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The beautiful archipelago of islands just off the southern tip of Florida is an island getaway some people only dream about. Warm weather year-round makes these a hot (literally) destination any time of year and may leave you wondering what to pack for the Florida Keys.
The little chain of islands on the south end of Florida are full of crystal blue waters thanks to the gulf stream, outdoor activities, and lots of booze.
If you fly into Miami, the furthest key away, Key West is a 3-3.5 hour drive. Not wanting to drive? Instead, you can hop on the booze cruise formally known as the Key West Express for a short boat ride to relaxation station American Isles. Once there it’s all Margaritaville, sunshine, and bikinis.
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In the Florida Keys, there is an “anything goes” mentality. I’m a native Conch, meaning I was born in Key West, so we could say I’m a bit of an expert on the subject. I am also a 7th generation Floridian (that’s a feat within itself) – so believe me when I say anything goes. In Key West, my parents have a friend who was pulled over on his scooter after running 27 stop signs. TWENTY-SEVEN. The cop just laughed and didn’t even issue him one ticket. Anything. Goes.
But don’t be fooled, the keys have so much more to offer than the entertainment and debauchery on Duval Street (though this is definitely worth a visit, especially during Fantasy Fest.) From fishing, snorkeling reefs, free diving, scuba diving Touchdown Jesus (read about him…he’s pretty cool), to kayaking the mangroves and hunting down lobster- there is something for everyone in the Florida Keys.
But what to wear in the Florida Keys!?!? Fret not, I am here with your fashion guide for the Florida Keys- from a local.
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Less is More in the Florida Keys
In a place that boasts a naked bar (yep…naked people- usually old- partying it up)- the Keys are a place where less is more. Break out all your crop tops and booty shorts, because now is the time to wear them. Not only in the summer will it be 98 degrees F outside, but there will also be at least 80% humidity. Those hideous Hawaiian shirts your boyfriend has been hoarding in his closet since that Frat Party in ’09? You know… the ones he keeps swearing will come back in style one day? Break ’em out sister – one for you to tie up in cute crop top style, and one for him to wear – buttons undone. Grab the tequila and you are in Margaritaville, baby!
Here is a List Clothing of Items that look and pack great for the Florida Keys!
I use H&M, Romwe or Shein to purchase cheap adorable sundresses. When you’re boozing and boating you don’t want to be worried about ruining designer wear, so both of these brands are perfect! Saved by the Dress is another great online boutique!
Tiered Dress – $29
Cute Tie Strap Sundress – $12
2 Piece Sets
2 piece sets are a perfect addition to your packing list for the keys. They look great out at dinner and remain comfortable on hot days.
Tropical 2 Piece Set – $38
A couple of pairs of cute linen shorts will go a long way in the keys! Be sure to pack a few for your Florida Keys vacation to head down to the pool, heading to the supermarket, or just lounging around!
Belted Linen Shorts – $9 – Come in 4 Colors
Fun Crop Tops
Cute crop tops with a pair of denim or linen shorts make a perfect summery outfit for the Florida Keys!
Cute White Tie Crop Top – $29
Ribbed Crop Top – $10
Maxi dresses are the perfect way to look and stay cool on a trip to the Florida Keys!
What Shoes to Pack for the Florida Keys?
Simple Sandals or Flip Flops (Must Be Good with Water!)
Reef makes really cute sandals and flip flops that are very comfortable and great in the water!! You will want these when you are walking down to the beach or pool!
Water Shoes/Walking Shoes
If you are going kayaking, snorkeling or doing any water activity that involves getting in and out of the water, you’re going to want water shoes. Not only will they make your life easier when it comes to snorkeling and kayaking than wearing a pair of flip flops, but they will protect your feet from things like sea urchins. I always opt for a great pair of Teva sandals to wear when I am participating in water activities!
Nice Sandals for Dinner / A Day in Key West
Of course my favorite and ALL-TIME BEST SANDAL EVER – Birdies!! These are literally my favorite shoes, and I wear them everywhere! You will never go wrong with a pair of birdies. Fashionable, seven layers of memory foam comfort, and all the arch support you could ask for. SERIOUSLY – how cute are these pink and orange sandals for a day roaming around Key West?!
Bikinis Bikinis Bikinis – All You Really Need to Pack for the Florida Keys
If you live somewhere you will get a lot of use out of your bikini, or you travel a ton and want a great reversible bikini to mix and match and last you forever, head over to Whiskini Bikinis… a local Florida company based out of the town I grew up in, Saint Augustine. Sarah Harmon, the owner sends her bikinis all over the world to professional surfers, swimmers, and influencers, and they are of the highest quality. They are all customizable, reversible, and sized EXACTLY to you, so you KNOW they are going to fit.
Sometimes orders can take a while to turn around during the busy season- so make sure to get your order in early!! At a totally reasonable price, these ‘kinis will last you forever, and it’s like a 2- in- 1 with every piece you buy!
Plus, when you head over to the website, you may just see me on the front page! Guys, I don’t even get affiliate marketing from Whiskini, I just really stan the product. That is love y’all.
Cupshe & LuLus
Two other brands I really love that aren’t going to cost nearly as much as Whiskini are Cupshe & LuLus. Both make really trendy and cute bathing suits. Be sure to check them out before you head to the keys!
BLOCK THE RAYS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
Catching Rays is all the rave down in the keys, I mean duh- you’re on an island…but what products to use? I am here to tell you exactly what I use to save my acne prone skin and get glowing golden tones. (Please, if you are white as paper, use the highest SPF possible….always protect your skin first and foremost, then add what I have going on here for a little extra glow.)
Get that sexy oiled up sheen and soak up the rays with this amazing tanning oil! Smells good and looks good! Be warned… you WILL become your own oil slick.
Amazon – $13.99
Neutrogena Sport Face Sunblock Lotion
As someone who has always been highly prone to acne, this is the only sunblock I will put on my face. It never lets my face burn, I don’t break out, and I rarely have to reapply. I put it on before I do my makeup when I go to work, and it lasts me all day. Worth the investment. At $13.49, is it really an investment? Yes. Save. Your. Face.
Amazon – $13.49
No trip is complete without some headgear. Get a few cute hats to help keep your face out of the sun during your relaxation time!
Or go for a more “resort” look and go for an adorable wide-brimmed hat.
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