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While Florida is known as the sunshine state, it’s not always sunny – especially if you’re visiting during the winter months.
We think the winter season (January through March) is the best time to visit Florida since the hurricane season and tropical storms have passed and the heat, humidity and crowds that come with spring and summer haven’t yet arrived.
That being said, what you pack and subsequently wear for your winter vacation to Florida is going to be slightly different when compared to the other seasons of the year.
Given our experience of visiting Florida multiple times during the winter, we want to share what we pack for our trips.
Things To Consider When Deciding What To Wear In Florida In Winter
When planning what you’re going to wear in Florida during the winter months then you’ll want to consider a couple of things;
Firstly, when are you visiting?
January is typically the coldest month of the year in Florida and as such what you wear when visiting the state during this time is going to differ significantly when compared to the later winter month of late February and March for example.
Then you’ll want to consider where in Florida you’re visiting.
If you’re heading to Southern Florida (the Florida Keys, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Key West etc.) then you’re closer to the equator and therefore temperatures are generally higher when compared to north and central Florida.
Finally, you’ll want to consider what you’re looking to do during your Florida vacation.
If you’re planning on heading to the theme parks in Orlando (Walt Disney World, Universal Studios etc.) then you’ll want to consider packing for comfort first and foremost.
Meanwhile, if you’re heading to the water parks or Miami Beach for example then you’re going to want to wear a bathing suit and flip flops (yes, this is still possible even in winter!).
However, Florida has one of the mildest winters of any state in the United States so keep in mind that to most Florida residents the winter months are incredibly cold therefore the ‘Florida style’ during this time is very much winter clothes.
Shorts & Skirts
Depending on where you’re travelling from the 60°F average daytime temperatures experienced in Florida during the winter months may still feel warm.
As such you may still want to consider packing a skirt or a pair of shorts. We like a pair that’s got good pockets (ideally with zips) so we can store a bank card and our mobile phone in them safely and access them quickly as and when required.
While denim shorts are a great option as they are slightly thicker providing additional warmth during the early evenings, they aren’t ideal for the beach (getting sand off denim is a nightmare!) or if you get caught in the rain (since they take hours to dry).
Instead, we look for a pair made of cotton, ideally with some stretch in the waist (for when we’ve had too many margaritas).
🧍♂️Best choice for men: These Wrangler Classic Cargo Shorts (buy it on Amazon) are ideal for men and come in a range of colours.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: These leightweight casual drawstring shorts (buy it on Amazon) are perfect for women.
Trousers & Leggings
When visiting Florida in the summer months you may only pack a single pair of pants. However, in winter jeans, trousers and leggings are always a good choice and will likely make up the majority of your outfits.
Depending on what activities you plan to experience during your Florida vacation (and their subsequent dress code) you may want to bring a range of styles including;
- Smart or dark denim – ideal for meals in restaurants or more formal activities
- Casual leggings – perfect for sports and theme parks
- Linen pants – a good idea for the beach
- Relaxed denim – ideal for keeping it casual on cooler days
- Joggers – a great choice for keeping warm and relaxed in a rare cold spell
🧍♂️Best choice for men: These affordable athletic fit pants (buy it on Amazon) are ideal for men and come in a range of colours.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: These high wasited leggings with pockets (buy it on Amazon) are perfect for inside the parks.
Dresses, Jumpsuits & Playsuits
Depending on what you plan to experience during your trip to Florida you may also want to pack dresses, jumpsuits or playsuits.
These are ideal for casual daytime activities or formal evening attire depending on the style and in most cases are lightweight and pack small allowing you to bring a range of options on vacation with you.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: This casual crewneck one piece (buy it on Amazon) provides shoulder coverage, comes in a range of colours and has pockets!
Given the 60°F average daytime temperatures in Florida during the winter months, it’s still reasonable to expect you’ll be able to wear a t-shirt while out and about on vacation (however, we’d personally save the tank tops for summer).
Obviously, t-shirts are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing around and come in a range of styles suitable for everything from relaxing by the pool to chilling at the beach to exploring the city.
The average temperature in the evening or early morning in Florida is around 10°F lower when compared to the daytime. As such if you’re heading outside during these times you may want to consider wearing long sleeve shirts instead of short sleeve for additional warmth.
🧍♂️Best choice for men: This Jerzees Dri-Power t-shirt (buy it on Amazon) is a huge hit with men looking to combine comfort and style.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: These classic fit v-neck shirts (buy it on Amazon) by Amazon Essentials are both simple and affordable.
Jackets & Cardigans
Most evenings (and during selected daytimes) you’re going to want to layer your base outfit (t-shirt and shorts, jeans, playsuit dresses etc.) with an additional layer for warmth.
This could come in the form of a jacket, cardigan or hoodie depending on both your style and what you’re doing.
For more casual restaurants and exploring during the daytime, a hoodie is more than acceptable. However, on an evening in selected locations, you may want to opt for something slightly more formal such as a jacket or a cardigan.
Personally, I opt for a light jacket that can be stored easily inside a backpack while out exploring.
Meanwhile, Helen gets cold easily and therefore goes for a fleece jacket option during the day and a leather jacket to combine with either a dress or jeans during the evening.
🧍♂️Best choice for men: This affordable Hanes pullover (buy it on Amazon) is simple, stylish and comes in a range of colours.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: This thin zip up jacket (buy it on Amazon) is ideal for throwing on over your outfit if it gets a little cold.
Swimming in both the ocean and in a pool in Florida is possible (and comfortable) year-round.
As such if you’re going to be by the beach or by a pool during your winter vacation then you’ll still want to pack a bathing suit.
🧍♂️Best choice for men: These swim shorts (buy it on Amazon) are simple, stylish and comes in a range of colours.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: This incredible womens swimsuit (buy it on Amazon) is available in a range of different colours and styles.
Depending on what you’re doing on your Florida vacation will depend on what footwear you bring with you.
It is incredibly rare for snow to fall in the state of Florida (especially in central and south Florida) as such you don’t need to bring snow boots or anything to accommodate extreme temperatures.
Instead, you’re going to want to focus on form, function and style.
This could come in a combination of sandals, tennis shoes, walking boots or trainers depending on what you’re planning to do / experience during your winter Florida vacation.
🧍♂️Best choice for men: These Sketchers classic fit sneakers (buy it on Amazon) are both incredibly comfortable and stylish.
🧍♀️Best choice for women: These low-rise Converse (buy it on Amazon) are super comfortable and come in a range of colours.
While the sun’s UV rays are generally significantly less strong during the winter months in Florida you’ll still want to pack a range of accessories to protect your skin and keep you comfortable while out and about.
These accessories include;
- Sunhat / Baseball cap