The Rich Life On a Budget

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.