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Summer is literally and figuratively the most sizzling time to visit Spain – with maximum sunshine and a buttload of events. Whether you’re planning a beach vacation or exploring historical Toledo, you’ve got to dress appropriately for the Spanish summer heat to stay cool. Spanish summer fashion is all about staying stylish while being practical and comfortable. In this post, we’ll explore general fashion trends in Spain for the summer season 2023, including popular clothing styles, and fabrics. Here is some general Spanish summer fashion that will help you know what to wear!
Popular Spain Summer fashion in Spain
Spanish summer outfits 2023
Vogue Spain may have their eye on the streetstyle pulse, but it can be a bit too Hollywood. Here are a few displays that I’ve seen here in the Spanish shopping centers, for regular style seekers:
For classy style at Mango. They always have such beautiful displays:
Summer fashion trends for women in Spain
Spain’s summer fashion varies from year to year. Here are some semi-traditional, semi-modern Spanish fashion basics and accessories that resurface every summer:
Spanish women sometimes wear espadrilles, called alpargatas in Spain. They are in all the shoe shops starting in the spring. They’re a type of Spanish traditional footwear that originated in the Pyrenees and are made of natural materials, such as canvas or cotton. They have a flexible sole made of jute rope. They come in tons of styles, like espadrille flats, espadrille wedges, and sandals. Locals do not wear alpargatas every day to work or school, for example. They are reserved for relaxed occasions, like for weekends, a party, or a beach holiday.
A Maxi dress or skirt
For an easy-to-pop-on skirt, a maxi dress or skirt is fashionable, light, and fashionable. They can look chic, especially when paired with leather sandals. Women make them more casual by pairing them with sneakers.
Sleeveless tops and blouses
Women wear sleeveless tops and blouses in the summer. It is hot all over Spain, so a tank top or a sleeveless blouse will cool you down.
Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses
Women also wear off-the-shoulder tops and dresses when they want to dress up a little. They allow for plenty of airflow and show just enough skin to be sexy but not too much.
Women also wear sneakers. Athletic shoes are literally everywhere, and they have infiltrated every age group! Running shoes are not for running anymore but for comfort and trendy athleisure style.
Summer fashion tips for men in Spain
Cotton polo shirts are the quintessential Spanish summer shirt for men. They are light and comfortable, and they are still stylish. You can wear them to work, to the beach, to dinner, to the bar, or to the club.
My husband is from Seville, and he has a rainbow of them! His mom loves to buy him new ones practically every year. (He has various from Massimo Dutti, El Corte Ingles, and Sfera.)
Short-sleeved button-down shirts
Stylish Spanish men also wear short-sleeved button-down shirts. They can look very classy in the summer without the man looking like he’s trying too hard. They usually wear them in solid colors and definitely no Hawaiian shirts. Men wear these shirts every day in the summer to work.
Men Spanish fashion includes all kinds of long shorts: cargo-style shorts, chino-style shorts, or even long denim shorts. Spaniards don’t wear surf or skater shorts on the street.
Men often wear their screen-printed t-shirts here too, especially for very casual wear, like going to the supermarket or hanging out with friends and family. They are not as dressy, but they are as popular as ever. If you’re here in Spain, check out shops like Pampling.
Know what to wear in Spain all year, according to each season.
The Right Fabrics and Colors to Beat the Heat in Spain
So, what kind of fabrics do Spanish people wear to beat the heat?
Wear cotton to keep cool as it transmits sweat away from the body. It’s breathable, lightweight, hypo-allergenic, and the organic texture feels good on the skin. There’s nothing like cotton!
Linen is an excellent option for the summer, as it is naturally breathable and lightweight. Its long fibers and longer weave make it a better choice than cotton. The only drawback is that it wrinkles easily, but the un-smooth texture is part of the “natural look”.
Synthetic, moisture-wicking clothes work well if you sweat a lot. Think gym clothes material! Moisture-wicking clothes also work well in humid environments, such as Barcelona or the Costa Brava. For synthetic fabrics, try polyester, rayon, or modal. Don’t shun them. They can be very light and breathable, and they can be easily packed in your suitcase without wrinkling. Personally, I love patterned polyester blouses that are inexpensive that has a silky feel because they keep you and you can’t see all the “wrong” curves.
White and any light-colored clothing, like yellow and gray, reflect any light. And according to this article, even red keeps the body cool, according to science! Locals do wear dark colors in major cities.
Fabrics and colors to avoid
Avoid dark colors like black and navy blue, which tend to attract heat.
Don’t wear jeans. My husband can stand wearing them but not me. They are too thick and will make your legs sweat! I store my jeans away until late fall.
