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What to wear in The Maldives (Packing List + Outfits)

What to wear in The Maldives (Packing List + Outfits)

Are you wondering what to wear in The Maldives? This guide tells you exactly what to pack for the Maldives with a complete Maldives packing list and outfit inspiration no matter the month you are visiting.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in The Maldives along with some outfit inspiration we thought it would be worthwhile to talk about exactly how the seasons and dress codes will affect your The Maldives Packing List. 

Where are the Maldives?

So the first thing that you need to know is where exactly The Maldives are. The Maldives are an archipelagic nation located in the Indian Ocean, just South west of Sri Lanka and India and holds the title of being the smallest country in Asia.

Typically speaking this tropical island paradise has good weather, however like Sri Lanka and India it does experience a monsoon / rainy season.

Maldives Weather

Woman in beach cover and hat sat on the beach in the maldives looking at the sea
What to wear in the Maldives (Packing List and Outfits)

The Maldives tends to have two seasons, the dry season and the Monsoon season. During the months of November to April the weather tends to be at its best. While May to October is classified as the monsoon season so you should be prepared for rain.

The Maldives Dress Code

Most people who visit the Maldives stay at a resort away from the capital city of Male. However all visitors to the maldives whether they are traveling on to their resort via seaplane or boat, will first have to arrive at Male International Airport.

And it is worth remembering that Male and the Maldives is an Islamic country. Therefore when you are in public spaces away from resorts you should dress more conservatively.

It is also worth noting that nudity and topless sunbathing is not allowed anywhere on the island.

Considerations for your Maldives Packing List

Before we get onto the exact items to include to make your Maldives outfits, we thought is would be worth outlining some considerations for your packing list. These are:

Pack Light

As The Maldives are tropical islands you have the luxury of packing lightly.

For more information on how to pack light for The Maldives and other beach vacations we recommend checking out our guide on the 5 4 3 2 1 packing method or the sudoku method which will help you create the perfect Maldives Capsule Wardrobe without overpacking.

Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics are your best friend Maldives.

Cottons, silks and linen are well known for being more breathable than man made fabrics. Linen in particular is very in fashion among locals and tourists alike in Mauritius. 

Swimwear

Woman in bikini looking at sea sat on the beach in the maldives
What to wear in the Maldives (Packing List and Outfits)

As the Maldives is a tropical island destination swimwear is obviously going to be an important part of your packing list. I usually take at least 2 pieces of swimwear and 2 covers with me on a week long vacation so I can always have one piece to wear and one that is drying but you may want to add some more. 

Just try and select covers and 2 piece swimwear (if you want this style) that can be mixed and matched together for different beach looks.

Active Wear

Although many people who go to The Maldives are primarily going for the beautiful beaches or for their honeymoon, it is worth pointing out that there are lots of activities you can enjoy such as snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing so you may want to pack items for these.

What to wear in The Maldives

Woman stoof with back to the camera on a jetty in the maldives
Maldives Packing List

Dresses and Skirts

As I mentioned above there is lots of beach wear and resort wear seen in on island resorts in the Maldives.

Maxi dresses are one of my favorite things to wear especially loose and flowing dresses. They are also great for wearing down on the beach and out for dinner. 

Click here to shop dresses for tropical beach vacations.

Linen Trousers / Linen pants

Linen trousers are a great pick for the Maldives. I like to pick linen pants in a neutral color such as cream, beige or white as they work well no matter the color you pick for your capsule wardrobe.

I tend to use these as day to night transition pieces for on the beach and at resort restaurants.

Shorts

Shorts are a definite must for The Maldives. Personally I like to avoid denim shorts as I find these more uncomfortable on sand. Instead I like to pack a mix of cotton shorts foron the beach and smarter chino style shorts for beachside restaurants.

Quick Dry shorts are another great pick. It is easy for shorts to get wet on the beach and in the humid weather it can be hard for things to dry so picking quick dry pairs is a practical choice.

T Shirts

A basic t shirt is a great staple and an essential of any packing list at any time of year. Now depending on the color scheme you are going for will depend on what color you should have. But in my opinion you can never go wrong with a plain white tee.

For The Maldives I tend to stick to short sleeve t shirts but you could also add a tank top too. Just be sure to keep to natural fabrics such as cotton as these are more breathable on hot beaches. I like to add bright colored t shirts and things with palm leaf and leaf patterns to add a tropical flavor.

Click here to shop basic tee shirts.

Blouse / Shirt

A shirt or blouse is a great addition to a tropical capsule wardobe. Again I stick with tops in natural fabrics such as cotton and linen to reduce sweat.

Personally I love a leaf pattern blouse especially an oversized linen shirt version.

aterfall Cardigans

A light waterfall cardigan is my favorite top later for tropical destiantions. They aren’t chunky or too hot but are good protection on chilly nights.

You can choose the color based on the palette you have in your wardrobe.

Click here to shop cardigans

Hoodie

A lightweight beach hoodie is great for airplane outfits when you are heading to beach destinations and can be good for lounging around the pool on cooler days.

Click here to shop hoodies for travel.

Pashmina

I never travel to any tropical island without a pashmina. It is great in the evenings in case you get chilly, especially during the cooler months and for dining al fresco. They can also be used to make an outfit more modest for visiting religious sites. Click here to shop pashminas.

Swimwear

We always pack at least 2 pieces of swimwear for tropical resort vacations one for wearing and one for drying.

I tend to stick with one piece swimsuits but you should pick the stle you feel most comfy in.

