What to Wear in Mexico: The Ultimate Guide + Sample Packing List

I want to help you decide what to wear in Mexico! In this post, I’m going to share about the different regions, weather, resort wear vs. casual, and different experiences and outdoor activities you might want to pack for. Below is a complete Mexico packing list to help you get prepped!

Different Regions of Mexico

Mexico is not just the beach! There are so many areas in Mexico, lakes, mountains, and bustling cities. You will want to think about your itinerary when you start to pack. Some cities will feel a little more conservative than others. For example, in Merida, where I am based, people are mostly Catholic and cover up quite a bit: booty shorts and a bra-like crop top will really make you stand out.

Resorts vs. Regular Travel in Mexico

If you’re staying at a resort on the coast, it really doesn’t matter what you pack in terms of “Mexico” specifically, you can pack the same thing you would for Florida – but most resorts are a good excuse to dress up, at least for dinners.

Weather in Mexico

The summer here gets hot, hot, hot in some places. In general, in the winter, even in the hot areas, you will want to dress for some chill because even the hot areas will cool down a bit at night and jeans a sweater are sometimes the best thing to throw on.

When you are coming here in the extreme heat in the summer, I prefer to wear light linens, sun dresses that allow a breeze, and bring a sun hat to make any outfit instantly chic.

If you come to the higher areas in the winter, like Mexico City, dress for the cold! I was just in Mexico City last week, and it was around 40 degrees F at night yet nice and warm in the daytime. Layers are key! A sweater, jeans, socks, closed shoes, and a leather or suede jacket was perfect.

What to Wear in Mexico For…

Adventure Activities

You are totally fine to wear leggings here or shorts if you prefer with a workout top or tee shirt. I like to wear Tevas or Chacos when I can go with open-toe shoes but if closed-toe, you might want to check out Keen boots if you are doing a LOT of hiking or just a classic tennis shoe. A shoe like a Teva can also act as a cuter water shoe for visiting cenotes or waterparks.

 

Sightseeing

Some of the towns in Mexico are SO colorful. It’s such a good place to either dress in bright colors or if you want to pop, wear white! For shoes, I like to pack something like Ked shoes for when it’s rainy or a bit dirty/dusty to walk, or my favorite walking sandal, UGG Kari slides which make me feel like I’m walking on a cloud all day and are so darn cute. For a cheaper option, consider Franco Sarto “Gia” sandals – so cute and comfy.

 

The Beaches

Like most beaches, you pack as you usually would: bikinis, coverups, and sunscreen. I like to take a baseball hat or sun hat because it does get HOT here and I do burn here even more than I did in India. Bring your Kindle! For towels, the BEST is a Tesalate towel which is anti-sand and packs so well. You can use code “hippieinheels15” to get 15% off the towel. I also think you’ll want a perfect tote bag for the beach which you can just use as your “personal item” when you fly. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that are polarized; I like classic Wayfarers from Ray-ban.

Cultural Activities

Day Trip from Merida to Uxmal

Visiting Mayan Ruins or churches, you really might stand out in a skimpy outfit. It’s not really a religious thing as much as it is families will be there together and will dress to impress sometimes so you’ll just look out of place.

I recommend closed-toe shoes (even though I’m not wearing them here) because it’s dusty at a lot of these ruins and if you’re like me, it’s a terrible feeling to have dry dusty feet!

Nightlife

Literally, anything goes for the clubs and cantinas! Dress however you feel comfortable. For dinners, it’s the same as anywhere else: maybe a little less on the club look and little more casual or nice if it’s a fancy restaurant.

A Sample Mexico Packing List

If I were visiting Mexico for around 2 weeks and packing in a checked luggage (I have so many I love you can check out full details here but I’ll link some below too!)

10 Dresses

Sounds like a lot BUT we’re talking 14 days here – and dresses don’t take up that much space. 10 dresses and you’re ALMOST set! Dresses help with the heat, go from day to night, and are cute as can be! 1-2 dresess will be a smidge sexy while the rest will be casual and cool.

4 Bottoms

I’ll take a mix here. Currently, I’m into ADO high-waisted shorts and would take a white and a dark jean. I’ll then pack a cropped light Levi and a “trouser”, my faves now are a gorgeous high-waisted mustard pair from Anthro.

1-2 Cute Top

To mix with the above, I’ll take a cute blousy shirt. Anthro has the best options!

Using the Vision Global Device in Mexico

4 Tee Shirts

I love to have tee shirts that are actually LOVE. I get them on sale from Anthropologie or I love to get the “bandana tees” from Free People that have my favorite brands on them.

2 sets Activewear

I love Stronger sets, Lilybod Leggings, Fabletics, and so many more – but you can bring what you love best!

Underwear/Bras

Nordstrom makes the most comfortable basic thongs which take up no space and are great for travel. Just buy a bunch in nude and take them on all your trips! For bras, the Demi by VS is the best but see all my favorite bras in this blog post.

Winter

Don’t underestimate the cold of Mexico in the winter. Check the forcast and keep elevation in mind. Mexico City and other popular places are at high elevations. You will want a coat – something like a leather jacket or suede coat is great, layered over a sweater. You will want warmer pants like jeans and tennies shoes or even boots. Dress for “fall” weather basically. No need for hats and gloves in most places.

Shoes

Toiletries

Here are some items I always travel with:

Misc

Any tips on what to wear in Mexico?

For More Mexico Travel

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2019-02-12T03:28:44+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

One Comment

  1. Chris Slack February 12, 2019 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Great tips Rachel!! I visited Mexico in May in Puerto Vallarta and even at night there it got a little bit chilly. Mexico is a lot more than just heat and sun!

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