Some let it all hang out

For the most part tourists visiting retail stores and restaurants seem to be dressing appropriately, but a number of them still seem to skimp on clothes a little too much, according to some local retailers.

George Town

Tourists suitably attired in George Town this week.
Photo: Cliodhna McGowan

In Cayman public nudity, including topless sunbathing is strictly prohibited. For women, a beach cover-up or a dress is recommended on leaving the beach.

Director of Marketing with Island Companies Mark Lewis-Jones said that, as a company, they tend to be a little less conservative than some other retail stores with regards to the tourists’ dress code.

‘The North American cruise guest is not always as aware of the cultural differences in the islands,’ he said.

He pointed out that a few tourists do dress inappropriately.

‘I think the cruise lines do make passengers aware that they should dress appropriately in the published port guide, but not everyone reads this,’ he noted, having worked on cruise ships himself for many years.

While a bikini top with sarong could be acceptable for shoppers at Island Companies, they do draw a line.

‘If a guy came into a store in a flaming pink thong I think we’d start twitching,’ he said.

A manager at Latitude 19, who did not wish to be named, said, ‘I don’t have any control over how people dress, as long as they don’t come in naked and conduct themselves properly’.

She said that once in a while a tourist will come into the store in a two-piece bathing suit and nothing more.

‘You rarely see people like that though,’ she adds, saying that people cover up with a towel around them or with clothing.

Staff at Hot Tropics and Tropical Trader in George Town said that they have not experienced tourists coming in to their respective stores in only swimwear and everyone who comes in is appropriately dressed.

Tuesday morning most tourists wandering around George Town seemed to be clad in suitable attire.

However, on Monday, one local resident viewed a lady walking around George Town in nothing more than a thong bikini.

At Westshore Centre on Seven Mile Beach, owner of Hesha Designs and Gifts, Sheila Campbell said there are times when tourists do not dress appropriately. This is not very often, however.

‘If they come into me in a bikini I do let them know not to go into restaurants dressed like that,’ she said.

Most of the time these tourists come from the beach across the road, she said, adding that sometimes, when in skimpy clothing and covered in suntan lotion, they ask if they can try on clothes, something she does not permit, as this would obviously stain the garments.

Chicken Chicken! at West Shore Centre has a strict policy regarding bikinis and swimwear.

‘They always come in half naked in their swimwear,’ said a staff member who did not wish to be named. ‘If the order is to go then there is give and take, but if they want to eat in we have to tell them to leave or put some clothes on.’

She pointed out that it does not seem appropriate for someone to eat in a restaurant in a swimsuit while others are there fully clothed.

Another reason they do not permit those in swimwear to eat in is that often they can leave the seat wet after them, she said.

‘You wouldn’t eat at home in your kitchen nearly naked so why should you eat in a restaurant like that,’ she said.

A staff worker at Hard Rock Café said that many tourists dressed in only bikinis and men with no shirts try to get into the restaurant. However, the host at the door does not allow it. Dressed like this they are only permitted into the souvenir area.

In order to be permitted into the restaurant or bar areas men must have a t-shirt and shorts on and women must have wear a covering garment over their bikini.

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