What to Wear in Brisbane

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • As one of the world’s fastest growing cities, you may expect Brisbane to be vibrant, buzzy and full of energy, and you would be right. This is a really friendly, cosmopolitan city. Laid out on a grid system, it’s really quick & easy to navigate, but if you do find yourself in need of any advice, people are only too happy to help you.
  • There are coffee shops all over the city and they are extremely well used... the professionals of Brisbane absolutely love their coffee!! Whatever time of the day you venture in, you’ll notice groups of people sitting chatting and relaxing outside cafés. And much business is done this way too. People here are very keen to do a good job, but certainly don’t ‘live to work’. Living each day and really enjoying it is a way of life here. It’s very refreshing.
  • As far as clothing is concerned, really anything goes.
  • Friday night is party night! From lunchtime onwards the city bars and restaurants start to fill up and if you haven’t made a reservation from 4pm onwards, forget it! If you work in the City, you go out straight from there and if you don’t, the ferrys and CityCats are full of people dressed for a fun night out. It’s pretty special.
  • People take their fitness very seriously here. There are runners and cyclists wherever you turn and much of the pedestrian areas are built with this in mind – walkways are designated as ‘shared’ and marked out so that runners and walkers don’t collide with an unexpected bike hurtling in the opposite direction. And that means you’ll see fitness clothing wherever you go too. Bars and restaurants are very chilled out and completely accepting of you turning up this casual (whether you’ve been for ‘that’ run or not!!)
  • If you're going to be spending time in central Brisbane in the winter (June, July and August) and want to blend in, stick with black.
  • On the coast... well, you’re at the beach, after all, so pretty much anything goes.
  • During the day, everyone’s really casual and that counts for most of the places you’ll frequent in the evenings too - particularly those with a beachfront outlook.
  • The outback... it’s no joke that Australia has the most deadly reptiles and spiders on the planet, so whenever you’re anywhere remotely off track, cover up and keep your eyes open too. Aside from that, there are many pesky insects only too willing to bite whatever flesh is out on show. And don’t forget to pack antihistamines, bite & sting relief cream and insect/mosquito repellent.
  • If you plan to go bush walking through the National Parks take a sturdy pair of comfortable walking shoes.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat.
  • Also see What to Wear in Australia

Clothing Tips for Women

  • In the centre of the City, most of the employment is corporate or professional, so smart clothing is the order of the day. A dress, skirt or pants are all acceptable for ladies. And many opt for high heels too (although they walk in flats and change at work).
  • When it comes to going out partying or socialising, ladies really do make an effort here.
  • Black is a really popular color in winter - particularly ladies - top to toe, with an accent color coming from a loosely tied scarf (because it's genuinely chilly morning and evening at this time of year) or handbag. Scarves are really popular here, with both men and women. And any style goes.
  • It’s worth bearing in mind though that there are some pretty up-market places too (particularly in Noosa & on The Gold Coast), so sticking the dress you love, sparkly sandals (flats or heels) and that gorgeous, but hardly ever used, tiny (and pretty useless, if we’re totally honest!) handbag you’ve had just sitting waiting for an ideal occasion into your luggage would be a great idea.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • In the centre of the City, most of the employment is corporate or professional, so a smart suit  is the order of the day.
  • Just to be clear, when we say suits for the guys, it’s really only the bottom half that’s required! Temperatures are so balmy here that it’s totally the norm for men to wear a smart pair of pants and shirt. You may want to have the jacket available if you have an important meeting or an interview – in an air conditioned office of course – but ties and jackets are certainly not a routine feature here.
  • In the winter scarves are really popular here with men.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • Bear in mind too that as a sub-tropical climate, you need to be prepared to deal with unexpected and torrential showers at very short notice, so keeping a small umbrella secreted about your person at all times is a very good idea!
  • And if you’re traveling to anywhere in Queensland in December, January or February, expect some pretty extreme humidity. Ladies, have a plan B for your hair! Either use plenty of smoothing product in it or have an ‘up’ style in mind. Wearing natural fabrics is the most comfortable you’ll be at this time of year.
  • June, July and August is winter so pop a long sleeved shirt or sweater in for the evenings as it is cooler at around 12/13C.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.