Inside: 17 ideas for what to wear in San Francisco for your next travel destination on the west coast.
Odds are, you’re either a West Coast or East Coast kind of person. Either coast has amazing views, amazing attractions, and amazing cities for you to visit. You really can’t go wrong with either one! But whichever way you lean, you need a really great outfit for visiting the city.
Today we’re going to narrowing in on San Francisco, which is a little different from our other travel posts.
San Francisco is considered to be a really casual city, so your outfits don’t need to be cute or over the top to fit in with the locals. San Francisco is a city that you can walk around, enjoy, and sightsee, without being worried about looking like a tourist versus a local.
This is really rare in cities, especially on the coast, and especially in California, so soak it up! Here’s your answer to what to wear in San Francisco.
We’re gonna look at some still cute outfits for you to wear while visiting San Fran, because we all want the cute travel pictures. But not doing anything over the top that really pegs you as a tourist looking for a photo op.
How Drastic Are The Seasons
The weather in San Francisco is very mild, not as hot as you might think when you go to visit California.
San Francisco has a pretty wide range. Even in their winter months, there’s about a 20 degree difference between the highs and lows, due to desert weather. Since there’s such a drastic change in temperatures throughout the day, and this is pretty typical, you will always find that in any season that you go to visit San Francisco, make sure to pack clothes that you can layer over each other and remove easily while wandering the city.
Light jackets like denim or cargo are perfect options, or even cardigans that you could remove and put in your tote bag that you’re using to carry your belongings around San Fran. Anything you can carry easily is a go, so I would maybe stay away from sweatshirts unless you’re down to remove it in public and wear a T-shirt underneath.
Any lightweight pants like jeans, cargoes, even leggings for a more casual look will go really well with the San Francisco aesthetic.
Again, with such a casual city, you don’t have to worry too much about your layers being too relaxed for anywhere that you want to pop in when you stumble across the local business to relax and enjoy the city and everything that San Francisco has to offer.
Although these temperatures are mild, it is still California. So when the summers hit, it’s going to be pretty warm. If you plan to go during summer months, September is still going to hit a high of 71 with lows in the 50’s. Plan for the same layering strategy unless you plan to go back to your hotel and change. Layers that you can carry easily throughout the day.
You didn’t ask, but I’m going to go ahead and give you my top travel tips anyway!
For starters, when you’re packing, always keep in mind the general nature of the city. While it’s totally not necessary to dress like anything other than yourself when traveling, it makes it more fun when visiting a new city to try to understand and feel like you’re a part of the culture and the atmosphere, even if just for a few days. While I’m sure France hates Americans wearing berets, it’s part of the experience in my book, so I say, go for it! California is no different, though the nuances may be a little more subtle. What fun it is to get to know a new city. Traveling is such a unique experience, don’t take it for granted!
Coming from a chaotic packer, plan, plan plan ahead!
I always used to just throw some of my favorite clothing items in a suitcase and call it good. However, this won’t get you very far when you’re there and wished you had picked something different or grabbed something else.
Try on your outfits before you go so you know what you like, what you don’t like, and what you should grab instead. This will make the getting ready process while there so much easier, and you’re gonna love those vacation pics even more.
Lastly, as you explore, release the pressure and they need to see everything in one visit. Sometimes it’s just not possible to see everything you want to, so just get to some of your favorite spots. See, you really want to see, and don’t stress about the rest. Enjoy your stay!
How To Dress
Alright, we’ve kind of talked around this answer already, what are you supposed to wear when you visit San Francisco? Layers layers layers!
That’s all the answer will ever be, especially if you plan to be out all day in one outing without going home to change.
Adopt a California lifestyle of easy-going and easy breezy, and that’ll give you a good reference of what the style is like among the locals. Casual tennis shoes, jeans, flannels, and cargoes that you can take off and carry with you naturally.
Whatever month you go in you’re likely not going to encounter crazy temperatures or weather that you have to pack intensely for, so all of your decently neutral pieces should work, as long as you plan out your strategy for the temperature changes throughout the day.
Slip midi dresses, jeans, denim jackets, and casual button ups are great options for looking chic, trendy, and on point for San Francisco culture.
The fall weather is simply stunning in California, especially in San Francisco. So there’s no extreme temperatures to be wary of, just wear your fall favorites!
1. Leather Leggings
2. Sweater And Overalls
4. All Denim
5. All Whites
6. Sweater Vest
Mild summers are the best to experience, and I just know you’re going to love these summer outfit ideas for San Francisco.
7. American Tee
8. White Jeans
9. Bermuda Shorts
10. Vintage Classic
11. Light Layers
12. Button Lace Top
What To Wear In San Francisco
13. Graphic Tee And Jeans
14. Button Down And Hat
15. Plaid Blazer
16. Green Pants
17. Timeless Overalls
There are a ton of movies centered around being set in San Francisco. If any of them are your favorite, you know the vibe! Do you know that San Francisco is a cool, artsy city and your outfits don’t have to be any more than that. It’s a really laid-back atmosphere making it the perfect vacation and sightseeing spot for a really relaxed getaway.
Just have fun with it, these outfits are made for traveling, relaxing and enjoying your time with whoever your travel buddy is for this trip.
I’m personally someone that gets really caught up in travel outfits but I think if I ever went to San Francisco, I would be relieved to know that this city is just ready to relax just as much as I am. I love a good vacation outfit, but sometimes you just wanna lay it back to this is a place for you.