Men’s Fashion in Medellín

Business casual
This man had no idea I was taking his picture but we can see that he looks very well dressed with brown shoes and a matching belt

So you have finally decided to buy your tickets and visit Colombia. If you’re anything like me your next step is to figure out what to pack, but what do Colombians wear?

If you want to fit in with the current trends, doing a bit of research on men’s fashion in Medellín is a good idea.

For women’s fashion check out my other post and for men’s fashion you’re in the right place.

If you’ve been in Medellín before you know that jeans are a staple piece in everybody’s wardrobe even though the average temperatures are a perfect 75°F (24°C) year round.

It’s something I find increasingly mind boggling, but after asking, most paisas agree that jeans are more comfortable.

It was raining the night I took this so this man was wearing a leather jacket.
It was raining the night I took this so this man was wearing a leather jacket.

You can argue that Medellín is the fashion capital of Colombia — many think Bogotá has better fashion.

Every July, ColombiaModa is held in the heart of the city for three days so most people here dress to impress. It’s not odd to see people wearing leather jackets even if its 80 degrees out. 

This coffee expert I had the pleasure of meeting was wearing dark jeans, a button up shirt wit a sweater, it was raining that night.
This coffee expert I had the pleasure of meeting was wearing dark jeans, a button up shirt with a sweater. It was raining that night.

If you don’t mind sticking out, Bermuda shorts and sandals are the norm for foreigners here and you can always spot a few walking around in El Poblado.

If you want to blend in a bit while here definitely pack at least one pair of jeans or long pants.

You can still fit in and be comfortable. Nobody wants to be hot, sweaty and miserable while visiting one of Latin America’s most important cities.

As Ryan pointed out in his article about shorts, more and more Colombian men are wearing them.

This is a great example of a nice casual and comfortable outfit.
This is a great example of a nice casual and comfortable outfit.

Most men here are very fashionable so here are a few tips to keep in mind while packing or dressing yourself once you get here.

  • Hygiene is a priority here so if you can, shower everyday. Smelling good is almost as important as playing soccer to Colombians.
  • If you’re going to wear sandals don’t wear shorts and vice versa.
  • If you’re wearing black shoes, wear a black belt. Same goes for gray or brown. Don’t mix neutrals.
  • Button down shirts are always a good idea.
  • Polo’s and V-necks are great for daytime casual activities.
  • Dress up a little to go out at night. Dark jeans and a nice button down shirt are normally the go to outfit for a night out. Some clubs (Envy, Carito) have a dress code.
  • Never wear shorts to go out at night and avoid them if possible for dates.
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  1. I agree Colombian men dress better than Americans – – – but so do the men and women of every country . I have lived in nine countries and spent three weeks in Medellin . It does not matter what country . Americans dress the sloppiest and are the fattest – – – they are almost comical – – – they are such slops . I have live in Cuenca , Ecuador for a year and one half , now – – – same story here. If the American has a clean t-shirt on , well he is now ready to present himself to the world. The more I travel , the more I turn and goes the other way when I see a group of Americans coming my direction , while they seem to be competing for : ” The-Sloppy- Contest” . Our “Gringas” only fair slightly better. Can you imagine a “Gringa” competing against a Colombian woman in a stylish dress and pair of high-hills ? USA / USA !
    Patrick Trussell

    • You’re stereotyping hundreds of millions of people. It sounds like you’re basing your judgement on Americans vacationing or living in South America, specifically backpackers or perhaps a subset of retirees.

      I see what I feel is a lot of very tacky fashion in Colombia, especially amongst the women, yet I don’t go around saying the whole country is filled with tacky dressers. I chalk it up to a different notion of what’s stylish and attractive in Colombia versus the United States.

    • That is “high heels” there Patrick…many Americans also also poorly educated, but not all of us. I am from SoCal, South Orange County. We specialize in the cool causal look here. The surf look one might say. It is hardly tacky or a sloppy look. It is the essence of cool.

      • I agree with you. I lived in the south bay, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, for 25 years and I can say we dressed very causal but with style. Here I dress more to the climate than the beach, but still I revert back on occasions. But there some midwesterners and easterners that look like they need a quick course in any decent dress code.

  2. Hi Melissa,

    I am flying into Medellin on Friday September 4th for the long weekend here in the states. I have some questions for you. I see a lot of guys wearing short sleeves during the night out. Living in South Florida, I like to dress up when going out. I am staying at Le Parc Hotel in El Poblado and was thinking about hanging out in Parque Lleras that night. Would a Canali suit with just a button up be too much, or just lose the suit and wear the button up with a pair of jeans. Also, I am going by myself on a whim, so, do you have any suggestions on where to go during the evening? I won’t be arriving at the hotel until about 10:30PM. I am staying until Tuesday morning, do you have any suggestions on what to see? I definitely have to call the hotel tomorrow to see if I can get a reservation to Guatape.