Trip split between Carmel-By-The-Sea/Monterey and wine tastings in Napa later this month – looking to create a capsule wardrobe

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    I plan on hiking while on the coast, some “nice” dinners out and then three days in Napa touring wineries (including bringing a costume for a Pagan Ball). I have one day in San Francisco.

    I already have my travel outfit: Athleta olive slim cargos with a black & white top and black leather sneakers. I have a thin grey poncho to layer and I intend on bringing a rain jacket.

    I was planning on packing one pair of jeans, but I’m not sure if I should bring a dress (think White House/Black Market) for dinners. I just don’t want to pack a bunch of pieces I won’t need. My style is firmly in the athleisure corner (I’m a yoga teacher, so my wardrobe is grounded in pieces I can transition from class to running errands).

    Any suggestions are appreciated.



    Hey, I live in that area! Jeans and a nice top would probably be fine unless you’re going to *really* nice places, and even then, I don’t think anywhere has an official dress code.



    I grew up in Santa Cruz, and most of these areas are very casual. Carmel and Monterey can be quite foggy in the mornings and late afternoons, as can SF, so I’ll reiterate what most people say- layers! Definitely bring a jacket for evenings and night time, and I always have a scarf with me for SF nights because some areas are very windy. I’m not sure if it’s going to rain, so a rain jacket might not be needed unless you will be hiking when it’s dewy and misty out by the coast.

    I tend to see some women somewhat dressed up for wine tasting in Napa during the day, but not everyone. I usually wear jeans and nice top, or jeans with a tee and blazer. Sometimes a simple dress in Summer when it’s hot in Napa, but never anything I would consider very dressy. Athleisure will be perfectly fine for most of the time, but I think bringing jeans and a basic sweater for dinners is a good idea!



    I always bring a nice dress for a just in case reason. (I grew up pretty girly although I’ve gone more comfort wear). I generally wind up using it for whatever reason, if invited to a gathering, church, a nice dinner date. I think what you have planned is fine. Also Patagonia has some skirts that can be converted to a top or dress. They travel great. We lived in pebble beach for a time when my husband was at the Presidio of Monterey. Remember, you can dress up any outfit with accessories / jewelry. Have fun!



    It will be chilly especially at night. Make sure you pack appropriately for the forecasted weather.



    I’m in SF and visit the other areas often. What you’re bringing is fine. Unless the restaurant is a very upscale one, I would not wear a dress. Most women wear dress pants with heels to upscale ones. Otherwise, it’s casual. Have fun!!



    I think you’ll feel pretty comfortable in the Bay Area in athleisure 🙂 That said, definitely bring something warm to wear on top – the microclimates are a real thing. It can go up to 70 degrees during the day in one part of San Francisco and be 50 degrees in the early evening in another part, especially if the fog rolls in.

    Definitely do bring the jeans, a nice top or two, and a dress if you’re planning to go to fancy restaurants. Some parts of Carmel are kind of ritzy. The winery thing kind of depends what your companions/friends are wearing – I’ve seen everything from country club-type clothes (mostly on older Marin residents), to very trendy and sometimes quite sexy dresses, to casual clothing. Not sure I would wear athleisure to a winery, but jeans and a nice top are totally fine. Have a wonderful trip!



    I’ve done a similar trip to Carmel/Napa/Bug Sur. Rented a mustang and drove around the area, having the best tome ever! It was challenging to only take a carry-on while packing to suit my very diverse wardrobe needs. We had planned some wine tasting, some hiking, and a Michelin started meal so I knew my looks would need to be all over the place. Here’s basically what I took for 8 days:

    – boyfriend jeans
    – “dressy” shorts
    – two silky blouses, one sleeveless and one with long sleeves
    – joggers
    – black cotton midi dress
    – 5 tees
    – tan mule sandals
    – black loafers
    – chacos
    – swimsuit and cover-up. I ended up wearing the cover-up as a kimono over the jeans/tee to go out when it was chilly

    Obviously I also had undies and whatnot. My travel outfit was basically my hiking outfit: joggers, chacos, and a tee. We had 3 big hikes and my joggers got really dirty on the second one, but thankfully our Airbnb had a washer.

    Wine tasting in Carmel is super casual, and I wore boyfriend jeans and a silky top for both days. I elevated it a little with a mule sandal and straw bag but overall very casual. Wine tasting in Napa was a little dressier so I wore the shorts with a long sleeved blouse. I wore the midi dress to our fancy dinner, and I was thankful I packed it because I also wore it during basically all of the car-travel we did.

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