Do my summer clothes fly in Arizona in October?
October 1, 2022 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Ohio girl here, traveling to Tucson and Phoenix next week, looking for wardrobe advice. Specifically, how do the locals dress for fall without roasting in "traditional" October garb, i.e., sweaters and heavier fabrics? White clothes and sandals don't feel right to me, but I want to know what to wear instead. In addition to hiking and visiting tourist attractions during the day, I will be dining out and attending a family reunion. So wardrobe range is from casual/outdoorsy to dressy casual.

I understand layers, day-to-night temp swings, and so forth. I'm more looking for guidance on whether my "Ohio summer" wardrobe of white and light colors, light fabrics, sandals, tank tops will be appropriate or will make me look out of place. And if out of place, what do people wear instead?
posted by mama penguin to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
Just wear your summer clothes and jeans. Bring a light sweater / cardigan for the air conditioning here. As long as you are in southern AZ, that is the year-round uniform. Make sure you put tweezers in your hiking/hydration pack for the inevitable cactus spines. Closed toe shoes for hiking.
posted by chuke at 8:33 AM on October 1, 2022 [8 favorites]

(Not sure if this applies for Tucson and Phoenix but if you’re an area with “red rocks” that dust stains!)
posted by raccoon409 at 8:53 AM on October 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: yes, just pay attention to the thermometer and not the calendar; you won't look out of place. as a recent transplant, i also found it really weird and jarring to be wearing "summer clothes" most of the year and had trouble believing it, but you will be unhappy in anything else through october (and you will look out of place in sweaters until it gets appropriately chilly for approximately two weeks around Xmas, or unless you're under AC). (once i wrapped my brain around it, i now love it. flip flops at the company christmas party!!!) also, be sure to think more about sun protection than you might be used to in an ohio summer - i.e., sunglasses, hats, sunshirts are needed here more than at similar temps elsewhere. always pick the table in shade; always aim to rest in the shade vs sunny spot, even if you're not that hot.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:52 AM on October 1, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Dress codes tend to be pretty relaxed here; at any fancy restaurant or event you’ll see everything from jeans to suits, but tending towards casual. And we’ll still be wearing our “summer” wardrobes for at least another month, it’s just barely getting cool enough at night for light sweaters. You will fit in perfectly & be most comfortable in light colors and cool fabrics!
posted by tinymojo at 11:19 AM on October 1, 2022

I usually spend the first 3 weeks of November in Tucson. It's still often HOT during the day and you might need a sweater at night but it's usually just pleasant. I bring my coolest summer clothes plus a pair of jeans and a long sleeved but light shirt for the sun, not the temperature. It is unbelievably dry there, I'm from Denver where it's really dry but Tucson is a whole new level. Bring lotion, good sunscreen and bug spray for mosquitoes if those little bastards bother you. Try an Eegees, you'll see them everywhere, just the drink, not the food. They're like a slushy but with real fruit. You can mix the flavors, my favorite is strawberry lemonade.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:01 PM on October 1, 2022

Check the 10 day weather report and pack accordingly.
posted by brujita at 3:48 PM on October 1, 2022

Best answer: Having grown up in the west I want you to know I am startled at the implication that a "summer wardrobe" is meaningful at all! Wear what's appropriate for the weather, and if that means you wear the same clothes all year and just wear long sleeves or a jacket when it's chilly, well, you'll look like a local.
posted by Lady Li at 10:57 PM on October 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

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