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what to wear in tampa
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What to Wear in Tampa

Deciding what to wear in Tampa can be confusing: Should you pack a million t-shirts and shorts? Will you live exclusively in a bathing suit? If local jokes about the tacky tourist attire prove anything, it’s that the packing confusion is widespread.

What to Wear in Tampa

To blend in with the Florida natives and enjoy your vacation in effortless style, wear the following things while in Tampa.


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IVL / Shutterstock Svitlana Sokolova / Shutterstock

Be careful which ones you choose, because your shorts either help you fit right in or flag you as a tourist. As a rule of thumb, women should look for something tight but comfortable. Men can opt for something breathable—but that doesn’t look like it came straight from the gym.

Breathable Shoes

walking shoes

Chances are you’ll spend a fair amount of your time in Tampa walking around. Bring comfortable and breathable shoes that will keep you fresh in the Florida heat. Sandals are a must if visiting any time except winter (when it gets cool, but not cold), and sneakers are a good bet if you’re coming during colder months or if you’re planning to visit wildlife refuges and state parks.


what to pack for florida maxi dress

Light, breezy, and beautiful; sundresses are practically a Tampa uniform.

Light Shirts

best travel shirts

If you’re wondering what to wear in Tampa, choose shirts that will let your skin breathe and allow the breeze to pass through. Consider something light that covers you and protects you from harmful UV rays.

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Yes, bringing a jacket to Tampa is essential. Cold fronts or rainstorms won’t ruin your plans when you’re prepared for them.

Lightweight Pants

Helpful if you want to look a little nicer without melting from the heat, lightweight pants are perfect for cooler evenings, museum visits, and shopping sprees.

Short Socks

(Photo: Bombas)

The greatest fashion mistake Florida tourists make is wearing long socks. No self-respecting local has ever been caught with socks above the ankle. Follow suit, it’ll be cooler and more comfortable.


Don’t get caught without a hat at the pool or beach. If you’re doing an outdoor activity like catching a game or walking around Busch Gardens, invest on a fashionable cap.


Don’t know what to wear in Tampa when you don’t feel like wearing shorts or pants? Go for capris (just make sure they’re fashionable) or skirts that look good while keeping you cool.

Night Outfit

Clubbing in Ybor doesn’t necessarily mean stilettos, but you do want to look nice. A pair of faux leather pants can easily glam up any outfit.

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– Original reporting by Mariana Zapata

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