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What to Wear in San Francisco: A Look at Style in the Different Districts

What is so unique about San Francisco is the different ‘districts’ (what us locals call the different neighborhoods of SF), ranging from SOMA (South of Market), Marina, Pacific Heights, Haight, the Mission, Financial District, Noe Valley and more. Within these districts, each has its own distinctive fashion.

It’s really hard to describe San Francisco’s fashion as a whole, which led me to take a snapshot of some of the fashion styles within a few different districts. Each of the districts actually becomes defined by the different styles. What I love about SF and its fashion is that people blend trendy with creativity and their own unique style, making the fashion scene here very diverse.

SOMA, also known as South of Market, is a diverse district of warehouses, brick buildings and lofts, nightclubs, art spaces, furniture and art showrooms and tech companies. It’s a young professional demographic, and you can find tech/start-up chic hipsters sipping their coffee with their iPad every morning in ‘South Park’, a small park in SOMA with a lot of urban character.

The Financial District, also known as “FiDi,” serves as San Francisco’s main central business district. If you’re traveling to SF for business, you will most likely have meetings in this area or at least stay here as it’s very central to a number of company headquarters. A cluster of high-rise buildings mark the area which is near North Beach, Union Square (read: shopping!), and Embarcadero. While SF tends to be more casual in nature (compared to areas of New York City, for example), this is the one district of SF where a majority of men will be in suits and women in business attire.

The Marina is a very picturesque district adjacent to the municipal boat marina and borders Fort Mason, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Marina Green. The Marina is “famous” for its demographic of twenty-something to thirty-something young urban professionals and is an affluent neighborhood. The fashion in this district is more trendy – you’ll see many Louis Vuittons take the streets.

As a denizen of this great city for more than five years, here are my top tips:

* Always have a scarf – it is true that we wear scarves 320 days out of the year here.

* Wear flats – you will walk a lot in SF.

* Layers, layers, layers.

* Cross-body bag. Ultra practical for SF in a city full of iPhones, travel junkies, and more.

* A black blazer. What I love about SF is that it’s a very ‘casual chic’ city meaning that your black blazer is a perfect balance for work and a SF happy hour.

What to Pack

Here’s a look at what fashion trends bring style culture to each unique district:

SOMA – Casual chic meets hipster

Financial District – Dressy work chic

Marina – Trendy chic

Local Weather

San Francisco weather can only be described as mild and steady each season. The summer, for example, maintains an average high of 70 degrees F from June to October and an average low of 53 degrees F. Come fall, though, temps drop from October to April from a high in the low 60s to a low in the low 40s. You can be sure, though, that regardless of season, you will need to do some smart and artful layering. Though the annual weather patterns are steady, each day can bring a fluctuation in temperature that will have you grabbing for your scarf in the morning and seeking shade by the afternoon.

Rain is rare during the summer, making San Fran a great place to visit. The rest of the year sees 3 – 4 inches monthly for a total of only 63 rainy days annually.

Online Resources

* SF Indie Fashion

* The SF Style

Shopping and Designers

* Jeremys Department Store

* Ambiance

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