Quick show of hands – who loooooves to pack for vacation? Anyone? Nobody? It can be a real challenge, right? You want to achieve the Goldilocks of vacation packing – not too hot, not too cold, not too dressy, not too casual, looks good in pictures but feels just as good on – it needs to be just right. Well if you’re planning a trip to historic Savannah, we’re about to “unpack” tips on what to bring with you for a just-right Hostess City wardrobe.
The logical way to do this is to probably go by seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall. But this is Savannah, where seasons are as unique as the city itself. Granted, there are days that dip well into the teens in January and February and occasionally you’ll find a tree or two that might have a few changing leaves in late November, but aside from those rare instances, you can expect the temps in Savannah to hover more in the spring/summer range and welcome you outdoors with warm, open arms.
In a walking city like Savannah, good footwear is a year-round staple – especially down on River Street, where cobblestones will put your balance to the test, quality shoes are a must no matter what time of year you visit. If, however, you figure out you need those shoes after you’re already here – a day of walking tours will do that to you – you’ll definitely be able to find the perfect fit at any number of downtown shops.
Half-Moon Outfitters, located on the shopping mecca of Broughton Street in downtown Savannah, is an independently owned regional chain of stores that caters to the outdoorsy type – and that means they have footwear designed to go the extra mile. With brands like Clarks, Columbia, Merrell, Keen and more, the pros at Half-Moon Outfitters know just what your barking dogs (aka: tired feet) need. Also located on Broughton Street, The Walking Company has an entire section on its website dedicated to “shop by comfort” so you can rest assured you’ll be walking on a cloud in no time. And since you’re already shopping for shoes on Broughton, you owe it to yourself to stop in to Globe Shoe Company – a Savannah tradition since 1892! From shoes made for walking tours to a special pair by Donald J. Pliner or Stuart Weitzman for a night on the town, Globe offers the best of foot and retail therapy.
So, you’re dry, feet are feeling great, now let’s get you looking your best, too. If you’re in the city during the warmer spring and summer months – March through late September – it’s best to be prepared for the heat and humidity in our area. Think breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. Shorts and lightweight shirts are a good call for anyone but specifically for ladies, airy sundresses, tank tops, skirts and even rompers are a great pick. “Matching sets are so popular in our shop right now,” said Thu Tran of three go-to boutiques in downtown Savannah – Red Clover, Harper and Arrowleaf. “It can be a top with a matching bottom like culottes, shorts or a skirt – it’s playful and very versatile.”
Gentlemen, no worries, we know you need your own version of a Southern sundress and for that I have just one word – seersucker. It is the quintessential fabric for porch-sitting Southern gentleman and your trip may not be complete without it. This all-cotton fabric features a puckered stripe to give it that extra ‘kick’ of panache and up your confidence, too. J. Parker LTD, located on Broughton Street in downtown Savannah, might just be your seersucker headquarters. They describe themselves as “providing gentlemen of the Coastal Empire with fine apparel, furnishings and sportwear” and they’ve been doing it for over 45 years! Shop brands like Chubbies, Filson, Southern Tide, Peter Millar and more all while experiencing one-of-a-kind customer service.
While seersucker is certainly a traditional look, Savannah most definitely has its vintage, artsy side as well and shops like Avalon Exchange and Civvies – both which offer secondhand clothing – and The Future on Forsyth are just three of many options known for cutting-edge looks.
Savannah also has those cooler days, and if you’re visiting the city late November through February, wearing layers is key. I have memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when it was in the 40s and others when it was in the 80s (and we just crank up the AC to make it feel seasonal) but if you bring a lightweight coat or warm jacket along with your favorite jeans, fleece, and a long sleeved top or two, you’ll have everything you need to stay comfy and cozy.
Admittedly, these cooler months are a great time to be a bit fashion-forward with rich colors and patterns, and you’ll find every hot trend at downtown shops like Copper Penny, Kathi Rich, and Terra Cotta. If you’re looking for pieces that are designed to empower your beauty, be sure to stop by Mamie Ruth where Georgia native and nationally acclaimed designer, Emily Bargeron showcases her Bohemian-inspired pieces.
Let’s recap shall we? Before you arrive in Savannah, check the weather, follow our seasonal tips and then make plans to visit a few (or all) of these shops to make your stay in Savannah as fashionable as it is comfortable (just remember to bring that extra-large suitcase so you can pack all your new finds to enjoy at home, too!).
You’re gonna’ look – and feel – fabulous!