Clothing-What You Should Not Bring and What You Should

Clothing You Should Not Bring to Panama

  • Down coats, leather jackets, unless of course you are planning to go back to the states during the winter
  • Long fluffy heavy terry cloth robes- UGH
  • Long sleeved anything
  • Heavy weight jeans
  • Lots of nice leather shoes (it rains buckets here) they will get ruined or worse, mold
  • Sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece,


Clothing You Should Bring and Stock Up On

  • 100 % cotton anything, if shirts, mostly sleeveless for women- Tee shirts are too hot!
  • Shorts for home wear only, again cotton. Cotton keeps you cool and dries fast.
  • Hats, you will often see here women carrying umbrellas in the heat. Why? A burnt head is not fun. Bring hats. Preferable cool ones with open weave like straw.
  • Tevas or other shoes you can wear in the rain and not care.
  • Flip flops- loads of them to use around the house.
  • For women-capri’s. I did not and wish I had. More on that later. Women in public here either wear dresses or capri’s. Younger girls are allowed to wear shorts, but women are supposed to cover their knees. As a side note: any government office will not allow you in if you are wearing shorts, men or women. Full length pants for men and women are okay and also dresses for women.
  • Bathing suits and underwear- more on this later
  • Dresses for women-it is sometimes the best way to stay cool
  • Lightweight slacks for men=preferably cotton.

There is usually no need to iron anything here. The humidity takes out any wrinkles in minutes.

Why My Advice on What Clothes to Bring?

You won’t find any decent places here to buy clothes. I am not a clothes snob. I used to shop thrift stores and occasionally buy from Walmart and Kmart. But down here the quality and styles are not for anyone who is used to even Walmart clothes. The materials here for women are thin, see through and literally fall apart when you wash them. They are cheap. Most tops for women will cost you only $5.oo and worth  every penny. I have gone shopping here and the selection is just awful. I can’t find any capri’s anywhere. Bathing suits and underwear all look like they are seconds.

I ask my friends and they either go back to the states to shop or order online. Both very expensive to do. I may change this posting after I go to Panama City next time. I want to go to Multiplex Mall and the Albrook Mall and see if there clothing is any better. But for now I treasure the few pieces of clothing I have that work here and with I had brought more of the same.

I am not sure why Panama has done so much in advancing its place in the world without bringing the clothing industry here up to speed. But then again Panamanians never complain about much.

So the prime directive when moving is stock up on essential items like there is no tomorrow.


Head to Panama City for clothes. We just got back after going to three huge malls, buying much needed capri’s and a couple of dresses. YEAH!!!!


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