Reader Request: Vacationwear for (Casual) Florida

I got a request from reader Eileen to talk about vacation wear for a Florida trip. I don’t get a lot of reader requests, so I was flattered ☺ and got all serious about this. Then I remembered, I’ve lived in Florida for 26 years, always near the beach, so I’ve got lots of eyewitness evidence! I’ve lived in very casual Central Florida and much-fancier South Florida.

Here’s what Eileen wants to know:

We’re planning a trip to the Florida
beach soon.  My question for you is,
would you consider doing a post suggesting what to pack/wear?  Swimsuit, cover up and sunscreen are the
obvious items but what others for days and evening?

And here’s my quickie email response:

A lot depends on which part of Florida you’re vacationing in. Here, on the Central East Coast (think Cocoa Beach), it’s very casual, shorts are OK everywhere as are sandals and tees. In Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, I’d dress up more for evening fun – as in lightweight midi or maxi skirts, colorful blouses, more jewelry.

Turns out Eileen is headed for the Sarasota area, a little more nicely dressed than us surf-rats, but not as glitzy as South Beach. I’ve been cooking up some looks for Eileen’s non-beach events. These are outfits I’d wear/suggest for those days when we’re upgrading from the beach taco stand.

Florida evenings
Florida days
  • The lightweight chambray shirt is a great topper for day or evening. Not too dressy and more on-trend than a jacket/blazer. Or substitute a lightweight cardigan.
  • If you’re not a shorts person, a knee-length denim skirt would work for day. Look for the lightest weight, or choose a pull-on cotton skirt with some fullness instead.
  • Heels are not needed! But wear them if you love them.
  • Summery jewelry is a wonderful touch. Now is the time and place for coral, yellow, turquoise and lime green necklaces/bracelets. In any combination.
  • Leave your leather bag at home, if possible. Go lightweight with a canvas, fabric or straw bag.
  • Goes without saying, but I’m sayin’ it: cover up from the sun. It’s intense down here!
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    1. It is a very interesting and useful post!!!!
      Visit us and we can follow each other.

    2. Love the maxi and your other picks. Beachy elegance sounds so good. Next time I go to Florida to visit my best friend, you're packing for me! When I went for the first time to her wedding a few years ago, I packed a black and white dress. Then I discovered that West Palm Beach colours are anything BUT black and white. I had to do an emergency run to Macy's to pick up a suitable, beach-hued dress for the big event. It was all about bright colours and breezier styles – my Big City Gal dress looked so very out of place! Xo

    3. My favorite thing to wear to the beach…Bare feet…I love to feel the wet sand on my feet!! I also love that yellow flower purse…such fun!

    4. Also linen! I have a number of linen pieces for cover-ups. I'm not in FL, but the summer heat does sometimes call for breathable coverings. I love that yellow bag pick and the stripes shirt. Never enough stripes!

    5. Excellent advice, Patti. I totally LOVE that striped maxi with the yellow bag. Yellow makes me look consumptive, so I keep it to accessories, and that bag is exactly the sort of thing I love in yellow.

    6. Ooh, now I want to visit Florida. I could really do with a few days in some proper warmth!

    7. Great advice from one who knows! Does a new career beckon? Stylist to Florida tourists!
      I love your selections, Patti, especially the dress, bag and sandals in the first group. xxx

    8. Great Florida picks!!! Keep me posted on your July trip deets!!
      Becky ๐Ÿ™‚

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