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What Do I Wear There? Amusement Parks


Amusement Park Fashion

In one of my early “What Do I Wear There?” posts, I wrote a quick segment about what to wear to theme parks in the fall. However, I recently received the following question from Lauren:

“Hi, I was wondering if you could do a post about what to wear to a theme park? Especially during the summer. I’m stuck on how to be fashionable, but also keep cool, dry off quickly when wet (like on a water ride), and mostly have good support in walking shoes when you’re on your feet ALL DAY LONG, but maybe not wearing, like, running shoes. And what about if it’s hot during the day but gets colder at night? And that won’t be disgusting if you get all sweaty? Those sorts of issues. If you had any tips I would be very grateful!”

After reading Lauren’s message, I realized there were a lot of unanswered questions I left in that last post. And there would be nothing worse than having one of those perfect, sunny amusement park days ruined by a wardrobe malfunction or just generally feeling uncomfortable in what you’re wearing.

Therefore, I decided to revisit this topic and do a more in-depth look at what to wear to different amusement parks, from basic ones with rides that may get you wet, to actual water parks, and finally, I’ll cover what to wear if you’re going to a park during the day and plan to stay out once the sun goes down!

Look One: Typical Amusement Park

What to wear to an amusement park

Product Information: Tank:, Bikini Top:, Bike Shorts:, Shoes:, Sandals:, SPF Powder:

From my extensive amusement park fashion “research,” I’ve noticed that jean shorts and a tank top are the unofficial amusement park uniform. And while there is nothing wrong with this, I wanted to get more creative! I love the idea of wearing bicycle shorts rather than jean shorts, as they are a bit longer (I don’t know about you, but I have totally burned my upper thighs sitting on a ride seat that has been in the sun all day!) and will dry quicker than denim if they get wet.

Just like with leggings, you want to pair bicycle shorts with a longer tunic to cover you up. I love the purple color and asymmetrical hem of this tank–just be careful that it doesn’t get caught on anything when you are climbing in and out of rides! It may be a good idea to tie the ends of a shirt like this if you’re nervous about the sides getting stuck in machinery.

If you think you will be going on some rides that will involve water, I suggest adding a cute touch with a printed bandeau bikini top under your tunic. The bandeau shape is great because it will keep you secure no matter how rides twist and turn, so you won’t have to worry about the top slipping at all like you do with traditional triangle bikini tops.

When it comes to shoes, it’s a matter of personal preference. I prefer to wear sandals with straps (so they will not fall off on rides), but I know many people who don’t like to wear sandals to amusement parks at all. If you’re one of those people, go for a cute, comfy slip on shoe like Toms that is comfortable but still more stylish than plain old sneakers!

As for your hair and makeup, the simpler the better for a long day out in the sun! I would really skip most makeup, as it will only melt and smudge during the day, not to mention what may happen if your face gets wet. However, one product that you definitely need is sunscreen. The powder sunscreen above is great since it’ll give you a bit of color and coverage while providing essential SPF protection. It can also be used on your scalp part line, where it will not only protect the delicate skin but also absorb any oil!

For a hair style, I love the two fishtail braids at the crown done in the Doo.Ri S/S ’10 show (seen above). The braids are cute, will keep your hair off your face, and will only look better if they’re mussed up a bit on rides! To learn how to do a fishtail braid, check out this great tutorial.

Look Two: Water Park

What to wear to a water park

Product Information: Suit:, Shorts:, Sunscreen:, Swimmer’s Cleansing Rinse:, Sunglasses:, Flip Flops:

There is nothing more fun and refreshing than going to a water park on a hot summer day. However, deciding what to wear can be tricky, especially if you do not want to be running around in just your bathing suit all day. You also have to take into consideration how extreme the rides you want to go on are to avoid having any “oops” moments!

To start this outfit, I began by looking for a practical suit that would be flattering on most body types. I love the balance of sexy and sophisticated that this suit provides–I sometimes feel self-conscious walking around in a bikini all day at water parks, and this is a great alternative. If you do still want to cover up a bit between rides, try these swingy, floral shorts. Mixed with the detailing on the suit, it gives the look a really fun, retro vibe.

