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What to Wear in Honolulu, Hawaii: A Detailed Guide

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Got a trip planned to Honolulu, HI? Honolulu can be fun to visit any time of year, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is hot and very humid year-round, with temperatures averaging around 83°F (that's 28°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

To stay cool in the heat, it's important to wear light and airy clothing. Cotton, linen, and technical fabrics are all good choices. And don't forget to pack a pair of sandals or lightweight sneakers. With a comfortable pair of shoes, you'll be able to explore everything Honolulu has to offer without foot fatigue.

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Honolulu—whether you're going to the beach, hiking to Diamond Head, visiting Pearl Harbor, or attending a luau.

Editor's note: Honolulu, Hawaii is in the tropics, which means seasons like summer, winter, spring, and fall don't apply. Most tropical destinations do have a wet and a dry season, but temperatures are typically warm year round.

What to wear for a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii

What should women wear in Honolulu, Hawaii?

Honolulu is generally hot, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: lightweight pants, beach coverup, long-sleeved shirts, shorts, and comfortable flats or loafers. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Honolulu has to offer.

Lightweight pants

If you're planning a trip to Honolulu 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.

These options are both stylish and comfy:

Beach coverup

A beach coverup is a must-have for any trip to Honolulu. There are several reasons to pack a coverup, including sun protection and modesty. First things first, a beach coverup can help keep you from getting sunburned, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. Coverups can also be useful for hiding swimsuits that may be too revealing or that you simply don't feel comfortable wearing in public. When choosing a beach coverup, it's important to pick one that is comfortable and that fits well. You'll also want to consider the material—something light and airy is ideal for hot days.

This is the kind of thing I mean:

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 Honolulu, 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.

These would be perfect:


Shorts are one of the most versatile and essential items in any travel wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, and they're perfect for dealing with hot weather. Plus, they're easy to pack and don't take up much space in your suitcase. Just make sure to pack a few different colors and styles so you'll have something to wear for different occasions.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Comfortable flats or loafers

Packing the right shoes for Honolulu 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.

I found these which would all work great:

What should men wear in Honolulu, Hawaii?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: linen trousers, button-down shirts or polos, lightweight comfortable shoes, upf 50+ sun protective clothing, and shorts. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Honolulu in comfort and style.

Linen trousers

Linen trousers might just be the perfect staple for a warm-weather vacation. You already know they are made from a light, breathable fabric. Plus, they can be paired with a variety of tops to create both casual and dressy looks. When choosing linen trousers, it's important to look for a pair that fits well and complements your overall look. This will help you feel your best when exploring Honolulu (and taking all those vacation photos).

Need some inspiration? Start here:

Button-down shirts or polos

Button-down shirts or polos are always a good idea to pack. They don't wrinkle easily and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They're also perfect for layering when the weather gets cooler at night. Pick ones that are comfortable and breathable, and ideally lightweight too. It's also a good idea to choose neutral colors like white, black, or blue as they can be easily teamed with other pieces in your wardrobe.

Here are some options I'd recommend:

Lightweight comfortable shoes

Traveling can be tough on your feet. You're constantly on the move, walking through airports and down crowded streets. And even if you're just sitting on a plane or in a car, your feet can start to swell after hours of being confined in one position. That's why it's important to pack comfortable, lightweight shoes that won't add too much weight to your luggage. But how do you know which shoes are right for Honolulu? Look for ones made from breathable materials like mesh or canvas. They should also have good arch support and a cushioned sole to help reduce fatigue.

Here are a few of my top picks:

UPF 50+ sun protective clothing

If there was just one thing I could pack for a sunny trip away, it would be UPF 50+ sun protective clothing. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. It's essentially clothing specially designed to protect your skin from the sun, which is important because UV rays can be incredibly damaging to your skin—especially if you're going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. UPF 50+ clothing helps to block out the sun's rays, just by you wearing it! Look for items that are loose-fitting and made from breathable fabrics, and you'll also want to make sure that the clothes you choose have a light color, as this will help to keep you cool too. With UPF 50+ sun protective clothing, you can enjoy your time in the sun without having to worry about damaging your skin.

Here are some of my favorites:


Shorts are one of the most versatile and essential items in any travel wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, and they're perfect for dealing with hot weather. Plus, they're easy to pack and don't take up much space in your suitcase. Just make sure to pack a few different colors and styles so you'll have something to wear for different occasions.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:


When is the best time to go to Honolulu, HI?

The best time to go to Honolulu is during the country's dry season, which runs from roughly October to March. During this period, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it ideal for exploring everything Honolulu has to offer. That said, you can often avoid the crowds and find a great bargain on hotels and airfares outside of the peak season—the only real downside is getting caught in the occasional monsoon downpour.

How do people typically dress in Honolulu, HI?

The typical dress in Honolulu is casual and comfortable. You will see light, airy clothing everywhere thanks to the heat and humidity. Many people wear shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. Local fashions often include brightly colored clothing and sometimes also beachwear.

What should you NOT wear in Honolulu, HI?

There are no specific restrictions on what you should wear in Honolulu. 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 Honolulu, Hawaii will help make your 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 Honolulu has to offer!