Jacksonville is one of the biggest cities in the South. Geographically it is very spread out and while it is on the ocean, one may drive more than a half hour to get from one point in Jacksonville to the beach. Because of this it is not the typical beach town. In fact the city is becoming more and more of a study in contrasts, as there are many different styles and influences in this Northeast Florida city. Big business, a busy downtown, a relaxed beach environment, a small town feel in certain areas, an inner city and wealthy neighborhoods all combine to make up the diversity there.
Where you are in the city and what you are doing will have a huge influence on what you wear in Jacksonville. However one thing is the same citywide. The number one rule of dressing in Jacksonville is layering. Regardless of the season or the occasion, it is important to layer or at least bring an extra layer of clothes with you. In winter, toasty warm days lead to evenings that demand a coat. Brisk winter mornings lead to warm midday sunshine that leaves you too hot if you are wearing the same thing you started the day with. Even in summer, it is important to bring something long-sleeved with you any time you will be inside for an extended period of time because many places have air conditioners running at full capacity when it’s hot outside.
For most of the year, Jacksonville is hot and humid. Therefore your wardrobe should be made up of lightweight fabrics. Even if you are choosing business wear, there are always lightweight options available. It’ll make for much more comfortable days. If you plan to be outside, consider opting for light colored clothes also. It’ll attract less heat than black or other dark colors.
In Jacksonville, winter is short and greatly resembles Indian Summer, for those who are not lucky enough to live in a snow-free zone. You will need a light jacket for a few winter days and for most winter evenings. However, for much of the winter, long sleeved shirts and long pants will keep you comfortably warm. Heavy jackets and winter boots are never needed, much to the pleasure of those who have moved to Jacksonville from colder climates.
For a casual look, shorts and capris are always a hit. You’ll be comfortable in the heat wearing either. In fact, a dressy pair of capris can take you almost anywhere: out to dinner, to work, to church or on a date. When it comes to shorts, where you are going will determine the shorts you wear. Short shorts are great for the beach and some of the open air Jacksonville nightspots, however they are not appropriate for most other places. Long shorts like Bermudas or cargo shorts are much more versatile and can be seen in almost all locales. However, a good portion of businesses still have a no shorts at work rule.
Jacksonville is a very outdoorsy city, with a multitude of parks and beaches that are perfect for playing outside. Casual clothing and lightweight sports clothes are the items of choice for a day outside. In fact, the city overall has a very laid back feeling. Certain restaurants, churches and special events like weddings and charity fundraisers tend to call for dressy outfits, but in most neighborhoods on most days, fashion is very relaxed.
Pretty much anything goes for Jacksonville outfits, as long as it’s not too heavy. Remember that sweater and you’ll be ready for just about anything.