San Diego Style
When one thinks about fashion, metropolitan cities like New York, Milan, and Paris may come to mind. Well fashionistas, the time has come to put a west coast city of style on your shopping map. No, I’m not talking about Los Angeles; I’m talking about San Diego. With fashion tradeshows like ASR and Thread rolling through town twice a year and fashion shows highlighting club openings and cocktail parties throughout the county, this SoCal city is quickly becoming a fashion hotspot.
Until recently San Diego has been known as a beach city where surfers reside and flip flops were a staple. But now the small towns that align the Pacific coast are flourishing with a plethora of hip boutiques and high-end designer stores. Not that those living in San Diego have abandoned the laid back look that makes Southern California style so admired. In fact, it’s the casual Havaianas matched with a dress or fancy shirt that is making the city’s fashion sense so distinct. Locals seem to be catching on the latest trends, trading in their Rocket Dogs and wife beaters (thank the lord) for heels or the latest pair of TOMS shoes. While board shorts appear to be taking a backseat to the latest pair of True Religion jeans. So where are San Diegans finding their thrills and frills these days? From the city to the sand, there’s no shortage of shops to find the latest trends in America’s finest city.
Downtown’s Urban Outfitters is where Southern California hipsters browse and buy their skinny jeans and summer shift dresses. Typically topping their ensembles off with a pair of boots (worn year around by both ladies and gents) or Grandpa’s old fedora. Head to Hillcrest to get your thrift on at Buffalo Exchange. Or find kicks that will make the likes of Kayne jealous at shoe store fave, Mint. Looking for some more basic threads? American Apparel never disappoints (and is ideal for those 80’s themed bar crawls that are so popular among San Diegans ages 18 and up).
If you’re looking to toss aside your jeans and trade up for a fancy cocktail dress or black suit (skinny tie necessary), Fashion Valley mall has all the glitz and glamour you’re looking for. From Burberry to Anthropologie, and Bloomingdales, the stores at Fashion Valley have a little something for everyone. Not to mention the always dependable Nordstrom. And for those looking to snag the latest trends without splurging, the H&M and recently renovated Forever21 have you covered.
From Mission Valley, where Fashion Valley resides, head up the coast to Solana Beach, Encinitas and Cardiff. These quaint beach towns offer the perfect mix of must-have trends and old California style. Visit Tucci on Cedros to purchase the latest designs from 3.1 Phillip Lim and Diane von Furstenberg. Or you can head to Double Take off Highway 101 to find both new and used clothing at bargain prices.
Head north up the coast to Cardiff-by-the-Sea and feel like you’ve been transported to New York in the newly opened Azzaria where you can find laid back clothing with a high-end twist. And what better town to end your fashion expedition in, than in Encinitas? Best known for it’s hidden beaches, surf shops, and dive bars, Enicintas has recently been transformed into a place where even the teenagers roaming the streets look like they’ve stepped out of a fashion mag. If you’re looking for some vintage threads that are sure to turn heads, Encinitas is calling your name. Stores like Flashbacks and HOME carry the best of then and now at affordable costs, which can make for an ideal shopping spree after spending the day at Moonlight beach.
No matter what your budget or style, San Diego has acquired a fast growing fashion culture all its own. This summer locals and tourists alike can expect to see the streets and beachs full of trends that are reflective of the unqiue people and environment that make up the city. And what a relief from the days where you were considered an alien for wearing heels or a collared shirt out for a night on the town. Way to stay stylish San Diego! Keep up the good work.