San Francisco’s Union Square, June 2010
Hi, ladies. Aside from the brief period of time I spent away at college, I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life. I love it here, and it definitely feels like home. When I opened this note from reader Tzu, I couldn’t wait to share.
I’ll be visiting San Francisco next week and was wondering if you could give me suggestions on what to pack in terms of clothing? I’m in NYC, and I know I won’t be needing my winter/snow woolly mammoth coat, but should I pack spring clothes? Layers? Any suggestions would be great! Thank you!
Adventure awaits! I think you’re going to love San Francisco, but before I jump into suggestions, please promise me something — that you’ll never, ever refer to San Francisco as “San Fran” (bluh!) or “‘Fricso” (double bluh!) while you’re here. Try “S.F.” or “the City,” and merchants will take you for a local (as opposed to a tourist).
The weather is generally mild in winter — too warm for snow, but too chilly for shorts. It rains a little more than usual, and temps typically range from the low 40s to mid 60s.
In the city itself, the different districts and neighborhoods also have their own micro climates. You can literally go from one end of the city to the other (a distance of just 7 miles) and go through banks of thick fog, patches of sun, and areas of rain, which means it helps to be prepared for anything.
I think you’re wise to leave your heaviest snow coat at home, but you’ll still want to bring a warm coat, especially if you plan to do any walking (a good likelihood considering the poor parking). It also gets colder at night. Not East Coast cold, mind you, but chilly enough.
Layers are totally key; lightweight (but warm) sweaters, t-shirts, scarves, hoodies — basically, anything that you can peel off if the sun peeks out and put back on when it goes away.
Now I live about 40 miles north of San Francisco, and when I visit the city in winter I’ll wear a trench coat atop a button-down cashmere sweater, a short sleeve shirt and maybe skinny jeans, a scarf and boots.
Oh, and people tend to dress casually when they’re cruising San Francisco, so unless you’re planning to attend a fancy fashion-related event or a business meeting, you’re probably fine wearing jeans and/or khakis most of the time.
Cheesin’ it up in Golden Gate Park
I hope you have a great trip. Safe travels!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,