Bermuda Clothing & Dress Code
Bermuda has long been a British colony in the past and therefore you will see a lot of British influence in Bermudian culture including in clothing and dress code. Unlike in the US, Bermuda in general follows more conservative attire and clothing customs. One interesting thing though. The popular Bermuda Shorts, that are knee length and are often treated as casuals elsewhere in the world, are considered quite reserved clothing and even as a formal attire in Bermuda. Check out Bermuda Shorts
to know its role in a Bermudian's life. This is the island where you get really authentic Bermuda Shorts.
General clothing in Bermuda
In general, try to dress a bit conservatively. Bathing suits, short tops and mini shorts are not acceptable except at beaches and pools. Note that there are no nude or semi-nude beaches in Bermuda. In public areas, beach wears should be covered. Bare feet are not generally acceptable anywhere in public.
You can generally wear casual sportswear in restaurants during the lunch time. However some of the formal restaurants and night clubs in Bermuda require men to wear jacket and tie in the evenings. Reservation in restaurants and night clubs are always recommended and you should check the dress code requirements while making the reservations. Many restaurants do have casual evenings from time to time.
Update: Most restaurants in Bermuda (barring few exceptions that are mainly restricted to fine dining) no longer require men to wear jackets and tie. However some will insist on smart casuals like wearing a collared shirt, long pant and shoes (no bare feet or flip flops).
Formal dress is not necessary unless you are attending a special occasion. You can rent tuxedos, morning suits and evening tails in Bermuda, however accessories needs to be purchased.
Inasmuch as it sounds weird to follow a dress code while on an island holiday, it does not hurt to keep in mind the culture/customs of a place one is visiting. As mentioned earlier, Bermuda being a British overseas territory, a certain degree of sartorial modesty is maintained. However this does not mean you need to rein in your stylish, casual and colorful self when vacationing on the island.
Here is what you need to keep in mind while packing up for your trip to the Bermuda islands.
can essentially be broadly categorized into two-summer and winter. This, to a great extent narrows down one's dilemma as to what clothing is best suited for the island trip. Whether you like to travel light or heavy, this information will help you decide what needs to go into your travel bag and what can stay out.
Clothing for warmer months
April through October is the time when the weather in Bermuda is at its best and quite warm. One might witness an occasional rain but the spells are usually brief and accompanied with strong winds. So umbrellas won't be of much use. Try to carry disposable ponchos or light weight raincoats or a windbreaker.
Beach and Day Wear
Carry your swimsuits/beachwear for a dip in the sea or the pool. However do not forget to carry a cover up as visiting restaurants for lunch in a swimwear is not very welcome.
During the peak summer time you can wear sports clothes. These may include polo shirts, cotton pants, Bermuda shorts and anything smart casual that one can think of. Women don't hold back on those floral and flounce summer dresses that you've been waiting for an occasion to wear to. This is your chance to flaunt them. Don't forget to carry your sun hats, sunglasses, flip-flops and walking shoes for a stroll along the beautiful coastline. Also throw in a light windbreaker/raincoat for those intermittent spells.
In the evenings wear casual elegant cottons: Women can wear light dressy sweater. You can throw on a light wrap or scarf which also doubles up to dress up your evening outfit. An evening out in a restaurant, bar or one of the many fabulous night clubs that Bermuda has to offer, is your chance to showcase your cocktail outfits and chic evening wear. Remember to keep it elegant, light, casual and relaxed. You are on a beach holiday after all, so just let your hair down and look as beautiful as you want !
Clothing for cooler months
Late November to March is quite cold in Bermuda. Although the weather is quite pleasant and balmy, there can be strong winds which makes it quite chilly. Recommended clothing is light woolens or fall-weight casuals, or sweaters during the day. Also try to carry a raincoat or disposable ponchos. To swim or snorkel at the beaches, you should carry wetsuits or a windbreaker with the swimsuit. Also carry a cover up with sleeves which you can not only throw on if you want to stroll into a restaurant for lunch, it also comes in handy if you are caught in a sudden downpour.
For the evenings
In the evenings you can wear casual elegant lightweight woolens. Men can sport a suit or jacket and tie. Ladies can choose a dressier sweater or wrap and cocktail-type outfits. The cool weather is no reason not to be your fashionable self. Don't hesitate to bring in your floral or girly dresses along, though make sure they have long sleeves and can ward off the chill.
Denims/Jeans in Bermuda
Good news is that you can certainly wear the omniscient jeans while on the island. However try to leave out the ripped, frayed or patched variety. Nowadays many of the restaurants also allow you to go in jeans but if you are planning a dinner at one of the finer dining places, you might want to check out the dress code beforehand (advisably while making your dinner reservations).
No dining outlet in Bermuda requires a gentleman to dress in dinner jackets or tie but you will never feel dandyish in a fine dining venue in Bermuda if you are dressed in a proper sports jacket or blazer and a tie. Even the traditional Bermuda shorts with a polo shirt and knee socks is ideal. Some of the better restaurants on the island might have only Elegant/Smart casuals on their dress code. This would usually mean no jeans or cargo pants but chinos or flannels with buttoned up or polo shirts.
Always keep in mind to wear the right kind of footwear, that is, only proper smart shoes (you can wear loafers or slip-ons and not necessarily the lace-up variety) should be worn to these restaurants and not your beach flip flops, trainers or sandals. Here are some snapshots of smart casuals
for your reference.
Tennis and Golf wears
Remember that you will need to be properly dressed while playing tennis or golf in Bermuda. For tennis this means white shorts, tennis shirts, white socks and tennis shoes. Golf in Bermuda is a formal sport. Men need to wear tucked in collard shirts, Bermuda length shorts and soft spiked golf or tennis shoes. Women too can wear such shorts, skorts or skirts with collared or designer collarless golf shirts. Tennis and golf games are hosted by local clubs in Bermuda and the right kind of attire at such clubs must be worn at all times. Dress codes apply to adults and children.
Having said all this, remember that Bermuda is an island country after all and even with its British influence and little reservations on a basic sense of dressing up, it has it's own light hearted tropical carefree atmosphere in place with an amazingly amiable local population to its credit. I think this is the quintessential difference between other island destinations and Bermuda... makes it unique in a way and leaves everyone who visits this cozy little picturesque isle nestled somewhere in the vast Atlantic, craving for more.
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
Ken Stommel (July 2022)
Is it appropriate for men to wear open-toe sandals during the day in Hamilton?
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2022
Yes, that's okay as long as you do not walk into a formal place such as a fine dining restaurant.
Julia (October 2016)
Do Bermudians usually wear Jeans in their everyday life? How common is jeanswear in Bermuda?
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) October 2016
Hi, yes, jeans is quite common in Bermuda and Bermudians wear them regularly. However try to avoid torn out or ripped jeans. Also note that some formal upscale restaurants may not allow jeans.
Mary Ghiorse (July 2014)
Traveling to bermuda in august. I wanted to know if men can wear shorts and polo shirt out for dinner or do they need slacks.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2014
Most restaurants these days allow dress code of smart casual.. which means trousers with T-shirts. While casual shorts may not be welcome in many restaurants, proper Bermuda shorts with jackets are considered formal wears for men in the island and always allowed.