When I started planning my vacation to Bora Bora, the first thing I started thinking about was what I was gonna wear.
I mean, Bora Bora is one of the most luxurious locations on the planet so I wanted to look great whilst also wearing clothes that were practical.
This post covers the best Bora Bora outfits, what to wear in Bora Bora at night and even what to wear when traveling to Bora Bora.
I’ve also included a section on what to wear in Bora Bora for men.
Table of Contents
During the day, I mainly just wore a bathing suit with a beach coverup or a loose sundress on top.
If I wasn’t heading to the beach then I’d wear a loose t-shirt with some lightweight cotton shorts.
At night, I usually opted for a floaty maxidress!
- Loose fitting t-shirts
- Comfy cotton shorts
- Cute sunglasses
- Floaty sun dresses
- Beach cover up
- Sun hat
- Sliders (I can’t live without these)
- Waterproof jacket (for rainy season only)
- Activewear (for the gym)
- Water shoes (protect your feet in the water)
- Sneakers (for hiking)
Make sure you take a look at my insanely detailed Bora Bora packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything.
What to Wear in Bora Bora in the Day
Let’s start with what to wear in Bora Bora during the day.
The first thing to know about Bora Bora is that it’s super casual, even in the luxury resorts like St Regis Bora Bora where I stayed.
One of the best things about Bora Bora is that the temperature stays consistent throughout the whole year.
It doesn’t matter when you visit, you can expect temperatures between 78ºF and 82ºF during the day.
Due to the heat, lightweight and loose clothing is ideal. Try to stick to comfortable materials like cotton.
These are perfect for going to breakfast in the morning and walking around the resort.
I ended up wearing my swimsuit underneath my clothes at all times because most activities take place in the water.
You never know when you might want to take a dip in the lagoon so be prepared!
A pair of cute sunglasses are also a must.
Quick Tip: Try to avoid black clothing if possible. Black clothes absorb more heat and will make you feel hotter. Light colored clothing is best as it reflects heat and keeps you cooler.
Most of the activities in Bora Bora revolve around the beautiful turquoise lagoon.
From snorkeling, swimming with sharks or just relaxing on the beach, there’s so much to do in Bora Bora in the water.
For this reason, most of the time you’ll be wearing your swimsuit or bikini.
I’d recommend packing at least 3 different swimsuits. This means that you’ll have a few options to choose from and you’ll easily be able to wash them if you need to.
Having several different options is also ideal if you love taking photos. Nobody wants to be wearing the same bikini in every single photo. Am I right!?
A Beach Cover Up is a Must
Make sure you bring along a couple of beach cover ups too. I found that these were perfect for walking around the resort or for going to lunch.
This beach cover up was my go-to as it’s super pretty and lightweight.
If you’re visiting a restaurant then you will want to put a coverup over your swimsuit. In French Polynesia it’s bad etiquette to walk into a restaurant in just your bikini.
The main thing I noticed was that Bora Bora is super casual during the day and pretty much everyone just walks around in their swimsuit with a light coverup. You’ll probably be wearing this 90% of the time!
It’s also worth remembering that the sun is very strong in Bora Bora so wearing a coverup is recommended when you’re just wandering around to protect your skin from the harsh sun.
You don’t want to get burnt as this could really put a downer on your trip.
Wear a Hat
You can also bring a sun hat to protect yourself further from the sun (and because they’re just cool).
Big, floppy beach hats add a touch of elegance to your outfit and also look great in photos. As they do take up a lot of space, bring just one.
Tip: When packing your hat, fill the inside with things like socks to ensure it doesn’t lose its shape. Put the hat crown up in the bottom of your suitcase and pack your clothes around it.
You can also get sun hats which fold up really small. They’re usually not as pretty but are much more practical and save a lot of space.
Also, don’t forget your sunscreen! This one is my holy grail.
As you’ll be in and out of the water a lot, a pair of sliders are ideal.
Sliders are my absolute favorite as they are soooo much more comfy than flip flops. They’re also super easy to put on and take off. Sandals with lots of straps are a nightmare.
Make sure your sliders are comfy and waterproof. If they’re too loose, they may rub on your feet and give you blisters so make sure they fit just right.
These are my favorite pair of sliders that I take everywhere with me including Bora Bora.
Here’s a few extra items that you may or may not need.
Bring along your activewear if you’re a gym goer. Most hotels in Bora Bora have an on-site fitness center that you can make use of.
Many of the hotels also offer fantastic yoga classes that often take place in the most beautiful settings. You don’t want to miss out so bring your favorite yoga outfit with you.
This yoga set is perfect for the heat in Bora Bora as it’s super lightweight.
I’d also recommend bringing some water shoes. They’re not essential but do protect your feet whenever you’re walking around in the lagoon.
In general, the sand is smooth but you will find the occasional piece of sharp coral. There’s also a lot of fish in the lagoon and water shoes will help protect your feet.
And don’t worry, water shoes don’t have to be ugly. I found some really cute water shoes here.
If you plan on doing some hiking then also bring some sneakers.
I ended up doing the hike up the iconic Mount Otemanu. You don’t need to bring hiking boots but you will need a good pair of sneakers or walking shoes.
What to Wear During Rainy Season in Bora Bora
The rainy season in Bora Bora runs from November until April.
