The thought of Rio de Janeiro usually conjures up visions of heat, humidity,sweat and sun. What the travel magazines fail to tell you that, yes, Rio de Janeiro has winter.
Between December and March, the temperature in Rio is usually above 30C, spiking up to 40 on really hot days. It is definitely 'less is more' during that time of year. We are in June and the weather is pleasantly warm and dry. Right now there is a dry wind coming from the inland, bringing blue skies with it. Thanks to global warming, the seasons here are becoming a bit askew, but in the end, there comes a time when the mercury can get down to 12 degrees Celcius.
So if I may venture into travel tips land, these are my tips for dressing properly year round in Rio de Janeiro.
I am a HUGE fan of the single bag/suitcase philosophy. There is a great website that you can print out a packing list for a single bag. http://www.onebag.com/popups/what2pack.pdf The website writes:
What to pack when travelling? An old adage suggests bringing half as
much clothing and twice as much money. This is a list of the maximum
amount of stuff one should ever need to cart around (and all of it—except
for what you’ll be wearing—will fit into a single carryon-sized bag).
Eliminate items whenever possible. Minimize clothing by selecting a
uniform (one or two) colour scheme. Choose fabrics carefully: natural
fabrics wrinkle more easily and dry more slowly than modern synthetics.
Learn to “bundle wrap”, to avoid wrinkles and save space. And remember
that there are two kinds of luggage: carryon and lost.
For Rio de Janeiro, I suggest a color scheme of beige or khaki, white, navy and your favorite color to give a 'pop'. Cariocas are not big black fans but the quintessential little black dress never misses. If your trip includes Sao Paulo, then yes, wearing black in SP is okay. A pashmina scarf will do wonders year round...it may be 40C outside in the summer, but they LOVE their AC down here. Cashmere cardigans are a good thing year round. Quick dry fabrics are key and I have trousers from Mountain Equipment Co-op that I live in!!! Buy your bikini down here. The bikini shop, Banco de Areia, has an outlet in the shopping mall in Barra da Tijuca called 'Downtown'(not to be confused with the city center)where they carry pieces from the export line..translation being it will cover your bum and it is 'Glencoe Club' friendly. Clothes from Lululemon in Canada are also no brainers.
Cariocas tend to be more casual than a New Yorker for example, yet a sports jacket is a must for a man as there are some restaurants that do have a dress code. AVOID LINEN..Its hot and wrinkles in a second. A summer weave from cool wool will fit the bill. Blue jacket and khakis will go from the boardroom to a party very easily here.
Zip off pants are the best invention since ice cream. Versatility to the max.
And if worse comes to worse, there is GREAT shopping down here.