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Dress code

Florida
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5 posts
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Dress code

Hi everyone-

My husband and I are planning a trip to Samoa (Upolo and Savaii) in December. I am wondering what type of clothes to bring after reading some reports that ankle length dresses and skirts are expected of women visiting Samoa. I want to be respectful of the culture, but I also want to hike and do outdoors-y things. Wearing skirts wouldn't be the most convenient, and most posts mention the high temperatures and high humidity, so pants don't seem much better. Are shorts really out of the question? Also, I read that we should wear shorts and tee shirts to swim. Is this accurate? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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1. Re: Dress code

Malo lava

Where on earth did you read that info? It's sort of old news for Samoa except of a Sunday and on a village beach.

Shorts are fine as long as they aren't too skimpy, the same goes for tops. skirts and dresses. Many Samoans were lavalavas (sarongs) in their day to day lives and they can be fairly revealing but they are also traditional dress.

Bikinis are fine (again not too revealing) on tourist beaches, ie the ones belong to resorts but if you are driving around on your own and want to stop at a village beach shorts and a tshirt for swimming are preferable. Bear in mind when swimming on a village beach you will probably be asked to pay a small fee as the beaches are also cultural land and if you aren't appropriately dressed then you may be asked to leave. Swimming on a Sunday (except at resorts) is also sort of taboo.

If you do attend a church service then pants, a dress or skirt are preferable.

I hope this helps and you feel better about the clothes to wear.

Samoa is a fairly religious country and in some ways very old fashioned but it is changing fast. A few years ago it was frowned upon for a couple to walk hand in hand around town or to display any sort of affection but now you see them everywhere.

Any more questions please ask, if not have a wonderful time in this beautiful country.

Manuia le aso (have a great day)

Deb

Edited: 25 October 2011, 16:17
Auckland Central...
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2. Re: Dress code

Malo lava

If you intend to visit a church, then it's appropriate to wear a skirt or lavalava (like a sarong), and something that covers the arms and shoulders. Samoans are not too fussy, they'll just be happy to see you!

Deb is right about Sundays though - always ask before swimming on a Sunday. And you will be asked to pay a fee to swim, hike or enter private land. Please remember that all land in Samoa is private, including beaches. Those who live there have a right to a small fee for you to use their land, and for some, that is their only income.

Shorts and tshirts are fine in most places :o) If in doubt, throw a lavalava over your shirts and off you go!

Enjoy. Samoa is one of the last places in the Pacific with a rich and active culture.

Fa soifua

Tina

Florida
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3. Re: Dress code

Thank you both so much for your help- and your fast replies! You both helped clear up the confusion, and make more sense of what to pack. We are excited to go, and I am sure more questions will come up as we continue to plan. Take care, and thanks again!

Renee

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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4. Re: Dress code

Your welcome Renee and have fun planning, you know where we are if you have any more questions.

Manuia le aso

Deb

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Dress code

I hope you don't mind me using this post to ask questions.. but I too have some clothing related questions :)

on an every day basis.... (so not including Sundays)

1) is it acceptable to wear singlets? or have exposed shoulders?

2) when you say shorts how short is acceptable? I'm not thinking hot pants or anything but I do love to run around in my canterbury shorts, and they would be my preference for outdoor activities, also my only board shorts are quite short... would that be ok?

3) SHOES!!! what kind of shoes should I take? I want to get a pair of reef shoes, and am hoping to find a pair that can be worn comfortably on land too, but normally I get around in thongs, should I take a dressier pair of shoes to go to church or for eating out? or are thongs accepted everywhere?

I am only planning to take carry on luggage there so I need to pack smart and don't want to take anything I wont need or wont be able to wear, however I don't mind buying certain items of clothing when I get there, is it fairly cheap and easy to buy clothes and shoes in Samoa?

thanks heaps! :)

Sunshine Coast, Qld
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6. Re: Dress code

Hi again buffymossman

Yes, shorts and singlet tops are fine for everyday use around resorts and at restaurants and the sights etc. If you swim at a village beach I would suggest that you wear a sarong or board shorts and a rashy. It is fine to wear your togs at tourist beaches. I took a pair of thongs which were worn all day every day and most nights and a pair of sandles (hardly worn). I also took a pair of runners which I only wore to walk into some sea caves and I left them in Samoa as a donation! Reef shoes would be practical only if you are thinking of surfing on the reefs - you don't need them for snorkelling. The standard dress is very casual.

Florida
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7. Re: Dress code

Thanks for the information! By the way, what are singlets?

Tina or Deb, I was hoping to ask you more questions, and anyone else who might have an opinion as well.....

On Upolu, we are considering staying at Sinalei for a few nights, and Seabreeze for a few nights. What are your thoughts on these places?

On Savai'i, we are having a harder time. We are stuck between Le Lagoto and Savai'i Lagoon Resort for a few nights, and then between Va-i-moana and Lusia's Chalets for the other nights. Which two would you recommend?

Thanks again for your help. Take care!

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Dress code

I just googled, what we call singlets in Australia it seems Americans call tank tops or under shirts?

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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9. Re: Dress code

Malo lava all

Singlets, tank tops, shorts etc are all acceptable for everyday wear. If you'r going to church then a skirt and top would be more appropriate. As long as whatever you wear is not too short then they should be OK. Thongs are fine everywhere.

On Upolu I'd go for Seabreeze, newly renovated, fantastic food and staff and a truly idyllic setting. My favourite on Savaii is Savaii Lagoon Resort, it's a really beautiful resort with very spacious rooms and right on the water. Va-i-moana would be the next choice.

Hope this helps

Manuia le aso

Deb

Florida
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10. Re: Dress code

Thanks again, Deb! I appreciate your help!

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