Travelers tend to think of Florida as sporty and informal. While bathing suits, shorts and T-shirts, and fishing or golf gear are commonplace enough during the day, sophisticated restaurants, bars, and clubs can necessitate dresses and button downs, and even the occasional sports jacket. When you think about what to wear in Florida, “casual cosmopolitan” is a good guideline.
What to Wear in Florida
That said, if you do want to look like a local, there are a few tried-and-true standards you’ll need to bring, including the bikini. Here’s what to wear in Florida.
The bikini is the perennial answer to what to wear in Florida—it simply never goes out of style. Whether you intend to relax by the pool or zoom around on a Jet Ski, an all-purpose halter with boy shorts will likely serve you best. For men, choose some colorful board shorts.
Floridians live in shorts. Unless, of course, there’s a cold snap. For women, denim shorts—ripped, rolled, distressed—go with everything. For men, consider light-colored chino shorts to keep you cool in the heat.
Jeans are what to wear in Florida during the cooler winter months. While all styles, especially skinny and distressed, are popular, the cuffed boyfriend jean is a continual winner for women.
Graphic Muscle T-Shirts/Tanks
Floridians may not work out as much as we should, but we sure dress like we do. Get into the Florida spirit and show off your arms. Be sure to make a statement at the same time.
Cold shoulder? Off the shoulder? Spaghetti straps? Sure. Skin is in. Anything lacy, ruffled, and/or revealing that you can pair with jeans, a mini, or a pair of shorts—plus heels, of course—will be dressy enough for a night out.
Even when we do yoga at sunrise, we continue to wear our leggings all day long. Make sure to bring some cute yoga pants—think mesh panels or multiple fabrics—and you’ll fit right in. The equivalent for men: lightweight active pants or joggers.
The ever-practical hoodie is also a fashion must. Undersize, oversize, slashed, with graphics, sporting the name of a local college—however you wear it, it’s chic armor.
Layering is essential in Florida. It can get cool in winter, and year-round, it can also be chilly inside restaurant, stores, and hotels. A comfy cardigan is a valuable asset—and it looks great with boyfriend jeans and a muscle tee.
A good maxi dress can do it all: It can take you from day to evening, be dressed down or up, and work as a beach cover-up or be covered up with an additional layer. It’s an ideal vacation dress in a place where it never goes out of style.
Is there even any question? Flip-flops, thongs, slides, gladiators, heeled—most of us have several styles in several brands. There’s always an occasion to wear sandals in Florida.
–Original reporting by Jen Karetnick
More from SmarterTravel:
- Fort Lauderdale Travel Guide
- The 6 Best Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
- The 5 Best Cheap Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
- The 7 Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotels
- Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale
- The Top 9 Must-See Fort Lauderdale Attractions
- 9 Best Fort Lauderdale Golf Courses
- 10 Best Fort Lauderdale Restaurants
- Best Cheap Eats in Fort Lauderdale
- 9 Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Restaurants
- What to Pack for Florida
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Top Fares From
Today's Top Travel Deals
Brought to you by ShermansTravel
Exclusive Offer: 8-Night Private South Africa...
Odyssey Safarisvacation $10999+
Wisconsin Dells Water Park Resort w/Meals,...
Rome to Istanbul: Luxe, 11-Night Mediterranean...
Oceania Cruisescruise $3999+