Heat wave!

I always say that September is our hot month but this is ridiculous.

I've lived in San Francisco for 15 years and this is the first time it's been warm enough to go outside in a tank top and shorts at night. Yesterday was 106, smashing the all-time record. Today was "only" 102. I realize that isn't so weird elsewhere, but it is just so so strange to feel it here, where our usual highs are ~68 and no one has air conditioning.

I ventured out today in shorts and a tank top! I didn't even bring a sweater "just in case"! (Do you know how hard it is to fight that instinct?) I added a bandana around my neck to prevent sunburn -- I can only wear mineral sunscreen, and if I put it on my neck, it stains my shirts. This one is cotton, from Madewell, perfect for hot weather.

I walked all the way up Valencia Street to BART (the hipsters were mostly absent, probably indoors) and bought an ice cream cone on my way. Then I headed to the air-conditioned mall while my apartment melted. I'm still on this fall shopping spree... I found so many exciting things. I need to dial it back and decide what to return, but for now I'm just excited to have options.

Gap (50% off today)

  • New denim jacket.
  • Wool felt fedora. I'd like to wear more hats to keep sun off. This one is floppier and more casual than my fancy Rag & Bone fedora, and at only $17 I won't worry about crushing it.


  • KM posted that the Ines de la Fressange collection was mostly sold out online. I remembered that my Uniqlo is one of the few to stock it, and the store still had so-so selection. I got one thing, a white cotton shirt.
  • This sweater might be one of the rare avant-garde finds at a mainstream store that make up my core wardrobe. But I rarely wear pullovers, more often turning to buttoned shirts or tees and cardigans, and it was pricey for Uniqlo. I'll model it once the weather cools down and decide.
  • Men's jeans. I think they fit me perfectly. But, they're very similar to the Everlane boyfriend jeans that will come out this week (the ones I fit-tested and loved) so I won't cut the tags.


  • New bras (one beige to enable all the white shirts I've been wearing recently)
  • Emergency fishnet socks! (Visible in the photo) After a few hours of walking (and sweating) my sandals were giving me blisters. The socks saved the day. I'm really loving this fishnet trend.

I also tried to buy this J Crew shirt that I've had my eye on ever since fashion week, but the store was sold out in white, so I'll order it. I can't decide between white or stripe.

I hope the rest of you in the Bay Area, especially inland, are coping ok. We're just not prepared for this sort of weather...

(Well, except my little cat. She was born in Puerto Rico and I think she still misses the island heat. She was dozing in full sunlight when I left this afternoon.)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    It's really incredible. It's after midnight, and still in the 80s. I'm sitting outside with a wet cloth to my forehead in a thin sleeveless tee and skirt after the last constitutional with Lilypup. Normally, I'd have been in my ankle-length puffy and wool beanie!

    And of course, I gave away my two tank tops last week because I didn't wear them last summer and thought they were obsolete in my new microclime... Of course I did.

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    Oh, yes! Looks like you had a good shopping day!

    I worked today. Bakery. Ovens! Crazy!

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    We all get accustomed to our climate, and for me, dealing with this level of heat is easy, but below 10C and I am like a human popsicle. It is great to see how stylish you look in warm weather clothing. I particularly love the fishnet socks with your ensemble.

  • Jane replied 1 year ago

    Great fishnet socks! I love the hat. I like the jacket too.

    That is hot! Too hot for me and the thought of ovens and baking, makes me wince!

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    It's funny - I find the heat at home more unbearable than at the bakery. The difference between a big open space and a warren of rooms...

  • K.M. replied 1 year ago

    Greyscale, I lived in the Bay Area years ago and I never experienced this kind of heat! I loved the cool summers, and yes I remember September and October as the warmest months, which I found surprising but not bad. I also lived in the Inland Empire and that's where I recall days of over 100. When I went outside in the sun it felt like I had walked inside an oven (to rachylou's bakery point...) And I'm from Brazil, so you'd think I would be used to that!

    I love your finds. I'd be curious to see the Cocoon sweater on you. I imagine it's the kind of piece that can look very different depending on how you style it. The texture looks great.

    By the way I wrote to Uniqlo and they replied within minutes about the IDLF collection (wow for customer service). I'll update that post with their reply, but yes, it has already sold out mostly! I'll know for next time.

