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what to wear in florida

What to Wear in Florida

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.

Bathing Suit

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.


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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.

Trendy Tops

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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.

Yoga Pants

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.

Cardigan Duster

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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.

Maxi Dresses


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

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