Dress Like a Local

Fashionable locals enjoying the ClamBQ! The Orleans Food and Music Festival!

Fashionable locals enjoying the ClamBQ! The Orleans Food and Music Festival!

By Candace Hammond

There was a time when the idea of Cape Cod fashion seemed like an oxymoron, that’s no longer true. Women don’t always wear jeans or yoga pants, and the men don’t all wear rain slickers. We have some great local fashion, and clean up very nicely thank you very much.


That said, if you’re looking for one word to describe fashion on the Cape, it would be “casual.” If you arrive from New York City  you will see a decided lack of power suits, but many locals still look pulled together and fashion forward. A guy in a nice button-down shirt with sleeves rolled up, some khaki shorts and sneakers or sandals will fit right into the casual/neat look. If you want to funk it up, pair some madras shorts with a cool t-shirt from Nauset Surf Shop. Add a pair of cool sunglasses and you’re set.

For women there are many ways to go. Skirts, dresses and a pair of espadrilles or cute sandals will fit right in. There are some great stores right here in town. Weekend, Beth Bishop, Savvy on Main, Ragg Time and Karol Richardson all offer great options.

Watson’s, on Main Street has all the basics a guy could want. From the undershirts you forgot to bring, to an extra pair of shorts, they will hook you up.

Dos and Don’ts:

  1. If you want to blend in don’t dress in Cape Cod emblazoned swag from head to toe. Treat it like any fashion trend and keep it to one piece.
  2. Black socks have no place in summer fashion. Whether with sneakers or sandals*, they are a fashion faux pas.
  3. Just because we’re casual doesn’t mean near-naked. While your bikini is welcome on the beach, body parts are best left covered in the deli line at the supermarket.
  4. Unless you’re here for a formal wedding, leave the ultra-formal wear at home. No evening gowns or suits needed.
  5. Weather on the Cape is variable. We can be chilly and rainy one day, and hot and humid the next. Layers are a great option locals employ constantly. There’s nothing worse than freezing at a Firebirds game or an outdoor restaurant.
  6. Don’t wear heels to outdoor events. A wedge is the best bet for a garden wedding or cocktail party. Unless you want to also aerate the lawn as you sip your chardonnay.

*NEVER wear socks with sandals. Just don’t.