Despite San Francisco’s eclectic mix of styles and fashion, tourists are most likely to stand out by dressing inappropriately for the cold, foggy weather. A place like San Francisco, where the outlandish and subtle mix together, makes it hard for someone not to feel at home.
You will probably not feel the cold here unless you’re wearing matching Fisherman’s Wharf sweatshirts that shout “I thought San Francisco was supposed to be warm.” Do you know that stereotype about the beach that is always sunny and warm? Those are the people who live in Southern California, not the people who live in Northern California.
Despite San Francisco’s mild climate throughout the year, the city’s seaside location makes it cooler, windier, and foggier than other parts of California. Locals typically wear neutral-colored sweaters with low boots or sneakers rather than short shorts and a bikini top, since most people only own one pair of shorts.
When it comes to dressing correctly for San Francisco, you need to understand its weather and prepare accordingly. Here’s what you need to pack in your backpack to visit San Francisco throughout the year to help you make the most of your visit.
Wear in San Francisco
Known as a mecca for tech startups, art, delicious food, and unforgettable festivals, San Francisco has it all. Do you know that the city has one of the most fickle weather patterns in the country?
While grilling food at Mission Dolores Park, the weather is sunny and warm. You’re running away from a rainstorm when Karl (a name locals give to the inevitable fog that can creep over a city at any time) arrives.
Before going on a trip, it is always a good idea to check the weather forecast. By researching the weather, you should be able to plan a capsule travel wardrobe, which can easily fit in a carry-on suitcase by compressing it with packing cubes.
It can be difficult to determine what to wear in San Francisco due to the flip-flopping weather and the incredible vibes of the city. You should pack accordingly for all seasons if you’re headed to NorCal.
San Francisco Weather:
When you visit San Francisco, you’re going to need a jacket no matter what time of year it is. Occasionally, a heat wave can make San Francisco feel warm in the summer, according to one of our readers. In September, temperatures are generally higher than in other months of the summer.
Whether it’s a light cardigan or a leather jacket, always keep one of these with you at all times. Cardigans are great for warm days, rain jackets are great all year round, and leather jackets are great for moderately cold days.
Due to the fact that you’ll be trekking around the city or taking the metro a lot, you’ll need a big bag to fit everything you need. When the sun begins to shine, ensure that your boho bag has room to store your jacket.
What to Wear in San Francisco in Winter?
Considering that San Francisco experiences the most rainfall during the winter, it’s no surprise that what to wear will have a big impact. It’s time to break out the rain boots and cute umbrellas now that the average rainfall lasts about 30 days. Fortunately, San Francisco has a wetter winter than it does a cold one.
A typical year doesn’t see low temperatures fall below the mid-40s unless it’s unusually cold. Highs can reach 60 degrees even in the winter. Leaving your coats and parkas at home is a good idea if you are traveling from the East Coast or in a cold climate.
San Francisco Winter Packing List:
Compared to summer’s lowest temperatures, winter’s lowest temperatures are only 10 degrees below summer’s, so it’s not extremely cold. But you shouldn’t ignore the fact that you’re in a winter wonderland! Although you could get away with wearing leggings on a sunny day, San Francisco’s giant Christmas tree at City Hall and Pier 39 adds to the wintery spirit.
Despite the rather mild weather, you’ll see locals wearing a variety of jackets that provide warmth and style. All of these items are great choices this time of year, including puffer jackets, pea coats, sweaters, leather jackets, and coats. Alternatively, you can find locals wearing blues, browns, blacks, reds, greens, and purples.
Getting creative with your winter accessories will help you look great in San Francisco. With all these layers, it would be easy to blend in, but San Francisco doesn’t do that! Make yourself stand out with a bright scarf, a bright beanie, a really cool umbrella, or outrageous boots.
What to Wear in San Francisco in Summer?
We would like to warn our readers to make sure they check the weather before going out. You shouldn’t be surprised that it’s going to be foggy and colder than you expected! In case you are visiting San Francisco during the summer months, here is what one of our readers recommended:
There is a marked difference in the weather in San Francisco as compared to the surrounding cities, especially in the summertime. You’ll have to pack very differently for city and wine country if you’re traveling both. Fog is pulled into San Francisco by warmer weather in the east bay. City streets are notoriously cold and foggy during July and August.
On the average “summer day,” the sun only shines from noon to 4 pm when the fog rolls back into town. Nights in the summer can be spent wearing a leather jacket.
San Francisco Summer Packing List:
Summer is a great time to visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. San Fran’s many parks, including Phono del Sol, Outside Lands, and Phono del Sol, are buzzing with music festivals. This month is all about connecting with nature.
All these outdoor events require you to look cute, so you better look your best. You can find many lookbooks for each of these occasions on their own, but you should adhere to a few general guidelines.
If you want to fit in with the locals, wear a funky hat, retro sunglasses, hair accessories or hair color, platform sneakers, or exotic jewelry. For vintage clothing and offbeat garments, head to Haight and Ashbury if you don’t have anything funky at home.
What to Wear in San Francisco in Fall?
There is no better time of year than September-early October. In fall, San Francisco’s temperature doesn’t fluctuate that much, which is good for travelers. High temperatures from the summer persist into fall, ranging from the mid-70s to the low-60s.
A low of 50 degrees is extremely comfortable. Although fall does not offer many variations in temperature, it makes up for it with its unpredictable rainfall. There is a huge difference between a dry September and a very wet, cloudy November.
San Francisco Fall Packing List:
As fall approaches, the entire country becomes increasingly interested in wearing earthy tones. West Coasters, however, are more in tune with this theme because we don’t have defined seasons like East Coasters.
During this time of year, reds, olives, eggplants, burnt oranges, siennas, and royal blues are perfect. Fashionable fabrics for wearing around the city include knits, cashmere, flannels, and thermals.
Also Read: The Best Men’s Travel Pants
Frequently Asked Questions:
I sometimes wear closed-toed shoes at night to stay warm—and wear a light jacket at night. Skirts and sometimes even shorts are perfect for this time of year. However, you should also be sure to have plenty of long pants or jeans.
There is a requirement for men to wear collared shirts at all times. We do not allow sports attire, T-shirts, shorts, sandals, sneakers, baggy clothing, or sunglasses for men. In the case of women, no sweatsuits, sports attire, revealing clothing, sneakers, or sunglasses should be worn.
The Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars are as famous as San Francisco’s restaurants and food trends. There are a number of unique or regionally typical foods to sample in San Francisco, including abalone, Dungeness crab, sand dabs, bay shrimp, and crusty sourdough French bread.
However, the fact it has become so widespread shows it must be true, even though he didn’t actually say it. There is nothing worse than having a cold summer in San Francisco. Temperature fluctuations are almost impossible to predict due to Karl the Fog competing for oceanic and continental winds.
When you take into account all the microclimates in San Francisco, you are basically left to guess what to wear. If you want to avoid being caught out in the cold, the only way to do so is by wearing layers of clothing.
Winter is a time when you will need more clothes than you do during the summer, but layering is always a good idea. There is no charge for luggage storage at Pacific Tradewinds Hostel and a full laundry service is also available for you, so you can pack as many layers as you want.