Rash Vest

Also if you plan to snorkel in the Maldives we recommend having a rash vest with you as it is very easy to burn your back while snorkelling.

Click here to shop good value rash vests.

Beach Cover

We always pack at least 2 pieces of swimwear for tropical resort vacations one for wearing and one for drying.

I tend to stick with one piece swimsuits but you should pick the stle you feel most comfy in.

Sun Hat

Sun hats are a staple on any Maldives packing list. Be sure to pick a wide brimmed straw hat for maximum sun protection. Click here to shop sun hats.

For more information on how to pack sun hats for travel check out this post.

Sunglasses

Underwear

Goes without saying 

PJs

We recommend packing lightweight PJs for the tropical island. 

Best Shoes for The Maldives

Sandals

Sale
Teva Women’s Midform Universal, Black, 9 M US
  • Water-ready polyester webbing upper is extremely durable and dries quickly after getting wet
  • Easy hook-and-loop closure comes on and off quickly and gets the fit just right
  • 1 1/4″ Lightweight EVA Platform

Sandals are a definite must for The Maldives. I would pick a pair with arch support and without a heel. 

Espadrilles or wedges are a great evening shoe choice particularly for nicer restaurants. 

Sneakers

Sneakers are great for Maldives whatever time of year you visit. Just be sure you pack a lightweight pair they can cope well in the heat and are also good for your feet on uneven surfaces around the island.

However we do recommend wearing sneaker socks in the summer with them to reduce sweat and odour in your shoe.

Watershoes

The water in The Maldives is beautiful however it can have hazards by way of coral and sharp rocks. For these reason we recommend packing water shoes with you.

Click here to shop water shoes.

Flip Flops

Although I don’t recommend these for walking in towns or in the rainforests these are useful for on the beach and round by the hotel pool.

What to Pack for The Maldives (non-clothing)

So know you know what to wear in The Maldives in both the rainy and dry season, we will turn our attention for what to pack for The Maldives.

Travel adaptor

Travel adaptors are always on my international packing lists.

Click here to shop universal travel adaptors.

On top of the travel adaptor you will also need

Sun Cream / Sunscreen

No matter whether you are traveling in the rainy or dry season you will need sun cream with you. We recommend getting a high SPF, we recommend SPF 50, as the sun is always strong in The Maldives.

Also as you are going to spend a lot of time in the water we recommend only bringing reef safe sunscreen with you to help protect the marine life of The Maldives. Click here to shop coral safe sun screen here.

Aloe Vera

No one wants to get burnt on vacation but the strength of the sun can take some people by surprise in The Maldives. Therefore we recommend packing aloe vera / aftersun.

Click here to shop aloe vera / aftersun

Lip Balm with SPF

Although it is very important to protect your skin from the sun, it is also important to protect your lips. For this reason we recommend packing a lip balm with SPF. Our current favorite lip balm with SPF is Sun Bum. Click here to shop lip balm with SPF.

Toiletries

As with any tropical island destination you will find that things like toiletries are expensiv so be sure to get your toiletries packing list right.

I always bring shampoo and conditioner that is reef safe but also can help calm by hair from the humidity and to cope with damage from sea water.

Click here to shop the best shampoos and conditioners for tropical climates.

Also when looking at packing makeup remember to pack waterproof mascara as you will be spending lots of time in the water.

Snorkel Gear

Although you will be able to rent snorkel gear in The Maldives you will never know the quality. For this reason we recommend bringing your own snorkel gear with you.

Click here to shop snorkel equipment on amazon.

Beach Bag

For use on the beach.

Inflatables

If you like to use swim aids or inflatables in the pool we recommend bringing these with you as they will be more expensive in The Maldives .

CLick here to shop cheap inflatables.

Camera

The Maldives is one of the most beautiful places in the world it should come as no surprise that you will want to take a lot of photos. Be sure you have a good quality camera with you.

GoPro

On top of the regular camera we also advise packing a go pro or another underwater camera. The underwater scenery is amazing in The Maldives . To capture the beauty of it we recommend using a go pro. Click here to shop underwater cameras.

Waterproof Phone Case

If you plan on using your phone on the beach and in the pool we recommend taking a waterproof phone case with you. This will not only keep your phone safe from water but is also a good theft deterrent. Click here to shop waterproof phone cases for travel.

Battery pack

A requirement of any packing list. Click here to shop battery packs.

What not to wear in The Maldives

Synthetic Fabrics

We recommend sticking with natural fabrics such as linen, silk and cotton for The Maldives . That is because synthetic fabrics actually make you hotter and sweat more which is something you won’t want in Mauritius.

Jeans

Jeans are too hot in The Maldives even lightweight ones or ripped ones. Instead we recommend packing linen or cotton trousers.

Heels

Heels are not that useful in The Maldives except in restaurants at night. Instead of heels we recommend packing a more versatile shoe such as a wedge or just a dressy pair of sandals.

What to wear in The Maldives FAQs

What to wear on honeymoon in the Maldives?

Regardless of whether you are in the Maldives on honeymoon or not the packing list will stay the same. however if you have some fancier dinners you may want to add some extra maxi dresses for evenings.

What to wear in The Maldives at night?

If you are wondering what to wear in The Maldives at night I would advise that you dress comfortable for heat.

For me the perfect outfit for The Maldives at night is a maxi dress with a pashmina or some long linen trousers with a long sleeve blouse.

Have you been to The Maldives ? What else would you add to our The Maldives packing list? Let us know in the comments below.