Packing for a Fall Getaway to San Francisco

Packing for a Fall Getaway to San Francisco

I spent yesterday carefully packing for a fall getaway to San Francisco. It’s my birthday this weekend, and like last year, my husband and I are spending it in my favorite American city, San Francisco!


I lived and worked in San Francisco for much of my young adult life, having gone to college at University of San Francisco and working in the Financial District for seven years after graduation.

I still have dear friends in San Francisco and am thrilled to be seeing several of them this weekend. Some I have been friends with for nearly 30 years (gulp!). The plan is to eat, shop, laugh, imbibe, then repeat until exhausted.

The food in San Francisco is some of the best in the world. I plan on forgetting about calories and carbs for a few days and treating the foodie in me to some gastronomical delights. French, Indian, Italian, and Continental cuisines are on the schedule. A pink bottle of Vueve Cliquot I received as a Christmas gift last year will be joining me on the trip, but what won’t be coming are form-fitting, body-conscious clothing.

I packed with three goals in mind:

1.  To be comfortable at all times, even after large meals consisting of lasagna, bruschetta, gelato and Chianti.

2. To look stylish – always a goal.

3. To dress appropriately for the weather.

If you came here looking to get tips on how to pack lightly, this post will be a disappointment. I admit to being a overpacker. I just like to have lots of choices!

I decided to pick a color palate to pack around. I chose burgundy, gray and black. And with the exception of my jeans, I stayed true to that trio of colors.

I began with coats. I brought a water-repellant trench coat by Calvin Klein (similar) as rain is forecasted for Saturday. I also packed my new Stella Carakasi Far and Away coat in Travertine. I can hardly wait to finally wear this beauty!

For cold nights, I am bringing my much-loved Burberry Rushworth coat, a worth-it splurge from a couple of years ago.


This Stella Carakasi Far and Away coat is really something special. You can wear the collar many different ways depending on your mood and the temperature. It’s the most gorgeous icy gray color and made of boiled wool, which is surprisingly soft and not itchy one bit.


I’m also bringing along a couple of lighter weight options in case my coats are too warm for the weather. San Francisco temperatures are rather unpredictable and it could very well be in the low 70s in the afternoon. This lightweight leather jacket I bought in Italy a couple of years ago is always a good choice.


And this thin sweater coat by Free People (similar), shown here with a long asymmetrical burgundy tank, works well for mild climate.


After the coats and jackets were decided, it was time to move on to tops.

From left to right: I chose a silky tee by Tilden, a gray and black plaid Equipment blouse (similar), my Covered Perfectly top, and a Stella Carakasi Defining Moment Tunic that I wore in October’s How I Wear My; Favorite Color.


I have been looking forward to sweater weather for eons and it’s finally here!

From left to right: I am bringing a new Gap sweater that is cozy and soft and perfect for pigging out in.

I also chose to bring three Stella Carakasi sweaters from their Fall ’14 line. I will wear the cropped Take It Easy Sweater with a long tank as I did in my last post, or with the Equipment blouse.

The Aspirations Sweater in Nickel is ideal for a night out. It has the most beautiful tiny sequin and bouclé on the forearm and dramatic dolman sleeves.

I am also bringing a black Go Everywhere Sweater, a lighter weight asymmetrical sweater with eye-catching, open-weave striped shoulder area that I wore in Jill’s last How I Wear My post.


Bottoms were pretty easy for me. I am only wearing pants and jeans, leaving the skirts and dresses at home.

I chose my four favorites: Always Skinny jeans by Gap, black twill pants by Jigsaw, Broken-in Straight Khakis by Gap and Stella Carakasi Look Sharp Leggings. None of these pants are the slightest bit tight on me. All tight clothing stayed home. The Jigsaw twill pants, skinny jeans and Look Sharp Leggings all have plenty of give without ever sagging or bagging.


Now for the hard part: Footwear.

I had a hard time deciding on what shoes to bring. Since we’re driving, I thought I would just bring as many as I wanted! Why not?

We will be walking a lot and must wear sensible shoes but sensible shoes are not always stylish. Thank goodness for booties, sneakers and well-worn tall boots. My new Boden booties have fast become my favorites. Deep, rich black suede, these boots with a back zipper and one-inch heel are incredibly comfortable and well-made.

