Packing for the Maldives can be a tricky task, particularly when it comes to clothes and shoes. It’s a fine line between that barefoot island-vibe get-up and looking like you’ve been shipwrecked! And when it comes to dressing for a romantic dinners under the starlit skies, you’ll want glam evening outfits with the wow-factor. We’ve put together the ultimate packing guide for what to wear at your Maldives resort, so you can vacay in style.
Chic and Casual Resort Wear
No matter what time of year you visit, you’re going to be enjoying the warm and humid Maldives climate. So this means that you will want the majority of your clothing to be breathable, airy and light. Think flowing short dresses floral or block color maxi dresses, cute rompers and short playsuits. Also pack a range of separates such as singlets, crisp tees, shorts and wrap around skirts. You can then mix and match these separates to get the most out of your holiday wardrobe. Kaftans are also a Maldives resort essential, as you can throw them over your beachwear to enjoy a casual lunch by the pool.
Bring along some light active wear too, such as yoga shorts and a crop top so that you can hit the gym or take a fitness class without overheating.
Island-Worthy Evening Wear
It’s a wise idea to pack some more glamorous, dressy options, as dinner at a Maldives resort can quite often be a rather fancy affair. Leave behind those tight cocktail dresses, and instead go for beautifully tailored baby doll dresses, long and flowing maxi dresses, or even versatile wrap-around dresses that can be accessorized with a few key pieces. Each resort has its own rules when it comes to dress codes, so always double check before you leave.
Many of the Maldives resorts operate with a ‘no shoes no news’ policy. This means that you’re actually encouraged to take off your shoes as soon as you step onto the island, and you aren’t required to put them back on until you leave – even in the restaurants. Roaming your Maldives resort island barefoot can be a beautiful, freeing experience if you’re used to squeezing your feet into heels all day long. Many studies are now showing that a barefoot connection with the ground brings with it a whole host of health benefits too. So, if ‘no shoes no news’ is a policy at your resort, then we definitely recommend trying it out, even for a day or two.
Saying that, it’s always worth bringing along a beautiful pair of comfy sandals. Think gold, cream or beige strappy flats sandals that will complement a range of outfits. Go for something with a little detail such as embellishments or a touch of sparkle to add to the island glam and help transform casual daytime outfits to evening chic.
It’s a good idea to only bring along a high-quality pair of sandals that are able to withstand a little wear, as you’ll most likely be walking on sandy pathways during your stay.
Some of the ultra-luxurious mega resorts may have a dress-code for some of their restaurants. If you are required to wear shoes, then you can pack some super cute open-toe shoes with a small chunky heel. Or, if you must have a pair of heels with you then bring along a pair of wedges with secure ankle straps. Wedges are perfect to wear for an romantic candle-lit dinner for two. Did you know that the One and Only Reethi Rah actually sell a pair of designer wedges that have been custom-made for wearing on the sandy island! It’s a good idea to leave the stiletto type heels at home, as they will likely get damaged and may be difficult to walk in (unless you have the option of being picked up and taken to dinner in a golf buggy). Click here to find the latest deals on One and Only Reethi Rah.
Another option which is becoming increasingly popular is barefoot sandals. These are simple tie-up shoes that can be made from natural materials like string, yarn, beads, and shells. You simply slide the loop over your toe, and then tie them around the ankle. They are very delicate and pretty, and they can help to finish a daytime outfit off. You can purchase barefoot shoes from Etsy; There are some incredibly beautiful designs on there to choose from.
Barefoot shoes are also lovely if you are having a beach wedding, and they can be custom made to compliment your wedding dress. Are you thinking about jetting off to the Maldives after your big day? If so, take a look at our complete guide to planning your Maldives Honeymoon.
All About the Accessories
Fashionistas know the importance of accessories, and this is particularly true when it comes to a holiday in the Maldives. If you’re flying in on a seaplane, then you will probably have a limit on the amount of luggage that you can take with you. Typically, this is 25 kilos per person. Now there are ways that you can get around this, as some companies allow you to increase your baggage for an extra fee, or you can hire your own private seaplane for transfers. However, for most of us, 25 kilos will mean that you have to be a little more conservative with the clothes and shoes that you choose to pack. By bringing a lot of accessories you can cut down on your luggage weight while also having a range of ways to jazz-up your outfits.
Some accessories that work particularly well include large, dangling earrings, think chandelier style gold drops, beautiful natural stones and hoops. A couple of statement necklaces will also bring out a simple maxi dress or even daytime cover-up to add a little glam that will turn heads at your Maldives resort. Sunny’s are a must, so make sure you pack a few pairs that have a very high UV protection.
