There is so much to do in Mexico City and while you are researching and getting excited about all the good food, museums, markets, and day trips, you might also be starting to wonder what to wear in Mexico City. Don’t worry I’ll help you with packing for Mexico City; writing packing tips are my favorite posts ever to write! I will touch on when you might want conservative clothes, walking shoes for visiting pyramids, and the temperature changes – it does have a high elevation! I’ll go over what to wear in Mexico City in December (when I was there last) but also just the winter in general. I’m also going to start this conversation with a few tips on safety.
Packing For Mexico City: | Outfit Ideas & What to Wear in Mexico City
Is Mexico City Conservative?
The first thing to note for women is whether or not Mexico City is at all conservative or you can show as much skin as you want. From what I noticed, it is not conservative and you could wear what you like. I was told that there are some harassment issues when downtown on transportation (which is why there is a women’s compartment on the metro). Because of this, you might want to cover up to avoid any extra attention as a woman (not specifically as a tourist).
I had no issues in this regard and was not cat-called or anything. I found all the men to be totally respectable and friendly! I also can say this isn’t like going to Asia where being a blonde girl, I stand out as a tourist – I felt no one looked twice at me and local girls had every color of hair imaginable so you couldn’t tell a tourist from a local for sure.
My point is, do not worry about how you dress in terms of looking too sexy or too touristy. You’ll be fine in whatever you wear! It’s not unlike any other cosmopolitan city.
Is Mexico City Safe?
Let’s also do a quick chat on safety. I am told there is a lot of pick-pocketing. On a tour I did, the email for booking confirmation said “do not wear flashy jewelry or clothing. Do not bring an expensive camera”. It made me worry a little before I went – so I left my engagement ring at home. Once I was there, I realized it was no different than somewhere like Barcelona or even London.
Pick-pocketing can happen anywhere (and has happened to me before if you remember!) If you plan on going into local markets and the metro, then you need to be aware of your surroundings and keep your purse closed and in eye site. For those who want an anti-theft bag, you can’t find a better one that the Ebags PacSafe purse which I used most recently in Panama. You can read a full review here.
I also recommend that you avoid the areas which are noted as unsafe in Mexico City. You can read a full list of them here. I did not go to the areas on this list. It’s a HUGE city. Maybe bigger than you are picturing – so try picturing New York City. They both have around 8.7 million people living in them. Could you cover Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, etc in NYC on a quick trip? Not really, and you can’t cover all of Mexico City. There is so much cool stuff to see and do in the safe areas, that it’s not worth venturing out to these others especially on a first or second trip. All the main touristy things, best cafes, and shops are in the safe areas which are all listed in my Mexico City itinerary. For more tips on Mexico City, check out my essential guide to Mexico City which goes into detail on transportation, lodging, budgeting, and more!
What to wear in Mexico City in December (Winter) | Is it really that cold for a jacket?
Yes! The thing you need to know is that in general Mexico City isn’t that warm of a place. It’s at a very high elevation and that keeps it cooler. The hottest month is May, and it peaks at around 27 Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) but still gets as low as 13 (or 55 F) at night. You’re going to need a little jacket no matter what time you visit Mexico City just for that evening breeze.
But, if you come in the winter, you need more than a jacket! I froze my butt off in my Airbnb in Mexico City in December – the old buildings get cold (too cold to even wash my hair!). It was 25 (77 F) during the day and down to 8 (46 F) at night.
That means LAYERS. Layers are so key! In the day time, we were in tank tops and pants and at times feeling very hot wear long pants with the sun shining down. While the heat doesn’t get too high there, the sun is strong, so you still need sunscreen and a hat at times – like when visited the pyramids or standing in long lines for museums outside.
What I Wore at Night
At night, I needed tennis shoes/boots, a tank, a tee, a sweater, and a jacket all layered up. The weather is really wonderful if you’re packed correctly for it. I only had one sweater so had to wear the same one every night with the same pair of jeans!
This was my look every day past 6 PM. During the day: cute outfits. At night, we would go back and shower up and change for dinner into warmer clothes. Now, this was my mistake not really realizing what 50 degrees was going to feel like. You can definitely bring cuter clothes!
You could do skinny jeans, various sweaters, or sweater dresses with leggings and boots. I wore my absolute favorite Blank NYC tan suede jacket most nights and also a black leather jacket. I took my Tye sneakers from UGG which are all time favorites and my Steve Madden ankle boots, which I take everywhere.
What to Wear Clubbing
At night time, you will want to look cute for bars and clubs. I had bronchitis so wasn’t bothered about all that! I recommend taking some “warmer” dress clothes. I didn’t see any girls walking around in club dresses. I think you’d look a little crazy with a short dress on, to be honest. I’d do dressy pants or a maxi dress, or a leggings/dress combo with a cute jacket over it. If you aren’t worried about clubs, jeans are totally fine here and you can do jeans, boots, and a jacket and look very chic and cool.