I am also bringing gray booties and gray loafers, both from Gap, Nike sneakers, burgundy flats by Vaneli and my Ivanka Trump Tellis Pointy Toe pumps. I probably won’t wear the Ivank’s on the hilly streets of San Francisco but who knows? Maybe I will be in a daring mood.

I may throw in a pair of my amazingly comfortable water-repellent combat boots for good measure.


I picked three handbags to bring: a large, over-the-shoulder bag I bought last year at COS in Paris, a small crossbody bag from Gap and a Louis Vuitton Favorite MM. 


I am bringing lots of bracelets and necklaces and a couple of scarves. This diamond patterned wool scarf in gray and ivory shades is from Madewell, an early birthday present from a very dear friend. It’s gorgeous and I am totally in love with it!

The fleur de lys necklace was a gift from Tamera Beardsley last year, the big pearl necklace is by Sally Drennon, and the bead necklace with a feather pendant is from La Brocante in Sonoma. I am also packing a silver Vince Camuto spike pendant on a long chain.


I packed two of my Jewels of the Vineyard bracelets, a Celtic cuff a Parisian friend sent me from her recent trip to Normandy, a glass bracelet I bought years ago in Oregon, among other trinkets and treasures.


If you read my blog regularly, you probably already figured out that I am a hat person. I love, love, love hats. For this trip, I am bringing a gray fedora by Bigalli and a wool floppy hat (similar). both from Montecristi Panama Hat Company in Napa Valley. These are my best weapons against bad hair days.


And there you have it! It’s too much stuff for four days, I agree. But at least I will have lots of choices and I won’t have to worry about tight-fitting clothes this weekend. I am going to eat whatever my heart desires. The diet starts Monday…maybe.

How I Wear My Badge

How I Wear My: Leather, Crystal or Glass (for the third year HIWM anniversary) is just days away! Be sure to submit a photo of you wearing leather (or pleather), crystal and/or glass to by November 3rd to be featured in the November 5th post. Include a few lines about your look and a photo 600 pix wide or larger for best resolution.

I anticipate it will be a crazy and fun-filled celebratory weekend in San Francisco. I am certain the Giants will be winning the World Series, regardless of what happened last night in KC, and people will be celebrating up a storm!

I will be Instagramming all the festivities, noteworthy meals and maybe a few outfits while in San Francisco if you’d like to follow along, Find me at @therichlifeonabudget.

Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: All Stella Carakasi clothing, gray fedora from Montecristi Panama Hat Company in Napa Valley,  black Jewels of the Vineyard bracelet, Covered Perfectly top, Boden booties and Jigsaw twill pants were given to me in exchange for promotion. As always, my opinions are my own. 


  1. October 23, 2014 / 11:05 am

    Looks like you are ready for a great time…and you will look awesome while celebrating. I love the idea of ignoring calories and just having fun for a weekend. Can’t wait to see your trip pictures.

  2. liz kroin
    October 23, 2014 / 11:23 am

    Loved your sf suitcase. love sf even more. having moved away in 88 my list would be
    de Young museum
    soma galleries
    coit tower
    sashimi in japantown
    Brandy Ho’s
    hotel nikko
    Pacific Ocean
    Seal Rock
    Clift Hotel
    See’s -oh yeah
    Ghirardelli Square
    seafood-oh yeah
    PJ’s Oyster Bar
    one pair black yga pants
    two Gilly Hicks tanks
    Gilly Hicks thongs
    victoria Secret black bra
    Under Armor no show socks
    brassy locking posts I’m wearing
    yellow topaz posts i’m wearing
    vermeil link chain looking wedding band i’m wearing
    change toenail polish to orange
    re-do clear finger polish
    buy Dior black or dark eye shadow
    buy Dior Addict lipstick in a pale pink/orange maybe mirage
    Josie Maran Argan oil
    no no glow device w/ Neova
    Foreo Luna

  3. October 23, 2014 / 11:39 am

    Love that Italian leather jacket! Great list here, A., and I hope your trip is fantastic. We leave for NYC Saturday : >

  4. October 23, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    good gracious woman, I thought I packed alot…. you did say the weekend right?? I use to pack like crazy but I have gotten much better, but the good thing about car trips is you can bring a lot extra. loving the coats though. Have a great birthday weekend and Happy Birthday

  5. October 23, 2014 / 1:14 pm

    Atta girl! My kind of packing for driving trips:). Have an amazing blast. I know you will, and you’ll look chic as hell doing it. I’ll be following in IG!
    xo ~Jennifer

