My San Francisco Makeover

How living in the City radically changed my appearance.

When I moved to San Francisco from the Netherlands, I knew the City would change me. I expected to become more tech-savvy, more spiritual, more I’m-like-so-hella-Californian. But I didn’t realize San Francisco would also impact the way I look. These is what happened to me in less than a year:

1. Shoes made for walking

Wearing heels in San Francisco sucks.

You will either:

A. Get stuck in the extremely uneven pavement, and fall unapologetically.

B. Miss BART. Again.

C. Curse yourself for forgetting that walking equals hiking in San Francisco.

I’ll admit it, I’ve never been a big fan of killer heels, being a Dutch -and thus tall- woman. But since I moved here, I’ve only worn heels once, to a dinner. And I regretted it every step of the five block walk to the restaurant.

2. Muscles I never knew I had

Oh. My. Calves. I am not sure if I find my new San Franciscan calves pretty, but I can’t stop studying them. Biking and hiking through this hilly city toned my lower legs tremendously, and I am (maybe a bit too) fascinated by the dance of geometric shapes when I tense and relax them.

3. Little Black Dress 2.0

When in doubt about what to wear in San Francisco, go for yoga pants (M/F). Consider them the San Franciscan version of the LBD.

I am wearing yoga pants literally every day. And I found that they’re considered absolutely appropriate for shopping, hiking, going to the movies, going out for dinner (no matter how fancy the restaurant) and attending networking events.

Note: if you consider wearing yoga pants to an actual yoga class, make sure they are extremely colorful and/or peek-a-boo to avoid staring.

4. Ultra Light Uniqlo Blobs

Sometimes you unexpectedly have to let go of the things you love. I am not materialistic, but I think it’s safe to say I love my leather jacket. It is comfy, it makes every outfit look great, and it protected me from the eternal Dutch rain.

And yet, I abandoned it, and replaced it with a shapeless Uniqlo lightweight blob.

Because for San Franciscan weather, layers are key. When you leave your home, you have to be able prepare for a foggy 45°, a sweaty 75° and everything in between. So you need to have a jacket that fits in your bag, yet is warm and cosy when Karl the Fog visits the city. My leather love just doesn’t do the trick.

Plus, I’ve learned the hard way that the large vegan population of SF doesn’t approve of leather outfits.

5. Raw beauty

I have big brown eyes. And I like to emphasize them with some mascara and eyeliner. But somehow that only happens about once or twice a week now, instead of every day.

There is a theory that women wear make-up to impress other women. Right now, I am surrounded by a lot of women that I consider to be beautiful, who do not wear make-up.

In general, San Francisco seems to be full of raw beauty. Many people here are glowing from their healthy lifestyles, looking fabulous because they practice yoga twice a day, casually run marathons in their spare time, or drink raw organic vegan gluten free smoothies all day.

So that’s why I look different than I did a year ago.

My husband is mildly worried about what other City trends I will pick up in the coming year.

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