Find me a San Francisco summer jacket!
June 18, 2013 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Hi hivemind! I'm a late twenties girl, 5'5, 130, platinum pixie cut, and I am looking for San Francisco summer jacket!

I have been googling and failing, especially since now seems to be completely the wrong season for buying jackets. I moved to the bay area two weeks ago from the east coast and the coats I brought with me suck, and the rest of my options are still in storage for now. I have a black zip up hoodie that I like which is generally too thin, but has been serviceable. I also have a stylish, short black BCBG wool coat but it's generally too heavy and is a pain to drag around if I take it off. Basically I am looking for something stylish, relatively thin, and warm especially against wind. I live in a relatively warm part of the city, but travel to windy/fog locked places, and need something that can go on and come off, and not be too annoying if I am carrying it/stashing it in my messenger bag.

I've noticed that fitted parachutes jackets seem to be kind of a thing around here right now, and that might be the way to go if there is a good option there. I generally like black/dark gray, as those colors tend to be striking with my blond, but am open to other colors. I tend to like simpler styles, but with a distinctive cut/detail. I am not interested in REI/Patagonia fleeces, even though they are probably the most pragmatic option! Links to specific jackets would be *amazing*. However, suggestions of brands or key words that I should be searching for would also be really helpful. I am looking to spend about $100-$200.

Extra credit: I could probably also use a few more hoodies too, if y'all have any suggestions there as well. Also, I'd appreciate any Bay Area metafites advice on managing personal comfort. I previously lived in NYC+Pittsburgh where it was either seasonally hot or cold, and all of this variation throughout the day/location/elevation is totally new to me.

Thanks so much in advance!
posted by amileighs to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here's a recent question about light jackets! (Which I misread at the time as being for something to wear indoors.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:22 PM on June 18, 2013

Best answer: I have a couple of awesome sweater hoodies from Triple Aught Design that are comfy and somewhat nicer than standard hoodies.
posted by elizardbits at 12:36 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In our wonderful microclimates, I always go for layers. If I am home in the Mission, where it is usually warmer and sunnier, I have a t-shirt + fleece or hoodie, and often a shell or windbreaker of some sort in case I go four blocks and the temperature drops 10 degrees because fog.

(No links because...well, I mostly shop at REI!)

Valencia St. has a number of little boutiquey places that have cool hoodies, so take a wander some time.

I have some warm wool half-gloves (like, no fingers) that I keep in a jacket pocket. If I'm carrying a bag, I'll throw a scarf in there as well.

Come to the meetup tonight (see IRL) and we can tell you even more, in person.
posted by rtha at 12:53 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Go somewhere like Upper Playground and get your SF hoodie on.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:02 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check out the Burlington Coat Factory on Howard Street. They'll have a HUGE selection of outerwear, no matter what the season is.

When it got down to 20 in Miami one year, Burlington was the only place I could find, other than the Sal Army that HAD coats to sell. I understand that the outlet there is outrageous with lots of cool and designer gear.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2013

I am the last person to weigh in on the "stylish" aspect, but I wore one of these all around San Francisco on some drizzly days and up the windy coast the other week and it was perfect. It has fleece on the inside but the outside is not a fleece material. It's great at stopping the wind. It comes in black and there is also a hooded version.
posted by mikepop at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2013

ASOS has a nice variety of jacket styles which would fit SF summers.

I've also found that large, wide scarves are a lifesaver. Easily folded/smashed into a bag, and can be wrapped around the body in many ways to protect from blowing, wet fog.

2nding Upper Playground for SF gear.
posted by quince at 1:31 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, scarves have been my solution since I moved here. There is no jacket really that meets all the sf criteria (warm enough for nighttime is a pain to carry all day, basically). Before coming to SF I thought the idea of wearing a scarf in summer seemed the fiction of advertisers. No longer.
posted by dame at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Caveat: I am a poor thermoregulator (or maybe an overly-efficient one? I'm never sure) and so I'm more comfortable in short sleeves or a single layer in cool, foggy San Francisco afternoons and early evenings than most.

That said, I often stay out late and like to have layers for the wee hours (whether it's actually colder or not, I feel colder at 2am), and I've found a lightly lined leather jacket and a scarf does me just fine for the 2-3 seasons that require the extra layers. Depending on the environment I can wear either alone, or wear them together, so it's a pretty versatile arrangement. Plus: a simple black leather jacket looks great whether I'm wearing business casual, casual casual, or tarty goin'-out clothes, and I'm learning it's fun to accessorize with scarves. (Also scarves are great for covering up occasional spills on my shirt.)
posted by rhiannonstone at 3:30 PM on June 18, 2013

I also wear a wind-proof soft shell (mine is North Face) like the one dame linked, in navy.

I moved from the east coast and for two years I held out the outdoorsy technical gear, preferring stylish pea coats and trenches and military style jackets. I'm much warmer and happier now that I switched to shells and fleeces and microfibers, which are so much warmer and lighter and waterproof. Style here is just a little different.
posted by amaire at 4:28 PM on June 18, 2013

I am very happy you posted this thread, because I also live in SF and am frustrated that shops are selling "summer clothes" when we don't really get summer here!

I did want to chime in that scarves are a lifesaver. I just went to one of the places on Grant in Chinatown and bought I think 5 for $20. They are really soft and warm and have held up nicely.
posted by radioamy at 7:22 PM on June 18, 2013

You mentioned a messenger bag. Is this for walking or cycling or both? If you're cycling, I would actually recommend a cyclist's cut, which is longer in the back to keep you covered even as you bend over. Although even if you're not on a bike, a cyclist's jacket would work well for someone interested in packing it away, donning and doffing it often, and carrying just one jacket for a range of temperature, wind, and precipitation situations.

Also, I personally think some of them don't look that bad as everyday wear, but my female friends assure me that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Don't buy the Rapha jacket. Rapha is absurdly overpriced. And really nice. It's complicated.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:10 PM on June 18, 2013

« Older Can you identify this sci-fi short story?   |   Family trip for Spring 2014 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.