  6. April
    October 23, 2014 / 1:51 pm

    I’m cracking up! Wow, that is a lot of clothes! I’m thinking you could take out two coats and just stick with the leather jacket and gray coat. Shoes…..a pair of flats, tennis shoes, and boots.
    I tend to pack just a few items, but use a lot of accessories to change the look of my outfits from day to night…..several scarves, necklaces, etc. Have a wonderful birthday trip! All of your choices look fabulous, though! I know you’re in the city a lot, but here are some of my faves…..lunch or dinner at Slanted Door, Irish coffee at Buena Vista, cocktails at The St. Regis, Delfina in the Mission. We’re trying a place new to me in a few weeks, Central Kitchen. It’s getting great reviews.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  7. October 23, 2014 / 2:19 pm

    Happy Birthday weekend have lots of fun and enjoy the feasting!
    Packing for a trip in the car is so much easier than using a carry on…
    The boiled wool jacket looks wonderful, I love the collar detail.

  8. October 23, 2014 / 3:09 pm

    🙂 Wow! You do like to pack, but how great, if you have the space and the nerves to lug it all around. I remember SFO being more chilly than any other city on the west coast, so better safe then sorry clothes wise. Enjoy your B-Day weekend. 🙂

  9. October 23, 2014 / 9:12 pm

    Thanks for the fun peek into your travel bag, but I sure do miss the days of reading about your latest thrift store find. 🙂

  10. Kathy
    October 24, 2014 / 5:25 am

    Of course I don’t think you overpacked at all. The weather’s been so unpredictable, and like you, I love to have lots of choices when I travel. Everything goes together so well, and I’m looking forward to seeing the photos of your trip. Have a fantastic time and a very Happy Birthday!

  11. October 24, 2014 / 7:22 am

    Wow! That is a lot of packing for 4 days. I am the opposite. If I have too much choice I can never make a decision 😉 So I would have to take a lot less otherwise I would never leave the hotel room.
    Have a wonderful weekend (in one of my fav American cities too ) and Happy Birthday Adrienne xxx

  12. October 24, 2014 / 8:21 am

    Have a great birthday weekend, my dear! I know you will. I like all of your clothing and accessory choices here and I am especially wild for the Stella coat. Seriously, I need to investigate because now I want one! It is going to feel like a huge party in SF this weekend because of the World Series. I hope SF will get a birthday win for you! I will toast to you tomorrow night from NYC! XO, Jill

  13. October 24, 2014 / 12:35 pm

    Oh the joy of extravagant packing when you don’t have to worry about flying and baggage restrictions! Enjoy!

    • liz kroin
      October 24, 2014 / 1:16 pm

      My rich life on a budget is a gym membership (that is used.) Keep the eating, drinking and the bill that comes at the end down and keep the downward dogs up. Everything (including $7 ebay Abercrombie boys tees) looks better on a toned bod. A few extravagancies are good mood enhancers but if I were lucky enough to go on an S.F. weekend getaway I think I could do it with a change of underwear in my purse. But really in S.F. you don’t even need underwear.

  14. Linda Salazar
    October 25, 2014 / 6:38 am

    Ha Ha I love it…when I am on a road trip I always overpack! Better to have more choices than not enough. When we flew to SF last year I remember pulling things OUT of my suitcase when I was packing. I have to say I am a little envious that you can even entertain the thought of bringing (multiple) coats. It was 95 degrees here yesterday and it’s almost Nov. I am so over our warm weather. Ugh.

    Hope you and Bill have a fantastic time and a very Happy Birthday to you my friend!!!


  15. October 25, 2014 / 12:15 pm

    Happy birthday! Love your outfits, great color palette. Enjoy!

  16. Pingback: How I Wear My
  17. October 30, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    What a great selection of outfits and accessories! Looks like you were definitely sorted for a great time away.

  18. Kris
    October 30, 2014 / 6:39 pm

    Happy (belated) Birthday – people might enjoy this article on packing ( from covered wagons to carry-ons)

  19. Patricia Hall
    October 30, 2014 / 6:57 pm

    Ummmmm, WHAT didn’t you pack? Hope you do a follow up post telling us what got worn. Love to see that.

  20. Pingback: Boden USA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Policy

We do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at anytime by modifying your Internet browser’s settings. We are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.”