What to Wear in Texas: Packing Tips For a Texas Vacation

Wondering what to wear in Texas?

My husband and I recently took a little vacation to the Texas Hill Country.

Although I have spent a lot of time in Dallas and Houston over the years, the hill country was new to me and I HIGHLY recommend it! There was so much beauty and charm, great food, and everyone we met was so nice and friendly.

I had so much fun on this little Texas weekend get-away.

Here are some ideas for what to wear in Texas as well as some packing tips for a Texas vacation!

cute denim dress with tennis shoes, ideas for what to wear in Texas. What to pack for Texas.Pin

Packing Tips For Texas

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Prepare for Texas Weather

Let’s talk about the weather in Texas! Mostly…it’s hot, but not always!

Of course, you always want to check the weather before you travel. Obviously, this will make a huge difference in what you need to pack for your Texas vacation.

Here is the type of weather that you can “generally” expect in Texas.

  • June through August: It’ll be warm, hot, and sometimes scorching. It will also be muggy most of the time across the state. Summers sometimes come with afternoon showers that don’t do a lot to cool things down.
  • September – November: Don’t expect cool temperatures to have arrived by September in Texas. Most of the time September will still feel like summer. The temperatures will finally start to cool off a little in October and November, but it should still be warm enough for any number of outdoor activities.
  • December – February: January is typically the coldest month of the year. Winters are interesting because temperatures can vary tremendously. You will have a really cold day with freezing temperatures followed by a gorgeous sunshiny 65 degrees. There can even be freak ice storms. However Texas normally has cool but mild winters.
  • March – May: Spring is a gorgeous time to visit Texas. The wildflowers are blooming and the temperatures are warming up. It can still be a little cool in March, but will definitely be warming by April, and will be swimming hole weather by May!

What is the General Texas Style?

So, what should you wear in Texas, what is the Texas style, and what do Texans wear?

Want to know the good news about packing for a Texas vacation? Those clothes that you sometimes feel are a bit too “extra?” They won’t be in “most” parts of Texas!

Hats and boots and color and bling and fun…those are all acceptable in this larger than life state. It was a dream come true for me!

After all, I grew up in the neighboring state of Arkansas with a grandmother (hi, mawmaw!) who always told me, “Emily, there’s no such thing as too much bling” and I assure you that I took her words to heart.

Texans are mostly casual dressers, however people will still look pulled together.

Think about dressing in what I would call “cute casual” for the smaller towns and more rural areas.

This will also apply for most of the bigger cities unless you will be going out to some shows or fine dining.

Here is what I’ve seen in the bigger cities:

  • Dallas: Dallas is a bit of a world all its own. Definitely dress more like a city slicker than a country mouse. Dallas is dressier than most other cities in Texas. You may notice that brands kind of a big deal in Dallas – but I’m not a “brand” girl so I just don’t worry about that! The look here tends to be sleeker than most of the rest of Texas.
  • Fort Worth: Dallas and Fort Worth may be next door neighbors but they have a completely different vibe. Fort Worth is definitely more “western” then Dallas. Think big hair and boots and bling.
  • Austin: Hippy chic meets cool western. Austin is very casual. Think denim and band tees and flowy dresses.
  • Houston: Houston has it all. This HUGE city is very diverse and fun. Styles can change from neighborhood to neighborhood so you will be fine in almost anything. It’s pretty casual most of the time although people will dress up a bit to go out at night.

What to Wear in Texas?

Our visit to Texas was in April and the weather was already quite warm while we were there. Some days it was in the 90’s. I know, in APRIL!

It was already swimming (or swimming hole) weather!

If you are going anytime but winter you will want to prepare for warm weather. If you are going in the winter definitely bring sweaters and a jacket but you probably won’t need anything TOO heavy.

NOTE: People in the south, including Texas, like their air-conditioning y’all. So even in the summer you might want to throw a cardigan or some layers in your bag.

In addition to swimming there are lots of other outdoor activities in Texas. You will want to be prepared for being outdoors with athletic wear. If you will be hiking bring sturdy shoes for the rough terrain.

If you are planning to go to some of the swimming holes you will definitely want to bring some water shoes or sandals.

A comfortable flow-y dress or two is also a great addition to your Texas vacation packing list especially if you are going to search for wildflowers in the spring!

If you are going to be in the bigger cities and going to nice restaurants bring something a little dressier.

Some Ideas for What to Wear in Texas


Yes, people in Texas definitely wear boots. You can go for some fashion-y boots or wear real cowboy boots.

I wore this pair cute white boots while we were there just for fun.

If you think you will be doing any horseback riding while you in the state then you might want to splurge on the real thing like these Justin boots or this pretty Ariat Brand boot.

Water Shoes

There are some gorgeous swimming holes in Texas! Visiting some of these was one of my favorite things we did on our trip!

You will definitely want a good pair of water shoes for the walk to the springs and to stand of the rocky bottoms of the creeks and rivers.

I have been a Chaco fan for years! I wear this sandal style chaco and found it to be the perfect shoe for swimming. You will also see people wearing them out and about.

If you prefer a closed water shoe then I recommend this women’s water and walking shoe. Its cute and comes in a lot of colors and would also work perfectly for walking around town!


You will need a hat, and no, It does not have to be a cowboy hat! I swear people wear cowboy hats more in Nashville than they do in Texas.

However, you will probably want something on your head to protect you from the sun.

I happen to love hats! A cute straw hat is one of the best things to wear in the summer. This straw hat is adorable and is foldable for travel! Here is another straw hat that has the shape of a cowboy hat that might be fun to wear in Texas.

You might also want to bring a baseball cap for hiking and other outdoor activities.