Don’t worry too much if you’re visiting during this time, you’ll likely save yourself some $$$ and the rain isn’t that bad. You’ll still have a great time.
There’s a few extra things you should bring along though for the occasional rain shower.
Bring one lightweight waterproof jacket. One thing to know about Bora Bora is that when it rains, IT RAINS!
I’d recommend getting one like this as it folds up really small so it won’t take up much room in your suitcase.
You can expect the occasional heavy downpour so having a waterproof jacket will be a lifesaver. Make sure it’s super lightweight as it will still be very hot and humid even when it’s raining.
These downpours don’t tend to last very long. They’re usually over within 20 minutes and due to the heat, it dries very quickly.
What to Wear in Bora Bora at Night
Despite having some of the most luxurious resorts in the whole world, you’ll be surprised to hear that Bora Bora is actually fairly casual even at night.
You don’t need to overdress, a maxi dress is perfect for night time in Bora Bora. You won’t see many people in tight, cocktail dresses at all.
I personally wore either a maxi dress or one of my sundresses every single night and definitely didn’t feel out of place.
I’d recommend bringing around 3 long, floaty dresses so you have different options. Most hotels offer a laundrette service so you can have them washed if you need to.
I found that it was still pretty hot in the evenings in Bora Bora so loose, comfortable clothing is ideal. It doesn’t really drop below 75ºF in the evenings.
Anything too tight will likely make you feel very uncomfortable in the heat so loose clothing is the way to go.
If you are prone to being cold (like me!) then you might want to bring along one light cardigan for the evenings just in case you need it but it’s unlikely that you will.
Remember that mosquitoes come out at night so it’s best to cover up if possible. Try to avoid short dresses for this reason.
If you do want to wear a shorter dress or skirt, then bring along a good bug spray.
This bug spray is my favorite as it has a high percentage of DEET which is proven to be the most effective against bugs. It’s my holy grail.
For more information on the bug situation in Bora Bora, check out my complete guide to bugs in Bora Bora.
Shoes for Night
You’ll also want to bring along a pair of nicer shoes for the evening. I opted for a nice pair of sandals.
Open shoes allow your feet to breathe and you can get some really pretty sandals like these.
These are also great for if you want to take an impromptu walk on the beach after dinner in the evening (which you will, it’s stunning!).
I’d avoid heels if possible as they’re just uncomfortable and you’ll find that barely anyone wears them in Bora Bora.
Even at the most glamorous resorts in Bora Bora, you’ll mostly be walking on the sand and on wooden paths with gaps. Heels just aren’t practical so leave them at home.
You don’t want to be that person who gets their heel stuck in the floor. It’s super embarrassing.
Related Post: Things To Do In Bora Bora At Night
What to Wear to Bora Bora
Wherever you’re traveling from in the world, the flight to Bora Bora is long.
If you’re traveling from the US, then expect to be in the air for at least 9 hours (and that doesn’t include stopovers, transfers etc).
For this reason, you’ll want to wear something super comfy. Avoid jeans and anything too tight.
I personally love to wear a pair of comfy sweatpants and a loose white t-shirt. I always also bring along a comfy cardigan as it often gets cold on planes.
For footwear, I’d recommend a pair of sneakers. Comfort is key on long-haul flights.
Quick Tip: You can also bring a pair of light cotton shorts in your carry-on and change into them at the airport when you arrive.
It will be super hot when you get to Bora Bora and you might feel hot in sweatpants when traveling to your hotel. Shorts will be a better option.
Bora Bora Fashion for Men
I traveled to Bora Bora with my boyfriend and asked him to put together this section for any men looking for tips on what to wear.
- Swimming trunks
- Loose t-shirts
- Cotton shorts
- Baseball cap or bucket hat
- Comfortable sliders
- Long pair of pants (for night)
- Lightweight, comfortable shirts (for night)
Bora Bora is super casual so you don’t have to worry too much about what you wear.
Choose comfy and loose clothing as Bora Bora temperatures average in the low 80s most days.
You’ll spend most of the day in the water or on the beach so bring 2 – 3 pairs of swimming trunks.
I’d also recommend bringing several loose t-shirts to wear when you’re walking around the resort or going to lunch during the day.
For going to breakfast, you can also bring a pair of cotton shorts and wear these with a t-shirt.
Try to bring lightweight, comfortable clothing as this will be ideal for the heat.
Don’t forget a pair of stylish sunglasses too.
What to Wear in Bora Bora at Night for Men
Bora Bora is pretty casual at night too so you don’t need to get too dressed up. You won’t see anyone in a suit and tie, even at the most luxurious resorts.
My boyfriend often opts for some comfortable shirts like these which are 100% rayon.
Rayon is really lightweight, soft and comfortable and my partner is very picky about comfortable shirts. (You can also go for 100% viscose which has a similar feel).
For shoes, my partner wears these sliders and he’s had them for years. You might want to take a walk along the beach after dinner so don’t wear anything too fancy.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post on what to wear in Bora Bora. Hopefully now you have some ideas of some great Bora Bora outfits for both day and night.
If you’ve still not booked your Bora Bora vacation then what are you waiting for?
I wrote a post with a full cost breakdown of a trip to Bora Bora if you’re worried about the cost. It has lots of money saving tips if you’re traveling on a budget.