Living in San Francisco, we can’t even begin to count the number of times visiting friends have been completely baffled by the fact that our beautiful city by the bay is 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. and “But we’re in California!” they’ll say, “Why is it so cold!?”
These California Dreamers show up wearing T-shirts and shorts, with suitcases filled with more of the same only to exclaim, “But its summer!” Our friendly warnings about how San Francisco weather can play mean tricks on dressing go unheeded.
It’s easy to pick out these, stubborn non-natives. They’ll be the folks who are underdressed with chattering teeth , or whose stylish, yet temperature inappropriate outfit is covered up with an oversized and woefully overpriced, 49ers sweatshirt hastily purchased at the nearest Walgreens.
Visit Manhattan and you’ll spot the non-New Yorkers by their “I Apple NY T-shirts.”
Much is written about to look stylish on a plane without sacrificing comfort. However, it’s surprising how many people think only of WHAT they will wear on a trip, without giving any serious forethought to WHERE they will be wearing it.
Whether it’s the cafes of Paris, the restaurants of Tokyo, the museums of Florence, or the food stalls in Singapore, an urban vacation should inspire you to seek out your inner sophisticate.
Having clothes with you that mark you as a savvy insider, not a country bumpkin will help you to blend into your surroundings, rather than stick out like a poorly dressed thumb.
The easiest way to ensure that you’ll look the part no matter where you are is to think ahead. Have a plan and do a little research—first and foremost researching the weather so you’re prepared while packing.
Each country and culture has its own style. Some countries are more lax (the U.S., England, Ireland, Scotland) while others take their fashion seriously (France & Italy).
It’s crucial to respect the culture of the country you are visiting. For example, if you’re visiting the Middle East/Egypt/Morocco (& other Islamic countries) make sure you dress conservatively (covering most of your skin). Of all the most important places not to stand out, a conservative country is at the top of the list.
Most importantly, don’t stress it! Nearly as much fun as travelling itself is the anticipatory excitement that comes with the preparation process.
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Mark Twain
Photography by: Elodie Durand