The many layered world of California fashion by Mary Feliz

It’s the most famous thing Mark Twain never said. “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

While the faux quote is a bit of a stretch, our summer weather is highly changeable, particularly in coastal areas where average water temperatures near sixty degrees provide natural air conditioning.

Hence, California coastal clothing is all about layers—sweatshirts and sweaters—to cope with summer temperatures ranging from overnight lows in the forties to rare daytime triple-digit highs. In winter, temperatures range from just below freezing to highs in the seventies. Afternoon winds increase variability.

On a recent trip to New York during the holidays, my native Californian adult kids were fascinated by the big puffy coats New Yorkers wear outdoors and quickly shed indoors. Ducking in and out of museums, stores, and transportation, by the time they’d removed their multi-layered California outerwear for indoor comfort, it was time to pop them on again for snowy conditions outside.

On the East Coast as a child, I learned to take a sweater to the movies even in sweltering weather to cope with over-air conditioned interiors. Similarly, it was best to have a cool layer for overheated public buildings in the winter. And that’s what California dressing is like.

The tricky bit is knowing what layer to start with. A bathing suit may be best on beach days. A T-shirt and slacks will serve you well most of the rest of the year.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. Visit our amazing attractions in person or by diving into one of the many mysteries set here, including Disorderly Conduct featuring Silicon Valley professional organizer Maggie McDonald.

Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .

With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband—whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?

“A skillful amateur detective with an impressive to-do list.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW, Address to Die For