Updated on September 15, 2022 by Sarina

what to wear in maldives

Maldives is a tropical beach paradise and worth at least one visit in your lifetime, if not several. The characteristic turquoise blue color lagoon and the ocean surrounding the two hundred inhabited Maldivian islands lures so many visitors every year. If you are lucky enough to get a chance to go there for a vacation, you may think of packing for the Maldives just as you do for any other beach – vacation. But you can be so wrong; And you can be so right too. It depends on a lot of variables

What do you need for a holiday in Maldives?

Modest clothing for public places

Maldives is a Muslim country. The natives of Maldives have a modest clothing style. Men and women are supposed to cover their bodies from the neck to the ankles at all times in public places – even on a beach. And this applies to visitors too but only as far as you are in a public beach.

If you are vacationing in the Maldives in a private resort you can wear whatever you want (according to your resort stipulations) But in public, you are supposed to wear covering beachwear. There are exceptions in some beaches but that is rare. Unless you want to end up in trouble while vacationing in Maldives you had better pack some modest beachwear for your visits to public/non-resort island beaches.

If you are going shopping in the Male city you have to wear modest clothing which covers shoulders and thighs.

Shorts, casual tops and swimsuit coverups

maldives vacation packing list appropriate for the beach  - shorts
Comfortable clothes for beach holiday in maldives

Loose-fitting tunics or tank tops and some shorts – you can pack just these if you are staying in a private island resort and some loose flowy gowns or dresses if you want to dress up for the dinner. And a lot more underwear than you think you will need. You will also want to pack some pretty swimsuit and swimsuit coverups.

If you want to visit the beach in normal clothes (other than the swimsuit) use garments made of synthetic fabrics like polyester-lycra – these clothes do not cling to your body when wet or turn transparent and, they dry pretty fast. T-shirt and knit shorts – though these look like the perfect beachwear, they cling to your body when wet and you will soon feel very uncomfortable.


sun protection - sun glass, hat and sunscreen
Sunprotection must for maldives holiday

Three of the most important things to pack for your holiday in Maldives are sunscreen, hat and a good sunglass. The Maldives Islands lie close to the equator and the sun is scorchingly hot in the afternoons. It can reach 32°C in the day time. So, get the best sunscreen possible (50+ SPH) and wear sunglasses whenever you are outside.

Choose hats with the widest brim – you will want it to cover the whole face if you are like me and tans easily (and do not want the tan)

hats  to pack for a holiday in maldives

And wear the hat with a strap of some kind. As I said already, it is very windy in the Maldives and a cute hat perching on your head will fly away into the ocean sooner than later. A wet soggy hat is a nuisance to carry. Though a hat with a strap is not so glamorous, if your hat is not snug against your head you will have to use the strap to keep it in place.

Head and Hair protection

But the hats are not going to protect you against “gravity affected” coconuts, so beware of those. The coconut palms are very scenic against the clear sky and the blue ocean but if they have ripe coconuts they can fall down any time on your head; they are not considerate of humans walking under them at all. So unless you have packed helmets, steer clear of these coconut palms.

windy climate of maldives

Maldives is very windy, especially in the evenings and after some days in the wind, your hair can turn matted and snarled if you wear it loose. So I would suggest you pack some hair accessories – like hair ties or scrunchies or a hair covering band. And hair care products.

You may also want to pack an umbrella (in case your hotel would not provide one) if you absolutely hate rain. It rains occassionally in Maldives. The rain may last only a few hours or a few days. 

Water shoes

The water of the Maldivian ocean is so clear and the turquoise blue color of the water is so alluring that you may want to spend your whole vacation inside there. The water surrounding the islands as far as you can see is like a big infinity pool. An infinity pool through which you can walk for a long long time before you reach any deep end.

footwear needed for walking over the coral reef
Watershoes to protect feet

But there is one thing that you should be careful about as you walk so – your feet. The coral reefs, shells and stones on the water bed cut your skin. Even on sandy beaches, the whole beach sand is sprinkled with coral pieces. You can easily graze against them and get small cuts. Wear water shoes that fit you perfectly and comfortably

Life protection

life jackets needed for water activities in the sea

If you are going for a water ride, or letting your small kid in the sea, or just getting out in the ocean do not forget a life jacket. A life jacket is not only life-saving it is great fun floating in one through the water. And do not forget any of the safety instructions when enjoying your time in Maldives.

safety instructions for swimming in the sea

Related posts : Different types of hats.; What to pack when you are going to India

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