I have been in the Bay Area over six months, and I still can't dress myself. How am I supposed to be able to look nice when I have to change clothes four times a day depending on which side of the water I'm on, how close to said water I actually am, whether their is shade or not or if the sun has gone down? Heels -- any dress shoes in general -- are out, since I walk close to four miles a day to and from work. So, yes, I know: layers, layers, layers along with comfortable shoes. But I don't have that. Where I'm from you have your summer clothes and your winter clothes. I've got big, chunky sweaters and teeny tiny tank tops. I've got heavy wool coats and sundresses, and ne'er the two shall meet. Slowly I've got to incorporate thin scarves, long sleeved t-shirts, thin undershirts, hoodies and light jackets into my wardrobe. My sneakers and boots are all in need of repair due to the tons of mileage they've seen while a dozen or more pairs of high heels, wedges and other impractical shoes sit prettily and ignored.
These days I basically wear jeans and two shirts, one t or tank under a long-sleeved something. I'm accumulating more skirts and layer-y type tops, along with wraps and scarves and other layers you can add that don't add much bulk to myself or in my bag. And that's another thing, since I'm never in a car I can't keep things in there. So, while I'm changing four times a day I have to find a place to put those necessary layers, so they travel with me on my person. Therefore the thinner, the better, so long as the items are sufficiently warm.
Frankly, I've never had to think about clothes and shoes in such a utilitarian fashion before. I used to buy ewhat I liked -- whatever was pretty and what looked good on me. I bought warm weather clothes and cold weather clothes, and never would I wear them on the same day, rarely even the same month. But here the climate is temperate, pretty much the same throughout the year without a lot of variance. However the variance in weather within a single day can be staggering, especially if traveling transbay. I've literally left my house in Berkeley in a tank top, sweating, only to arrive in San Francisco, atop one of its famous hilltops, in a backyard canyon, to find the wind whipping up such chilly air that I had to seek out extra layers.
"It never hurts to take a jacket," is a pretty good mantra, and something I always try to do. But that jacket has to live somewhere on days like today when it was 82 at 7 p.m. in the city, where almost no one has air conditioning. This is why so many urban dwellers, men and women alike, carry big bags around with them. Who knew? I certainly didn't.
I'm getting it figured out slowly, but I've still got far to go. One can't up and trade in her existing wardrobe for a new, more-area appropriate one, but I'm getting there. Like today, I bought this dress. Perfect for warm days today, so long as there is a thin, but wind-fighting cardigan to go with it. And maybe a jacket on top of that for later that night.