By now, anyone who has traveled to San Francisco in the summer months has heard the quote by Mark Twain along the lines of how it can be colder than winter in some places. That's true some of the time, but there are also days that are fabulously beautiful and perfect where the view of the Bay is so clear, the air warm and inviting, where tourists need to buy t-shirts instead of the sweatshirts that usually make a bundle at Fisherman's Wharf. And this week, San Francisco is welcoming some fabulous women for the BlogHer conference taking place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square, so in honor of and as tips for these gals, SFBayStyle has developed a "What to Wear" list for our visitors...
Number 1: layers. If nothing else remains from this list, remember layers. Perhaps it should be repeated one more time. LAYERS. Layers are the key to Northern California living. One jacket or sweater is fine, but two or three are better. Pamela recommends cashmere sweaters.
Number 2: great shoes. Stylish is fun, but at the end of the day if you're trudging at a 60 degree angle up a hill chasing an overflowing Cable Car, you want a pair that's comfortable and functional. I've done it in pumps and it nearly killed me. Trendy open-toe spikes or whatever floats your boat is great for wining, dining, and partying, but for walking and conference going, go for whatever shoes you know won't let you down.
Number 3: comfortable pants or jeans. The forecast for this week is fairly typical for summer in SF - a high in the mid to upper sixties during the day and mid to lower fifties at night. Essentially as soon as the sun begins to set, the temp takes a dive. Thus the need for layers and pants (also just good general go-with-everything planning for walking, partying, dancing, meetings, etc.). Pick neutral colors - black, denim, gray, white. SF isn't NYC, but you will generally see more dark tones in separates here.
Number 4: cute, versatile tops. Ladies, this is where the individuality comes into play: blouses and accessories. For what's worn on top, go for mood. Bring or wear whatever makes you feel good about yourself, something special, something fun, something different. Choose colors you wouldn't normally wear together. Take a chance. You're out of your element, meeting new people. It's just fashion - enjoy it!
Number 5: tube socks. As if! Just kidding. Most likely socks are not necessary at all. Aside from Michael Mina, most Bay Area restaurants will allow everything from flip-flops to All Stars, but socks aren't always part of the picture, especially not tube socks.
Number 6: accessories and more accessories. Even if you don't read the fashion magazines religiously, it's difficult not to notice accessories are getting bigger and better lately. And they are affordable too - the selection at H&M alone is impressive. This is the other area to sparkle and diversify. Add a touch of color or two. Shades of purple and blue are particularly in style right now.
Number 7: a voluminous tote. Swag or no, locals included, traveling around San Francisco requires enough items - particularly for visitors with laptops - that tote bags provide maximum flexibility when it comes to schlepping cameras, layers, gadgets and refreshments from place to place and even Target sells some gorgeous totes right now. Pamela recommends Envirosax bags for any extra swag that won't fit in a tote.
Last but not least, a reminder: it's San Francisco. Incredible shopping abounds in almost every neighborhood to suit every individual's style. If you don't own it or can't bring it, not to worry. For BlogHer guests, Union Square is the best location for shopping in Northern California and lately everybody has been having sales.
Got a few free moments to explore the city? Check out SFBayStyle's 'Event Listings' blogroll to the left on our site - it has links to most of the great sites that list activities and events around the Bay.
Sarah Granger has lived in the Bay Area now for 13 years, 3 of which were in San Francisco. It took some time getting used to the "seasons" here after coming from the midwest, but she happily adjusted. She writes for too many blogs to list here.