What Do People Wear in Costa Rica?

People in Costa Rica typically wear Western-style clothing and tend to dress fashionably when it comes to everyday appearances. That being the case, there are some traditional and cultural nuances that should be noted when visiting the Caribbean country. For example, shorts are seldom worn except at the beach, as people opt instead for light-weight pants.

For everyday clothing, women wear neat, knee-length skirts and men dress in ironed, smart pants and shirts. In general, conservative clothing is favored over more revealing outfits. Travelers who wear more modern clothing will be accepted, but labeled as tourists. The exception to this rule is in urban areas, where visiting a club reveals similar fashions to that of the U.S. and Europe. Jeans are also widely worn, but are often too heavy for the heat and humidity and are set aside for the rainy season.

Traditional dress is worn on special occasions, holidays and in folklore dances; the garb is a mix of color and flair, reflecting the Spanish and West Indian influences of the culture. Women wear white, sheer, frilly, low-cut blouses and flowered dresses with a shawl. Men typically dress in white, long-sleeve shirts and light or dark pants, accompanied by a red bandanna, depending on the area.