Summer weather in different parts of Spain
Summer temperatures in Spain are the highest among all seasons. People think that Spain is uniformly hot. Not true! This Iberian country has three main climatic zones, and many cities have microclimates.
The coolest regions of Spain in the summer are in northern Spain, which has an “oceanic climate”. The regions are Asturias, Navarre, and the Basque Country. These cities include Santander, San Sebastian, and Bilbao. Galicia also has an oceanic climate and is a mountainous region., the weather can be cooler and more unpredictable, so bring a layer just in case.
The hottest climate is in the south of Spain is in Andalusia: Seville, Cordoba, and Granada. It’s considered to have a hot summer Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by an exceedingly hot, dry summer. My husband is from Seville, and if we go visit his family the summer, we are always in an air-conditioned space. IT IS HOT!
Barcelona is hot and humid has a micro-climate, a humid subtropical climate. In other words, expect to sweat a LOT! Read more specifically about what to wear in Barcelona in the summer here.
Madrid and Ávila is hot have a Inland hot and warm summer Mediterranean climate. Temps are warmer than in the coast and can exceed 35 °C (95 °F).
Appropriate Clothing for Summer Activities in Spain
For sightseeing and exploring, opt for comfortable clothing such as loose pants or dresses and avoid tight-fitting outfits. You can wear shorts, but keep them at an appropriate length.
Comfortable sandals with a thick, supportive sole are recommended for walking around and sightseeing. Locals do not usually wear rubber flip-flops in the city or for everyday wear.
For a day at the beach or poolside, swimwear is obviously a must. Cover-ups or shirts and shorts are great for transitioning from the water to a nearby beach bar or restaurant. Spaniards dress more conservatively, even when at the beach. They usually cover their torsos before eating. Don’t you love that formality?
For a Spanish wedding, Spanish women dress to the nines. They wear a formal dress, either short or long, depending on the venue. Many also wear a fascinator or a big matching hat. I have never worn one to a wedding in Spain.
Finally, for outdoor sports and adventures, it’s best to wear breathable clothes and athletic shoes with good grip. Don’t wear anything too revealing, and make sure to protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunscreen.
What Spaniards Wear at Different Ages
Little Spaniards tend to wear very casual clothes: sneakers, t-shirts, jean shorts, or even sports shorts. In dressier areas, like in parts of southern Spain and pijo parts of big cities, kids wear polo shirts and chino shorts. They may wear some nice leather shoes or white Adidas.
Summer Teen Fashion in Spain
I find Spanish teens / Gen Zers / Zoomers to be an interesting bunch of dressers. Many of the young women will wear a blouse or t-shirt and denim shorts.
For example, here in Barcelona, some ladies in their late teens dress sexy. I believe this is a fashion phenomenon in all of Western culture. Many of these young women wear athletic clothes or very short shorts, even if they’re just hanging out with their friends: bike shorts with a sports bras, or very tight, short cotton dresses. For some reason, teenage boys want to look like Bad Bunny the rapper. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Seniors’ Clothing in Spain
If any age group dresses formally, it’s the elderly folks. For example, elderly men’s Spanish style usually includes a cotton button-down shirt, slacks, and quality leather dress shoes or sandals. Sometimes they wear hats. Elderly ladies may wear a classic jacket, a loose blouse, and leather shoes or sandals. Of course, as I mentioned, many seniors are dressing casually these days and are wearing jeans and athletic shoes.
Dressing for summer nights in Spain
In the summer, the Spanish dress code for bars and nightlife is relaxed and casual. Lightweight fabrics like cotton or inexpensive synthetic materials like modal or polyester are popular. Women often wear dresses, skirts, or shorts paired with a blouse or a sleeveless top.
Sandals or wedges are commonly worn as footwear.
If you’re going to a nice dinner, err on the side of upscale and stylish. You don’t have to wear stiletto heels. Just wear what’s comfortable.
Of course, consider the venue and occasion when choosing an outfit. Some upscale bars and clubs may have a more formal dress code.
Tips for Your Summer Packing List for Spain
Spain’s Summer Fashion Dos and Don’ts
- Check out famous Spanish brands before you come. El Corte Ingles, Zara, Mango, and Massimo Dutti, are interesting brands that will keep you up to date on the latest trends. For young women, try Stradivarius or Bershka.
- If you want to look like a local and avoid looking like a tourist, lean towards staying stylish rather than casual.
- Don’t wear any flamenco dresses or ruffled dresses. Female tourists coming to Spain have this idea that women like to wear traditional Spanish dresses all the time, but they don’t. Read more about how not to dress in Spain!
Need any more tips about Spain summer fashion? I’m not Vogue editor, but I see the Spanish fashion panorama every day. Let me know in the comments, I read all of them!