    Before I forget--you had helped me with Uniqlo sizing, and your advice was perfect. I ordered Supima tees and a cotton-cashmere cable sweater in my usual XS and they fit absolutely perfectly, no shrinkage in the wash. If it hadn't been for you I would have ordered everything in S and would have had to return the whole lot! Thank you!

    PS. And if you do get the J.Crew funnel top I'd also be curious to see/hear about it. It was one of the few things in their new catalog that caught my eye.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Those look like terrific Finds -- looking forward to seeing the sweaters on. Great fedora and socks! Enjoy the heat wave...

  • JAileen replied 1 year ago

    Cute outfit! Very atypical for you. I wear shorts all summer.

    I feel for you. We're hot all summer, but we have AC. It was very hot in the Bay Area in 1976, for a week. I had to ride the ferry to cool off. Here's a graphic from the Chron. Friday when it was 106 in SF, we were only 94. Yesterday we were 100, though, with a low of 59, a spread of 41 degrees. It must be extra low humidity, because normally our spread is 30 degrees.

    Pray for fog!

  • karen13 replied 1 year ago

    At least you look cool! What the heck is up with e crazy weather? My sis lives down the coast in Pismo and she said it was 102. Truckee was a balmy 88, actually pleasant, and we too had the rare stay out late in shorts phenomenon. I am looking forward to some pictures of your finds when it cools down a bit.

  • annagybe replied 1 year ago

    Love the fishnet socks with the sandals

  • Greyscale replied 1 year ago

    Karen, I didn't realize Truckee had stayed so pleasant! My brother and SIL want to move there from Oakland.

    Rachy, yikes, bakery sounds way too hot for me! My boyfriend went to hot yoga yesterday afternoon. He's nuts.

    KM thanks for the Uniqlo intel. I'm glad the tees fit! I also found I was an XS in all the IDLF tops I tried (and they were sized more like regular Uniqlo this time).

  • ClaraT replied 1 year ago

    Chiming in from Marin to say--holy cow! yesterday was so, so hot. My app said 108--felt more like 100 lol. No A/C because "we don't need that here." (And truly we mosly don't...) My friend got us tickets for the Color Factory in SF, and we were dripping with sweat. Great fun, but wow the heat. It was lovely walking around Union Square at night with a thin tank on--probably a first and only experience for me.

    Meanwhile, my hometown (in Los Angeles) was burning, and my friend in Texas is dealing with the aftermath of the heavy rains. What a week (or so...)

    Love your finds. The pattern on the cocoon sweater is great. Kudos for being able to shop for cool weather when it was so warm

  • Greyscale replied 1 year ago

    Oh, I'm going to Color Factory next week! Cool.

    The stores were all so air conditioned that it was easy to imagine wearing warm clothes. I got home and wanted to show off my finds to my boyfriend, but I put on the jeans and then was like eewww too hot. So that'll have to wait. It reminded me of my annual family ritual of trying on fall school clothes at the end of August to see what still fit... always sweaty and unpleasant. (Rural CT could get hot but we never had AC - there was enough shade and breeze to get away with just fans. I've actually never lived in a house with AC though I admit in Boston I'd choose to stay at my boyfriend's ACed apartment!)

  • chouette22 replied 1 year ago

    Great shopping spree and wow the temperatures! I love that J.Crew shirt so much that I have ordered it as well in a couple of colors/sizes. That's exactly the type of shirt I love - thanks for making me aware of it!

  • gryffin replied 1 year ago

    Gosh you like ok great despite the heat. That's an awesome idea with the bandana. I'm not good about sunscreen in my neck for the same reason, it would ruin my clothes. I also wear only mineral sunscreens. I'm going to order some bandanas just like that if I can find them!! We have the opposite an unseasonably cold august. It's hit into the 40's at night. It's been in the 60's during the day. Totally weird weather!! It's just too early for fall!! Stay cool!! Off to shop bandanas!!

  • Greyscale replied 1 year ago

    Gryffin, here are some recent finds! First one is cotton, second two are silk, all come in other colors too. I've actually been meaning to write a post about my bandanas.

