Did you book that flight and are now wondering what to wear in Washington DC? Below is a breakdown of my DC packing guide.
DC in the early summer can be fairly unpredictable when it comes to weather. I wanted to put together a packing list that included clothes ready for the heat, rain, or cooler weather. When it comes to packing lists, I do try to be as efficient as possible by organizing the outfits by day in my carry-on.
My favorite carry-on suitcase is the Away suitcase. It’s suitable for European travel because it fits in European flight overhead compartments.
On our first day in DC, we spent the afternoon wandering around the Capitol and the National Mall. We wanted to make sure we did when it was still sunny out since rain was forecasted for the next day.
The first reservation that we had Friday night was at the Watergate Hotel’s rooftop, Top of the Gate. I opted to wear this white Zara dress. It was comfortable enough to walk around in, but dressy enough to not feel out of place at Top of the Gate, which is on the dressier side of DC rooftop bars.
And let’s not forget about the importance of shoe choices when it comes to comfortable yet cute walking shoes. DC is one of the most walkable cities in the United States. It’s one of the best ways to stumble upon monuments that you might not have added to your itinerary. I would even say that I walk more often in DC than I do when I’m in New York City.
All weekend long I lived in these P448 sneakers. I’m so over Golden Goose sneakers and wanted something a little more elevated than my On Running sneakers that I wear for working out. The bonus is that these are cheaper than Golden Goose and more comfortable in my opinion.
The weather forecast had predicted rain for Saturday and DC rain is more than just bringing an umbrella kind of rain. You get that wild sideways rain that will turn your umbrella upside down in the spring and summer. My solution to this was packing rain boots and a long raincoat.
A long raincoat is a must-have because you get less wet. If you have to sit down on a wet bench, your butt will stay dr as well!
When deciding what to wear in Washington DC, keep in mind that the weather forecast can be very inaccurate. I went out for coffee Saturday morning and it was barely drizzling (unlike the expected all-day rain showers). It was about 69 degrees out so I opted for just the rain jacket and no rain boots along with this Equipment shirt and Agolde shorts.
We went to Georgetown on Sunday and it was slightly warmer out. I made the mistake of wearing jeans – oops! Another thing to consider when deciding on what to wear in Washington DC is layering pieces. I was glad I packed a silk tank top that I could layer with. Within an hour of walking around, I was sweating enough to lose the long sleeve shirt I had layered on top.
Sunday night we were supposed to go to Le Diplomate which is SUCH a DC staple, but after a sweaty day wandering around Georgetown. With a 4 am wake-up call for the airport the next morning, we opted to eat at the hotel. I still really wanted to wear this Amanda Uprichard top, so we decided to go to the hotel rooftop for a drink. It ended up being closed, but we were out so we walked over to the Wise Guys pizza in Navy Yard. I had been dying to wear this top, so I’m glad that it made it out!
Only one outfit didn’t make the cut and it’s this Zara shorts and blazer outfit that I absolutely love. I’ve worn this outfit before so I wasn’t as excited about it as the other things I had packed. It’s such a great outfit for a date night or summer work outfit though.
It gets humid and hot in the summer with frequent rain so be sure to bring a raincoat and rainboots!
DC is more casual of a city than people might assume. Of course, there’s business professional wear everywhere during the weekdays, but outside of work hours, pretty much anything is fair game!
DC is a super walkable city so be sure to pack comfortable shoes that you have already broken in. This is not the time to wear new shoes! I recommend sneakers that you can dress up like P448, Veja, or Golden Goose!
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