Other than at the beach in front of beach resorts, the dress code for women in the islands is strict. Short shorts, halter tops, and bathing suits are considered offensive in public. Wrap a pareu around those, or pop a sulu on top of those and you’ll be in good shape. Nothing marks you as a tourist faster than scanty clothing, especially for the street vendors. When in doubt, always remember, women should wear dresses that cover their legs while seated.
Women traveling alone should not stay in isolated tourist bungalows by themselves. It is best to team up with other travelers before heading to the outer islands. Two women together will have little to worry about, especially if they are well covered and look purposeful – whether they are hiking, shopping, or spending a day at the beach.
Wearing bikinis, minitops, short shorts, etc. creates a barrier between you and the local women. Dress appropriately so you can sit down with the local women and talk about their weaving, cooking, and other aspects of their lives. Take advantage of opportunities to spend time with these amazing women. Pacific islanders are warm and friendly. Enjoy!
Cite for September Posts: Stanley, D., South Pacific Handbook.