Wondering what to pack for vacation? Here’s how to plan a travel capsule wardrobe for what to wear in Arizona! Affiliate links are included below.
Alex and I just got back from a little getaway to Arizona, where we toted 2 year old Larson around to Phoenix, Sedona, Tuscon, and Flagstaff! We for went the hiking, the pizza (AZ has some of the country’s best!), and time with friends and family. After we took our dream trip to Europe last summer, so many of you asked us about what I wore and what to pack! So here’s a version of my travel capsule wardrobe for what to wear in Arizona! We went in the spring so we had some varied weather in each city we visited. Links in the Packing List section below.
And now: what to wear in Arizona?
A fabulous sundress
It’s nice to have at least one fancy sundress that works for daytime and going out our the evening! You’ll find that everything I’m sharing here has multiple uses. This one is perfect with flats in the morning, and wedge heels in the evening. It’s from an ethical French company called Sézane. Their clothes are a little more expensive, but SO worth it for being really well made. And, I love the French style!
Find it: Sézane polka dot dress
A casual sundress
What to wear in Arizona? This dress. This one is the exact opposite of the dress above: it’s casual and inexpensive! This one is great because it’s so versatile: it feels like you’re wearing pajamas, but you can dress it up or down accordingly. This was perfect to wear for sightseeing, and then dress up in the evening for dinner.
Get it: Look alike Madewell yellow dress (mine is already sold out!)
A fun skirt
It’s also nice to have one versatile skirt that again–works for daytime sightseeing and evening dinner. This one is from Sézane again, the ethical French company that makes the dress above. I love the Euro flair! I’m into redish browns this season, and this mid-calf length skirt is apparently “in”.
Get it: Sézane brown skirt
Versatile tank tops
These tank tops are fantastic: you can wear them hiking with jean shorts, or dress them up with cropped pants and heels for going out. I have two: orange and gray! For going out, I paired the orange version with some reddish orange cropped pants. Finding what to wear in Arizona had me vibing on reds and oranges for the desert vibe. See below for the hiking version!
One casual and one dressy shorts
These paperbag shorts are a fun look for everyday wear that also dress up well at night. During the day with sandals, during the evening with heels. You’re probably sensing a trend here…
Get it: Boden paperbag shorts
I’ve had these jean shorts for quite a while, and they look great while hiking or for everyday wear. Here they are with the same tank as above that I wore hiking. Hiking in Sedona is all about layers, as you can see below…
Get it: Look alike Madewell jean shorts
A versatile sweatshirt
Arizona is all about temperature swings, especially in the spring when we went! Here I am hiking in Sedona; I like having a sweatshirt that works for hiking but could also be worn as everyday wear. We weren’t doing intense hiking where you’d have to be wearing activewear, so these worked perfectly.
Stylish hiking boots
As you can see above, for hiking I like a rustic style versus of activewear. These Teva hiking boots are SO comfortable and are legit hiking boots, with a stylish flair. I’ve had them for years and years, so I don’t have an exact link to them. But we found a look alike below!
Get it: Look alike Teva hiking boots
Stylish walking shoes
These are truly the best walking sandals ever. I got them for our Europe trip as a shoe that didn’t scream tourist! but could hold up to many miles per day. Alex found this brand called Naot. It’s based out of Israel and they’re all about comfort and style. Alex picked this Naot Pixie stylish wedge sandal for me, and when I put it on, it truly felt like I was walking on air! And they held up: I wore these sandals walking miles through Europe and never did my feet get tired. Some days we did 25,000 and the Naot Pixie still kept up. Since it’s a stylish walking shoe, it worked for dinner as well!
A great hat
Here is my best tip for ladies for looking good with no effort on vacation: wear a sun hat!. I know, it sounds deceptively simple. But honestly, you don’t have to do your hair, it blocks out the sun and keeps you cooler, AND it’s the perfect accessory to any outfit. Win, win, win! As you can see from these photos, I wore it just about 24/7. This covered up the days I didn’t shower! Most days I preferred to be out adventuring instead of spending time doing my hair.
Find it: Urban Outfitters Panama hat
A durable purse / bag
Another thing I wore just about every day was my purse / handbag. I’ve never been good at finding a bag I liked, but I think I finally found one in this Madewell carryall. It’s made of leather so it’s super durable, but it’s stylish at the same time. I prefer having a large bag so I can carry lots of things, and found this bag was the right size for me. I use it in everyday life not just vacation, and it truly goes with any outfit style.
Find it: Madewell Zip-Top Transport Carryall
Some online shopping tips
Now, Alex has been asked by my friends for YEARS what his tricks are for online shopping for clothes! Since I didn’t know myself, I asked Alex for his secrets to online clothes shopping. Here are Alex’s best online shopping tips for a travel wardrobe:
- Sign up for email newsletters from online stores; they’ll often email about sales as much as 40 to 60% off.
- Don’t buy too much at once, since it can be overwhelming to return things when you have a lot of pieces.
- Shop at sites that have easy returns (either free or cheap, like $5).
- When you’re browsing for clothes online, use the filter and sort features to narrow to the size and colors you’re looking for.
- Only keep things that you absolutely love and want to wear all the time. Just because it looks great, don’t keep a shirt you’ll only wear once or twice.
Some of the online clothes shopping sites we frequent are: Everlane for high quality ethically made basics, Madewell for cute and unique pieces, and Sézane for super high quality ethical French-styled clothes.
Packing List: What to Wear in Arizona
With those tips in mind, here is what to wear in Arizona in list form. Again, caveats are that this is for women only (sorry!) and summer specific. For the pieces that I had existing or were not available, we’ve provided some look alikes!
Dresses & Skirt:
Shorts & pants
- Teva hiking boots
- Naot Pixie Wedge Sandal
- Urban Outfitters Panama hat
- Madewell Zip-Top Transport Carryall
And that’s it! What to wear in Arizona.
And obviously, these suggestions work for travel to any warm weather location. Let us know if you have questions in the comments below!
More travel posts
- 3 Best Sedona Hikes
- Big Sur California
- Sonoma Wine Country
- Juneau Alaska
- Skagway & Glacier Bay Alaska
- Arches National Park
- Flagstaff Arizona
- Santorini Greece
- Amalfi Coast Italy
- Rome to Naples Italy
- Tellaro Italy
- Sibenik Croatia
- Malaga to Barcelona Spain
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.