For those of you who are thinking about moving here, what kind of clothes should you bring?  Well, I can only tell you what my experience is thus far.

When I lived in Dallas….  um, well, I was a bit into designer labels.  I loved my Coach purses and True Religion and Seven jeans.  And I had LOTS of shoes (almost ALL heels and wedges).  It was hard trying to decide WHAT exactly to get rid of before I moved here, without knowing exactly what I’d need here.  However, I think I did a pretty good job of thinking it through.  And surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought – to get rid of my designer labels, and a TON of other unnecessary things as well.


I knew I wanted to scale down, but knew I might someday need some dressy or colder-weather stuff (for Dallas winters or Wisconsin fall/winters – where my Mom lives).  So I reserved a few things that remain in the states in storage (a few pairs of jeans, dresses, colder weather stuff, a couple pairs of heels, sandals & boots).

What I ended up bringing and more importantly – using – in Costa Rica:

Shoes:  2 pairs of teva flip flops (love!), 1 pair of croc’s, 1 pair of Keen’s (best investment ever!), 1 pair of tennisIMG_1531 shoes, 1 pair of hiking boots.  (NOTE:  I also brought some sparkly/cute flip flops – have not worn once…).  I mainly only wear my teva’s, keen’s and croc’s.

Shorts:  couples pairs of comfy shorts, and 2 pairs of khaki/hiking shorts.

Skorts (my FAVORITE thing!!):  Lots – I wear these ALL the time.  I have one skort I use for hiking, and several for daily wear of different colors.

T-shirts:  several – some comfy for hanging out at the house or sleeping in, and a few “nicer” ones.

Yoga pants (also one of my favorite things!):  a few pairs of yoga pants – good for cooler evenings, hanging out at the casa or actual yoga classes!

Tank tops:  several for hiking & lounging around the house or sleeping in.

Sleeveless shirts (nicer):  several – for daily wear/going into town.

Cardigans:  a few – these are great, as it’s usually cooler up by us in El Cajon, but if we go into Grecia Central – it is always warmer, so easy to take off.

Dresses:  A few beach/maxi dresses, one nicer dress (which I have not worn yet).

Jeans:  1 pair of jeans (have not worn yet) and 1 pair of capri jeans (have worn once).  I’m telling you – I live in my skorts.

IMG_1534Someone asked me “does anyone ever dress up?”  Well, not that I have seen – but maybe I just haven’t been invited/gone to “those” kinds of places?  I’m sure for a wedding or funeral, a nice dress is appropriate.  Otherwise, it is very casual here.

“Do you need heels?”  Um – NO.  I have not brought any heels here, nor do I ever wish I had them (keep in mind I usually walk/take the bus everywhere I go….).  Maybe it would be a good idea to have 1 pair (again, wedding or funeral or party), but I haven’t run into a situation where I’ve needed them yet.

“Do you dress up for parties or Christmas?”  Well, I haven’t been here for Christmas yet.  And I haven’t been to any parties here.  People are more “personal” here – they have you to their house for coffee, or lunch, or dinner (always casual).  Or you meet at a soda/café for lunch/dinner – always casual.

Now, keep in mind I do not live in Escazu or anywhere fancy – there may be several activities/parties/things to dress up for in different areas of the country or you might have a totally different lifestyle than me.  But where I live, in Grecia, it is just down to earth and casual here, which fits my lifestyle perfectly.  I have a simple but very fulfilled life.  I love it.

That’s all for now folks!  Peace out — Jen 🙂

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29 Responses to Clothes!

  1. Hay Jen… I am with you on all of it!! I brought things that are still in bins in the garage. Yes, shorts/skorts, tees and a few nicer things for “in town” NO heels, are you kidding with these roads and pavements in town?? When t shirts get ratty they become sleep shirts. All those designer things ( I loved CHICOS ) are hanging or boxed for the afterlife!!!

    • Yay Marlene! It was really strange for me not to bring heels (even wedge sandals) here, but I just KNEW I wouldn’t use them, and I have not “yearned” for them at all! I live in my skorts! 🙂

  2. I am so with you on skorts! The only thing I would add is if you have clothing you love and might wear here … if it is a bit too small, BRING IT! I did and I am wearing clothing that hasn’t fit in years but was too good to sell/donate/trash.

  3. My wife andvI have been in Atenas 14 months. I agree competely about casual wardrobes. That said, we brought a lot of Nike dry-fit tee shirts, shorts and (men) swim trunks, because of quick drying, wicking fibers. Same for socks: fast-dry, high artificial fiber content stuff. My cotton shirts and pants mildew like crazy during the wet season. I also agree about keens or other high-end, waterproof, ergonomic footwear. I live in Nike swim trunks, running shoes and nike or under armour shirts. Seldom wear my very expensive bobby jones golf shirts (Egyptian cotton) or worsted wool dress slacks. My wife lives in golf shorts or skorts (stretch artificial fiber) and golf or tennis shirts and keens or flip flops. 2/3 of the clothes we brought have never been worn down here.

    • Hi Paul! Great point on the dry-fit t-shirts & shorts, totally forgot about those. You’re right – they’re awesome with the quick drying aspect. My hubby has quite a few of those. I think I need some now too! 🙂

  4. It amazes me that here in the states with all our stores and resources, it is really more time consuming and more difficult to eat “clean and healthy.”. But where you are, it is probably the only way to eat. You know how lucky you are ?

    • That’s EXACTLY right Lindi! So difficult for us to eat in the states and remain healthy, plus we were always so busy, busy, busy (with what? I don’t know!) that it seemed hard to have time to workout as well. Here – it is just natural on both accounts. The local food is clean and healthy, and we naturally are walking everywhere – whether it’s to the bus stop, or around town, or hiking 2-6 miles a day in the woods and hills.

  5. We moved here in Feb from Trophy Club (right by Southlake) I was amused about what you said about clothes. I have so many things in storage. I live in comfy things:)and flip flops that’s it here. I do have a couple of pr of shoes I use when I fly back just so I will have something to wear there. My attire and wants have changed so much. It’s so refreshing not to even think about…..”what am I going to wear?”

  6. We got a pair of Keens each for me, my husband, and three year old. We wear them 90% of the time! A pair for the baby is in the works!
    I do love my wrap dresses for the warm mornings and afternoons, especially since they’re so easy to throw on. The problem with dresses in hotter areas like Atenas, is your legs are exposed to the mosquitos! Thankfully, in the hills of Grecia, I don’t feel the need for bug spray.

    • That is one really good thing about being up here in El Cajon – I have really not seen any mosquito’s – thank goodness! You’re wrap dresses sound really cute. 🙂

  7. Jen, are those designer jeans really worth it? I mean I continue to look for the perfect pair of jeans, but coming up nada. If you say they are, I may look into, depending on how much moola they are 😉

    • Absolutely not! I mean, it was very Dallas-y, and I was very into my designer jeans, and yes they made my butt look a lot cuter than other jeans… but the prices…. not worth it. Don’t do it! 🙂

  8. Your helpful post really inspires me to start “pitching and ditching” again, especially when shoes and bags are my favorite things! The rule is: anything I haven’t worn or used in two years – out the door! In fact I have stopped buying winter clothes and boots, knowing that we will be moving to CR in the near future. Pura Vida.

  9. It’s a new thing for me to be concerned with the quality of the shoe over the style. I found a specific pair of Croc flip flops that are made from just one piece of material instead of other shoes that use glue to hold different layers together. The Caribbean sun melts any shoe glue within the second week. I could go on for hours about the benefit of fast drying clothes because I use the solar method.

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