What to Wear in Mexico City: Your Packing Guide

ViaHero · May 21, 2019

To make packing for your trip easy, we’ve created this guide to what to wear in Mexico City. Whether you’re scaling Mayan pyramids or sipping mezcal in a swanky cafe, we’ll let you know exactly what you need to wear.

Our fashion advice is solid, but if you advice from an actual Mexico City local (on what to wear, what to do in town, and much more) have one of our local Mexico City trip planners plan your trip. They’ll answer all your questions (fashion or otherwise) and create a unique itinerary just for you.

Mexico City fashion basics

What to wear in Mexico City? It's often more formal than in the United States
Mexico City fashion | Chase Chenevert/Unsplash

Whether you’re looking to check out Mexico City’s non-touristy activities, or Mexico City’s top tourist attractions, dress mindfully. What does this mean? First of all, do not wear shorts. Shorts will scream tourist (we know, it’s vacation, but you don’t want to be pegged as a yahoo/an easy target for a scam). 

In hot months, women will wear long skirts. Men will lean towards light-weight pants. Overall, people do dress more formally than in the US, sort of like how Americans might dress in hip parts of Los Angeles.

Mexico City is a big cosmopolitan hub, so there aren’t inflexible fashion rules (except for the shorts thing). This is a city of almost 9 million people, after all, so you’ll see a lot of different fashion choices. That being said, if your Mexico City sightseeing takes you to a church or religious site (like the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe) be respectful and err towards dressing conservatively.

Overall, fashion in Mexico City tends to lean a bit more formal than in the United States. Wearing shorts or workout clothing like yoga pants in public will make you look like a tourist.

What’s Mexico City’s weather like?

Unlike some places in Mexico, Mexico City does have distinct seasons, so temperatures vary. 

Daily highs generally rise between the 70s and 80s; at night, lows can dip down to into the low-40s or mid-50s. 

Yes, Mexico City does have a rainy season. NBD! That’s what the 150+ museums in town are for. But in case you’re curious, the rainy season lasts from about June to September. In our opinion, Mexico City offers enough indoor activities that there really isn’t a bad time to visit. Plus, you’ll snag some good flight deals if you plan on visiting in the off-season. 

What to wear at Mexico City’s big outdoor sites

If you plan to check out some of the best places to visit in Mexico City like Chapultepec Park and the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, be prepared to dress for the outdoors. You’ll want good, closed-toe walking shoes.  These sights are good examples of how you should dress at other outdoor sights in or around Mexico City as well.

The sun shines bright and hot at the Pyramids, so along with sunscreen and water be sure to pack a hat with a brim. Shady Chapultepec offers more respite from the sun, but given its size (2x the size of Central Park) you’ll definitely want those walking shoes. Like anywhere in Mexico City, a lightweight jacket is also a good call—Mexico City mornings and evenings can get rather cool. 

All in all, if you plan to spend time exploring Mexico City sites like the above, be sure to pack a brimmed hat, sunscreen, good walking shoes, and a light jacket.

What to wear for a night out in Mexico City

If you're wondering what to wear in Mexico City for a night out, steer clear of old jeans
Nights out in Mexico City can lean formal | Mattias Diesel/Unsplash

Mexico City nightlife 101: people generally dress more formally in Mexico City than the United States. Jeans may not fly as a fashion choice at certain bars and clubs (and certainly not if you’re catching some ballet at Palacio de Bellas Artes, one of the city’s top attractions). No matter which of Mexico City’s awesome neighborhoods is your nightlife destination, you need to dress the part. 

Men often wear button-down shirts, chinos (or nice, fitted jeans), and stylish sneakers or high-quality shoes. Women often dress more conservatively than in other cities, but this is ultimately a personal choice. No matter which places you visit in Mexico City, you’ll likely notice that most people tend towards darker colors, or artful splashes of bright colors, so leave that bright-orange tank top behind.

Also, keep in mind that a common misconception about Mexico City tourism is that it’s always hot—not so! Temperatures dip at night, so be sure to pack a good jacket for once the sun goes down. Layers are the name of the game. 

Pro tip: Ask a local about neighborhood specific fashion choices—areas like San Rafael may lean artsy whereas Polanco is home to more posh dressers. A local can give you the low-down on the fashion trends of whichever neighborhood in Mexico City you decide to stay in

What to wear/pack for using public transit in Mexico City

For what to wear in Mexico City on the metro, consider getting a cross-body purse
Mexico City metro fashion | LWYang/Flickr

As you pack for your travel to Mexico City, consider a couple of items for when you ride public transit. Mexico City is safe, and the metro is a great and inexpensive option for getting around town. However, it is plagued by the same affliction as most big cities: pickpockets. 

To combat this, you have a couple of options in your fashion arsenal. Ladies, invest in a cross-body purse. Men, keep that wallet out of your back pocket. It could also be prudent to invest in some type of anti-theft bag or decoy wallet for maximum security. 

This way, you can easily hit up all the awesome stuff on your Mexico City itinerary without worrying about theft. And if safety is a concern, definitely get some tips from a Mexico City local who actually rides and knows the metro.  

TL;DR—what you should pack for Mexico City

We’ll reiterate: the best way to know how to dress like a local (and not stand out like a tourist) is to talk to someone who actually lives in Mexico City. Here’s our advice (but definitely, definitely, definitely, get some of theirs!): 

  • Wear good walking shoes (but nice ones, not your seven-year-old gym sneakers).
  • Pack a good jacket (Be prepared for colder temps at night and rain in the rainy season).
  • DO NOT WEAR SHORTS: You will look like a tourist.
  • Men and women tend to dress less casually than Americans (jeans are ok, but not for going out or catching a show. If you are wearing jeans, wear a nice pair).
  • If you have jewelry you’d be devastated to lose, leave it at home.
  • Closed-toed shoes are your friends.

Basically, with so many great places to visit in Mexico City, you’ll want to dress comfortably—but more formally than you would while running to the grocery store. 

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Now that you know what to wear in Mexico City it’s time to get packing! For the real low-down on Mexico City fashion rules, talk to a Mexico City local. Not only can they suggest things to pack (or NOT to pack) but they’ll design a custom itinerary to fit your interests—so you’ll see all the great places to visit in Mexico City without feeling like a bumbling tourist. Questions? Send us a message

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