Support TFG by using the links in our articles to shop. We receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) so we can continue to create helpful free content. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made on Amazon in addition to other retailers featured on the blog. Thank you, we appreciate your support!
Wondering what to wear in Santa Barbara? Read our year-round packing tips and clothing suggestions for this beautiful getaway town!
What to Wear in Santa Barbara
Written By: Sebrin Elms
Table Of Contents
Santa Barbara isn’t called the “American Riviera” for nothing! Cliffside beaches, rows of palm trees, and upscale homes make this one of California’s most luxurious travel destinations.
Lucky for you, weather in this part of Central California is relatively consistent throughout the year. So pack those bathing suits and dresses, the heat is on year round! Here’s what to wear in Santa Barbara:
Longsleeve | Blouse | Tank | Tee | Longsleeve | Jeans | Skirt | Shorts | Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Shirt | Cardigan | Sandals | Sneakers | Hat | Bag
What to Wear in Santa Barbara in Spring
Springtime’s range of climate is fairly diverse, but not as dramatic as you’d think. With lows as cold as the high 40s and highs in the 70s, you’re going to want to prepare for just about every situation.
Don’t be surprised to see some rainfall into the month of June, but most likely the temperature will be comfortable.
Read these tips on what to wear on a rainy day when traveling!
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- Spring Basic Travel Wardrobe
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Santa Barbara Packing List: Spring
Santa Barbara loves its beautiful foliage and sunny beaches. Naturally, any attempt to celebrate the landscape is taken with fashionable excitement.
As the gray skies begin to fade away and the sun starts to get a bit warmer, locals will take the opportunity to wear denim or flowy skirts, knee-length dresses, and even shorts if they’ve got an additional layer on top.
Check out why I love these layering clothes for travel!
Taos Footwear Star Fashion Sneaker
Since the weather can be a tad unpredictable (but never too intense), it’s best to just be prepared. If you think it’ll be colder, wrap a flannel around your waist with your favorite pair of jeans and casual tee.
If you plan on wearing a dress, pair it with some high socks or thigh-high boots. As always, sandals are the go-to shoe but sneakers are perfect for this time of year, too.
Find out why fashion sneakers make cute comfortable shoes for travel!
Tee | Camisole | Blouse | T-Shirt | Top | Skirt | Shorts 1 | Shorts 2 | Romper | Dress | Shawl | Scarf | Flats | Sandals | Swimsuit | Bag
What to Wear in Santa Barbara in Summer
Summer is quite possibly the best time to visit Santa Barbara. The highs aren’t uncomfortably hot, but the lows are ridiculously comfortable.
The “heat wave” that comes to Santa Barbara makes it the ideal time to visit the beautiful beaches and enjoy those Sunday brunches. Expect evening lows around the high 50s and midday highs around the low 80s. The month of September is equally hot as the dog days of August.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
Santa Barbara Packing List: Summer
The ultimate packing must-have for this season is swimwear – and lots of it. Make sure you have a swimsuit option for the beach, the hotel pool, and the boat you might inevitably cruise.
Unless you run cool, you’ll never be too hot here, so leave the jackets and cardigans at home. At best, you’ll need a light shawl or scarf to throw over your shoulders in case you get too much sun.
Billabong Wild Pursuit Short Overall: Amazon or Nordstrom
You’ll be hard pressed to find any locals wearing jeans this time of year. If you’re looking to cover up a bit, bring a cute and trendy maxi dress with you.
Otherwise expect a lot of short rompers, floral and colorful summer dresses, shorts of all shapes and colors, and casual tees. Strappy sandals, from gladiator to slip ons to low heels, are a definite must-have this summer.
Here are the most comfortable walking sandals for travel!
River Island Beach Romper with Trail
The only time you’re going to want to bring a fancier option is if you’re planning to bar hop around State Street or enjoy a fancy meal at Montecito. Even then, think beach chic with breezy dress cuts (like a fit-and-flare A-line) or a floral, whimsical maxi dress.
