You are on the eve of a trip to sun-soaked St. Barts. Sounds like heaven, right? However, most first-time visitors have got one major obstacle to get through first: What to pack?
While packing for St. Barts will never be the highlight of your trip, it doesn’t have to be a stressor, especially if you've got a few insider tips. Enter this comprehensive guide to what to wear in St. Barts.
Read on for a closer look at what to pack and wear for your St. Barts getaway.
St. Barts is world-renowned as a destination for the rich and famous and the stylish and sophisticated. But we’ll clue you in on a little secret: for such a glittering destination, this Caribbean paradise is also remarkably laidback with a vibe that is very much “island casual.” Beachwear is welcome and expected, nearly everywhere in St. Barts. Still, St. Barts is innately posh, so think chic and neat.
At the top of any St. Barts packing list? A swimsuit. Since much of your time will be spent on the beach, bring along a few of these. If you’re planning on partaking in the abundant watersports, you may also want to bring water shoes. A sunhat, sunglasses, and beach tote are also St. Barts essentials.
Other items include tees, tanks, sundresses, skirts, Capri pants, coverups, flip-flops, and sandals. One rule of thumb? Think easy and breezy, not fussy and formal.
And while chinos are generally preferred to shorts, bring along a couple of pairs of athletic shorts if you’re planning on hikes or other athletic activities.
Other wardrobe staples for St. Barts include lightweight pajamas, undergarments, and jewelry.
Also, keep in mind that laundry service is available in the villas and hotels, so if you do under pack, you can easily replenish your wardrobe.
Speaking of replenishing your wardrobe, bring along enough to wear that you’re covered for the length of your trip, but not so much that you won’t have room in your luggage for new acquisitions as St. Barts is home to many chic shops.
A strategically-packed carry-on can help ensure that your trip gets off to a seamless start.
your phone and computer charger
A battery pack for your phone and/or computer if you plan on watching movies during the flight.
a refillable travel water bottle
eye mask and neck pillow
Also, keep in mind that St. Barts uses European-style electrical outlets, so you'll need a French converter plug for your electronic devices. WIMCO's villa rental office can supply you with one or more of these.
As temperatures on planes, ferries, and cars can vary, be sure to bring a light sweater, light jacket, or throw in case it gets a little chilly. We also recommend packing a change of clothes and a swimsuit in your carry-on luggage if you become separated from your checked luggage for a day or two.
As far as travel documents, while covid related requirements are easing, it's wise to bring along proof of vaccination just to be on the safe side. It's also a good idea to take photos of all your important travel documents, like your passport and driver's license and put them into a photo album on your phone.
When in doubt in St. Barts, relaxed casual clothing is the way to go, although smart casual is appropriate when dining out. (Sundresses, jewelry, and pashminas are go-to's for the well-heeled women in St. Barts.)
It's warm at night as well as in the daytime in St. Barts, so lightweight clothing is necessary. Natural, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk work well.
Because villas and hotels in St. Barts have laundry service, you can pack light.
Sufficient beachwear is a must — and the only category where over-packing may make sense, especially because you may be swimming on and off throughout the day.
Don’t forget must-have tropical toiletries, including sunscreen and insect/mosquito repellent.
Relaxed casual clothing is a smart choice for men in St. Barts as well.
While the weather in St. Barts is wonderful, light showers happen. Waterproof gear, such as a light rainproof jacket and umbrella, will keep you comfortable and dry…or you can duck into a covered beach bar and wait out any brief showers that pass by.
Plan on walking? In addition to your sandals, make sure to bring along a pair of sturdy walking shoes.
The average temperature in St. Barts is 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can be humid in certain seasons. Loose-fitting, lightweight clothing is an excellent choice.
While St. Barts is known for its glittering nightlife and sophisticated eateries like Bonito, Isola, and Bagatelle, leave your formal wear (and jackets and ties) at home.
Resort-wear is typical for nights in St. Barts. If you’re planning on a fancier dinner out, a dressier sundress with sandals or a light linen dress shirt, nice pair of pants, and loafers will suffice. Another way to look at how to dress for St. Barts nightlife? Elegant without excess.
One last thing to keep in mind: while beachwear is largely omnipresent during the daytime in the beach clubs on St. Barts, wearing swimsuits in town and at dinner is not advised.
Because people travel from all over the world to St. Barts, including a mix of Americans and Europeans, there is no single most popular style in St. Barts, although an informal dress code is universal.
But don’t forget that some people come to St. Barts to see and be seen. If you're among them, be sure not to cross the line between casual chic and sloppy.
And wherever you're traveling from, there are some basic requirements: swimsuits, sunglasses, sun hats, and casual yet chic attire.
Whether you forget to bring a specific clothing item with you on your trip to St. Barts, or you're looking to partake in local retail therapy, you're in luck. Several wonderful clothing brands call St Barts home, including some of our favorites:
This boho-chic brand, launched by a French tourist who fell in love with island life, captures the joyful elegance of upscale island life. Shop for iconic dresses, coverups, resort wear accessories, and more in energetic prints and island-inspired hues.
This luxurious go-to for effortless apparel has been a St. Barth favorite since 1992. Discover chic resort wear in stunning fabrics, beautiful colors, and fresh styles.
A prime destination for fashionistas, there’s no disguising this label’s chic St. Barts roots thanks to its unique combination of refined yet relaxed elegance.
A taste of California flair in the Caribbean. In addition to chic swimwear, you'll also find beachwear, beach accessories, and ready-to-wear looks.
If shopping is on your St. Barts itinerary, you’ll find this comprehensive overview of shopping in St. Barts very enlightening. This article covers everything from exclusive local boutiques to high-end brands selling everything from luxury fashion to tropical beachwear.
In the market for shoes, jewelry, accessories, or swimwear? There's truly something for everyone when it comes to the St. Barts shopping scene — all featuring the luxurious surroundings and top-notch customer service you'd expect on this opulent island.
At WIMCO Villas, we've got all your St. Barts vacation needs covered, including access to the best luxury villas and beach vacation rentals.
For more information on planning your unforgettable St. Barts getaway, contact WIMCO today.