Packing For: A Quick Winter Getaway to San Diego
I meant to have this up the day after I posted the Destination Guide for San Diego but life intervened and so here it is, a few days late.
San Diego is extremely casual, probably more so than the casual West Coast cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. While sunny a good portion of the year, it's gotten hit with more rain than normal this year and the temperature does drop into the 50s and 60s during the winter. I've seen once-enthusiastic tourists shivering to death in shorts and sandals because they assumed that San Diego is always 75 degrees. It's not. Pack accordingly.
We were there for two nights with mostly outdoor activities and no need to dress up. I packed comfortable skinny jeans, a basic white t-shirt, Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, a Madewell jacket (although I'm currently eyeing the one in the collage from J. Crew -- love the navy and striped accents for spring), leggings with a matching tank and hoodie from Outdoor Voices, Nike Pegasus 33 running shoes, a Cuyana cross-body bag, a Tumi backpack, Warby Parker sunglasses, and a Castaway clothing hat, all tucked into my Cuyana Le Sud Overnight bag.
Key to packing were comfy shoes for chasing around Jack, and layers as the mornings and evenings were quite cool but the daytime was pleasantly warm. We also made sure to have clothes that we could easily move in. Jack's an active little guy and we spent a good portion of our trip jogging, running, and sprinting after him as he explored parks, beaches, and trails.
A few notes/reviews on what I brought:
Rag & Bone Jeans: Full disclaimer is that I don't actually own these or any pair from Rag & Bone but have heard great things from multiple friends. I currently rotate between Paige, AG, and Frame skinny and straight-leg jeans. I have a friend with a pair of jeans from J. Crew that look amazing on her and when I tried on the same pair, seemed to accent everything I didn't want accented. My point is that finding jeans that fit you well takes some time. Try on multiple pairs and multiple sizes and buy what fits you well. Every body is different and what works for me, may not work for you. I usually buy mine feeling slightly snug (but not uncomfortably so) as most jeans stretch after some wear.
White T-Shirt from Cuyana: This v-neck is the softest thing ever. I own it in both white and black and wish they would come out with it in navy. I usually hang it up to dry as I accidentally threw it in the dryer once and it shrunk a bit.
Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers: Chasing a toddler on a daily basis means that I resort to Nikes more often than not. I was looking for something that was a bit sleeker to mix in and ordered these insanely popular, yet classic, Adidas sneakers. I've tried multiple other brands, on a hunt for a casual athletic-type shoe (New Balance, Superga) and typically have problems with rubbing and blisters. While I've only had these a short time, I've been pleasantly surprised with how comfortable they are for walking (or running after a little man!).
Madewell Jacket: This casual jacket is great to roll up into luggage, throw on over just about anything, and travels beautifully. The cropped trench I showed above isn't one I currently own but I've been eyeing it as a dressier alternative for spring.
Outdoor Voices leggings/tank/hoodie: As someone who lives 90% of my week in workout clothes, I've tried multiple brands and Outdoor Voices are some of the best. They're great for comfy plane clothes (that look fairly sleek in the darker colors). The leggings have this wonderful compression-like quality and mine have worn great with no pilling despite being washed hundreds of times. The tanks and hoodies are made of a silky material and everything is super lightweight. As someone who is petite (5'3"), I've found their regular leggings, and even the 7/8 length, are too long on me, and result in bunching at the ankles. I buy their 3/4 leggings, designed to be more cropped on taller women but they hit me at the perfect ankle length. They also have a crop that's supposed to end just below the knee but falls more mid-calf on me. I own this hoodie in four different colors. It's thin and lightweight so is a great layering piece under a jacket without the bulk but has proved to be surprisingly warm, more so than I would expect for such a lightweight piece.
Nike Pegasus 33: Nike seems to come out with a version of this shoe every year or so, just changing the number. I've tried multiple Nike styles and these have stuck as my absolute favorite. While many people love the very lightweight Nike Free style, I've found them to be a bit too lightweight to provide substantial support. The Nike Pegasus is a slightly heavier shoe with what feels like better support to me. I wear these almost daily and own them in a few different colors. I love them so much, I recently customized a new pair when I was looking for more variety. Also, I was waiting for a take-out order recently, looking at my phone, not paying attention to the world around me, when all of a sudden a nearby woman exclaimed "don't you just love those shoes?" I looked down to discover we matched in these and proceeded to have a rather extensive conversation about just how comfortable they were and how many pairs we each owned. So there you go, not just me that loves them.
Cuyana Small Carryall Tote: This bag was somewhat of an impulsive purchase, although I already owned several things from the brand and have basically been thrilled with the quality of their affordable items (save for the thread on a monogrammed tag that came off of a keychain that I purchased from them). I was looking for a bag that could better accommodate the few things I carry on a daily basis combined with a water bottle and snacks for Jack, and occasionally an emergency diaper and wipes. This bag is surprisingly roomy and can be worn as both a cross-body or carried with the handle (and I've found the handle is big enough that I can, and frequently do, throw it over my shoulder). I also appreciate the pebbled leather which makes it extremely durable and scratch-resistant. My only complaint is that the matching black lining makes it sometimes difficult to find things inside. Would love to see them line it in a lighter color.
Tumi Voyageur Halle Backpack: This might seem pricey for a nylon pack but I'm truly glad I made the investment. After going through several cheaper backpacks in several years and nixing them for a variety of reasons (too big, too small, too heavy, not sleek enough) I finally caved and purchased this one early last year and it's been a workhorse for me. I can fit a bunch of stuff in it for a day out with Jack, an urban adventure, a hike (although I will admit it's a bit fancy for that) and because it's designed as a travel backpack, it has a built-in spot for my laptop which makes it great for when I'm heading to a coffee shop or co-working space to get some work done. They also make a bigger version here.
Warby Parker Sunglasses: This is my first pair of Warby Parker sunglasses and I'm quite pleased at the style and comfort for the price ($95 for a nonprescription pair which includes polarized lenses).
Castaway Clothing Baseball Hat: I bought this baseball hat last summer through Tuckernuck (no longer available there) when I was looking for something I could wear outside the Bay Area that didn't have a team logo on it and liked the casual vibe that seems to say "I've been sailing in Nantucket." ;-) It's comfortable and I reach for it often, both at home and away.
Cuyana Overnight Bag: Having already raved about Cuyana above, I won't repeat myself in general on the brand. I bought this overnight bag when I was looking for something that would work for one and two-night trips and have really liked it. It's the same good quality as their other products and is a good size for two days worth of clothing and an extra pair of shoes plus toiletries. More than that and you'll probably want to consider their weekender. I've thrown this in the car for short road trips and also carried it on a plane, where I had space to put it in the overhead compartment but could have easily put it under the seat in front of me if needed. That made me think it would also make a good carry-on suitcase if you were looking for something that you could fit a change of clothes in as well as your in-flight essentials.