If you are going to Texas in the summer you will definitely want to bring something to swim in. I’m kind of ridiculous when it comes to swimsuits so I brought three!

For the swimming holes you might want to bring something with a bit of extra coverage for scrambling up and down rocks.

This is a two piece that is super sporty that would be perfect for more rustic swimming.

If you are just going to be lounging by the hotel pool in the city then you can wear something more cutesy!

For girls who like a high waisted bikini bottom I think that this retro suit is ADORABLE.

Wanting to get a great tan in the hot Texas sun wearing a true bikinig?

I think that this cute suit is perfect. It also comes in a bunch of patterns and colors.

Swimsuit Coverups

No matter how hot Texas is, it is not like being in the islands. They will expect you to coverup before going in stores or restaurants.

Here are some swimsuit coverups that I love.


Even in the summer you might want to throw a layering piece in your suitcase. A cardigan is always a perfect choice.

I love this waffle knit cardigan. It would be so easy to throw on even over shorts and a T-shirt.

If you aren’t a fan of waffle knit, check out this great basic cardigan which would be a perfect year-round staple.

I also think that this cute crochet cardigan is perfect as a summer layering piece. It is lightweight, with 3/4 sleeves, and it comes in several colors!


If you plan to do some hiking on your trip to Texas you will definitely want to have the right kind of clothing. The terrain can be pretty rough and the plantlife tends to be spiky.

I suggest something lightweight and quick dry for summer like these water resistant pants.

Because the weather can be so hot you might want to consider bringing some that zip off into shorts like this convertible style.

You can also just wear a pair of leggings or quick dry shorts for some of your activities. This super simple pair of quick dry shorts would be perfect for a lot of sporty activities.


Shorts are definitely acceptable in Texas and almost a necessity in the hot summers. My favorites are denim shorts because they are so versatile.

They can be completely casual if you wear a distressed pair with a Tee shirt and tennies. Or even dressed up a little bit with a less distressed or darker denim, cute top and wedge sandals.

Denim shorts are just cute and a southern summertime staple!

Miscellaneous Items to Pack for Texas

  • People who haven’t lived in the south have a hard time understanding just how hot he can be down here. Texas is hot, y’all! These cooling towels are perfect for after an outdoor activity. They will help you to feel so much better after hiking or biking or even just taking a walk in the Texas heat.
  • Weather in Texas can be unpredictable and they can have some gully washers. Be prepared with a good travel umbrella!
  • You will definitely want to stay hydrated in the Texas heat! Plan to carry a water bottle with you for sightseeing and outdoor activities! I still carry a Nalgene water bottle especially for hiking!

General Packing Tips For ANY Destination

Here are a few packing tips for ANY destination!

You might also be interested in:

Always, Always Check the Weather Before You Leave

It is best not just to assume that you know what the weather will be. Always check the weather report in the days before you take a trip.

This will give you time to add or remove a jacket, throw in an umbrella, or completely redo what you had planned to bring.

I’ll never forget FREEZING in Florence Italy in June because I had forgotten to check the weather and had packed nothing for cold weather.

Are You Packing Light or Bringing Whatever You Want?

Decide whether or not you are going light before you start packing.

Some of this may depend on how far you are going and whether or not you are flying or road-tripping. Honestly, If we are taking a road trip I pretty much bring whatever I want.

When I’m flying I pack much lighter.

What About Luggage?

Do you want something on wheels or do you want to carry your luggage on your back?

I’m a wheels person myself!

I do love the Away Bag Bigger Carry On and it is what I have, but it is a little pricy!

If you are looking for a carry on that is high quality but a little less expensive check out the Amazon Basics Carry On. It is well under $100 and gets great reviews!

Roll or Fold?

Almost every packing guru will tell you that you need to roll your clothing rather than fold them. Y’all, I just can’t do it! I’m a folder not a roller.

However, I do LOVE using packing cubes and definitely recommend them. These are my favorite packing cubes.

You can divide items up anyway you like: by outfits, or tops in one and bottoms in another…pajamas, swimwear, etc.

I personally like to set up outfits, but do whatever works for you!

If you are really trying to squeeze a lot into a small suitcase you can use these Compression Cubes by Eagle Creek!

It’s all About the Layers

When you travel you are always going to want to think about packing in layers. You know that you will need layers if you are traveling to Texas in the winter.

However, you will still need them in the summer. As I mentioned above, Texans LOVE their air-conditioning.

As you put together your outfits always ask yourself questions like: Do I have something I can throw on over this if it gets cool in the evening. Or, will I still like this outfit if it gets hot and I have to take the jacket off?

I’ve already mentioned some great cardigans for layering, but my all-time favorite layer? Always a denim jacket! I like mine a little oversized and kind of basic like this cute denim jacket on Amazon.

Layers, y’all. Super important.

A Few More Basic Packing Tips

  • Put the heaviest items towards the wheels or in the bottom of the bag! This will make a rolling bag more stable and not as likely to fall over and it will make your backpack more comfortable.
  • Choose travel friendly fabrics (meaning things that don’t wrinkle) You don’t want to spend your vacation ironing do you? However, if you do bring something that wrinkles consider using this travel steamer instead of an iron.
  • Bring a bag for dirty laundry to keep the dirty things separated from your clean items. If you are planning to be swimming or working out then you may want a waterproof wet bag. This one comes in a ton of colors and patterns.
  • Pack by outfit! This way you won’t bring individual items that you don’t actually need and won’t wear.
  • Lay things out a few days you put them in your bag. This enables you to see what you don’t really need or what you might be missing!

Hope that gives you some ideas of what to pack and what to wear on a trip to Texas! Thanks so much for stopping by!

What I Wore on our Trip to Texas

Thanks for sharing!

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