As Californians, we get to boast about living in one of the mildest climates in the country. As San Franciscans though, we get to stand by and watch when, come May, everyone else sheds their winter layers and welcomes summer with open arms. "Our summer comes a little later," we tell out-of-towners as we layer on our jackets during Memorial Day weekend, too proud of our City by the Bay to admit any weakness. To be fair though, we're not lying, it does finally come; our summer begins right as the stores begin stocking up autumn and winter apparel and shipping out the all the bold, floral dresses and brightly-colored tank tops.
This summer, I move to say good-bye to our climate-induced, feigned indifference to the season. Why stubbornly continue to sport our winter coats and jeans while the rest of America basks in sunshine on the promise that, one day, summer will show up here too? It is entirely possible to start dressing appropriately for summertime while also embracing the unique weather that our beloved Bay bestows on us. Below, I describe five trends that, rain or shine, radiate a summery ambiance even when the sun doesn't.
1. Woven Bags and Clutches:
You don't have to be headed out to a day on the sand to carry this beach-bag inspired style. Woven straw bags are perfect for a carryall to the office or to class. Downsize the bag and take it out with you at night as an unconventional clutch. The key to maximizing the summery aspect of woven bags is to look for styles with bright colors or bold prints -- don't shy away from neon handles or a rainbow chevron design.
2. Maxi Skirts and Dresses:
While short sun dresses are not usually the optimal outfit choice during our chilly summer months, that doesn't mean we have to rule out pretty seasonal dresses all together. Enter the maxi dress. With the longer length and extra material, skirts and dresses of the maxi length bring slightly more warmth. On particularly cold days, wear leggings underneath your dress or skirt for an invisible extra layer.
3. Denim Jackets:
As much as we would like to abandon them for a month or two, jackets are a staple garment for living in San Francisco. Denim jackets, though reminiscent of backyard BBQs and beach bonfires, make for a more seasonal alternative to our winter coats. On mild days, they can stand alone, but for brisk weather they can be paired with sweaters or hoodies to maintain their casual, summer vibe. When wearing denim jackets this season, don't be afraid to experiment with hardware embellishments or bright colors. For a more traditional take on the style, stick to classic denim or chambray.
Clockwise from top left: spiked jacket, TopShop; chambray moto jacket, Vanessa Bruno; star-spangled jacket, Current/Elliot; classic denim button-up, Dorthy Perkins; coral-colored jacket, Dorthy Perkins.
4. Lightweight Scarves:
Our year-round sea breezes and chilly nights, no matter the season, mean that it's essential to have a closet full of light layers. Consequently, scarves have become a signature part of San Francisco style. While it may seem counterintuitive, they are actually an easy way to "summerize" any outfit -- convenient since many of us own quite a few. Choose scarves of lightweight material (avoid anything with a chunky knit or made of wool) and light prints. Neon colors and polka dots are both popular this season and bring a summery feel to a traditionally winter item.
Bonus: when the weather heats up, use a scarf to tie back your hair for a vintage, 1950's look.
Clockwise from top left:; polka dot scarf, TopShop; floral infiniti scarf, Miss Selfridge; blue and green scarf, Calypso St.Barth; daisy scarf, Marc Jacobs; yellow striped scarf, Kate Spade; hot pink scarf, J.Crew.
5. Brightly Colored Jewelry:
Our last trend is probably the easiest of all because it is not weather dependant in the least, and guaranteed to go with whatever your closet already offers. Brightly colored jewelry can be worn in a variety of ways to make an outfit instantly more seasonally relevant. For a more low-key approach, and to let the jewelry speak for itself, pair it with neutrals: nudes, white, beige, grey, and black. For a night out, or a bolder daytime look, add your bright jewelry to outfits with florals or other neon colors. Don't be afraid of being playful with it; that's what wearing it is all about.
Clockwise from top left: tribal print bangles, Madewell; turquoise necklace, Dannijo; pink and orange earrings, Kenneth Jay Lane; lime green wrap bracelet, Blue Candy; coral stone necklace, Oka Jewelry.