How to Dress for Fall in the Pacific Northwest


It was miserable the other morning, rain coming down in sheets sideways, wind howling like a banshee. And it was cold, the first morning I’d considered actually cold this fall. What to wear? I was setting out for an entire day of errands and a long meeting with my writers group. I imagined getting in and out of the car and running for my destination would require an umbrella or at least a good rain coat.

I dressed for the weather, at least the weather as it was at that moment. Wool socks and comfy fleece lined boots for my feet, jeans, a long sleeved cotton shirt with a mixed blend sweater and a rain coat. My hair in a hat – it had no chance at all in the wind as it were. As I headed out the door, I considered running back in for a scarf and gloves, but I was going to be late if I didn’t get going. So, I left feeling uneasy about the possibility of cold hands. I hate cold hands.

My first stop was at a small cafe to meet with my writers group for coffee and a bite to eat before our meeting. The cafe was missing some of it’s usual crowd, I noticed, and it was a little chilly in there. I was glad I’d dressed as I had. It didn’t take long for the regulars to start filtering in, more bodies require more steaming cups of coffee and more food on the grill. It was warming up just fine. I shed my jacket and we all enjoyed our meal.

Next stop was the local Library for our meeting. The conference room was, as usual, freezing. We cranked up the heat and soon everyone removed coats and got comfortable. It got a little too warm so I turned down the heat and considered taking off my sweater, but didn’t.

After the meeting, I needed to go to Costco. My feet were getting a little warm in the boots and wool socks but there wasn’t much I could do about it. Driving there, the rain stopped and the wind became a breeze and the sun came out. I was dressed like an Eskimo. I left my rain jacket in the car and went in to shop. It was the normal chaotic mess in there and I was frustrated just trying to get around everyone. My feet felt like they were melting in my boots they were so warm. Suddenly, I couldn’t take it anymore and I pulled my sweater over my head and shoved it in my backpack.

Next stop was Target. I only had a few things to pick up in there so I hustled in and found myself enthralled in the whole Target experience. I love that store. But I had a problem – my feet couldn’t stand the boots and wool socks any longer. They were on fire and it was making me sweat like a race horse. I went into the ladies room, took off my boots and removed my wool socks. They joined my sweater in my backpack. Boots with no socks is a little uncomfortable, but it was a little cooler and that was the goal.

Next stop was the grocery store on the way home. I just had a few little things to pick up. I was relieved to find an extra pair of sunglasses in the car. At the grocery store, I hurried around, got my stuff and nearly ran for the car. First thing I did was kick off the boots. My feet could breathe! I felt my temperature drop and relief flooded me.  I unbuttoned the long sleeved shirt, grateful that it was cotton and that I’d worn a sports bra.

When I arrived home, I ran in the house and put on a pair of shorts, a tank top, and my favorite flip-flops. Then I went out the the car to unload everything. The breeze had picked up again and a dark cloud covered the sun. What was I doing outside dressed as if it were the middle of July?

You just never know how to dress around here. The plan needs to be layer layer layer and keep a pair of  back up flip flops in the car from now on. Happy Fall!


Mary Ann


1 thought on “How to Dress for Fall in the Pacific Northwest

  1. Gina’s mom here Mary Ann. I can’t help but smile as I read this. I so relate. I think I stayed home all day that day so I did not have to worry about dress. Just schlepped around the house in my jeans and flip flops all day long:)

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