  • DonnaF replied 1 year ago

    I couldn't believe that it was 81 degrees at 6:30 this morning; it is usually in the high 50s or low 60s at most. So much for our natural air conditioning. I was super low on extra cool clothing so I played hooky from church to do a load of linen, tank tops, etc. Guess I also did my part to Spare the Air.

    Good for you to get some shopping done!

  • gryffin replied 1 year ago

    Thank you so much greyscale. You definitely must write a post on this. I am a fanatic on sunscreen on my face but I'm bad on the neck for exactly your reasons. Now I'm starting to get poikiloderma of civatte (the red sun damage on the sides of my neck) and have been brooding about how to address this. Bandanas are a brilliant solution. I'm sorry. I totally lemminged you. I just ordered both at madewell. The RM was sold out at Nordstrom but available on her website. And of course, they are in my signature color!! So thank you so much for coming up with such a chic, functional and elegant solution to this problem!! I look forward to reading your post on this!!

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    Luckily DH and I had lunch plans with others Friday through today, something that never happens. House got up to "only" 88 so far today instead of 92. It was 80 at 7:30 am. Didn't realize SF got almost as hot as here. I haven't cooked in days. We've been eating lunch leftovers and one day I had an It's It for dinner. (Vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies, coated with chocolate)
    Would have gone to the movies but DS is avidly watching the US open tennis on TV.
    I'm impressed you were walking and shopping. I felt faint walking a bit yesterday. But great finds.

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    And ugh. The smoke is slowly improving.

  • replied 1 year ago

    Wow! I love the emergency fishnet socks. So great with the sandals.

    Tough decision on the shirt.
    I think it would be great to add a vertical stripe--very trendy, but the shirt is interesting enough in plain white.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    I saw the record SF temps yesterday. You look fab. 

  • MsMaven replied 1 year ago

    Driving south on 101 at 280 on Friday my car's outside temp showed 112°. At home it topped at 110 and 109 on Saturday. I saw that even Santa Cruz was 102. No going to the beach to cool off! Last night some wind came up--thank goodness--and while it is cooler today, the haze is thicker than it has been. It was strange driving home from Palo Alto on Friday afternoon at the start of a 3-day weekend because there was relatively little traffic on the freeway. Not normal.

    I hope this is an aberration, but I'm afraid it's the future. I've lived in the SF Bay area for 35 years and I don't remember so many heat waves in one summer. Usually it is just 2 or 3.

    I don't own shorts anymore, but I have a couple of skirts--my VC skirts from 3 years ago and they are cooler than pants. I only wear a sleeveless top a few days a year, and this was the weekend for them. 

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    Yay! The house is holding at only 80 degrees and there is a breeze!
    I just realized that as the thermostat is not in the warmest room it was probably 95+.

  • Greyscale replied 1 year ago

    Yes, the haze made the whole thing so much worse.

    But now it almost feels like thunderstorm weather! I felt a few rain drops just now.

    If this isn't a one-time thing, I should get screens for my windows. I didn't want to leave them open because we've also had an unusually bad mosquito problem this year. So my house is much stuffier than it could be, this week. It's drafty enough to feel fresh in normal weather...

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    Me too. I came here to report on the rain a few minutes ago, but I see Greyscale had it 17-18 minutes before me. And I heard it was in Southern CA around dinner time last night. I thought it was hail for a moment, but then, it only lasted a minute or two.

    We have some windows with screens but I am seriously considering adding more as I think maybe the house would have cooled off at least a few degrees more.

  • shevia replied 1 year ago

    It is hotter in San Francisco than Tel Aviv? One would think it would be hard to deny something is strange about that.
    Anyway, love the hat and sweater especially. Have you peaked at the Uniqlo JW Anderson collaboration?

  • Barbara Diane replied 1 year ago

    Strange isn't it? Our weather has more crazy heat spikes in the last few years in the suburbs and I think this year was the worst but I was shocked to hear how hot it was in The City. Seemed like 80 used to be a scorcher there, and until a few years ago 90 was a scorcher here. Although I assume Tel Aviv has a much longer hot season.
    It was muggy for us, but still mostly dry heat here. Thankfully,

  • stella belly replied 1 year ago

    I always love to wear cool cloths, because comfortable is what i expect with quality fabric. Love the shared ideas, necessary after all life is fast and environment conditions also during summers very hot.

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