Hats are also essential too, as they can protect your face from those strong Maldives rays. Take extra care when packing your hats – you can try stuffing them with stocks and other smaller clothing items help them to keep their shape, or if you have something really special, than packet in it’s own hatbox.
Swimwear + Cover-ups
Swimwear is as important as day and evening wear in the Maldives – and it’s actually what you will spend most of your time in! Bring at least three different swimwear options – be it bikinis or swimsuits. If you like to plan ahead, then you can choose to have mix and match bikinis that complement one another. It’s nice to bring some coverups, such as light and airy sarongs, which can also double as protective head scarfs. Rompers and playsuits are also great for throwing over swimwear, if you want to cover up when you leave the resort pool and head back to your overwater villa.
A top tip is to always rinse your swimwear with fresh water after you have worn it, as the salty sea water can damage the material.
Other Maldives Resort Essentials
As well as shoes, clothing and accessories, you will need to pack toiletries and a range of items that are going to help keep you entertained during your stay. So stock up on a few of those books that you’ve been meaning to read, or if you want to save space then you can download them on a Kindle.
The Maldives are so stunning that a camera is an excellent idea, even for the most novice of photographers. Of course, an iPhone camera will fare well, but if you have the chance to purchase a GoPro or even a DSLR, then you will be sure to get some extra special snaps.
Most of the Maldives resorts will have a selection of toiletries for you to available to choose from. Some of them or fancy resorts such as Constance Moofushi even have full size products in some of their villas. If you’re bringing your own products, then try to bring eco-friendly options. The Maldives have a very delicate ecosystem which can be damaged by the chemicals found in many of our everyday health and beauty products. The same goes for sun cream, as this actually contains chemicals which form a toxic layer on the sea and can damage to the coral and affect the marine life.
If you need a little help with packing other items, then check out our ultimate guide to packing for the Maldives post.
Shopping at a Maldives Resort
The shopping amenities available will vary from resort to resort. Some of the smaller Maldives resorts will only have a convenience store where you can pick up essential such as toiletries, sun cream and reading materials. While some of the larger resorts such as The W Resort have onsite boutiques which are stocked with designer handbags, clothes, sunglasses, accessories, shoes and more.
If you’re spending a night on the main island of Hulhule, then there are a variety of shopping options available to choose from including duty-free shops, cosmetic stores, local markets and designer boutiques. We’ve put together ‘the best places to shop in the Maldives’, if you want to go on a shopping spree while on vacation. If you need somewhere to stay on the island, then we recommend the Hulhule Island Hotel.
How to Pack for the Maldives
If you’ve chosen what you’re going to bring to the Maldives and you’ll also need to think about how you’re actually going to pack it. There is an art to packing, and the techniques that you use will help you both to save space and ensure that your items get there without being damaged.
One of the best ways to pack your clothes is to roll them. Start by folding the clothes in half and then tightly rolling them, before placing them into your bag one by one. If you do it this way, as opposed to folding them, you can actually save up to 20% space in your bag. It also prevents creasing during the journey. If you have some really special pieces, then place them into a clothing bag to protect them.
Make sure all your toiletries are securely sealed and the lids are tightly screwed on. There’s nothing worse than opening your bag when you arrive at your Maldives resort to find your conditioner has leaked all over your brand new dress. Remember to always have a luggage tag with your address on your suitcase, just in case anything goes missing, and keep all of your missed expensive items in your travel bag, such as cameras laptops and iPads.
Follow the above tips you’ll be well on your way to pack like a pro for your next Maldives vacation. While with many other holiday destinations, if you forget something you’ll often have the chance to head out and pick up a replacement, however on the mall in the Maldives it may not always be an available option. This is why it’s so vitally important that you take the time to carefully pack everything ready for your trip.
If you need love some extra advice on booking your Maldives resort, we’re here for you. We have a huge range of articles on our site, click here to read about out most-loved Maldives resorts, or find out more about the best time to visit the Maldives.
If you’re looking for something extra special, then you can actually stay in the world’s first underwater villa at the Conrad Maldives, although this does come with an eye-wateringly high price tag. Click here to see more photos of the Conrad Maldives and check out the latest rates. If you’re after a more laid-back Robinson Crusoe type, then Gili Lankafushi Resort ticks all the Right boxes. Click here to eyeball the over water villas complete with private pools, and see the latest deals.
Wishing you the most magical, stylish trip to the Maldives. Happy travels!