Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reported that 9.3 million tourists visited Hawaii in 2017, a nearly 5 percent increase from 2016. The island of Oahu had the most visitors, probably because it’s home to the iconic Waikiki beach. Hawaii is a U.S. state beyond compare. It’s approximately 2,500 miles from the mainland, although the California coastline’s shape means that San Francisco is closer to Hawaii than San Diego. The dress code in Hawaii is casual and laid-back for the most part, but you’ll definitely still need to pack a few things besides Hawaiian shirts. Here’s a primer on what you should wear on your Hawaiian vacation.
Dressing for the Weather
Before you leave for a vacation, you should always check the weather forecast. This still applies when you’re leaving for Hawaii, but the weather doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much as it does in places like New York and Chicago. Hawaii is close to the equator, so you’re going to see tropical conditions pretty much year-round. During the summer months, daytime highs are in the high 80s and they only drop down to the low 70s in the winter. There’s probably no need to bring a coat, as the lowest of the lows is somewhere around 60 degrees. There are some mountains on the Big Island that can get snow, but as long as you stick to the lower elevations, odds are, your trip to Hawaii will be packed with sunshine and warmth.
Certain times of the year see more rain than others, though. Sandals and flip flops are practically the official footwear of Hawaii, but you might want to bring slightly sturdier footwear if you visit in winter or early spring. Speaking of footwear, you should know that it’s customary to remove your shoes upon entering a Hawaiian home. What you do in your hotel room is up to you, but remove your footwear if a local invites you over for dinner. You’re not likely to see a lot of people in suits and ties in Hawaii. People know how to look professional, of course, regardless of whether they’re performing heart surgery in Kapaau or appliance repair in Honolulu, but the standards are definitely more relaxed.
Attending a Wedding in Hawaii
According to a 2015 survey from The Knot, 49 percent of couples got married 200 miles from home. So you stand a pretty good chance of getting invited to a wedding ceremony on one of the Hawaiian islands. It’s one of the best places in the world for destination weddings, and well worth the price tag that often comes with hopping on a plane to see two loved ones united in holy matrimony.
If a couple is going to travel all the way to Hawaii to be wed, there’s a good chance they’re going to hold the ceremony on the beach. That takes some pressure off the guests. When shopping for your outfit, you should look for formal dresses that are suitable for a beach party rather than a gala ball. You’d fit right in by choosing a dress that has either straps or short sleeves. If you’re feeling brave, you can even go strapless. As far as dress length goes, there’s nothing wrong with showing a little skin. If wearing a maxi skirt with a slit up the thigh makes you feel great, then go for it. With any outfit you choose, just remember that the focus should on the bride, so don’t try to outshine her.
It’s an old cliché, but you really do look good when you feel good, and it’s hard not to feel good when visiting a place as beautiful as Hawaii.