Packing for a trip to San Francisco? Looking for the perfect outfit for foggy mornings, long days of up-hill walking, and chilly evenings by the Bay? We've got the packing list for you!
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A trip to San Francisco is a true treat. Cable cars, Ghirardelli chocolate, fresh fish, & world-class art is all at your finger tips in this phenomenal city (ok, ok, I'm from there, but it's still true!)
Packing for San Francisco is perhaps a less simple story. While you can certainly purchase anything your heart desires once you arrive in the City by the Bay, unpredictable weather does make packing in advance a bit of a headache. And, in addition, there's a wide-spread misconception among the rest of the U.S., in which I now live (and maybe the world? Let me know your understanding!) that all of California shares the same weather. So if it's fog, clam chowder, and windbreakers that you're in the mood for, let's discuss some San Francisco outfit ideas!
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What's the weather like in San Francisco?
By far the most common misunderstanding that I've experienced among non-Californians is a belief that "California is warm." Well, yes, Southern California is super warm. And if you're looking for sun-drenched beaches and bikini-clad models...San Francisco is not the place for you! California takes up almost an entire coast of the U.S., so naturally it is home to diverse climates and people.
And, therefore, packing for San Francisco is very different than packing for L.A.. The average temperature in San Fran in June is 67/53, so leave those flip flops and tiny shorts at home! That said, the weather in San Francisco is generally what the rest of the country would call "nice," with low humidity, plenty of sunny days, and few "extreme" temperatures.
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Chic, Light Jacket
The one *essential* item you'll want for San Francisco is absolutely a light jacket. You likely won't ever need a heavy winter coat, either, but even in summer, you're going to want a light jacket in your suitcase. That persistent fog can vary the temperature greatly, and once that sun goes away, you could be looking at a 10 degree change in temperature in a matter of minutes.
I saw a lot of the very trendy green-ish anorak/trench coat that is pulled at the waist. Amazon has some super cute and reasonably priced trench coat options, from Columbia and an Anorak I really love. London Fog is a classic trench coat, as well. If you're looking for something a little heavier, St. James has some classic rain jackets (with hoods!).
If you're feeling fancy, and/or confident that rain isn't in the forecast, a good blazer goes a long way.
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Scarf
Along with that light jacket/blazer, you're likely going to want to dress things up with a chunky (but not woodsy) scarf, in fall or winter!
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Hat & Purses
If you're feeling trendy, rock that fedora. If you've gone with the green anorak and tennis shoes vibe, there is seriously something in the water making all San Fran residents wear preppy baseball caps (and it's not a recent thing, if my Dad is any indication!)
As with many destinations, purse-wise, you can't be a basic Long Champ in my book. Foldable, squish-able, getting wet-able, & cute - the perfect combination! For a higher-end look, Tory Burch crossbodys are great for touring during the day and going out at night - and you can pick one up in Union Square, if you're in the market!
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Loafers
If there's any city in which you'll need your best walking shoes, it's absolutely San Francisco (for a walker's guide to SF, check out the full post!)
For a casual, yet still preppy, daytime look, I'm all-for loafers, and I am in love with all things Birdies. Additionally, headquartered in SF, Modcloth also has *amazing* loafers - and some certainly more adventurous looks as well.
While I've definitely never recommended them in my numerous "what to wear in Europe" posts, tennis shoes are OK here in SF, for walking around and touring during the day.
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: All black scarf, blazer, & loafers
There's something very San Francisco about a black blazer and a thick, black scarf to top off a fully-black ensemble. Why not?
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Rain gear
If you'll be visiting in the late fall-winter, you're going to want to include some drizzle gear in your suitcase. Though it's generally not too frigid, a good, small umbrella can come in handy!
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Chic Dresses and dusters
In spring and summer, many days you'll be comfortable in a casual dress - I'd keep a "duster" (my new favorite term that I probably should already known), handy in case things cool off. J McLaughlin has some cute, long cardigans, with the colors depending on the season.
San Francisco Outfit Ideas: Sustainable Fashion
It's no surprise that the West Coast is a leader in all things eco-friendly, including sustainable fashion. If you're looking to invest in some, San Francisco is the right place for you! I've recently found Wool&, which specializes in sustainable wool dresses that are simply to die for. Light-weight wool, they're definitely the right temperature for most seasons in San Fran.
Thanks for stopping by!
So glad you came by the blog! Hope you enjoy San Francisco as much as we always do! xx
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