A slice of paradise located on the southernmost point of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Cancun is a beach destination known for its party-going clientele. Sun, sand, surf and a vibrant nightlife should all be taken into consideration when deciding what to wear for your Cancun vacation. Combine a capsule wardrobe of versatile key pieces with personal style staples to create a vacation look that will last you through long days in the sun and into fiesta-fueled nights on the town. From boho peasant blouses to luxe beachwear, Cancun vacation fashion is characterized by semi-sheer, breathable fabrics, figure-skimming cuts and a kaleidoscope of colors.
Every year, crowds of beachgoers flock to Cancun in a variety of beach-inspired looks. Swimwear here is as diverse as the sunbathers basking at Playa Forum. Bikinis and board shorts in varying hues of blue are a timeless option; think Bleu de France or cornflower blue for a crisp classic look. Richer shades of Persian blue like lapis lazuli and cerulean, on the other hand, will complement the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Exploring fashion for your Cancun vacation is an opportunity to try the unique cuts by bathing suit master maker Lisa Marie Fernandez, a favorite among Rihanna and Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine. For a more daring take on beachwear that also plays into the party atmosphere of Cancun, patterned designs like Etro swimwear work especially well.
For men, both Etro and Polo Ralph Lauren offer a selection of solid and patterned options, perfect for cruising around town or working up a sweat during a game of beach volleyball.
Men have it easy when taking their look from the beach to the bar, but women can try a few simple tricks too. For an effortlessly cool look, throw on a fitted T-shirt or lightweight cotton button-down by Etro or Fay. A Tory Burch embroidered off-the-shoulder blouse makes for a perfect casual cover-up. Pair it with denim shorts or a miniskirt to look effortlessly stylish on your Cancun vacation.
Footwear should be functional and chic. Espadrilles from Stella McCartney for women and a pair of casual sandals or slip-on Vans for men, are relaxed enough for day yet easily transition to night. And don’t forget to pack the essential pair of pool slides.
When deciding what to wear for your Cancun vacation at night, you must consider your nocturnal intentions. Do you plan on bar-hopping between popular places like Coco Bongo and Dady’O? Or are you facing an endless lineup of tequila shots at Señor Frogs? For these late nights it’s best to select functional yet fashionable footwear that will allow for hours of dancing. Timeless sandals or gladiator sandals will make for a stylish statement without causing injury to your feet.
Keep it simple yet flirty in a knit bodycon dress or a colorful tiered miniskirt paired with a fitted, faded graphic vintage T-shirt. Men can keep their club look simple by pairing classic sneakers from Saint Laurent with a pair of white or blue jeans.
If you’re visiting a more upscale hangout like O Ultra Lounge, one of the most exclusive clubs in the city, opt for an elegant jumpsuit, or go for a plunging neckline paired with a print palazzo pant. A rich palette of gold, ivory and blush projects a sexy and sophisticated look.
Accessories & Essentials
A simple switch of accessories will instantly take your Cancun vacation fashion look from beach to bar. For day, stick with simple stud earrings that won’t fall out in the sea. A sleek ear cuff will stay in place and add some intrigue without compromising daytime beach activities. While beaded bracelets work well for day, at night you can up the ante with a statement ring by Marc Jacobs or midi rings by Marie-Hélène de Taillac.
In addition to beach-worthy trinkets and stylish statement pieces for evening, be sure to pack essential accessories such a wide-brimmed hat for basking in the sun on North Beach. Add a pair of designer sunglasses to complete your beach-ready look.
A large colorful cotton scarf is the perfect beach accessory as it doubles as a head wrap or cover-up. And if you prefer a more luxe way of lounging on the sand, bring along a plush designer towel by Onia or Versace. Once you know what to wear for your Cancun vacation, it's time to pack other essentials. A medicine bag complete with anti-nausea tablets and aspirin will help ease morning hangovers, as will a steady supply of bottled water.
Beach breaks are about getting that natural glow, so make-up should be kept simple. For day, just a flick waterproof mascara and lipgloss with SPF will do. At night, add a swipe of eyeliner and change out the SPF for a party pout staple like MAC Lipglass.