Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{reader request} summer visit to Seattle...

Let me tell you, this reader request was a real gut-wrencher. Seattle in the summer months can be the loveliest place on Earth. I swear you've never seen anything more wonderful than the sun glittering on Lake Washington with a snow-capped Mount Rainier perfectly visible off in the distance. I often wish I could de-camp this sizzling city and head back to the Northwest until September. It's that gorgeous. Isn't it amazing how July and August have a way of making you forget that months like November and February even exist?

Before I get all misty-eyed thinking of my hometown in all it's summery glory, I need to focus on the task at hand, which is helping one Miss Laura Aljets pack for her upcoming visit to Seattle from Chicago. She wrote to me recently because she will be visiting our mutual friend Ingrid (of Working Women Wednesday fame). Laura is a first-timer to the Emerald City, so I'm more than happy to give her a little guidance.  Step 1? Leave the flannel behind. That would be a little cliche, and it's summer after all!

summer in seattle

Now obviously, Seattle style is a subject that's very close to my heart. There are some realities about our sartorial tendancies that I am more than willing to acknowledge, and some that I believe are really just unfair, broadly generalizing stereotypes. The tech nerds, the crunchy granola types, the hipsters, that's all true. However, Nordstrom was founded by a Seattle family, and their headquarters are still located downtown above the flagship store. We also have Blackbird, which is recognized all over the country as one of the coolest apparel boutiques ever, and Mario's, one of the best menswear shops there is. Amanda Brotman, the fabulous designer behind Amanda Pearl, is also a born-and-bread Seattle girl. Additionally, because Seattlites are really into their outdoor activities all year long, we look better than most of the country in our skinny jeans.

So, how to pack for The Great Northwest? Honestly, you can wear whatever you darn-well please in Seattle, without facing too much scrutiny. Most Seattlites are wildly unconcerned with how other people dress, unless they're wearing a superior Patagonia jacket. A general rule would be to keep it casual. Heels are a rarity around town, even at nicer clubs and bars. You can wear denim shorts anywhere, and same goes for flip flops (though I always frown upon that). Bring a cool military-inspired jacket to wear over everything from your breezy maxi dress to shorts and a blouse. Avoid anything that might be described as "flashy;" but quirky, cool, vintage or handmade? Absolutely. For dancing the night away at the Capitol Hill Block Party, bust out your favorite skinnies and a bag that will let you throw your hands in the air.

Have a wonderful time in Seattle, Laura! Swim in Lake Washington, don't go to the original Starbucks, take a walk in the Sculpture Park, have a $2.50 tall boy of Rainier Beer at Kings and have at least one meal at Le Pichet.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget that it's freezing in Seattle this summer! Definitely bring a coat or sweater at all times. :(