A Tropical Girl’s Guide To: SF, California

Of all the states in North America, I had to choose the one with the most unpredictable weather ever. Not to mention the endless steep hills that make walking in heels impossible. Anything that isn’t chunky just won’t cut it anymore because I would find myself rolling down Nob Hill. A 10-minute walk in KL actually means 10 minutes, but here in SF, expect to walk for at least 30 minutes. I’m not kidding. Bright side, my legs and butt have been looking exceptional ever since moving here.

So, what does a tropical girl to do in such a dry, chilly, and furiously bipolar weather condition? Layers.

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Beaded choker from Sabah, Forever 21 crop top and scarf, Monki coat, palazzos from a boutique in Taipan, H&M boots.

I caved. After 2 months of walking entirely in sneakers, I ended up buying a pair of boots that goes with everything. Sadly, they kinda hurt. Tip: stick to boohoo.com for comfortable boots, particularly their chunky platforms.

This outfit right here is perfect for days where the temperature dips drastically. Upon leaving my house, I felt fine, thinking I finally layered right for a change. An hour later and I was beginning to sweat. No problem, all I had to do was remove my coat and drape my scarf around my shoulders. As the sun starts setting, the wind starts cutting right through us, but the jacket and scarf combo defended me against the chill.

For those of you on the East Coast, it’s too late for this look now. You are probably shivering in the cold. Look out for another guide next month.

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My sister’s bandana was worn as a neck scarf, Nasty Gal tote, Oldees vintage kimono, Sway Chic dress, Nike sneakers.

This outfit is for days where it’s particularly sunny. Karl the Fog is nowhere in sight and everyone in Russian Hill is out running in their Lululemon gear or at least look as if they went for a run.

The kimono will not keep you warm once 5 pm hits and the sun is gone. As you can already tell, the sun is our only source of heat. Once it’s gone, it’s over. You would need a thick jacket or at least a scarf, which is what I did. I layered a scarf over myself, but it was not as warm as I would like it to be. The bandana did help, especially if you have long hair and tuck it under it to give the illusion of shorter hair. Basically, your hair keeps you warm.

Sneakers were worn instead of heeled boots considering the fact that I had to walk to two different neighborhoods. There was no way I could have made it in those heels.

Cheat sheet: layers, scarf, flat shoes or chunky platforms if you don’t intend to walk much. No short skirts and dresses because you bet your sweet tooshie will be exposed when the wind gets you. 

As much as I hate SF’s erratic weather patterns, I am grateful that I don’t have to deal with snow. It is pretty and all, but god, it can be such a hassle. When it melts, you’re left wet and shivering. Not in a good way, mind you.

It took me a full year to figure it out, but I’ve got you. Here’s to hoping I continue making the right wardrobe decisions.


Photos by Sophia Charles

Currently in a country where the weather is the opposite of tropical? Feel free to submit your guide to contact@thisiskul.com! Stay safe out there, kids. 

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