What to Wear in Medellin
Generally, the local Paisas are well dressed and groomed at all times. Even on a hot day, locals will almost always dress in long pants – jeans and a shirt is the uniform. Given the beautiful weather a sweater or jacket is not normally required. You might see locals in sweaters, jackets and scarves, however it’s more likely a fashion statement than due to cold weather. Due to the unpredictable rain, remember to bring an umbrella.
Shorts, tank top and flip flops are perfect for the beach at Cartagena, however, in Medellin they are generally frowned upon. By dressing like a tourist you’re also making yourself an easy target for muggings. Leave the flip flops, fanny pack at the hostel and if you want to take a camera sightseeing, store it in a concealed bag, not around your neck. Obviously there is no need to bring your gold chains and rolex, even they’re fake (muggers don’t know that).
If you want to go to nice places and make Colombian friends, go out dressed like you would at home. There is generally no dress code for entry into bars and clubs, however, it is expected that you make a bit of effort. You won’t need formal shoes but a nice pair of trainers is 1000% better than going out in flip flops or sandals.
A suit may be appropriate for business or a wedding but not for going out.