As for what I don't like: for some reason, San Diego women think that tight means sexy. It doesn't always. Loosen it up!
Lindsay Trowbridge, 29, Nonprofit Management, South Mission Hills
I'm wearing a white tank from H&M with black-on-white pinstripe pants and a gray sweatshirt-hoodie. I'm crazy about this jacket because it adds style to everything. I can wear it with jeans, even a dress, and still be casual. The silver sandals, which I picked up at Ross for 20 bucks, add some flair. I bought the jacket and the pants at Studio 1220 -- probably $120, total. Boutiques are much better for me; I don't have the patience to shop the malls, plus I enjoy the personal attention I get. If I could, I'd only buy in boutiques.
I can't wear heels with a lot of pants, because pants usually aren't long enough for me -- I'm 5'11" -- so finding a long hemline is a challenge. My biggest fashion faux pas was wearing gauchos to work every day two years ago because I just didn't have the energy to think about being fashionable. I finally tossed them. Actually, I think I may have burned them! A fashion mistake a friend recently made was wearing a worn-out pair of shoes with a fancy cocktail dress. She said the shoes were still "functional." I said, "Sweetheart, I don't care if they can carry you from San Diego to New York, get rid of them!"
A big fashion no-no in my book: panty lines. All women need to have a few pairs of nude G-string underwear. Full-coverage underwear is comfortable, but it is not flattering under a pair of fitted white pants.
Randy Bryan, 40, Salesman, Mission Hills
This is a casual look for me, and it really fits my personality: casual but also shows off my upper body -- because I work out and I work hard to be healthy! I bought most of it at Nordstrom; the rest I got on sale from Macy's. I probably paid a total of $170. I like the cut of the jeans; they really fit my waist. I chose the brown tank because I have every other color. The rust suede loafers -- I love them! -- they reminded me of my brother, who passed away when I was young. It's his style: classic. They're Cole Haan.
I really learned how to dress from my brother when I was a kid. He was really into fashion. He taught me what matches, what goes together, what's in season, what's out of season. I haven't found anything that I can't wear, but if I could, I'd buy more Versace.
As for fashion mistakes, people need to realize not to wear too much of one print, like plaid; not everyone can wear checkered material. I'd say men in San Diego don't know how to match, to coordinate. A lot of women here make the mistake of confusing summer white with winter white. I'm from New York; we have seasons.
Dara Carkner, 25, Sales, Hillcrest
This is a work outfit. I bought the purple dress online -- www.shopbop.com, which has about 100 different labels. The brown suede short boots are Steve Madden. This is a signature stripe Coach large tote, Coach sunglasses -- I used to work for them. The dress was $200, the shoes $100, the sunglasses $200, and the bag $400, so total, about $1000. Purple is good on me, and the flow-y dress is great for fat days -- let's just say it's forgiving after a long weekend. I got the boots last year, before they got so popular. I thought it was going to be colder today, so I just threw the boots on. I like color; I have a lot of plummy, purple clothes.
I haven't tried skinny jeans yet, but I don't think I'll be able to wear them. If I could afford it, I'd buy Chanel. My biggest fashion mistake of the past was Ugg boots with skirts. As for other people's fashion mistakes, I don't like huge logos on tops or jackets. I'm from New York, so I think there's a lot of nonstyle here in San Diego. A lot of girls wear the same look; whatever that style is, they all wear the same thing. I rarely see anything where I think, "Wow, I love that outfit."
Shannon Nosenzo, 33, Marriage and Family Therapist, Lemon Grove
The weather was going to be warm, and I like to be comfortable, so I wore fall colors, even though I wanted to pretend it was still summer. This is a Hurley T-shirt, probably $10. I'm wearing it over a black tank. I bought the paneled brown skirt at the Viejas outlet, $40. The wedgies are Seychelles, $45; I got them at shoes.com. Black-and-white Chanel knock-off bag, maybe $25. Jackie O glasses, $10. This outfit fits my personality. Easy, fun, simple.
I really like the new puffy dresses — bubble skirts, the tent dresses — but it totally buries me. If I could afford it, I'd shop at Nordstrom all the time. Past mistakes, probably jeans that were too low and too tight. I can wear them, but I still get the little squish, and when someone comes up and grabs you — it's a little embarrassing if they can feel it.
I don't like when friends wear pants that are too baggy and too long and cover the shoe. I know it sounds weird, but it really bugs me. Show a little toe! In my opinion, San Diego women are beautiful, but they just wear too little!
Carolyn Nigh, 40, Biomedical Research, Coronado
I had a lot of meetings today, and this seemed like a cool option for a hot day. Black pleated skirt, Preview from Nordstrom, $40. Giraffe-print chiffon blouse, $25 on sale, and Ann Klein patent Mary Janes, $59, both bought at Macy's — on sale! I'm carrying a clear Baby Phat animal-print bag, $70. It's actually a beach bag, but I take public transportation, so I take it everywhere. I have to look professional, but I don't wear hose and I try to keep the fun element. If I could, I'd wear sundresses and flip-flops every day, but with work, I can't. I would love to buy Versace, but it's too dressy for the office. And Chanel. As for fashion mistakes, wearing longer skirts. I'm too short for them. When they were in fashion, I bought a lot of them and thought later, never again.