Purple, cotton candy style sunset in Moab, Utah

Moab Family Vacation Pictures: What to Wear in the Desert

Picking the perfect outfits for your family pictures can be a challenge. Particularly when you’re traveling! That’s why I put together this resource to help you understand what looks beautiful in photos.

Although not an extensive list, this guide will hopefully serve as a launching point for you to capture your family in an unforgettable way.

  1. Coordinate, don’t match. Pick 3-4 colors that work together well and try to spread them throughout the group. When in doubt add neutrals to balance out the color. I like to think in tones: nude, earthy, beige. 
  2. Avoid large patterns as they are too distracting.
  3. Movement. Pick clothes that flow… those look better in the pictures!
  4. Loose is better than tight. Wear clothes you feel really good in and definitely not too tight (I always say that if I can see your belt/ bra straps through the shirt that means your clothes are a bit too tight. 
  5. Texture. Avoid plain cotton fabric and instead try; knitted, ribbed, lace, henley, waffle, linen or muslin.
  6. Accessories – go for light details, a headband, suspenders maybe a hat.
  7. Feel free to pick two different types of outfits – one outfit can be nicer and one outfit can be more casual.

Having the desert in mind

A family vacation in Moab, Utah, promises breathtaking landscapes, stunning red rock formations, and unforgettable memories.  But, the desert comes with its own set of challenges, from fluctuating temperatures to intense sunlight. It’s important to make thoughtful clothing choices both for your comfort and safety. In this guide, I’ll provide you with valuable insights on what to wear during your Moab family vacation to ensure you’re dressed appropriately while capturing beautiful memories.

Understanding Moab’s Desert Climate

Before delving into the specifics of what to wear, it’s important to understand Moab’s desert climate. Moab experiences a high desert climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and cool evenings. Temperatures can vary significantly between day and night, so layering is key. During summer, daytime temperatures can easily reach into the high 90s or even triple digits, while nights can cool down considerably, often dropping to the 60s or lower.

Here’s more information on the weather in Moab, Utah.

Clothing Essentials for Moab

  • Lightweight and Breathable Fabrics: Choose clothing made from lightweight and breathable materials such as cotton, linen, and moisture-wicking synthetics. These fabrics allow sweat to evaporate, helping you stay cool and comfortable.
  • Long-Sleeved Shirts and Pants: While it might seem counterintuitive to wear long sleeves and pants in the desert, they can provide protection against the sun’s intense rays and prevent sunburn. Opt for loose-fitting, light-colored options to reflect the sun’s heat.
  • Wide-Brimmed Hats: A wide-brimmed hat provides excellent sun protection for your face, neck, and ears. 
  • Closed-Toe Footwear: Sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good grip are essential for exploring Moab’s rocky terrain. Hiking boots or comfortable sneakers are excellent options.
  • Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to exposed skin. Reapply regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.
  • Layering Pieces: Pack lightweight layers like cardigans, light jackets, or shawls for cooler evenings. These can also be used to cover up during peak sun hours.

Additional Tips

  • Hydration is Key: Regardless of what you’re wearing, staying hydrated is paramount in the desert. Carry a reusable water bottle and drink frequently.
  • Avoid Dark Colors: Dark colors tend to absorb heat, which can make you feel hotter in the sun. Stick to light, pastel, or earth-toned clothing. They do look really good with the red rocks as a backdrop. So, if you’re planning your visit for the Spring or the Fall I would consider bringing these.
  • Insect Protection: In some areas – particularly by the Colorado River – insects like mosquitoes might be present, particularly during dusk and dawn. Consider packing lightweight, long-sleeved options to protect against insect bites.

In Conclusion

Your Moab family vacation promises incredible experiences and stunning landscapes. By carefully choosing your clothing, you can enjoy your time in the desert while keeping comfort, safety, and style in mind. Remember to prioritize sun protection, choose breathable fabrics, and pack versatile layers for varying temperatures. With the right attire, you’ll not only be prepared for the adventure but also capture cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


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