Flip flops are essential for water parks, as you’ll be throwing your shoes on and off between rides and dips in the pools. Waterproof sunscreen is therefore a must as well! I also suggest throwing a pair of sunglasses in your bag in case you decide to lounge in the sun. I love how this pair’s subtle detailing picks up on the retro feel of the look.

If you choose to wear any makeup, it obviously will have to be waterproof. If anything, I would just stick to some waterproof mascara. Let your hair go natural, as it will probably be too difficult to style while running in and out of water. Before and after you go to the park, it’s a good idea to use a chlorine specific shampoo to ensure that the harsh chemicals don’t harm your strands too badly (especially if you color your hair or heat style it often).

Look Three: Day-to-Night

amusement park night outfit

Product Information: Hair Product:, Tank:, Flannel:, Tights:, Shorts:, Shoes:

Many amusement parks offer awesome activities once the sun goes down, such as parades or concerts. And while it’s great that you can make a day of an amusement park, dressing for day-to-night can provide some tricky clothing concerns. After all, you want to dress cool enough that you aren’t sweating in the sun but warm enough that you aren’t shivering at night!

For a base, I went simple with a pair of denim shorts and a pretty, airy tank that screams summer. For shoes, I chose a lightweight pair of canvas sneakers that look promising for providing hours of comfortable walking around.

I suggest getting a locker when you first arrive during the day where you can stash the layers that you’ll want to add on at night. These layers depend on the weather in your area, but for summer nights in general, you should be fine just adding a cozy flannel on to your day look. If it’s chiller, bring a pair of tights to put on under your shorts.

I also recommend bringing along a hair texturizer, such as Jonathan’s genius “Spray Dirt.” This product is perfect for giving you a bit of oomph if your hair falls flat after a day in the sun and will also give you some hold if you decide to pull it up into a textured ponytail or bun.

What do you think?

What do you usually wear to amusement parks in warm weather? What other summer activities do you find are tricky to dress for? Are these looks that fit in with your favorite summer trends? Let us know in the comments!

And if you have any “What Do I Wear There?” questions, leave them below–yours may be featured in next week’s article!

Posted on on April 22, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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41 Responses to “What Do I Wear There? Amusement Parks”

  1. 1
    April 22nd, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I would never wear outfit 1 to a theme park. Not casual or breathable enough. I’d wear outfit 3 all-day, though.

  2. 2
    April 22nd, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I love outfit 3!

  3. 3
    April 22nd, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Outfit one looks really good to me. It looks so comfortable. I could never wear a bandeau top though, that definitely doesn’t work for all body types.

  4. 4
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I love the third outfit you have planned out. I would definitely wear that to an amusement park.

  5. 5
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    love this post! definitely learned lots of good information! before this, ive always thought it was just jeans, a shirt, sneakers, and possibly a jacket. now i cant wait to go to an amusement park to try out some of these good ideas! especially outfit 3, uber cute! i also LOVE the retro feel of that bathing suit; conservative, yet sexy! great post! and thanks for the tips! =]

  6. 6
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I love these outfits so much, and I love this series, haha…the first outfit is especially amazing but that tank is kind of expensive…do you know of any similar tanks for less money? Cash is a little tight in college

  7. 7
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I LOVE OUTFIT TWO! It is so chic, and its a great alternative to a swimsuit and shorts combo (ugh I’m so tired of seeing that look!).

  8. 8
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I mean denim shorts, btw :]

  9. 9
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    This came at a perfect time. We are planning a trip to Six Flags(I hope my mum lets me)

  10. 10
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    youre a genius!

  11. 11
    April 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Good job Colleen, I like a lot of your ideas. I too have found that the “unofficial uniform” is tanks and a pair of jean shorts, which I often find myself falling into whenever I plan my vacations with amusement parks involved (packing wise). I think I like your day 3 the best because it takes that uniform look and dresses it up a bit with the fancier tank top and the flannel (I actually like how you chose a men’s one which will be slightly oversized for comfyness) is perfect for night. That being said the first look is a little too much of the new 80s/90s grunge revival for me (I’m a little more on the girlier side) but I actually like how creative it is and would probably even try to see what that looks like at a Forever21 or something, it could work. Oh and super kudos on the vintage-style one-piece, they have been my favorite style of bathing suit since they started the revival about 2-3 years ago, it’s nice to see the style finally trickling down to places like target :)

  12. 12
    April 23rd, 2010 at 12:32 am


    Yea sometimes on this site it’s kind of funny, I love this blog to death it is my fav. ever and I view it daily but you’ll notice quickly that half the stuff featured is really reasonable and good for us college girls and some is pretty pricey still (although still cheaper than high designer items…i.e. I still can’t afford that tank for 50 dollars from topshop in this article nor the guys AE flannel for 45).

