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What to Wear for a Spring Trip to Cape Town

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Got a spring trip planned to Cape Town, South Africa? Cape Town can be fun to visit in the spring, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is mild and dry, with temperatures averaging around 69°F (that's 21°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

To make the most of your trip to Cape Town, a good rule of thumb is to pack comfortable clothing that you can layer. Loose-fitting clothing in breathable fabrics will keep you cool in warmer weather, while a light jacket or cardigan will come in handy for cooler days or evenings. And if you plan on doing any sightseeing, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Nothing like a nasty blister to ruin a good vacation, right?

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Cape Town in spring—whether you're exploring the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, visiting Boulders Beach to see the penguins, hiking in Table Mountain National Park, or going on a wine tour.

Editor's note: Cape Town is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means the spring months are from September to November. If you're going to Cape Town during the March to May period, you'll want to check out my fall guide instead.

What to wear for a spring trip to Cape Town

What should women wear in Cape Town in spring?

Cape Town in spring is generally mild, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: comfortable flats or loafers, cardigans, jeans, stylish hat, and denim jacket. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Cape Town has to offer.

Comfortable flats or loafers

Packing the right shoes for Cape Town can make the difference between a comfortable trip and a difficult one. While there are many factors to consider when packing your shoes, comfort is always the most important. Flats or loafers are a great option for travel, as they can be easily slipped on and off at security checkpoints and are generally super comfortable to walk in.

These would be perfect:


A cardigan is the perfect piece of clothing to pack for a trip to Cape Town in spring. They are lightweight, versatile, and easy to care for. Cardigans can be dressed up or down, and they work well in both warm and cool weather. When choosing a cardigan for travel, natural fibers such as cotton or wool are great (though synthetic equivalents can work well too). You mostly just want to look for fabric that breathes well so it will keep you comfortable in all types of weather.

Need some inspiration? Start here:


You just cannot go wrong with a good pair of jeans. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to care for—not to mention they always look great. Whatever you're doing in Cape Town, jeans will always come in handy. Of course, not all jeans are created equal. Be sure to choose a pair that's comfortable and flattering. If you'll be doing a lot of walking, look for a light-weight denim that won't weigh you down. And if you're hoping to dress up for a nice dinner out, a dark wash denim will always do the trick.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Stylish hat

A good hat can be the difference between a great Cape Town trip and a terrible one. Not only do hats help you look your best in photos, but they also make you feel more confident and put-together as you explore, adding a touch of style to any outfit. To choose the right hat, consider both function and fashion. A wide-brimmed straw hat is perfect for protecting your face from the sun (a good idea in all weather!) while a trilby is ideal for nights out on the town. No matter what your plans are in Cape Town, just know there's a hat for the occasion.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:

Denim jacket

A denim jacket is great to have in Cape Town. They are stylish and can be dressed up or down, making them perfect for any occasion. Denim jackets are also very versatile. They can be worn over a dress for a night out or with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual day exploring. Best of all, denim jackets are lightweight and easy to pack, making them ideal for travel. When choosing a denim jacket for Cape Town, look for one that is comfortable and flattering. A classic denim jacket will never go out of style and can be worn year after year. For a more unique look, try a distressed denim jacket or one with embellishments such as embroidery or beads.

These would be perfect:

What should men wear in Cape Town in spring?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts, sneakers or loafers, sweaters, and light jacket. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Cape Town in comfort and style.

Lightweight pants

If you're planning a trip to Cape Town that involves any sort of physical activity—hiking, climbing, biking, etc.—you'll want to pack a pair or two of lightweight pants. They're much more comfortable than jeans or khakis when you're sweating, and they'll dry much faster if you get caught in a rain shower. You can also roll them up and stuff them into your backpack or suitcase without taking up too much space.

Need some inspiration? Start here:

Long-sleeved shirts

Long-sleeved shirts are an essential part of any travel wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down, and they offer sun protection on bright days. When choosing a long-sleeved shirt for Cape Town, it's important to look for one that is comfortable and breathable. A lightweight cotton shirt is a good option, as it will keep you cool in warm weather and can be layered under a sweater or jacket when the temperature drops. It's also a good idea to choose a shirt in a neutral color that can be easily paired with other items in your suitcase.

Here are some options I'd recommend:

Sneakers or loafers

Sneakers or loafers are essential for visiting Cape Town. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to pack. And, when you're on your feet all day, they can help prevent aches and pains. But how do you know which sneakers or loafers to pack? If you'll be doing a lot of walking, opt for a sneaker with good arch support and cushioning. And don't forget style! Sneakers and loafers come in countless colors and designs, so pick something that goes with the rest of your outfits.

Don't have anything suitable? Grab one of these:


Sweaters are super versatile and can be dressed up or down, making them ideal for both day and evening wear in Cape Town. They also take up less space than other types of warm clothing, so you can pack more sweaters into your suitcase without sacrificing style. When choosing sweaters for travel, look for ones that are made of wrinkle-resistant fabric, such as Merino wool or cashmere. These materials will help to keep you warm without adding bulk.

I found these which would all work great:

Light jacket

A light jacket is always a good idea to pack for Cape Town, even if the weather is forecast to be warm. You never know when the weather will change or you'll end up in an air-conditioned place. They're also useful for protection from the sun and wind. And of course, it can get chilly in the evenings. But not all light jackets are created equal. For example, denim jackets are great for everyday wear but they're not always packable because they can be bulky. A better option is something like a nylon windbreaker which can be rolled up into a small bundle.

Here are some options I'd recommend:


Is spring a good time to go to Cape Town, South Africa?

Spring is a great time to visit Cape Town! The weather is warm and sunny, and the city is less crowded than during peak tourist season.

How do people typically dress in Cape Town, South Africa in spring?

People in Cape Town typically dress in light, summery clothing during the spring. This includes items such as shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses.

What should you NOT wear in Cape Town, South Africa in spring?

There are no specific restrictions on what you should wear in Cape Town. It's fine to dress casually when out and about, although it's still important to be respectful of cultural norms—especially when visiting sites of historical or religious significance. Some places may have their own dress code, so be sure to follow any local guidelines.

I hope these recommendations for what to wear in Cape Town will help make your spring visit unforgettable. Now that you have a better idea of what clothing to take, it's time to pack your suitcase—and then go ahead and enjoy everything Cape Town has to offer!