Inconceivable to 30Rock’s “cam-ah-rah” loving Jenna Maroney, I actually did always dream of moving to San Francisco over New York (saving all snarkiness for a future post) despite its cool summers. [Insert Mark Twain joke here]. It’s true that summer in the city means wearing a sweater and being ready for that evening marine layer or a chilly seaside breeze. I grew up in Colorado, where layering was more about guarding against the extreme changes in weather and never knowing when sunny and 70 would suddenly shift to a spring blizzard with 3 feet of snow. Living in San Francisco, layering is still an essential, but it’s more about being ready when you drive to a neighborhood two miles away and they are experiencing a completely different season than your own hood. The temperature shifts aren’t so crazy, but brace yourself if the wind picks up and you aren’t prepared. Something about ‘microclimates.’
I have a personal rule to never leave the house without a sweater or a jacket as a result of some miserable walks home. A sunny day makes no promise for a warm evening. In fact, you can almost be assured the fog will blow in with a fierce chill that screams “I’m baaaack!”
Dressing in summer styles while carrying a sweater takes some finesse so I reached out to London-based Warehouse for their best cool summer climate sweaters and Oakland-based stylist, Dario Smith, for a few tips on how be warm and look cool at the same time.
- Stick with seasonal colors: Cardigans in greys, black and browns are staples for fall and winter and go with just about everything, but can look dreary in the summer. Dario suggests visiting a flower shop for summer color inspiration or choosing no-fail palettes like vibrant orange, blues, pinks and greens on top of light weight fabrics in complimentary colors. He suggests trying an orange cardigan (peep this Ombre Cardigangan) over a light chambray top and white trousers for a classic summer look.
- Choose seasonal details: Lace and mesh are showing they are good for more than lingerie this season. Sweaters with lace detail or loose knits bring a lightness to the overall look. Keep the ensemble sharp by pairing a boho sweater with simple skinny trousers or tailored shorts for balance.
- Pick a great structured jacket:Balance out flowy maxi, mullet and sheer skirts with a casual structured jacket. A well-selected denim jacket or rolled-sleeve blazer looks classy with just about any item and keeps you warm while waiting for the Muni. Or while hailing a cab after giving up on Muni.
Dario wrapped our chat with a quote from men’s style guru, Nick Wooster, saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”