What to Wear in Mexico

Mayan Chichen Itza, in January

Mayan Chichen Itza, in January

Exploring Mayan ruins, in February

Exploring Mayan ruins, in February

Tulum in February

Tulum in February

Chichen Itza in April

Chichen Itza in April

Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts, in August

Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts, in August

Atlixco in September

Atlixco in September

Mexico City in October

Mexico City in October

Local fishermen, Acapulco in October

Local fishermen, Acapulco in October

Cancun, November

Cancun, November

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City in December

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City in December

Mexican jungle walk

Mexican jungle walk

Resort beach wear

Resort beach wear

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General Style Tips

  • There is so much to see and do in Mexico; whether you are trekking and plan to see a good deal of the country and its archeological sites, or enjoying a beach/water sports trip, your clothing checklist will depend to a large degree on what you are planning to do.
  • It is a hot and humid climate and light layers in natural fabrics (cotton, silk or linen) are good and work well with the humidity. They also wash and dry easily.
  • Having said that, jeans are always popular here.
  • light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • But in resorts and at tourist attractions it's shorts (long shorts are popular) and t-shirts all the way during the day - but do be sure to keep swimwear to the beach and pool and use a sarong or t-shirt to cover up for lunch. Many resorts are fairly self-contained, so unless you plan to travel around independently you are unlikely to mix much with the locals.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat. Don't forget your insect/mosquito repellent.
  • Pack a pashmina or sweater as the air conditioning on the first class buses, in smart hotels etc. can be fierce - it's often warmer to sit outside in the evenings. And if you're on the coast there can be cool sea breezes which are chilly if you're sat out of the sun.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Pack some comfortable closed walking shoes or sneakers if exploring away from resorts (we recommend Hotter shoes, for lightweight comfort with style). The ground can be uneven and dusty, whilst at the Mayan ruins of Tulum etc. if you want to climb the structures (only allowed at some) then they can be steep and strenuous, and slippery if wet.
  • For evenings we love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Mexicans tend to look very groomed, with ladies wearing jewelry and make-up even when doing the shopping. A few simple accessories or costume jewelry will help you 'glam up' if you need to.
  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit too.
  • Jeans are always popular here, and teamed with smart tops and heels make for a flexible look that will help you fit right in.
  • Dinner in resort hotels tends to be smart casual and some restaurants will not allow shorts or camisoles. Women tend to wear loose sundresses and skirts with sandals, as it is still hot and humid in the evenings.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that show your stomach or cleavage - particularly if you are planning to visit the more conservative rural parts of Mexico. A wrap is always good to help you cover up.
  • And if you are traveling outside of the popular resort areas our advice would be to wear skirts or dresses, lightweight pants or Capri pants rather than shorts.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • Dinner in resort hotels tends to be smart casual and some restaurants will not allow shorts or sleeveless tops. For men, lightweight pants and short-sleeved shirts are the norm.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • You may experience some light drizzle, or short sharp downpours. A lightweight pack-away raincoat or travel umbrella can be handy, but it is so warm you will dry quickly if you do get wet.
  • Winter (December, January, February) can be cooler in the early mornings and late evenings, so our advice would be to pop a fleece in your case. The rest of the year the temperature remains pretty constant.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Mexico

  • Mexico City has a temperate climate all year round, quite different from the hot, humid climate of much of Mexico.
  • Tulum is very open with little shade, so to cope with the heat make sure you wear a hat and take plenty of water. You can swim from the beach by the ruins, so take your swimwear along too.

Other Things To Pack

  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • A microfiber travel towel is another great item to pack if trekking - they fold really small so you can accommodate a larger size and they dry really quickly too. They also make a good beach towel option.
  • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage whether you're in the city, at the beach or out in the wilderness.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (127V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Look out for embroidered linens, Mayan chocolate, or Xtanbentun - a sweet liquor from the Yucatan region. Just remember any liquids will need to go in your checked luggage.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing holiday. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.