Have you ever heard these dreaded words while on a cruise or vacationing in your favorite tropical destination? How about when you… alas… Actually, live in that tropical destination?!
Having lived in the Caribbean for many years, I was always a little sensitive toward this comment. But why? What was it about looking like a “tourist” that makes us feel uncomfortable? Is it the fear of not fitting in?
Well, guess what my friends… dressing like a local is absolutely not what it’s cracked up to be! I was always absolutely amazed at the local women’s love of skin-tight jeans, synthetic tops, and closed toe shoes, despite the year-round brutal heat and humidity.
Upon first arriving in St Maarten, my tiny wardrobe mostly consisted of Billabong board shorts, polyester singlets and bikini’s (ahhh, those were the days 😜) and was desperately in need of a overhaul. So, I hit the back streets of Phillipsburg searching for clothes that wouldn’t send me into an itchy, sweaty mess! I was dreaming of wide and airy pants, breezy cotton tops, and comfortable dresses with pockets for my boat keys! The problem was, those dream garments didn’t exist!!
The back streets are filled with island clothing, which was apparently designed for the sweat-resistant, hot-flash-immune kinda island girl who loves to hang out in the air-conditioned airport all day! But that’s not us, is it friends?!
We love to get out and explore! We hang out at the beach and sip cocktails by the resort pool. We go zip lining and shop for cute souvenirs. We meet fun people. Aaaaaand we eat and drink till we might pop! And what do all of these things have in common?
… A need for cool, comfortable island clothing…
This is where those clever little tourists come in - they really do seem to have it all figured out when it comes to dressing for the tropics! They seem to float down the cruise ship dock in their airy, breezy dresses looking like they don’t have a care in the world!
And speaking of airy, breezy dresses: Finding a great dress and discovering it has pockets has always been a wonderful surprise, for me. While the main purpose of a pocket is practicability - to free up your hands from small items - I often find that pockets in women’s clothing simply do not work! Most are too small for a single essential item that I am trying to put in there… And I get it! Most island clothing is generally made of lighter fabrics and full pockets would take away from the way a garment like this lays on our bodies. But dresses that are made of thicker, breathable fabrics (like cotton) actually holds things in pockets well!
I am so glad that I have aged past the time when I cared about how people think I should dress, or how I should fit in. As a result, I am now free to get around with my colorful, bright island-printed, cotton clothes and feel comfy and vibrant at all times! I am free to dress exactly like… well… a tourist! And I love it!
This week, I am so PROUD to present you with a brand new island-style dress with pockets that is guaranteed to make you “look like a tourist!” Hooray!! I’ll have you floating past all those hot, bothered, and sweaty people trying to fit in like a local in next to no time! And, better yet, there is a matching 3/4 sleeve cotton top that will be perfect for the cooler moments.
Stay glued to your inbox, island girls… The Sea Fan Story is coming soon 💙