Mexico City is full of surprises. You want to make sure to pack the proper clothes so you can explore comfortably. Many people (myself included) make the mistake of assuming that Mexico City is as hot as other places in Mexico such as Baja or Tulum, but it’s not! Mexico City is actually quite cool, and that’s because it sits at a considerably high elevation of 7,350ft (2,250m).
Not only do you need to consider the climate when deciding what to wear in Mexico City, but you also need to keep safety, culture, and comfort in mind.
It may sound like a lot to consider at first, but I’ve broken everything down for you in this post. You’ll know exactly what you need to pack to dress for the weather, culture, and safety no matter what time of year you plan on visiting!
Mexico City Climate
Let me briefly touch on the climate in Mexico City so you have a general idea of what to expect depending on the time of year you visit. In Mexico City, there is a rainy and a dry season.
Summer/Rainy Season (June-October)
I associate the rainy season with the summer months and the dry season with the winter months. The rainy season is usually from May/June to October, and this is when it feels like summer. You’re almost guaranteed a heavy rain shower after 5 pm during these months. May and June are the hottest. The highs are around 79 F (26 C), and the lows are about 55 F (12 C).
Winter/Dry Season (October-May)
You can expect similar temperatures to summer during the day, but it gets chilly at night. Highs are 73 F (23 C), and lows are around 41 F (5C). You also probably won’t see a drop of rain if you come during the winter, so if you don’t want to deal with sporadic thunderstorms, coming at this time might be perfect for you. December is a very popular and beautiful time to visit Mexico City. You won’t have to avoid rain showers and the sky is its bluest during the winter months. People are often surprised at how chilly it is so make sure you keep reading to find out what to wear in Mexico City in December.
Overall, the weather in Mexico City is very mild. Temperatures are relatively similar year-round, with slight differences as the seasons change. You will find pleasant weather in Mexico City just about any time of year.
What to Wear in Mexico City in the Summer (Wet Season)
Now that you have a better idea of what Mexico City’s climate is like, let’s talk about how to dress in Mexico City for summer! You’ll definitely need an umbrella or raincoat and comfortable shoes to walk in even when the sidewalks are wet and the rain is coming down.
In Mexico City, people wear jeans year-round. It’s never really so hot that you’d be uncomfortable in long pants. I personally wear jeans almost every single day of the year. With that being said, you can totally wear shorts, dresses, or skirts. The main reason for wearing jeans over shorts is not for modesty’s sake but for comfort. I find that jeans are the best transition from day to night because it does get chilly in the city when the sun goes down. To keep cool on hotter summer days, I’ll wear a tank top or a t-shirt with jeans. I also always bring a light jacket because it usually gets a little cold in the shade or at night. Layers are key year-round.
What to Wear in Mexico City in the Winter (Dry Season)
Depending on who you are and where you’re from will influence how cold you find the winters here in Mexico City, but overall, they are relatively mild. I definitely need a proper jacket in the morning and at night as the temperatures are in 40’s or 50’s Fahrenheit (single digits or a little above in Celcius). Also, since so much of life in Mexico City is lived outdoors, it’s super important to have warm enough clothes for the amount of time you’ll spend outside at bars, restaurants, and sightseeing. Layers are essential since midday usually warms up quite nicely to the upper 60s or 70s Fahrenheit. There are clear and sunny skies almost every day in winter in Mexico City, making it a fantastic time to visit!
My wardrobe doesn’t change much between summer and winter since the weather doesn’t change drastically. I wear jeans, a warm jacket for mornings and nights, and either a short-sleeve top or sweater depending on how cold it is that day. Usually, December and January are the coldest, so if you’re wondering what to wear in Mexico City in December, you may want to pack a couple of light sweaters to wear along with a warm jacket.
Should I Dress Conservatively?
In short, no, you do not need to dress conservatively in Mexico City. However, do locals dress conservatively? Generally, yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to. Mexico City is pretty multicultural, and people are open-minded. They don’t hesitate to show off piercings, tattoos, unique hairstyles, or some skin. You might stick out a little if you want to wear shorts, skirts, dresses, or sleeveless tops, but it also depends on the neighborhood you’re in. I would just recommend not choosing anything too short or revealing if you don’t want to stand out. Err on the side of caution and cover-up if you plan to take public transport or be in crowded places like the Historic Center. Although it’s rare, verbal and physical harassment happens in Mexico City, just like in any other metropolitan city. Generally, in Mexico City, you have nothing to worry about and can wear whatever is most comfortable for you.
What to Wear to a Bar in Mexico City
Mexico City has incredible nightlife! There’s a variety of bars and clubs worth checking out if that’s your sorta thing. People here dress pretty casually, in my opinion, for a night out, but again it does depend on the neighborhood or the bar you go to. People wear more neutrals than colors and not much jewelry. Bars in the Polanco neighborhood tend to be fancier than say Roma or Condesa where the vibe is more urban and cool. Wherever you end up going, it gets chilly at night so make sure you bring a light jacket.
What to Pack for Mexico City
By now, I think you understand that Jeans are a Mexico City Staple, you can’t get more comfortable. They are perfect for the mild climate, modest enough to blend in, and a great option if you want to bike or use public transport. Jeans or long pants are essential for your Mexico City packing list.
2. T-shirts & Tanks
T-shirts can be worn year-round in Mexico City. It can get hot enough to where you might even want to have tank tops or something strapless in the summer months. It’s far more usual to see local women showing their stomachs or shoulders than their legs.
