The coast on the Columbia-Pacific region has plenty to offer: spectacular views, creative microbrews and great people, to name a few. With so much to explore, the sea is sure to call you close all year.
To thrive through four seasons on the coast — and all the rain, wind, sun and more rain that comes with them — follow the residents and gear up at the locally owned businesses that line the sea. From Manzanita to Ocean Park, there are dozens of boutiques that offer more than stylish accessories.
Whether the rain has hit or the sun is shining, stop into any of these local clothing shops and stock up on shoes, hats and everything in between — these places know how to keep you and your wardrobe prepared for life like a local.
Spring by the ocean is a lot of things: green, lush, inspirational and overwhelmingly wet. Light stays longer in the evening, fog dissipates earlier and the spotty sunshine calls creatures out of their state of hibernation and back into the natural world — humans included.
With the newfound warmth and the wildflowers in bloom, I am always eager to get out, stretch my legs and show off the clothes I’ve reserved for sunnier days.
On the North Coast, spring is the season for strategic styling. You and your outfit have to be ready for it all — rainstorms and wind gusts included.
Light jumpsuits are perfect for this occasion. They’re cute, versatile and the type of trend that is not going out of style anytime soon. A sleeveless jumpsuit with long pants is the ideal combination for an early April outing. The open top will allow you to soak in the sunshine, while the long pants will keep you warm and protect your legs from the inevitably dewy grass. Plus, jumpsuits are easy to layer and will look great with your rain jacket, whether it’s (hopefully) tied around your waist or in full spring-storm mode: hood up and zipper sealed.
Round out your weather-ready outfit with a pair of the most allaround functional sandals on the North Coast market: Chacos. Chacos are a gender-neutral, waterproof sandal that come in countess colors and sizes. Their firm arch and rubber sole make them heavy-duty enough to handle your spring adventures, and their cute webbing and stylish straps make these the perfect spring shoe. The Chaco selection can be overwhelming, and while you can’t really go wrong with such a comfortable shoe, I recommend investing in a solid color strap without a toe. This style can be worn all year, and you don’t have to worry about matching your patterns or clashing your colors.
Summer spent on the coast can’t be beat. The sun seems to hang on the horizon forever, warming the sand and ripening the blackberries for locals as they head to their favorite sunset spot.
Perhaps the most important part of your summer wardrobe is its functionality. On the coast, it’s easy for a lazy Sunday brunch of pancakes to turn into an impromptu beach day or a stroll through a state park. You need to be ready for it all — and look great the whole time. It’s the classic conundrum: how do you balance fashion and functionality? The timeless battle comes with an equally timeless solution.
Jeans. Denim will help you take on any adventure thrown your way. Straight-leg jeans are especially hot right now, probably due to their versatility. Unlike skinny jeans, they’re flowy enough to move in, and unlike boot-cut jeans, they’re adaptable enough to go great with almost everything.
Style straight-cut jeans with a pair of Birkenstocks to fully embrace the local shoe scene. Thanks to their cork sole, Birkenstocks mold to your feet, making them one of the most comfortable and timeless shoe go-tos. You’ll look great in your Birks at brunch, and they’ll make you feel great at the end of your stroll through Fort Steven’s landscape.
Layer your jeans with a beachy sweater for the full local look, and you’ll be ready for soaking in the summer fun without being held back. Just don’t forget your polarized sunglasses — that sand can be bright.
There is only one thing you can be sure of during a coastal autumn, and it’s that you’ll never be sure of the weather. You can wake up to a crisp, sunny morning and find yourself stranded in a rainstorm before it’s time for lunch. Regardless, fall in the Columbia-Pacific region is breathtaking, and you’re going to want to take advantage of these sun-speckled days before the winter storms roll in and turn the hike down Saddle Mountain into a mudslide.
The key for survival in the fall is incredibly simple, and even more effective: layer. Layers are crucial — they’ll keep you dry and warm without suffocating you in the fall heat waves we all crave.
Start by working around your favorite pair of corduroy pants. The soft pants are incredibly comfortable and equally stylish. White corduroy is classic and easy to layer on.
Throw on your favorite, light-weight tee, then keep going. A flannel is a good option, as are cardigans, zip-ups or hoodies. Layers let you mix and match your favorite pieces to create new outfits that will stand out in any season.
Add your favorite belt to bring it all together, and don’t forget your hat.
While it may look like a last-minute accessory, the perfect wool hat can work wonders. Not only will you look like a creative fashionista, you’ll also be comfortable all day. The hat will keep the heat in, the brim will keep the rain off and the statement will make the heads turn — in a good way.
With an outfit like this, you’ll be ready to tackle whatever your autumn day entails, whether you’re hunting mushrooms with an all-knowing local or stopping by a new bar to try their seasonal cranberry cocktail.
Winter on the coast is a whirlwind. The days go by quickly, the holidays take over the town and the weather remains as unpredictable as ever. Though snow is never a guarantee, it’s also never a surprise. Rain and fog move in for the season, but blue skies refuse to be forgotten. All of this can make getting dressed feel a bit overwhelming, but there is hope, and it comes in the form of a jumpsuit.
Unlike flowy spring jumpsuits, winter jumpsuits unlock a whole new meaning of the word cozy. Thick, long jumpsuits are perfect for almost any winter occasion. Pair them with sleek heels and rock your evening holiday party. Add a simple cardigan and beanie for an everyday look, or throw on a cozy hoodie and lounge around the house —or more likely, stand in the kitchen — all day while you prepare for friends and family to arrive.
If you truly want to dress like a local, pair your jumpsuit with a pair of waterproof boots. Rain boots are central to any coastal winter. They’ll make you feel invincible, whether you’re taking on the tides or just jumping a few puddles on the way to work. Pick the right socks for your boots, and you’ll have the perfect, weather-proof solution to any rainy day.