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Style Tips for a Trip Down South

If you’re planning a vacation down South, you’re probably counting down the days until you can enjoy the incredible weather and warm beaches, but there’s something you should know. The Deep South is humid, filled with popup thunderstorms and temperatures topping 100 degrees. If you want to survive and look cool, literally, then follow these expert style tips.

Wear Light Clothing and Colors

Suitable hot weather fabrics should be lightweight, breathable, stylish and offer sun protection. If you aren’t a heavy sweater, you won’t need moisture-wicking fabric, so stick to lightweight fabrics like linen, cotton, silk or synthetic materials like nylon. Only pack light-colored clothing, like white, as black objects absorb the sun’s light and turn it into heat, making you even hotter.

Choose Moisture-Wicking Clothing

It’s almost impossible to shop for workout gear or outdoor clothing without coming across the term “moisture-wicking.” Clothing with this label quickly absorbs sweat and weather into the fabric’s yarn and traps it there instead of moving through the material. If you want to survive the Southern heat, choose clothing that’s made with breathable fabrics such as polyester, polypropylene, Merino wool or bamboo.

Designer brands often have a generous selection for warm, humid climates to keep cool. For example, men’s shirts by Burberry use their own invented fabric called gabardine, which is a tight women’s fabric that’s both durable and waterproof. You won’t have to worry about sweat-soaked clothes, as gabardine quickly dries your body in the humid heat.

Bring Beachwear and Coverups 

A trip to the South isn’t complete without some fun in the sun and a dip in the water. Whether you choose to go to the ocean or a swimming pool, you’ll need to a swimsuit. Ladies can pack a one or two-piece suit, while gentlemen can wear swim trunks at all local pools. Both parties should bring some form of coverup, like a beach dress or sarong, so they can comfortably go back and forth to the hotel.

Keep it Casual Like the Locals

Unless you’re planning on going to a fancy dress party, feel free to keep it casual. It’s easy to pack for a trip down South since the weather doesn’t change much throughout the day or week (except for summer rainstorms). Southerners might be well-dressed, but they’re not fussy about it. White denim jeans or cotton pants or shorts can work with everything, while tops should be casual and flowy to keep cool. Ladies who want to pack dresses will get a lot of wear out of them, from day to night. Flip flops or sandals work with almost any outfit, but you might want a pair of slip-ons or tennis shoes for more support.

Want to be More Southern?

If you want to give your wardrobe a Southern twist, bring cowboy boots, a pearl necklace, a gingham button-down and a tailored dress. Stockpile Southern fabric staples, like eyelet and seersucker. Colorful fabric prints are also popular with both men and women. Seriously, you can never go wrong in the South when adding vibrant shades like yellow, orange, pink and mint.

Bring Hats, Sunglasses and an Umbrella

The harsh sun can quickly cause sunburns if you’re not ready. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every few hours to stay comfortable, but don’t forget your hat and sunglasses. A wide-brimmed hat will keep the sun off of your neck, nose and back, which see the most sun. Thunderstorms and hurricanes are common in the Deep South from June through October. Depending on how long you stay, you may experience a wind storm that could sweep you off your feet. While it’s obvious that you should stay indoors during heavy rainfall, most rainy days won’t be dangerous. Just pack an umbrella and even a raincoat for use until the sun comes back out.

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