3. Dresses & Skirts
I rarely wear dresses or skirts in Mexico City, but it’s more for comfort’s sake. I just feel more comfortable showing less skin and not worrying about my dress going up. Although they can be a great option if you want to dress up a little or look cute for photos, I wouldn’t say they are necessary. If you don’t find jeans comfortable, then a dress or skirt is totally fine for Mexico City! The key here is to bring knee or ankle-length dresses or skirts and leave the shorter ones for the beach.
You will definitely need a jacket no matter what time of year you come to Mexico City. Don’t make the same mistake as I did, showing up in November and expecting to wear shorts and a t-shirt! You’ll need a light pullover for summer months and a warm jacket for winter. You probably won’t need a jacket during the day, but you’ll definitely want something to keep you warm in the mornings and at night, no matter the season.
5. Comfortable Shoes
You’ll likely do a lot of walking while you’re in Mexico City, so make sure to bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. I exclusively wear sneakers or boots because that’s what I find the most comfortable and hygienic. I prefer not to wear open-toe shoes. They are usually less supportive, and I feel like I’m more exposed to anything dirty that might be on the street. You definitely don’t want to be wearing sandals in the summer during the rainy season and have to trek through sopping wet sidewalks with your feet exposed to dirty city water.
6. Sunglasses and/or a Hat
Although Mexico City is not very hot, the sun is extremely strong, especially when you’re in parts with fewer trees and taller buildings to protect you like the Historic Center. I would recommend bringing a hat or sunglasses, so you don’t spend your whole day squinting at all of the awesome things you came here to see.
If you plan to be in Mexico during the summer, you will definitely need a raincoat or umbrella. You’re usually safe exploring in the morning and afternoon without one, but after 4 or 5 pm, make sure to have an umbrella handy. Luckily, the rainstorms don’t last for very long, but when it rains in Mexico City, it pours.
If you really like accessorizing, my only suggestion would be to keep it simple. I would not strut around the streets of Mexico with flashy gold jewelry or diamonds. One time I saw a man have his gold chain pulled right off his neck. This wasn’t in the best part of town, but still, it’s always better to be cautious. Simple gold earrings, a thin necklace, or even a gold wedding band would be a safe choice and wouldn’t draw attention.
I hope you found this post helpful and that you’re getting excited to visit Mexico City! The weather is wonderful year-round, just remember to bring an umbrella in the summer and a warm coat in the winter. Dressing in layers is key no matter the season, and you can dress as fancy or casual as you want! Mexico City is an incredible city to discover. Like any other place, it’s all the more enjoyable if you pack wisely and dress comfortably!
September 8, 2020 at 10:08 pm
Very informative and helpful tips! It is never pleasant to visit a place and not have the appropriate clothes!
July 8, 2022 at 8:37 am
Thank you so much! We are visiting our son, daughter-in-law and grandchild, who are living in Mexico City on a posting, in October – November. I really don’t want to take a suitcase of clothes I don’t wear, which can happen, or not take something essential. Despite the fact I’m no doubt old enough to be your mother, I found your advice to be spot on!! Simple but informative. So thank you very much.
July 8, 2022 at 3:08 pm
Hi Maggie, October/November is a beautiful time to visit! The weather is perfect – not too hot, but not too cold. You’re going to have an incredible time. Let me know if you have any other questions :)
July 12, 2022 at 1:15 pm
What’s the best way to carry things during the day without being a target? Fanny pack, backpack, crossbody?
July 13, 2022 at 2:05 pm
I’d recommend any type of crossbody bag. That’s what I always use! I like it because you can always see your bag (and if someone is trying to get into it) and since it’s across your body, it’s hard for someone to snatch it off you. I have a crossbody purse and a Kavu sling bag I’ll wear on my front in crowded places.
September 7, 2022 at 6:40 pm
Karen, I was just in Mexico City and I carried a crossbody. I saw most people using that style and those with backpacks put them in the front when riding the metro. I also brought a fabric shopping bag as that way I am being “green” and blending in with the locals because they too have their own shopping bag. Sling bag is an option too. Have fun!
September 8, 2022 at 2:49 am
Hi, thank you for sharing. Did you see people taking cameras? I have a small polaroid camera that I want to take, but wasn’t sure if it would be safe, etc. Again thank you for sharing and taking your time to write this blog.
September 9, 2022 at 4:45 pm
Hi Susan! I carry my camera with me when exploring Mexico City. A small polaroid camera won’t attract any unwanted attention. I’d say it’s safe to carry around and you can always tuck it away in your bag if you find yourself on a crowded street or public transport :)
October 21, 2022 at 12:00 am
Thank you for all the tips! I’m actually going for día de los nietos and was wondering if a n actual coat is needed or will my leather jacket be fine?
January 30, 2023 at 10:31 pm
Thanks very much for this info! We’re heading to Mexico City for 3 days next week. Just wondering – what do you consider a warm jacket? (I live in Canada – so a warm jacket in winter would be a parka) I a jean jacket warm enough for mornings/evenings?
February 2, 2023 at 1:19 am
If you’re from Canada, then a jean jacket and maybe some sort of sweater/long-sleeve shirt underneath would be perfect for the evening or early morning. Some days are colder than others, but with those clothing items, you should be set. Enjoy your time in Mexico City!
February 2, 2023 at 2:14 pm
February 7, 2023 at 7:25 am
Thank you for the tips! Should I consider mosquitos when preparing to pack for the warmer months? I”ll be movinf there in March and your post is very halpful!
February 9, 2023 at 5:33 pm
There are mosquitoes in Mexico City, but the only time they really bother me is inside apartments. It will depend if your apartment is near a lot of trees/vegetation and how often you keep the windows open. I always close mine before sunset as that is the time the mosquitoes come out :) Otherwise, I don’t think you’ll need to pack anything specific for mosquitoes.