One of the keys to packing efficiently is to be fully clued up on the local weather and style of your destination.
Sydney has a relaxed vibe that translates into a casual, beachside aesthetic whether it’s summer or winter. Indeed you’re likely to see people wearing thongs (flip-flops) in the middle of winter!
I would always recommend choosing comfort over style when packing for a holiday, but this is especially true when considering what to wear in Sydney. From a formality point of view you can pretty much wear anything anywhere. Although most will dress up a little to see a show at the Opera House or dine at a top restaurant, you will not be particularly out of place in jeans and a t-shirt.
Boden Australia has kindly helped me out with clothes for this article to give you lots of ideas for what to pack for Sydney. Boden UK was founded in 1991 and is legendary for providing fabulous quality clothes online for the whole family. They launched into Australia back in 2014.
I love them because their clothes are classic but not boring. They steer clear of fashion, but rather produce beautiful, colourful and patterned items that will look wonderful and last for years.
For kids I particularly love their unique applique and printed tops for boys and their quirky long sleeve applique and printed dresses for girls.
What to wear in Sydney
Winter – June, July & August
Sydney does do winter, but it’s very mild. The average daytime temperature is 17˚c and nighttime is 9˚c – a good few degrees above Melbourne. It’s also relatively dry, so you don’t tend to get the cold and miserable winter weather that Melbourne can get. You’re more likely to experience clear blue skies with the occasional downpour of rain.
What to wear
As long as you’ve got a couple of layers on, with long sleeves and legs covered, then you’re likely to be warm enough. There’s no need for a heavy winter coat, you’ll get too hot. Woollen jumpers are ok for outside, but you’ll probably need to take them off inside. Most people wear a denim jacket, jumper or anorak over a long sleeved top. A warm scarf is enough to add if you’re out and about early or late in the day.
Sydney has a casual style, so a safe bet is jeans, ankle boots or sneakers, a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt or light jumper with an anorak or jacket over the top. A tunic and leggings combo is also ideal, or a dress and tights for a smarter look.
Kids will need their legs covered and a jacket or hoodie that they can easily take off if they get hot. Mind you, I’m sure my son would wear shorts all year if I let him!
5 winter outfits
Boden does some fabulous winter dresses. Maybe it’s due to England’s mostly cool weather, but they really excel at adding colour and print to classic cuts to have you looking great as well as feeling cosy.
Outfits 4 and 5 below are perfect casual and comfortable looks for busy days, while the stretchy dresses in outfits 1 and 2 are an ideal way to look a bit smarter while still being practical. For a versatile option, a woven dress like the one in outfit 3 can be dressed down with a jumper over the top for day or worn on its own for evening.
With an average daytime temperature of 22˚c, jeans and a t-shirt will be fine for during the day, but you might need a jacket for early mornings or late evenings. You will most likely need either your legs or arms covered, but not both. So a jacket over a stretchy dress is also a great option. Woollen tights will feel too warm, but cotton leggings definitely still work.
Summer – December, January & February
The big difference between Melbourne and Sydney in summer is the humidity. My goodness it killed me when we first moved up here. I’d start sweating as soon as I stepped out the door on my way to work! These days I’ve acclimatised, but visitors from down south will definitely notice the difference.
The average daytime temperature is 26˚c and nighttime is 19˚c. So it doesn’t cool down too much at night. And, while the daytime average is about the same as Melbourne, Sydney doesn’t get the extremes. It rarely goes above 35˚c here, but it tends to feel hotter than the temperature indicates due to the humidity. The weather can be quite stable, although that can equally mean a week of fine, warm weather as a week of constant rain!
What to wear
A light summer dress with sandals is all you will need, even first thing in the morning. Maxi dresses are very popular in Sydney, especially anywhere near a beach, and are typically worn with thongs or flat sandals.
Kids will be set for a day out in a dress or t-shirt and shorts.
5 summer outfits
Boden is particularly awesome because they stock clothes to suit all seasons all year round. At the moment they tend towards winter gear, but there’s still summer dresses, bathers and sandals available, particularly if you check the clearance section. This type of store is ideal for when you need to shop for a destination with different weather to home.
Outfits 3 and 5 are very Sydney and particularly perfect for a day at the beach, while a t-shirt and shorts or skirt like outfit 1 or a stretchy dress like outfit 4 will have you ready to hit the city sights. A woven dress like outfit 2 can be worn with flat sandals for day or night.
Similar to autumn, spring has an average daytime temperature of 23˚c. Pop a jacket or leggings over a dress, or play it safe with jeans and a t-shirt.
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For more outfit inspiration try –
- Minimalist travel wardrobe | Travelling light on trial
- Ankle boots | Smart and stylish for travel
- What to pack for Hawaii
Disclosure: Many thanks to Boden Australia for gifting me with the fabulous items featured in the photos. This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links then I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.