DO make sure to take comfortable clothes for the chilly Airbnbs. I brought fuzzy socks and warm leggings and was very glad that I did.
So now that we’ve covered that, let’s just talk about packing for Mexico City for the day time and go over what to wear in Mexico City.
What to Wear in Mexico City
Outfit # 1 and Outfit #2: Cute day dresses
By all means, pack a couple of dresses to wear during the day! I packed longer ones that had a little more coverage and always carried my favorite linen button up in my purse in case I got cold in an A/C shop or restaurant.
The dresses I took were my ASTR the Label one and the Love to Love Me Midi from Free People. I also took a favorite C/MEO dress but didn’t get a photo in it. I think in general, cute midi-dresses or jumpsuits are your best bet in Mexico City to look stylish! Here are some more options:
I paired these with my UGG Kari Slides which I take on just about every trip now and have in three colors: black, tan, and orange. They are my favorite sandals for traveling (review here). I took just two purses, both from Madewell. The mini tote in brown and the medium tote in Black. The medium tote was great for when I might do some shopping. The mini tote is good for just daily use because it fits my camera, phone, sunglasses, wallet, and lip stuff just fine. I tied a little cotton scarf onto the purse, which I wore on another day. Such a good accessory!
Outfit #3: Visiting the Teotihuacan pyramids
You’re going to be going up and down steep steps so I do not recommend a dress. Instead, a loose cropped jeans, a jumpsuit or shorts would work great. I did jeans and a simple tee shirt and tried to cute it up a little with a scarf around my ponytail. I wore my Tye tennis shoes. My friend Laura wore really cute cotton overalls and a long-sleeve shirt. We were both very comfortable! It was cold in the morning but got toasty as the day wore on. Not too hot, though in the summer the 80-degree heat will feel way stronger! You’ll want sunglasses and a hat for sure.
Outfit #4: Culottes and a tank
I love this outfit! It was so colorful. I wore the “Pintucked Chino Pant” from Anthropologie. They are a cropped flare and at $110 an investment. But, they are high-quality and always make a go-to outfit for me when I travel. I love the yellow color. The white would also be very cute and Mexico City is very clean and totally okay to wear white pants. I wore an old colorful woven tank from Free People with them. My Madewell tote was perfect for the markets!
PS: I wore a linen button-up over this and all other outfits during the day when needed, and although I have one from GAP, you can get them so many places. I love having a natural color one when I travel.
Another fun accessory is a hat! Mexico City is cosmopolitan and trendy and a great place to wear a wool hat. I love the ones from Wyldaire and Lack of Color. I’ll link a few cute ones! It took a while to feel comfortable in a hat, but after Panama, I was hooked:
Outfit #5: Colorful jumpsuit
I always pack the same types of outfits: a few dresses, a culotte/tank combo… and a jumpsuit! I freaking love them! This is a lovely linen one from Indian Summer. I like the blush color and have others I often pack like this Amuse Society one and some favorite from Studio Tia. I like cotton and linen ones the most as they are relaxed for everyday wear. Nearly every brand makes them! I like to wear a cute tank underneath or even a tee shirt. My UGG Kari slides were what I wore with this but I also took my James Smith Stevie Stacks. Mexico City is a lot of Uber’ing around so while comfortable shoes aren’t that important if you are more of a walker than you might want to wear something more like the UGG sandals.
More Mexico City Packing Tips:
Above are 5 cute options but if you’re going more days just add more dresses, jumpsuits, or another cute cropped jean. For accessories, the Madewell purses and Anthropologie hair scarves were perfect. Adding in a wool hat is great, too! I didn’t wear much jewelry as to not look too flashy (but like I mentioned, I don’t think it would have been a big deal). Overall the UGG Kari slides and Tye tennies were enough, but having a boot for the evening is a good shout. If you’re going in winter add in a leather or suede jacket and some sweaters.
Shop my shoes below
What I didn’t need?
A swimsuit, towel, or swim coverup! Most top Airbnb’s and boutique hotels do not have pools nor are there popular day trips nearby where you might need one. I can’t imagine that you’d want shorts either in the winter but they would be a good choice if you go for the summer, although I prefer dresses. Dresses for wandering around the city were perfect and in the heat are usually more comfortable than shorts. They also just look more put-together than jean shorts.
I took a checked bag for this trip and thank goodness because I did some shopping! I’d make sure to bring a checked bag and not overpack so you can take things back with you. For a personal item, I used my Lo & Sons Hanover backpack for the plane journey (it’s one of my absolute favorites).
It’s a very laid-back city and you don’t need a lot to visit, which is great. I took the bare minimum for beauty supplies: Smashbox concealer, Benefit bronzer, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, and chapstick.
For More Packing Posts:
- Packing for New Orleans: Cute and Practical Things to Wear
- What to Wear in Mexico: The Ultimate Guide + Sample Packing List
- London Packing List for the Fall / Autumn
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