Lifestyle / Travel

What To Wear In Hawaii

what to wear in hawaii

Whether you’re traveling solo or with your family, a Hawaii vacation is the perfect way to escape and reset. It’s one of the best vacation destinations in the world because it’s not only stunning but it also offers a well rounded experience for every type of traveler.

From active adventures like surfing and paddle boarding to relaxing activities like lounging poolside, frequent travelers to Hawaii know that the mix of entertainment on the island makes it a standout spot. And if you’re coming from across the U.S., just know that island living (even if it’s temporary) is totally worth the trek.

While the weather in Hawaii is consistently beautiful, the temperature at night can certainly dip. During certain seasons, it can also be quite rainy. March through September is considered the busy season for Hawaii, with the months of April, May, and September being the best from a weather standpoint. Those months are known to not be too hot, too cold, or too wet.

Before you visit Hawaii, it’s important that you properly plan out your vacation outfits. No matter what your preferred activities upon arrival are, there are some wardrobe essentials that everyone needs to pack — swimsuits, sunglasses, shorts, tank tops, and flip flops are at the top of the list.

However, making the most out of your travel outfits means packing strategically and making a checklist so you don’t forget anything. Trust me, you don’t want to end up on an island feeling unprepared and under-packed. Hawaii is known to have a relaxed and laid back vibe, so it’s nice that you don’t have to pack your entire closet to look great during your trip.

Regardless of which island you’re visiting (check out my Maui itinerary), I put together this list of what to wear in Hawaii so you can have a smooth, comfortable, and successful trip. These 12 suitcase staples will help you comfortably and stylishly make a statement during your getaway.

What To Wear In Hawaii

12 Hawaii Vacation Outfits

Floral Maxi Dress
what to wear in hawaii

A good go-to while visiting Hawaii? A simple maxi dresses.

They’re perfect for wearing on the beach, to dinner, and out and about town. They can also be thrown on over a swimsuit and they go with pretty much any type of sandals or flip flops. Another perk is that they’re really comfortable to wear but they make you look and feel so put together.

Regardless of the weather on the island, I think it’s always a good idea to pack a cardigan or a denim jacket to wear after the sun goes down. Add a sun hat to not only accessorize your outfit but to also provide sun protection.

Pink Bikini
what to wear in hawaii

Is it just me or does a bright bikini seem like a must-wear while visiting Hawaii? I practically lived in the swimsuit pictured above during my own trip (this exact bikini is sadly sold out but this one is similar.)

I always just slipped into some denim shorts or put a kimono or cover-up on over it when I wasn’t lounging on the beach.

If you don’t love pink but still want to add some liveliness to your Hawaiian wardrobe, opt for a bright blue, green, or yellow bikini.

Bright Athleisure
what to wear in hawaii

Whether it’s your first time visiting the island or your fourth, it’s a fairly safe assumption that you’ll spend some time walking or hiking during your trip. Hawaii has such an active lifestyle which means that packing athleisure and comfortable shoes is essential — don’t forget a belt bag!

I once again opted for bright colors paired with my favorite white sneakers and $13 Amazon sunglasses (such a steal!)

Depending on the time of year you’re visiting the big island, the mornings and evenings can get kind of chilly, so I’d recommend bringing layers. I’d suggest putting a white t-shirt, half-zip jacket, or crew neck over a workout top. You can always tie your extra layer around your waist if you get too hot.

Silk Slip Dress
what to wear in hawaii

While most of your time on a Hawaiian island will likely be spent in a bathing suit, be sure to also pack some nice dresses that you can wear out.

I loved wearing silk slip dresses during my visit but any dress would do. If you’re going during a time that’s particularly hot and sticky, silk probably wouldn’t be the best option. In the warmer months, opt for cotton or linen fabrics instead.

These dresses pair well with flat sandals, wedges, or little heels. They aren’t overly fancy but they bring things up a notch, making them perfect for a special dinner or a night out for drinks.

Comfy Kimono
what to wear in hawaii

When you pack for Hawaii, cover-ups are an absolute must-include on your checklist. Cover-ups are totally necessary for wearing to the beach, around the pool, and to and from your hotel room. If you’re looking for another great addition to your suitcase that’s even more stylish, try a kimono.

When thrown over a swimsuit, kimonos make for a chic and easy Hawaii outfit. They’re so pretty and feel highly appropriate for island living. Wear one over your one piece with flip flops or pair it with denim shorts and a white tank for a casual but cute daytime look.

Striped Swimsuit
what to wear in hawaii
what to wear in hawaii

Yes, any style bathing suit will work in Hawaii but there’s something about striped swimwear that pops in photos. If you plan to have some Instagram-worthy moments on the island, a striped bikini is the way to go.

Floral Dresses
what to wear in hawaii
what to wear in hawaii

One non-negotiable on your Hawaii packing list? Floral dresses. They’re so versatile, keep you cool, and look just as stylish poolside as they do at a fancy dinner. Just swap out your footwear to make the dress more appropriate for wherever you’re going (wear sandals to the beach and little heels to dinner.)

Floral dresses will be a closet staple long after you get back for your vacation. You can wear them throughout the spring and summer months and style them a variety of ways — with white sneakers, a denim jacket, heels, or a cardigan.

Workout Set
what to wear in hawaii

Frequent travelers to Hawaii know that the lifestyle on the island is quite active. From hiking and rafting to casual morning strolls, a workout set is one of the best outfits you can wear on the Big Island aside from a swimsuit.

Make a statement with a set that’s bright and cheerful then pair it with your go-to tennis shoes or hiking shoes. I’d also recommend wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses to keep your skin and eyes protected from the sun.

When hiking in Hawaii, I’d also suggest bringing a rain jacket because you never know when a storm can hit!

White One-Piece
what to wear in hawaii

When packing light is a priority, it’s important that you try to score multiple outfits from one single item in your suitcase.

One clever way to do that is to bring a white one-piece that not only works on the beach but also pairs nicely with denim shorts, linen pants, and skirts. A white one-piece swimsuit can easily turn into a full outfit if you slide some bottoms and shoes on.

Also, there’s no denying that a white one piece makes you look more tan — an added benefit!

I hope that this list of what to wear in Hawaii helps you plan and pack for your trip! It’s such a dreamy place to visit any time of the year and for any occasion, whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon or unwinding on a girls trip.

I’ll leave you with one last piece of advice as you pack for Hawaii: Try to have fun with your outfits and mix things up. Reach for bright colors, unique fabrics, lively prints, and varying textures. Sure, Hawaii is casual, but it’s still a great place to showcase your taste and personal style.

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