    Some of my favorite ways to get the same or similarly inspired outfits is to explore cheaper stores and especially thrift/vintage/2nd-hand local shops which add a completely different flare to it all. I would say for something like that because it is a more recent trend (i.e.baggy asymmetrical style) that Forever21 is often one of the best for recent trends at cheaper prices. Tillys may have something reasonable. Also if you live in the northeast near Canada you could try “Garage” (sort of like pac-sun but mixed with a hollister and girlier side to it). Pac-Sun could be a maybe. I would say look for places that sell those sort of colors and that grungier style in your area in terms of local places.

    Another option- figure out how to take an oversized tank and make an asymmetrical one yourself :) just buy like XXXL or something

  13. 13
    April 23rd, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Next What do you Wear there suggestion- vacation with the inlaws/bf-parents.
    I know there was an article a LONG time ago on first meeting outfit ideas to meet your boyfriend’s parents but what about if you are going to now spend let’s say a week with them over the summer (my situation exactly…and the parents are conservative Indian). I’m in college obviously so I would like some reasonably priced inspired ideas for a little bit more longterm casual stays rather than fancy first meet dinners.

    Other ideas: summer bbqs, camping, beaches in the spring (when it’s still a little cold at least in the NE), final exams! (be fashionable but get ready in a rush b/c of cramming until the last minute lol), the big summer movie premieres (always lots of cute guys around but many girls make the mistake of way overdressing to go to the movies for this reason so how to balance)

    lol sorry for all my posts, I really liked this article though and I am procrastinating my test tomorrow haha :/

  14. 14
    April 23rd, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Hey there,
    I have a question that has come up for me and my friends. I’m interning in a lab this summer. Safety should come first, but I still want to look cute and put-together (and not wear sneakers everyday). Any ideas?

  15. 15
    April 23rd, 2010 at 1:12 am

    hey, i love your posts & this blog!
    i likeoutfit 1 but i would be sacred it get caught in things, but still a cute summer day outfit!

    could you possibly do a what you wear to a summer office job. so its gotta be conservative, but still keep you cool!
    (i loved the post on the beauty dos & dont of interviews, defs using those tips on my first day of my new summer job!)

    keep up the good work!

  16. 16
    April 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 am

    first time to comment! great post as usual, timely because I’ve been wondering whether I’d wear sandals or snickers to summer outings! whew.

  17. 17
    April 23rd, 2010 at 7:42 am

    hey guys,
    I love your blog so much. I’m in india, and its pretty hot here. I would really love if you could to a post about summer but as people are really conservative we dnt generally wear short or skirts so casually. So I would really like if you could suggest outfits which keep cool but at the same time appropriate.

  18. 18
    April 23rd, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Great ideas! I just wouldn’t wear a pair of skirt-shorts to an amusement park – just to avoid flashing people – they are a little wide and wind plus that fabric are not the best cocktail!

    Nice post!

    Milana form FashionStyleAdvice

  19. 19
    April 23rd, 2010 at 8:49 am

    @ vicki
    n a lab you must must must wear sneakers or lab apprvedo shoesd. what if a beker broke on ur foot! ouch, the lab considers u a liabilty and would have to pay. i used to use the lab at schook, once spilled bleach on a brand new shirt. it was ruined. I now bring a change of clothed and wear GAsp sweats I dont care if they are destroyed.

  20. 20
    April 23rd, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I pretty much just wear whatever at amusement only exceptions are no skirts or dresses and no shoes that slip off easily.

  21. 21
    April 23rd, 2010 at 11:51 am

    If you want that tank for cheaper, buy an extremely over-sized men’s shirt and then go crazy with the scissors. I bet you can buy a sem-sheer blue one like that at walmart (XL) for about 3/$10.

