A couple of months ago I read a blog post about San Francisco style complete with numerous photos of gorgeous young women wearing 5″ platform sandals and strapless sundresses. They looked great but I couldn’t picture any of them in the generally foggy, cool, hilly city where I was born. So, on my most recent trip to the Bay area I toted along my camera in the hopes of capturing some REAL San Francisco street style.
San Francisco street style varies with the neigborhood
The fashion scene in “The City” changes depending upon the neighborhood. Often each area has it’s own unique feel. People downtown tend to dress more formally, and you’ll usually see your trendiest looks there. For instance, the girls wearing the striped outfits in the photo above were enjoying a sunny moment near the Ferry Building in the downtown area. Meanwhile, in the photo below a casual group in jeans and T-shirts strolls a street near the Haight Ashbury.
San Francisco is known for it’s hills. It’s also a city that encourages walking and the use of public transportation. As a result it’s really rare to see anyone in high heels. Sneakers, like the converse seen on the street car in the photo above, or other sensible walking shoes are the footwear of choice for both men and women. The wedge sandals on the girl below were some of the highest heels I saw the whole week and a half of my stay.
The weather in the City by the Bay is mercurial. It can be cold and drizzly near the ocean and change to warm and sunny by the end of a streetcar ride. As a result people tend to dress in layers like the couple below.
Does San Francisco have Style?
Recently Danielle Steel, on of San Francisco’s more famous residents, told the Wall Street Journal that:
San Francisco is a great city to raise children, but I was very happy to leave it,…There’s no style, nobody dresses up—you can’t be chic there. It’s all shorts and hiking books and Tevas—it’s as if everyone is dressed to go on a camping trip. I don’t think people really care how they look there; and I look like a mess when I’m there, too.
Although I can see her point of view, I really don’t agree. San Francisco residents have their own look that relates perfectly to their surroundings and lifestyle. Although a lot of people live in their jeans and fleece jackets, I saw a lot of very chic ensembles. The woman below is clean and crisp in a white dress with black accessories.
The woman in the photo below looks elegant in an all-neutral outfit.
Quite a few women were wearing cut out shirts with inserts of lace. The young woman in the photo below is a perfect example of the eclectic but practical style that I expect to see in San Francisco.
San Francisco is a unique place. I don’t expect the residents to look like they live in Paris, L.A. or New York. In fact, I think it would be quite boring if they did.
If you’ve been to San Francisco or you live there what do you think of the style? Looking at my photos do you think Danielle Steel is correct of is she just being a snob?