The Dominican Republic is really close to the equator, so it doesn't have much of a season change. Yep, that means that I'm going to be in 80-90 degree weather for 18 months!
So I began researching clothes that I would need to survive in the heat and humidity. (I have lived in Mississippi and Tennessee all my life so I am used to heat and humidity, but not all year round!)
I was most worried about shoes. I won't have a bike or car during my mission, so I would need comfortable walking shoes that would last. (I also wanted cute shoes!)
I still have some shopping to do, but this is what I have come up with so far...
Luckily my mission president doesn't require us to wear nylons. Basically we need comfortable, attractive, closed-toed shoes for tracting and Sunday wear. I chose Bear Trap brand leather sandals for tracting because they would provide some breathing and would work well in rainy weather (It rains a LOT in the DR!).
The black shoes are probably going to be my dressy/Sunday shoes. They are comfortable, but I'm not sure if they will hold up being used for 8 miles a day!
The leather buckle shoes I have had for a while and they are really comfortable to walk in. I don't know what brand they are (the logo has rubbed off). They are really sturdy so I think they should last at least a few months.
Dresses and Skirts are another big one. May I say just two words? ELASTIC WAIST.
Chances are that your weight will fluctuate, especially during your first months. My friends have told me stories of either their companions or themselves have gained/lost 15 pounds depending on the food and the amount of exercise they got in.
While it's good to try to save money, make sure you have good material and styles depending on the amount of time you spend walking or riding a bike. I will be walking, so I tried to find light colored, light weight skirts that breathed easily.
Here are some of the skirts I have found so far...
The first skirt is from Belk. I found it on the clearance rack and liked the different designs and colors on it. It is really light and breathes easily, especially when there is a little breeze. The second skirt I got at the Habitat ReStore consignment shop for $1. It's light weight and has a tropical flare. The third I got at another consignment shop, also for $1. It's a light color and flares out so that it breathes easily. The fourth is also from Belk on the clearance rack. It is linen, which is WONDERFUL in hot/humid weather. Not to mention that it's a light color and is long enough!
As for shirts, I am trying to keep it simple. White or cream colors go with almost anything. I'm trying to buy shirts with higher necks so I don't have to worry about layering too much.
I've only gotten one dress, simply because dresses are harder to add variety and they take up a little more space. I got this dress at a consignment shop for $2. It's one of my favorites because it is modest and very feminine... not to mention cheap! It's very breathable and light colored also.
I'm still shopping for more things, so I will update as I get them! So much to do... So little time!