Planning a trip to Sydney and don’t know what to pack? What to wear in Sydney will depend on the season and what you plan to do while visiting Sydney.
Australia is known for it’s sunshine and warm weather. But winter in Sydney can actually be quite cold. Particularly if you are planning to head out onto the harbour, or take one of the many hikes outside the city area. Sydney is a fairly casual city, so it is easy for an outfit to take you from a day’s sightseeing to dinner.
Weather in Sydney
While the summer average temperature for Sydney is 23C (73F), you can also expect very hot days in the high 30’s (95F). Even in the mid 20’s, the weather can be very humid. So you will need light, breathable clothes and will need to change every day.
The average winter temperature in Sydney is 13C (55F). You can experience quite warm days, but the nights can be cold. If you are planning to head out of the city to the Blue Mountains, you will experience heavy frosts and often snow.
What to wear in Sydney
What you wear in Sydney will depend largely upon what you plan to do. Casual clothes will be fine if you are just planning sightseeing around Sydney Harbour and dinner at a pub. However if you are planning to visit smart restaurants or visit the theatre, you will want dressier attire.
We pack a multi-functional, interchangeable wardrobe. Items that can take you from a day’s sightseeing to dinner at the pub. I love the “capsule wardrobe” concept. Basically it comprises of a few pieces that you absolutely LOVE and will mix and match together for a number of different outfits.
Summer packing for Sydney
Bear in mind that during summer, you will need to change your tops every day due to the heat. So you will either need to pack one shirt for each day, or tops that can be washed and dried quickly. Shorts, skirts and dresses will be much cooler than jeans in summer.
During summer ladies will want a couple of light tops and blouses in breathable fabrics, teamed with skirts, shorts or lightweight trousers. I always take a couple of light dresses to Sydney in summer, as they are cooler. These can be accessorised for dinner at a smart restaurant.
You will also want a light cardigan for the cooler evenings, particularly if you are planning a harbour cruise.
I usually start with a pair of black pants and a skirt that can be worn day or night. I team these with two casual tops, two shirts and a couple of dressier tops for evening. This gives you 12 outfits that can easily be dressed up or down with scarves, necklaces and accessories. In summer I will add in a light dress, as it is cooler.
Some comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the city. Sandals are much cooler on hot days and you may want a pair of dressy heels for dinner in the evening.
For Ian I will pack two pair of shorts and two pair of long pants. Match these with three T shirts or polo shirts and two button up shirts, with a dressy shirt in case we go to a fancy restaurant. Once again, 12 outfits which can take you from sightseeing to dinner at the pub.
A windcheater or light jacket will ward off the chilly breeze around the harbour.
You will also need comfortable walking shoes and a pair of smart dress shoes. Many people do wear thongs (flip flops to the rest of the world) in summer, however be aware that some restaurants will expect you to wear shoes.
Heading to the beach
Pack your swimsuits in summer. Even if you are not planning to spend time on the beach, you may find you enjoy cooling off in the hotel pool on a searing hot day. If you are planning to spend time on the beaches, make sure you pack a light beach cover or shirt to protect you from the sun. A sunhat is also a must for both men and ladies.
Be aware that many clubs, pubs and restaurants will have strict dress codes. For ladies you will want a smart dress, or skirt and top with a pair of smart heels or sandals. For men you will need dress shorts or long pants, a button up shirt and closed shoes or sandals. Definitely no thongs or singlet tops. Even in the beach side cafes and restaurants, minimum dress will be shorts and T-shirts – no swimwear.
If you are planning to head out to hike in the national parks, you will need longer pants and shirts, as well as sturdy hiking shoes.
Packing for winter in Sydney
If you are visiting Sydney during winter, layers will be the key. Sydney isn’t as cold as Melbourne in the winter, however the wind off the harbour can be quite chilly. You will want warmer clothes that you can layer and put on or take off as the weather changes. Unlike summer, you will be able to get a couple of days out of one shirt.
One of my favourite pieces is this taupe jacket, which can be worn with everything in my wardrobe. I can throw it over a long sleeved T-shirt and jeans and it will also take me to dinner over a dress.
You will need three long sleeve shirts or long sleeve T shirts. These can be layered and worn under a lightweight jumper. These can be worn with two pair of jeans and a pair of smart pants. Add two dressy tops for the ladies or a two smart shirts for men to take you out for the evening.
Team these with a couple of pairs of jeans and smart pants, with a dressy top for evenings for the ladies. Men will want a couple of dressier shirts to be worn with smart pants or jeans for dinner in the evenings.
You will also need a warm coat and rainproof jacket that can live at the bottom of your daypack in case of showers. A scarf and warm hat will also help to ward off the chilly winds outside.
You can certainly pack lightly for your trip to Sydney, by planning a mix and match wardrobe that can take you effortlessly from a day’s sightseeing to dinner at one of the harbourside restaurants.
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