Seattle Spring/Summer
April 1, 2012 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I've got my eye on this varsity/baseball wool/leather jacket. I'll probably have it mid to late April. First I'd like to make the point that Seattle weather has absolutely beautiful since I arrived here one month ago. It's been about 50/50 sunny/cloudy, and there's always a breeze, and the temperatures have been very mild. (This could just be because I live at the top of Queen Anne Hill.) I know that statistically we actually get less annual rainfall than NYC, which is where I'm from. My question is: how long into Spring can I comfortably wear a jacket (in particular a light/medium jacket)? It seems every morning has been cold, and I still see people wearing winter hats. How long will this persist? How warmly do people typically dress in Seattle from the months of May to October?
posted by brighteyes7 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total)
You won't need it in July, but you'll have plenty of light jacket days until May and more in the fall.
posted by slow graffiti at 11:15 AM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: Haha, everyone here keeps telling me that about the summer.

I'm never going back to NYC.
posted by brighteyes7 at 11:18 AM on April 1, 2012

Seattle weather has been plain weird lately — heavy rain, one minute, and then sunshine, the next. Repeat throughout the day. So plan on wearing a couple thin layers with a thin rain jacket. This let's you adjust to the manic episodes that are Pacific NW weather.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:22 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I stop wearing jackets around May, but I get hot if it's above 59 degrees. You'll see tons of people wearing wool caps and sweaters well into the summer, though. Why? Welcome to hipsterville.
posted by joan_holloway at 11:25 AM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: @ Blazecock Pileon: I think there's a running joke that if you don't like the weather, just wait fifteen minutes. So true.

@ joan: It's plain weird to wear sweaters and wool caps in the summer. But you're right, it's a hipster thing. It always strikes me as really comical/amusing.
posted by brighteyes7 at 11:33 AM on April 1, 2012

It will be chilly and damp until July 5 (common knowledge is that it rains on July 4 most years, so summer starts the next day). Really warm weather will run until mid September. It's a bit opposite of the east coast, the best summer weather in Seattle is mid August instead of early July.

The temperature is fairly moderate most of the year, though... 40s all winter, then up to 75 in the summer. Much less of a range than the northeast.
posted by lyra4 at 11:41 AM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

My polar fleece (oh yeah!) cap and gloves have the best warmth to weight ratio out of any of my outerwear. I carry them with me year-round and wear them if I am at all cool. Why not? My hipster level is second from left on this comic.

I regularly wear light jackets in the summer, or if I think it might rain.

Unless you're really pressed for space or are in debt, there's no reason not to get the jacket. You'll have plenty of time to wear it, believe me.
posted by grouse at 12:59 PM on April 1, 2012

I lived in Tacoma for some time. My affinity for wool hats and jackets was not then and is not now a hipster affectation.

It's because any time the thermometer reaches down (or glances down) to 80 or so, I catch a chill. If you were me, you'd wear that jacket every morning all summer in Seattle. Why yes, I think I will stay in Florida The hipsters just think I'm so cool they want to dress like me.
posted by bilabial at 1:46 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: It's a navy/wool blend. We'll just have to see if it's too warm. If it's not, then Seattle is indeed the perfect place to live for me.

So I'm going to show everyone what it looks like, because you were all so helpful. Hope this works!
posted by brighteyes7 at 1:51 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: I could wear that to the office, to dress down my slacks and dress shoes. I think it'll look GREAT.
posted by brighteyes7 at 1:52 PM on April 1, 2012

You're probably not going to want to wear that in the summertime.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:53 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: Until when do you suppose I could wear that?
posted by brighteyes7 at 1:55 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: Certainly wasn't planning on wearing it through summer...
posted by brighteyes7 at 1:58 PM on April 1, 2012

Your rainfall stat is a bit misleading. There's amount of rain, and there's number of rainy days. Seattle wins on that second one.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:03 PM on April 1, 2012

Honestly, I can usually wear a jacket similar in weight to the one you're describing to the 4th of July fireworks. Our springs are long and cool and go well into June -- we don't usually get what you'd call "summer weather" until after the 4th of July.
posted by KathrynT at 2:21 PM on April 1, 2012

In May it gets cold enough for my furnace to kick on, and then comes Juneuary. You'll still get plenty of wear out of that jacket before the summer. (And then again in the fall, so I don't really see what the problem is.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:54 PM on April 1, 2012

Response by poster: YES

jacket = mine

thanks all, happy spring
posted by brighteyes7 at 3:52 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

yep, it is highly unusual for me to leave the house without a light insulated jacket (like a leather car coat, for example) until late July. It rarely gets really, really cold here, so most years I never consistently change outerwear from season to season. If the summer warrants it I will switch to a light cotton shell and a sweater or a flannel - layers are your friend, and it will still get cold in the evening some summer nights.

send home for some fireflies in a jar, though. the only fireflies on the west coast are in the boarding area for Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. My wife was born in California and has never seen one in real life.
posted by mwhybark at 7:21 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

From May to summer, if not exercising, I wear a presentable undershirt and a long sleeve shirt the whole summer. If I get hot I can take the long sleeve off. If I'm going to be riding a bike I might wear an undershirt and a short sleeve over shirt.

I always carry a flannel, a fleece, and a waterproof shell.

I bought an "elements" jacket from REI as my "shell". I'll wear it every pretty much every day from October to the end of June unless we have one of the super-warm 61 degree days in May, (FFS and all that is holy, this place is NOT WARM AT ALL EVAR, says the boy raised in Texas!!!).

Last summer, July 1st marked the end of crap. But, I don't dare predict anything.
posted by roboton666 at 11:37 PM on April 1, 2012

I'll disagree with roboton666 slightly. We're likely to get some "summer" days in May or even April. But then in early June it typically gets cooler and grayer until, as someone said above, July 5. Then it becomes gorgeous until sometime in September.

It's not always like that, but it's like it often enough. (Truthfully, though, it doesn't usually *rain* on July 4... usually... but clouds are relatively common that day.)

So you may be able to wear the jacket into July, or you may put it away in early May and then have to bring it back out again a couple of years later, or we might have one of those freakish years where you put the jacket away in May and don't need it again until Halloween. (1988... that was a weird year.) But I would say that jacket is very useful in this climate since you can probably get away with it during much of the winter as well if you layer it over a hoodie or something.

My Seattle summer eccentricity is that I almost never ever wear shorts. It's just not that hot here most of the time. Jeans are fine. Though we did finally break our heat record a couple of years ago. (For decades our record high was 100 and record low was 0, easy to remember. Then the high record was smashed -- it's now 104 if I remember correctly. Holy crap, that was hot! I might have actually worn shorts that day.) :)
posted by litlnemo at 6:29 AM on April 3, 2012

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