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Costa Rica may not be recognized as a fashion capital of the world like New York and Paris, but the Costa Rican's sure do dress to impress.

There are really only two categories of dress here in Costa Rica:

Traditional Dress

National costume is used in typical fiestas or presentations or can be seen in Topes. The traditional clothing for men is usually white cotton pants and shirt, with a red sash belt, a red handkerchief tied at the neck, and a straw cowboy hat. The women generally wear a multi colored skirt in layers usually in the colors of the flag (red, white, blue, and/or gold), with a white off the shoulder, sleeveless fluffy ruffle  top blouse (usually with ribbon or embroidered), a choker band necklace, and their hair in braids with an exotic flower. In both costumes shoes are optional. Usually this type of clothing is only worn for typical folkloric dancing and in some cases the famous celebrations for when a Costa Rican turns 50 as a way to through a theme party.


Contemporary Modern Dress

In the city, most people dress as they do in any other large city in the world. Even though the temperature is higher here, people still wear long pants, jeans, long skirts and even layers or sweaters. The typical guy on the street is wearing jeans and tee-shirts with tennis shoes. For the more trendy and younger groups you will see the same trends you see in the US or Europe such as bejeweled tops, embellished or metallic jeans, and some beautiful leather purses.

Most people in general dress pretty casually. At night to go out, Costa Ricans tend to get pretty dressed up. Guys tend to wear nice pants or jeans, button down long sleeved collar tops, and nice leather shoes. Even the guys have nice watches and leather jackets.  Young ladies on the other hand many like to dress very skimpy especially during summer time or in hotter areas of the country. For example, Perez Zeledon is known for its super tiny mini skirts. Sexy tops are found at stores like Zara, Kenneth Cole, Tommy, MNG  and more which are found in many of the big malls in Costa Rica and at a fraction of the price you will find them at in Europe.

At the beach, more casual dress is ok. Things like shorts and flip flops are acceptable and necessary! Still in most establishments you will need to use some type of shirt and footwear to enter in most cases. For ladies looking to buy a bikini, you might notice less fabric in the back of the bottoms unless you are from Brazil.

In any case, personal appearance is extremely important to Costa Ricans so it is key that you try and maintain good hygiene practices and wear clean, neat looking clothing that is appropriate for where you are going.

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