sporting anything less than modern, but as you travel to other regions you may see a few people still donning this more traditional style of clothing. 

All-in-all, if you plan to dress as you would back in your hometown, you'll find you won't feel out of place.  Just remember to pack clothing that will help you withstand the heat, and you'll not only good great, but feel great as well.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.