Tropical Fashion: Chic but Don’t Overdue It

 In Americanoizing, Fashion

So, you live in paradise. Consider yourself extremely lucky. Doing so gives you tremendous leeway with regard to your fashion choices. Yes, tropical fashion can be a go-to style, and, dare I say, even chic. But, a word of caution: overdoing it and you run the risk of falling among the ridiculous or worse…looking touristy.

1) Fabric: The Building Block

The principal starting point for creating your tropical fashion look is the choice of fabric. Err on the side of airiness. That means cotton; linen (if not a majority make it your exclusivity); poplin; or lightly woven, unlined wool or twill. It may be intuitive and common sense but never think that because a piece looks tropical that it is appropriate to wear. Never think heavy wool, canvas, or the dreadful polyester/rayon combo passes muster. As far as fashion sense and personal comfort, they don’t.

2) Prints and Combinations

Use of prints are a critical element in tropical fashion. Palm fronds, tropical flowers, intense colors (bright, pastels, even neons), fruits, nautical themes or a combination of all of these prove acceptable embellishments for your outfits. Nevertheless, a tropical wardrobe varies between men and women, with women having more creative, colorful options. Ladies can pair garment type with prints in almost an infinite amount of combinations which exude great fashion sense. Full-print jumpsuits or dresses, mixed print pieces, or printed suits of varying fits are just a few examples of combinations that elevate your tropical style. Guys, however, cannot be over creative. Full print anything? Nope. Mixing a printed shirt with baggy shorts or even worse jeans? Please no. Worse of all, thinking a Hawaiian shirt is stylish? Never. Rather, go for a print with solid color pairing, linen suit and bright-colored or printed shirt a la Miami Vice, or a printed jacket over solid shirt and pants.

3) Accessories

Tropical fashion, again, requires precise originality. Ladies, your prints are best left for your outfit that may include your shoes. It could be a tad much but still fashionably acceptable. If doing the full print from head-to-toe, don’t also choose a printed bag or tropical-themed jewelry. If mixing a solid color with print, let the accessories match one or the other, whichever is predominant. For the guys, really, your only accessory are shoes. Choose a slip-on loafer/moccasin/sneaker that cleanly ends the outfit and doesn’t break the line with bulk or laces. Moreover, if going with a solid color outfit, choose a printed shoe or vice versa. Those wanting a bit more class can rock the panama hat along with a leather-strapped watch of a matching outfit color.

By avoiding the overzealous, lazy tourist or the walking print board image, your tropical outfit will make the fashion statement you know you want to make. Paradise abounds through daily, beautiful images. Your wardrobe should follow suit.

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