Dressing for the Unpredictable Weather in Florida

Dressing for the Unpredictable Weather in Florida

Although I was born and raised in Wisconsin, I just spent the past six months living in Florida. To say I was unprepared for what to wear in Florida is an understatement. There’s a broad spectrum of weather that comes and goes in the Sunshine State. Whether you’re taking a vacation or are a seasoned resident, it’s important to always consider the unpredictable nature of Florida’s weather. The following is a list of essentials that are required for a comfortable lifestyle in Florida.

Comfortable Shorts

When considering how to dress in Florida, it’s important to have a stash of reliable shorts. They are a staple for most activities. Taking a trip to the grocery store? Throw on a pair of shorts, sandals, and a trusty women’s summer shirt and you’re good to go. Going to the beach? Bring along your shorts to cover up after swimming. Shorts are a necessity to stay comfortable in the blazing heat while remaining stylish.

Lightweight Coat

Believe it or not, it actually gets cold in Florida, especially at night. When I first arrived in Florida, I was ready to go with my shorts and sandals. However, I arrived in January, and the weather dramatically fluctuated throughout the day. In the morning it was crisp, during the day it was hot, and then at night it was freezing cold. So while I was dreaming of shorts and tees when planning what to wear to Florida, I definitely didn’t have any type of outerwear on the list. But if you’re going to spend time in Florida during the winter months, plan right: pack a lightweight coat. My go-to lightweight coat was a wool pea coat. I appreciated that it looked great with any outfit while always keeping me warm.

Maxi Dress

No one can blame you if a dress was the first thing you envisioned when brainstorming clothes to wear in Florida. A cute maxi dress enables you to stay cute but also comfortable. Maxi dresses keep the air flowing without sacrificing style, and they also work well as beach cover-ups . Alternatively, throw on a jacket and sandals and you’ve got the perfect summer date night outfit. I was even able to wear my maxi dresses at my office job. Paired with the right blazer, a maxi dress was the perfect outfit in my business casual office.

Sturdy Umbrella

In addition to lightweight coats and other breezy clothes for Florida, an umbrella is a must-have. Although it’s not something you wear, an umbrella will inevitably become your best friend in Florida. Especially if you don’t have your raincoat, you’ll want to make sure you always have an umbrella at the ready. Better yet, have multiple umbrellas to make sure you’re never unprepared for the daily showers. When I lived in Florida, I always kept one at my work desk, one in my purse, and one in my car. That way, even if one of them got moved around, I knew where to find a backup.

Sturdy Sandals

What do people wear in Florida—on their feet? That’s an easy one. Whether you opt for shorts and a tank top or a maxi dress, sandals are a staple for Florida living. They’re stylish and easy to throw on for quick errands. It’s important to choose comfortable sandals for longer adventures or walks on the beach. A pair of women’s Reef sandals is a great example: they’ll keep you cool on those steamy days, and they offer incredible versatility. Wear them with anything in your warm-weather wardrobe for an instant upgrade.

Swim Shirt/Rash Guard

Because I’m from the Midwest, I had no idea what I was doing in terms of sun protection in Florida. I knew to wear sunscreen, but after my first trip to Clearwater Beach, I was completely torched. That’s when I discovered sun protection in Florida goes beyond sunscreen. If you’re wondering what to wear in Florida in July for your upcoming vacation, this is it: With UPF 50 protection, a swim shirt, also known as a rash guard, is a great way to stay protected in the heat. They’re comfortable, stylish, and an absolute necessity anytime you’re at the beach.

Packable Raincoat

It’s no secret that it rains in Florida. In fact, it rains almost every single day. Most rain showers in Florida are short-lived. However, they always seem to occur at the most inconvenient time. I always found myself wondering why the only 10-minute rain shower of the day occurred when I was trying to walk to my car. Don’t be caught off guard! Always pack a raincoat in your car. A packable jacket is a sensible choice that helps you manage those impromptu rain spells easily. Stash it in the glove compartment or your tote bag and you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice.

Cute Cover-Up

A great day at the beach is never complete without a long walk on the sand. Whether you’re wondering what to wear on vacation in Florida or when you move there permanently, make sure you’re ready for those moments when you’re ready to get out of the water. Wearing a swimsuit cover-up is a great way to look cute and stay covered. After my beach adventures, I generally went for a bite to each at the best local restaurants. A cover-up was perfect for staying covered while still embracing a beachy look.

Layer Up

Never underestimate the importance of layers in Florida. Those fluctuating temperatures mean you need to be ready for anything, anytime. You’ll also appreciate how easy it is to remove your layers as it warms up during the day. A cool morning might call for a thick cardigan, but as it heats up, you can simply stash it in your bag. Sweatshirts and flannel shirts are also great to incorporate during the cooler months. What’s nice about these types of pieces, along with fleece jackets, is that they’re surprisingly easy to wear with your Florida outfits.

Now that you know how to dress for Florida, you can truly make the most of the experience. Whether you’re visiting their famous beaches, taking a trip to a theme park, or just enjoying normal life, you’ll be fully prepared for the spectrum of hot, rainy, sunny, and cold weather that might come your way.


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