Dressing for a Disney Summer: How to Stay Fabulous in Florida’s Hottest Months

As you may have guessed, the Fancy Floridian is…. from Florida. So, as a Floridian, I feel obligated to apologize for Orlando summer weather. From the months of May to October, it’s miserable outside. Just expect it to feel like 105 degrees all day and then have a thunderstorm at 3pm.

Every. Day.

Sometimes you get caught in a thunderstorm while on Slinky Dog Dash and really wish you had worn a quicker-drying fabric!  

The true Floridian response to summer weather is to just avoid it. Some of us go north for the summer to places that don’t feel like they were built on a swamp. My family just stayed indoors, shuffling from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned movie theaters. We didn’t even do the beach in the summers! 

But the one place that will draw me out of my 73-degree bubble during the summer months is Disney World, where one must spend a great deal of time outdoors. And as a FashionEarsta, I firmly believe that it is possible to look fabulous even in 98 percent humidity. But it does take a little more work than it does to look fabulous during the winter months.  

There are plenty of other amazing blog posts about dressing for Disney summers, but if you–like me–are metaphorically allergic to the idea of carrying around a neck towel or wearing clothing described as “dry fit” or “great for hiking,” here are a few of my best-kept secrets for surviving Disney Summers while looking fabulous. 

Made for the Pool = Great for Disney 

Aside from the aforementioned daily thunderstorms, summer Disney also has a sweat problem.

Some humans glisten when it’s hot out. They sparkle or shed pixie dust. I am not those humans. I sweat. So, if you’re looking for breathable but fashionable outfits, let me direct you to an underutilized resource: swimsuit coverups. They’ve come a long way since the days of mumus and sarongs, I promise! And these outfits (usually dresses) are made to breathe freely and dry quickly without making you look like a middle school track coach! 

My favorite dress for my Cinderella DisneyBound isn’t a dress at all: it’s a coverup! It’s floaty and made of light fabric; perfect for a Disney summer!

This particular beach dress from Cupshe is out of stock, but there are plenty of other cute options out there! 

Summer Isn’t T-shirt Time! 

This is going to seem counterintuitive since cute graphic t-shirts are usually the bread-and-butter of a summer wardrobe, but wearing a 100% cotton t-shirt to Disney World right now is asking for sweat stains. I’ve done it – learn from me. That material just isn’t going to keep you dry and cool like synthetics will (and once it gets wet, it stays wet!)  

Instead, consider getting creative by showcasing your Disney style in fabrics that are already designed for sports. The popularity of RunDisney and Disney Cheerleading means that there are tons of designs out there that perform like athletic gear without necessarily looking like athletic gear.  

One of my favorite examples of this is Crowned Athletics, a small business that is extremely popular with Disney runners! They have a range of tank tops (both form-fitting and flowy) that are Disney inspired! 

I see people in running apparel at the parks all the time! The last time I was in Magic Kingdom I saw another guest wearing this Aurora-inspired top by Crowned Athletics and shouted “I LOVE CROWNED ATHLETICS” at her from 6 feet away. Then we did the Spiderman-pointing-meme-thing at each other for a while and now we are in a facebook group for Disney runners together. FATE! 

Game recognize game

Fans for Life 

Many Disney veterans swear by clip-on neck fans, but I honestly just don’t like the way they look. I have a basic hand fan that I bought at Animal Kingdom in 2016 that comes on every Disney trip with me. It was cheap and is the perfect size to fit in a Loungefly Mini-Backpack! 

Hand fans are also great for adding a little dapper flair to a vintage outfit!

Right now, hand fans have the fabulous double-purpose of being social distancing aids! Things, especially in ride queues at Disney are well-marked and distanced, but there are still moments when someone is distracted by their phone and inching into your six-foot radius. If you have a fan in hand, it is easy to snap it open and wave it in their general direction, which has been effective for me about 80% of the time.  

Pay tribute to our favorite mermaid with a fabulous fan like this one from 28 Magic Fans 

Or you could, you know, just use it to keep yourself cool.  

Next Level: Personal Cooling Devices 

So, in the interest of science, I bought something that was marketed as a “personal air conditioner” to see if it might make Florida a bit more bearable. Because this model from Sony is only available in Japan, I bought it from a mildly-sketchy dude through Instagram Direct Message. Miraculously, it arrived and worked.  

The Reon Pocket, photo from TheVerge 

Yes, I did need to convince my iPhone that I live in Osaka, Japan and use google translate to figure out how to turn the device on with its app. Yes, I still get notifications in Japanese on my phone because I can’t figure out how to switch it back. BUT the Reon Pocket, which you stick to your back underneath your clothing, is discrete and feels like you’re holding a cold water bottle against the back of your neck all day. Last trip I wore it in a pocket of a special dry-wicking undershirt, which I didn’t love, so I’ve now rigged it to attach to my clothes using Command hooks and hairpins! 

I loved everything about this wearable AC except the undershirt it came with, which threw off the groove of my EPCOT jump shots 

If you’re less adventurous and prefer to source your wearables from actual websites instead of guys on Instagram, the Embr Wave is designed with similar technology and, as a bracelet, is probably a bit easier to wear.           

Just don’t try to scan the Embr instead of your Magic Band!

Hairspray: It’s not just for Hair

And, finally: how do you keep your makeup from melting off in the summer humidity? There’s little worse than realizing that your last twelve photos have been ruined by running mascara!

Here’s a little secret from a circus performer: hairspray. Once you’re happy with your look, just close your eyes and spray your face with it. Then spray your hair again, because it’s not going to hurt. This keeps my makeup in place all day, even when I’m sweating!

Ok, now you know all of my secrets for staying fresh and fabulous in a Florida summer! I’m off to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow, so I’ll say hi to Mickey for you!

Have any tips or tricks?  Let me know what works for you in the comments below, or on our Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram pages!

Until then, stay cool! 

Pixie dust and glamour!

The Fancy Floridian


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  1. […] Dressing for a Disney Summer: How to Stay Fabulous in Florida’s Hottest Months […]

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