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Admit it, you long for a more stylish life ...

Admit it, you long for a more stylish life; something akin to Carrie's in HBO's Sex and the City. But so far away from Manhattan boutiques, what's a San Diego girl to do? Improvise! Here's a head-to-toe primer on how to achieve Carrie and Co.'s look. First, ditch the lip liner. Go to your nearest drugstore, drop 99 cents, and walk out with Wet 'N Wild's Liquid Lip Color. (It's the equivalent of Chanel's $30 product!) A pair of Ray Ban smoked aviators are de rigueur, and Sunglass & Optical Warehouse (3450 Kurtz, 619-291-4810) is the place. Discount priced at $99, this accessory is a worthy investment. Next, clad your upper half in one of many offerings from L.A. Rack. Starting at $10.70, you can't go wrong with a body-hugging ethnic print or bright solid. (Located in the Gaslamp, Pacific Beach, and National City, 619-338-0553 for more info.) Now hit the Gap for a pair of slim-fitting, dark denim jeans for $48. Avoid boot-cut or flare; you'll want to cuff them to show off your shapely ankles. This brings us to shoes: don't scrimp here! If you pay less, it'll show. If you can afford the Manolo's at Neiman Marcus, you're ahead of the game. But for those less fortunate, less flush gals, check out the shoes at Gaslamp Soles (528 Fifth Avenue, 619-232-3015.) The selection (which includes Ralph, Calvin, and Isaac) is reasonable. Choose an open-toed slingback or a strappy heel. To complete the look, you'll want the ubiquitous name necklace. Have one custom-made in gold or silver at Aguliar's Jewelry (1139 Sixth Avenue, 619-232-2993). Prices vary according to name, weight, and size desired, but an average necklace (five letters) runs around $25 for silver, $75 for gold. Ask for Carol. Now you're equipped to take on the city. Finding "Mr. Big" is up to you!

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