If you are moving to Puerto Rico and you are a woman, you are probably wondering how women dress in Puerto Rico.
Moving to Puerto Rico from the US was a culture shock in many ways, but having visited before our permanent relocation, I already knew that how women dress in Puerto Rico is very different than how they dress in the US!
In the states I was your typical jeans, sneakers, and hooded sweatshirt kind of gal. Nothing fancy and nothing girly unless it was a special occasion or I was attending church. It was very laid back, casual, and not to mention COLD! Of course moving to a tropical island you would expect to see a bit more flesh showing, but Puerto Rico has that sexy Latin flare that takes the fashion here to a whole new level. Where I once dawned sneakers, I now wear 5-7 inch heels or wedges. Where I once wore baggy jeans and sweatshirts, I now wear summer dresses, skirts, and skinny jeans. Puerto Rico allows a woman to be as feminine and sexy and she wants or feels comfortable with. Now whenever I go back home to visit and dress in my usual Puerto Rican attire, I am constantly being asked what the occasion is or they bust out the inevitable, “Oh my goodness, you’re going to break your ankle in shoes like that!” lol
The style of dress in Puerto Rico is much less casual than it is in the states to say the least, and I’ve come to find that there are 4 general ways that explain how women dress in Puerto Rico.
1) The everyday sexy Puerto Rican casual:
- Heels for women or strappy sandals for younger girls
- Skirt, dress, or tight fashion jeans
- Nice blouse
- Manicured fingers and toes
- Nice accessories
2) The “Yales”
- They have the dubi (doobie) in their hair because they just had it straightened
- large purse
- extremely high heels
- dark markup
- large costume jewelery
- fake nails that are usually >1 inch long
- very short skirt and visible midriff
3) The Stay at Home Mom
- Tight yoga pants or running shorts
- Workout top
- Usually wearing makeup and has hair down (obviously NOT going to workout)
- Can be found going shopping alone at Costco while kids are at school
4) The Tourist
- Flat velcro sandals or flip flops
- Tank top
- Visibly has gotten too much sun the days prior
- Hair looks like it has never seen humidity or anti-friz products before.
- It is very obvious that they are not from Puerto Rico and are only visiting.
As a general rule I fall somewhere within category 1 or 3. Please never be caught dead in public looking like a Yale! If you have curly hair, plan to do your shopping another day if you need a dubi to keep it straight for an evening event. DO NOT GO OUT SHOPPING IN A DUBI! That’s just plain trashy. It’s looked upon as favorably as “trailer trash” or “red necks” from the states. Not a good look around here. Yales are a long running Puerto Rican joke.
Another distinct fashion difference you may notice is that Puerto Rican woman have curves and, whether you think they should or not, they are not afraid to show them off. Therefore you’ll notice a lot of muffin tops running around the malls. I’ve actually had more than one woman from the states comment that even though I am always wearing high heels, I’ll never pass for a Puerto Rican woman because I do not have the muffin top to go with them! lol I am not sure if it’s just vanity in the number on the tag so “if it zips, it fits” or if it’s just the tight stretch fabric they are making jeans out of these days, but muffin tops are everywhere! Try to avoid it by buying jeans that fit your waist first and then having them taken in if they are too loose or long in the legs. Avoid the dreaded muffin top! 😉 Thankfully local seamstresses are cheap and good at pant alterations so you shouldn’t have a problem if you just take the extra time and pay a little extra to get a good fitting jean.
Likewise, women are women in Puerto Rico. The more feminine the better. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and it’s not completely black and white but generally women dress to show off their assets in Puerto Rico. If you have a nice bust, then wear a top that accentuates that. If you have killer legs, than a nice skirt or dress with a pair of heels is perfect. If you are like me and you’ve had two kids and your legs are only nice from the knee down, then by all means, you do not have to wear the mini skirts or shortie shorts. Despite what some of the locals may exhibit, it is not a 24/7 “see who can show more skin” contest. That’s a Yale and we’ve already discussed never being that; that is not how women (should) dress in Puerto Rico! lol Just accent your assets in a feminine way that is tasteful and that you feel comfortable with. Which I honestly think is true for most women everywhere except that the climate in Puerto Rico allows for less clothing all year round. There is no time of year where you get to hide in a big puffy sweater and long pants around here. So, unfortunately if you go a bit over board sampling your holiday baking and put on a couple pounds, there aren’t any winter coats to hide it with here. 😉 However, thankfully since the weather is so nice during those holiday months, you should have no problem keeping the extra pounds at bay with an evening walk/run, so no worries. 😉
So, when you are planning what to bring with on your move, leave the winter clothes (except maybe one of two cute cardigans or shawl for the movie theater or a nice restaurant) and bring along some cute summer dresses or skirts, matching accessories, high heels or really cute strappy sandals, nice fitting jeans, and figure flattering blouses (do not read t-shirt, I said blouse!), and you’ll be be all set! That’s how women dress in Puerto Rico.