Here’s a collection of what to wear for a beach resort vacation!
Blouse | Sweater | Shirt | Tee | Longsleeve | Jeans 1 | Jeans 2 | Skirt | Dress | Romper | Jacket | Cardigan | Shoes | Flats | Scarf | Bag
What to Wear in Santa Barbara in Fall
Fall is an incredibly comfortable season that might almost feel like a long summer. You really won’t start to feel the winter chill until the beginning of November, with lows in the 50s and highs around the mid-60s. Still, the fashionable layers you see around town have less
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Santa Barbara Packing List: Fall
Seasons don’t show themselves quite like they do on the East Coast, but every Californian takes the time to celebrate the season of fall. And by celebrate, I mean dress.
This includes flannels, earth tones in browns, olives, mauves, and dark blues, a lot of jeans, and sneakers. You might see the occasional skirt or dress, but usually to match the same earthy tones.
Learn more about what to pack for California!
Lucky Brand Hadesha Sandal: Amazon or Nordstrom
Californians are surprisingly very “into” this season and dress for it more than you’d expect, especially around Halloween. Make sure you’re packing a lot of black if you’re visiting during this time of year.
It’s still too early in the year for locals to wear their boots, but you’ll find fewer sandals than in the previous two seasons.
And with less heat comes less sweat, thus the makeup game is strong. Pair your outfits with lots of accessories and perfectly crafted makeup to really fit in. That, and a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Read this post to discover the best makeup for pictures!
Top | Blouse | Long sleeve | Sweater | Shirt | Jeans 1 | Skirt | Jeans 2 | Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Jacket | Leather Jacket | Riding Boots | Boots | Scarf | Bag
What to Wear in Santa Barbara in Winter
Winter in Santa Barbara never gets too cold, with average temperatures falling in the low 50s (though the marine layer might make you feel like it’s somewhere in the 40s).
While the wettest month is February and the subtle wind is what creates a chill this season, the sun still remains scorching. Don’t be surprised if you’ll have a couple of beach days somewhere in the middle of this cool season!
Santa Barbara Packing List: Winter
Madewell Denim Jacket available in regular and plus size
This coastal city is all about layers during the winter season. You may notice your goosebumps prickling in the morning, but by the afternoon expect a light sweat.
Make sure you’re keeping warm with knit and cashmere sweaters or a jean jacket. If you’re summer-inclined like the rest of the Californians, a light scarf wouldn’t hurt either.
Find out why we love these lightweight jackets for summer travel!
Your color scheme should consist of traditional winter shades: black, blues, and dark earth tones like brown and maroon (with some winter white thrown in around the holidays). Make sure you’re prepared with some dark skinny jeans, a dark blouse, and plenty of makeup shades to match.
Blondo Villa Waterproof Ankle Bootie
We Californians don’t have much of an excuse to wear winter clothing with our incredibly warm weather. Still, we never skimp at the chance wear some boots, whether they be mid-calf or thigh-high.
And while Santa Barbara may not get crazy wet during the rainfall in January and February, who doesn’t love a good excuse to wear some rain boots?
Read this post for the best women’s waterproof leather boots!
What are your tips on what to wear in Santa Barbara? Please share in the comments below!
For more tips on what to pack for California, please read:
- What to Wear in California: SoCal
- What to Wear in San Diego
- What to Wear in Palm Springs
- What to Wear in Los Angeles: The Ultimate Neighborhood Travel Guide
LIKED THIS POST? PIN THIS PIC TO SAVE IT!
We hope you liked this post on what to wear in Santa Barbara. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Author Bio: Sebrin is a newlywed, flower child, and travel-obsessed blogger. When she isn’t traipsing the globe with her husband, you can find her curled up with a book, snuggling with her kitty babies, or binge-watching Netflix. Follow along her travels on her blog or instagram!