Street photography, more specifically street fashion photography has seen a huge rise in the last years. In the last years, a lot of websites allow members to upload their street style photos and share them with the world. There are also millions of fashion bloggers in the world who share their looks and we became curious and wanted to find out more about this phenomenon. But we wanted to go deeper, so we arranged a series of posts written by different bloggers who agreed to write about what style is in their country or region. It’s amazing to see how people see style in different corners of the world and what influences it: the weather, the economy and other factors!
In this article, the third of the series takes us to the British Virgin Islands. There, we found Nesha who lives in a Caribbean paradise with her husband Marlon. We wanted to hear what this sunny fashion blogger had to say about style in her country and she agreed to be part of the project. Here is what she had to say:
Fashion in any Caribbean island is highly influenced by the American culture especially African American culture, and the BVI’s is no different. I have been living in the BVI’s for almost 4 years and one important thing to note is that every season resembles summer. Style and fashion means different things to different people and people here definitely express themselves through their style.
The British Virgin Islands’ population is made up of a very diverse group of people; you will find people from all across the Caribbean (West Indians) as well as Americans from the mainland and minor outlying islands, Europeans and Hispanics, living here, thus there is a unique mixture of style and the style is as diverse as the people. It is also a huge tourist destination. Fashion for men includes jeans, t-shirts, jerseys, polo shirts and other Western style dress. You will find the local or West Indian men wearing baggy jeans, button ups, polo shirts and T-shirts while the American, European and Hispanic men tend to wear cargo shorts, t-shirts, tank tops. However, for the past two years I have noticed a decline in the baggy clothes, most men are usually dressed in nicely fitted jeans and shirts and T-shirts and the usual baseball caps. Everyone seems to add their little touch of style to their outfit which always makes it interesting to see.
The women on most occasions are dressed to accommodate the weather; lots of colored trousers, dresses and beautiful blouses and they are never afraid of color; as is customary in the islands, it is believed that the darker your skin, the brighter the color you should wear, and while not every Caribbean woman believes or follow that statement; most of us do.
From conversations I have had with my ex-pat friends, mostly Americans and Europeans, it seems like moving to the islands had a negative impact on the way they dress. Most would say “I would never dream of dressing like this when I am back home, but it’s too hot here to get dressed up.” While I don’t agree with this statement fully, it’s no secret that it’s hot here most times, but I feel like everyone can make an effort to dress to suit their environment. I see both women and men here nicely dressed for work, a night out or just cruising around the islands. They don’t let the temperature change their sense of style, they adapt.
And as is typical in the Caribbean, people in the BVI wear very bright and bold clothes. However, one would notice that the ex-pats especially the Americans and Europeans tend to wear what I would describe as relaxed clothing. The men are usually in cargo shorts, board shorts, T-shirts and flip flops and the women in summer dress, shorts and tank tops.
People here definitely put a lot of effort into the way they look; being nicely dressed is one thing that people here thrive on. Because style and fashion here is so highly influenced by western culture there aren’t a lot of people I have seen whose style I can describe as unique. Sometimes I feel there is a lack of individual style, because most people are focused on “what’s in” they pay attention on keeping up with new trends, which results in a lot of people wearing the same thing and being lost in a sea of colors.
Overall, the British Virgin Islands is an eclectic mix of people and style, everyone brings a bit of uniqueness to the table, and they aren’t afraid to try anything. When I go out the one thing I have always heard tourists saying is “one thing about the islands is that people aren’t afraid of color” and it’s very true; men, women, children we all love color. There are a very small handful of Caribbean people that don’t wear brights and I mean very small handful. We are all Caribbean people but we come from different islands thus our cultures are different but similar in some ways bringing it all together makes for an interesting and unique take on the Caribbean and style as we know it.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on fashion and style in the British Virgin Islands with you and your readers.
P.S. What do you think about Nesha’s take on fashion in the BVI? Share your comments below!