Starting to get chilly in this October weather? Well, I have a fun fact for you! South Africa is actually in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that while we’re experiencing Fall and Winter in the United States, they are experiencing Spring and Summer! And how does this apply to you? It means that while you are in Cape Town in May and June, you will need to prepare to dress for their season, which is not the same as ours! Now, don’t worry. Technically, yes, it will be Winter, but their Winter is not nearly as chilly as ours. Think of it more as dressing accordingly for Fall. In this guide I’ve put together for you, I’ll show you all the tips and tricks of how to dress for the weather on your Go Global trip to Cape Town.
Must Have Item #1: Casual Day Outfit
Some days it might be warm enough to wear the summery outfit you’d be wearing if you were home in The States, but make sure you don’t rely on those shorts and tank tops. A lot of times, you can pair one with the opposite, and that happens to be perfect for the weather … like a tank top with pants, or a longsleeve with shorts. On this “Fall-feeling” day (notice all the leaves on the ground?!), I felt comfortable in jeans, Converse, a longsleeve shirt, and a cardigan to throw overtop. Pack a TON of tshirts, leggings, and shorts for casual days, but remember that sometimes you’ll need to be a little bit dressier: like this day! Bring a couple pairs of jeans, several longsleeve shirts (Pikos were great!), some cardigans, and some closed toed shoes (like Converse) that are a little dressier than tennis shoes.
To get this outfit …
Must Have Item #2: Athletic Gear for Outdoor Activities
There are endless outdoor activities that you’ll want to be prepared for on your trip to Cape Town. Let’s cover a few important points: First, the African sun is HOT. Like, really hot. It doesn’t matter if it’s “Winter,” when that sun is beaming on you, you’ll be feeling it. So, when I was hiking Table Mountain, I made sure that I had a 1. a good pair of sunglasses to keep the sun out of my eyes 2. a headband to keep the hair out of my face and off of my neck 3. LAYERS. I hiked the mountain wearing Nike shorts, a tank top, a tshirt, and a longsleeve Under Armour quarter zip. This way, if I was feeling cold (as the elevation grew), I could keep my layers on, but as I was working hard athletically and feeling that strong sunshine, I could just carry my layers with me. Of course, you’ll want a GOOD pair of tennis shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking and hiking. I love my Asics. In the picture above, I am wearing my signature “Adventure Week outfit,” yoga pants, an Under Armour longsleeve, and an Under Armour quarter zip. I was comfy and warm without ever getting too hot. Layers are key!!!
To shop for good athletic wear …
Must Have Item #3: A Going-Out Outfit
So, we’ve covered the whole “weather” thing…but have I told you how big fashion is in Cape Town? Notorious for the high-end designer shopping on Canal Walk, Cape Town is actually deemed one of the most fashion-forward cities in the world. So, when you’re dressing for a night on the town…don’t hold back! You can get away with pretty much anything. What you’ll really want to bring a LOT of are BOOTS. Perfect for nice dinners, nights on the town, wine tours…anything and everything. Riding boots, combat boots, even bring your cowboy boots if you want to. Bring wedges and heels for nicer clubs and restaurants, dresses, jackets, jeans, scarves, hats, and dressy tops.
To find some pretty dress clothes …
A few other things to keep in mind …
-You will have a laundry machine and dryer in your apartment, but you will constantly be go-go-go BUSY, and probably won’t be doing laundry as much as you normally would at home or at college. While packing a lot may seem like a hassle, you’ll want to pack more casual clothes (tshirts, shorts, leggings, under garments, socks) than you think you’ll need.
-Each year is different, but my year, there were 94 girls on the trip which drastically outnumbered the boys. The result? Endless closets to “shop” through. If you’re going to overpack in any department, don’t overpack in the dress clothes department. There will be plenty of dresses, fancy tops, and scarves that your roommates and friends will let you borrow … and borrow from you!
-Solid staples are a great idea. Bring clothes that allow you to mix and match outfits. That scarf that you wore with the striped shirt may go great with the tank top. That plain white shirt that you wore with jeans may go great with a skirt. Mix and match so that you can save room and money.
-As I mentioned in another post … your expensive jewelry needs to stay in America. You do not need it! You can look fashionable with your costume jewelry that you wouldn’t be heartbroken if you returned home without. David Yurman bracelets and Michael Kors watches need not vacation to Africa.
-An extra pair of tennis shoes is a great idea.
-A rain-jacket and rain-boots is a great idea.
For more information on what to pack…stay tuned for a complete packing list that will be published for you soon!
Any questions about what to wear in Cape Town … you know who to call!
-Anna and the Go Global team