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A Gentleman’s Wardrobe for Visiting Cape Verde

Cape Verde is relatively little-known as a tourist destination and as such offers a relaxed kind of getaway any gentleman would delight in. A volcanic archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa, Cape Verde is made of ten larger islands (of which nine are inhabited) and five non-inhabited smaller islands. The islands experience 350 days of sunshine a year and the temperature rarely drops below 22 degrees Celsius. With good weather virtually guaranteed, friendly locals and investment in top-notch accommodation, this former Portuguese colony is the destination of choice for cultured types looking for a laid back break.

If Cape Verde holidays sound just your thing but you’re not sure what to pack, take inspiration from this classic gentleman’s wardrobe and you’ll fit right in. It’s not just beach looks you need to think about, although that certainly plays a part. Rather, this capsule wardrobe will see you through a day browsing the markets followed by an authentic Portuguese-inspired meal, drinks and a taste of the local music.

Clothing basics

Smart chino shorts are a staple for this kind of holiday. Comfy enough for daywear yet smart enough for an evening out, team yours with a cotton shirt or plain tee. Colour-wise, sand/tan/beige goes with everything and works well in warm climes, but if you are particularly pale you may find navy or graphite suits better.

A simple white polo is a smarter option than a basic crew neck. Choose a good quality fit with a sturdy collar that won’t roll up. A contrast collar like this Marc by Marc Jacobs style adds an extra touch of finesse. Finally, Cape Verde is more of a striped-shirt kind of place so leave the brushed cotton lumberjack plaid at home.

Adding layers

Although the Cape Verde climate stays at a fairly constant 20-30 degrees all year round, the sea breeze can bring with it a chilly evening air. Heavy tropical rain is also possible from August to September. To keep the chills at bay, take a cotton cardigan or pullover.


Shoes (not really an accessory) might not be important on the beach, but you’ll want some good footwear to tour the scenic towns. The cultured gentleman would ditch the flip-flops and don deck shoes instead. Ditto the man who owns a boat. A classic navy or tan pair works best, but you could get funky with some printed canvas plimsolls.

The man-bag is a fully-fledged fashion essential, and practical to boot. You’re unlikely to need a rucksack so a shoulder bag will do. This Burberry messenger bag is the perfect size to carry glasses, sunblock and your mobile, although there’s no shame in switching off and leaving the latter at home.

A few well-chosen pieces will ensure you look the part when taking advantage of our Cape Verde holiday packages, but don’t get too hung up on fashions. So long as you make sure you have access to an iron you can’t go too far wrong, and remember, ‘steaming’ cottons in the bathroom whilst you shower can work just as well.