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8 Fall Wardrobe Must-Haves For La Jolla Locals

A change in season typically means a change in wardrobe. But when you live in sunny California, warm and sunny weather will persist to keep many summer favorites in rotation. The arrival of fall, however, does come with cooler temps and breezes—especially in La Jolla and other coastal communities. 

For these reasons, many Southern Californians look to mix in a wider range of garments that they can layer to fit the varying autumnal conditions. Whether you’re spending your first fall in San Diego or are a seasoned local looking for a clothing refresh, this list of essential pieces can help you keep your wardrobe balanced for a stylish and comfortable season. 

8 Must-Have Items to Wear in San Diego 

One great thing about San Diego weather is that it offers a lot of flexibility for choosing varied items that show off your personal style. Despite the region’s wide range of styles, there are still a few garments and accessories that can suit everyone within this diverse community. Keep reading to discover the top clothing picks and gifts for fall in Southern California—and why they should be a part of your everyday collection. 

#1 Sunglasses

A girl with sunglasses on the beach
Sunglasses and the beach go together like shoo-bop sha wadda wadda…

It’s estimated that San Diego has an average of 266 sunny days, while other regions in the country have only about 200. This means that even in fall, it’s critical to stay equipped with a pair of shades that can help shield you from sunlight. 

From cat eye to aviator, sunglasses come in a wide range of styles that can enhance a person’s style and offer that classic cool look that Californians are known for. But apart from aesthetics, sunglasses with UV protection deliver practical defense from rays that can contribute to higher skin cancer risks, premature aging, and eye damage. They can also improve visibility for safer driving by deflecting glare. 

#2 Hat and Scarf

On any given day, the temps in San Diego most always reach at least 50 degrees. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get chilly. At night, the day’s heat can dissipate quickly—especially if you’re near the coast or the mountains. And while you won’t freeze under this cold, it can still get uncomfortable and make you shiver. 

To combat this cold, residents are encouraged to keep a hat and scarf handy throughout the fall and winter. A lightweight knit beanie helps keep the scalp and ears warm so you can stay outside without worry. Scarves can also offer flexibility to help you cover up exposed areas of your neck and face. The great thing about these accessories is that they are compact and can be easily folded up in a bag or pocket whenever temperatures increase or you head inside. 

#3 Jeans and Shorts

Take a walk down the coast and it won’t be too long before you see locals donning some version of shorts. From board shorts to short shorts, these beachy garments are an everlasting essential in California wardrobe. Apart from letting legs breathe during the warmer days, shorts can be dressed casually or dressed up with other garments to achieve a wide range of looks. 

But while you won’t want to pack up your summer shorts for the fall, you will want to make sure you have some jeans on hand as well. With extended length, jeans provide a comfortable, lightweight cover against crisp seasonal temperatures without ever getting too bulky. 

With sneakers and a baseball cap, jeans remain ideal for heading to San Diego’s amusement parks and sports events. But with dress shoes, boots, button-up shirts, or blouses, jeans can be elevated to go on a date night or dine out at an upscale restaurant. 

#4 Short Sleeve Tops 

Whatever the temperature outside, it’s always recommended that locals start with a short-sleeve top—such as a t-shirt, tank top, or polo. May we suggest, ahem, our own “The Classic Shirt“? The benefit of this base is that it can easily be layered with other garments to fit changing weather conditions throughout the day. For example, if a rare rainstorm is in the forecast, a jacket can slip right over the top. Or if you expect a high breeze, sweaters and windbreakers can be worn without getting too bulky. 

#5 Long-Sleeve Shirt or Sweatsgurt

Jacket and sweater weather isn’t a common occurrence in the fall in San Diego, but it’s still fair to expect temperatures that will require more coverage than a t-shirt. In these conditions, crewneck sweatshirts (with our logo on them, preferably) and long-sleeve shirts are a must. 

Apart from providing a slim layer to keep your arms warm, long-sleeve tops are easy to carry around in your purse, in your backpack, or around your waist. So even on the sunniest of days, you can keep them at your side in case you encounter some unexpected cold—such as icy air conditioning in an office building. 

#6 Hoodie

A VANS brand hoodie
A surf- or skate-brand hoodie is a common sight in La Jolla during the fall.

Similar to a classic crewneck sweatshirt, hoodies are a convenient and lightweight long-sleeve solution that stays ready for on-the-go travel. However, these essential California garments feature a hoodie that can keep your head and neck warm when temperatures drop. 

Apart from extra warmth, a hoodie is a comfortable cover that can let you get out of the house for a quick errand without having to do your hair. Zippered hoodie pockets can also let you travel securely with your phone, keys, and wallet without having to tote around an extra bag. 

#7 Jacket

One awesome advantage of having a SoCal wardrobe is that you’ll never have to waste closet space storing a puffy coat or wool jacket. That said, you’ll still need to hang up a lighter jacket or two to keep you cozy throughout San Diego’s fall and winter seasons. 

Again, there are lots of stylish options to fit your personal tastes and activities. If you’re just looking for a mild shield against a brisk morning or cool night, you can opt for a thinner denim, cord, or polycotton jacket. Or if you’re headed to the mountains, stargazing in the desert, or taking a walk on the beach at night, you might be better off with a slightly heavier jacket crafted from leather, lined khaki, or waxed canvas. 

#8 Underwear

The fall season may stir up concerns about covering up, but it’s also important to remember to make sure your underwear game is in check. 

The type of underwear you pick for the day should be partially based around the activities on your agenda. People with plans for hiking or other types of hiking, for example, will want to wear leggings or moisture-wicking trunks to combat sweat and allow for greater flexibility. On the other hand, those who are following a more casual itinerary at the beach or in the city can opt for lightweight cotton panties or airy boxers. 

Conclusion

No matter what the season, creating the perfect wardrobe for San Diego should be fun. Fortunately, this region is home to many fun shopping options that can help you curate the best garments to fit your style and budget. To get a wide range of options, consider starting at Fashion Valley where you can browse hundreds of shops in an outdoor setting. If you prefer unique and high-end selections, look to the specialty shops and boutiques located at La Jolla’s Prospect Street. Beachier pieces can be found at Seaport Village. And finally, Little Italy, North Park, and South Park are sprinkled with several small, local shops that offer vintage attire and one-of-a-kind pieces.