  22. 22
    April 23rd, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Sandals may not be a good option for theme park outfits. Many rides require closed toe shoes. Just something to think about.

  23. 23
    April 23rd, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I love Sarah’s idea about cutting up a men’s shirt! I really want to try that now! It’s great because that tank is fairly simple but very expensive. The outfit that had that was by far my favorite.

    The water park look is great too. I just bought a vintage swimsuit off ebay and it has a skirt-like bottom, so I want to find a colorful loose tank that is loose and I can tuck in to put on top to make it an outfit. I hate wearing a tight tank over a bathing suit because the lines of the swimsuit always show. Ick!

  24. 24
    April 23rd, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    oh my god…i was totally going to ask if you could write a post for an amusement park! so thanks a bunch!

  25. 25
    April 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Love this!
    Right in time, since our university is having a night at Six Flags for us all.

  26. 26
    April 24th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Love love love the outfits! And a great idea for an article as well. Definitely going to check back here when I’m planning to go!

  27. 27
    April 24th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    love this post! especially the last two..i couldn’t pull off the 1st one…
    does anyone have any ideas of what kinda bag 2 bring that isn’t huge….and fannie packs aren’t really the most fashionable thing… help??

  28. 28
    April 25th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I usually carry an extra clothing to amusement park coz my friends and i can really get wild then get very, very wet. and i live in indonesia, where’s it’s like summer all year long. i usually wear tees and shorts (jeans or not) and a pair of crocs, though. the crocs dry easily and comfy enough to walk around all day. for the hair i usually let it be or pull it up if it gets in my way. and yes, i totally agree on no make up except for sunscreen! :D

    i also agree with Heather, who requests outfits for summer bbq, beaches… but since it’s inappropriate here to walk around in bikinis (and i don’t dare to sport ‘em), can you please make an appropriate outfit inspiration? by appropriate i mean one that don’t show off too much skin…though it is summer. thx! :)

  29. 29
    April 25th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    oh and… could you please also put a bag in your outfit inspirations? thx a bunch! :D

  30. 30
    April 29th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    What a great post idea! I’ll definitely be referring back to this later this summer. Love the bandeau top and the TOMS seem like a great idea (they’ll dry a lot faster than leather)!

  31. 31
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:03 am

    For the next what to wear could you do a broadway play? When we go to the city we usually end up sight seeing before the show and then going to a nice dinner. We take the train in for the day, so there’s no way to change in between. It would be nice to see suggestions for something fashionable, nice and comfortable that could be worn all day!

  32. 32
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    What should I wear to a soccer match and I don’t gave a team jersey?

  33. 33
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I meant have not gave lol

  34. 34
    February 8th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    i like all three of them.. thanx XD

  35. 35
    July 2nd, 2011 at 3:33 am

    although IM not supposed to be saying what to wear, BUT I am.(:

    I’m going to Kings Dominion in a couple of days with my boyfried, and I went shopping for an outfit JUST for Kings Dominion. I looked everywhere, but the best place was *AMERICAN EAGLE. I’m ALL about appearance, AND i want to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing too. So, what I bought was a LOOSE HOT PINK RAZORBACK TANK, (hot pink so it compliments your skin tone and makes you look tan) & a pair of CUT OFF SHORTS that are rolled up once. I shopped on sale so it wouldnt be unecessary to buy a brand new outfit just for that. I’m just going to wear a pair of leather GLADIATOR SANDLES *BLOWFISH is the brand, with VELCRO straps, so i dont have to worry about having a hastle with them. HOPE THIS HELPS.(: *comfeecute&collected

  36. 36
    September 4th, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Outfit 1 is totally breathable enough.. Bike shorts are made to breathe and be athletic… So why wouldn’t they work? And the bike shorts prevent chafing.. girls wear them under dresses at music festivals all the time in extreme heat, so this is just a variation on that… Jill AnnI understand if it isn’t your style, but the functionality is dead on. And I think it’s totally cute! Great post! :)

  37. 37
    July 18th, 2012 at 2:46 am

    These are cute but what would you consider for a curvier girl ?

  38. 38
    August 30th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    It’s great to know you got the answers !

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