Ladies and gentlemen…welcome to a special episode of What Not To Wear: Caribbean Edition*. This week we travel to the tropics to take a look at the fashion faux pas and sartorial suicides being committed each day on the palm-tree lined sidewalks and open-air restaurants of these idyllic isles.
Not content to limit their poor wardrobe choices to the malls and offices of their home territory, some Caribbean tourists seem just as content to pack their lack of appropriate attire astuteness alongside their sunscreen and passports. Some ensembles will make you laugh. Others will make you weep. And some will just make you shake your head and wonder “what the bloody hell were they thinking?”
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the more egregious offenses as seen on the paradisical island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. Long known as Diver’s Paradise, this small southern Caribbean island is now a regular port of call for numerous cruise ships. Together, the divers and cruisers offer a wealth of outfit offenses worthy of today’s show.
Warning: Some of the images that follow may be disturbing to some audiences.
I’m Working On My Tan
Ladies, ladies, ladies. Yes, you spent hours upon hours shopping for the perfect bikini and matching, sheer cover-up for your tropical escape. Perhaps you procured several in anticipation of wardrobe changes throughout your trip. Well done! After all, no self-respecting woman shows up in the Caribbean with any fewer than six bikini/cover-up combos, does she? And all those colorful, see-through coverups are absolutely perfect here – on the beach or by the pool.
But you know where these wardrobe choices are not appropriate? Anywhere else. It really is that simple.
If you are tempted to rock your see-through cover-up and bikini as you peruse the shops along the main street or grab a leisurely, wine-fueled lunch at any of the upscale restaurants in town, please think twice. Because beyond the Caribbean being a bit more conservative than you might imagine, most people who live here want to enjoy their forays into the general public spaces without seeing unnecessary quantities of your flesh.
It’s a small ask, really, but please cover up (literally) when you venture beyond the pool or the beach.
The 24/7 Diver
Yes, you’ve come to Bonaire to dive your brains out. Two-tank morning boat dives, a quick lunch and then back in the water for more afternoon diving is your rigid agenda for your week-long stay. And yay to you for your dogged perseverance to claim as much bottom time as you can in your short vacation. But…
In the name of all that is holy, hitting up your resort’s nice dining restaurant – while still wearing your wetsuit that is dripping with salt-water – is just not appropriate. Ever. Even if you are staying at the home of diving freedom. I mean, honestly. Did you take a look around before you sat your soaking wet, neoprened ass down in your chair? Aside from the obvious discomfort, did you see anybody else wearing wetsuits to lunch? No? Perhaps that should serve as a visual cue.
Because if you glanced beyond your apparent bubble, this is what you would have seen. To your left…a large group of Dutch businessmen in suits conducting a working lunch meeting. To your right, some of the other divers from your boat who managed to go to their room and change into dry shorts and t-shirts before coming down for lunch. Directly behind you…me. With my iPhone within reach. Bummer for you. But hey…new material for me.
But They’re So Convenient!
The American male is likely exempt from this last one. After all, for reasons unknown (but greatly appreciated), the trend of wearing a Speedo seems limited to their European and South American counterparts. Which this American girl is quite thankful for. After all, I don’t really want to see the junk in your trunk unless we happen to be in an intimate relationship. And even then a Speedo would be frowned upon. Just. No!
And, apparently, I am not the only one who despises the Speedo. Who knew?!
Legitimately…the ONLY time a Speedo has ever been cool.
But alas…when you spend any amount of time in the Caribbean, you are going to eventually find yourself surrounded by Speedo-clad men who think nothing of sporting these horrific inventions well beyond the beach. I once worked in a dive resort and was seated at the reception desk when a new arrival walked in. Imagine my shock and horror when I glanced up and was greeted by a lycra stretch version of the Union Jack. At eye level. Nothing makes one question their life choices more than having some middle-aged Dutch dude’s bulging crotch on full display less than 12 inches in front of one’s face. Nevermind the lingering question of why a Dutchman elected to cover his privates with the British flag. Strange.
I think we can all agree that Speedos have their place – stored away somewhere out of sight, never to be seen in the bright light of day. But since I know the trend to wear them in the tropics will continue, let’s agree on one thing. Put something over your Speedo, guys, when you venture beyond the beach or your swimming pool. And no, a polo shirt that just reaches the top of your buttocks does not count as “covering up.” Ick.
And with that, we conclude this week’s special Caribbean edition of What Not To Wear. We hope you have found these fashion tips useful. Let them guide you as you pack for and enjoy your next Caribbean vacation. That way you won’t end up in future editions of our show. Speaking of which…
Stay tuned for our next episode – What Not To Wear: On The Plane.
*Hoping the copyright holders of the actual show see the humor in this post. 🙏
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