Megan of north Berkeley at Monterey Market. All photos: Dana Smith

The first (and only) time I visited Ireland, I was 21 and in the middle of my art history studies. Upon stepping off the ferry from France I exclaimed, “I love the juxtaposition of green against the gray sky!” Spoken like a true art history major.

As we head into the gray season (who said we don’t have seasons?), it is as true today in Berkeley as it was on that Irish hillside: A gray sky is the ultimate backdrop for making a bold color statement. And aren’t we lucky to have so many gray-sky days to make the most of our yellows, turquoises, and, my personal favorite these days, royal blues? Could anything be more cheerful than a shock of color revealing itself through the mist?

I know how tempting it is, as the air reaches maximum saturation levels, to reach for our tried and true Gore-Tex gear in all its variations of drab (mine is a thoroughly uninspired forest green.) But I’m going to resist the urge to blend in this year and get more wear out of my turquoise Adidas logo trench. Or maybe troll eBay for one of the 1970’s foul weather jackets I used to wear on my family’s sailboat as a kid.

Let these pictures be your inspiration as the days turn dark and damp, knowing you’ll only look brighter the grayer it gets.

Vanessa on Fourth Street in Berkeley

Ashley James of Oakland on line at Acme Bread on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley
Neon green at the Solano Stroll

Usually overdressed for every occasion, Dana Smith is the founder of Berkeley-based Dadascope Communications. She lives in the north Berkeley hills with her husband, two kids, their dog and a corn snake named Bubbles. Have some tips on where Dana can track down stylish people in Berkeley? Leave a Comment or send them to

Check out Dana’s previous Berkeley Street Style columns:
Berkeley street style: Stars in stripes [07.13.11]
Berkeley street style: Scoops of fashion sense [06.30.11]
Berkeley street style: Geeky good spectacles [06.15.11]

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