I'm not a fan of clothing that's too tight. The biggest fashion mistakes come from not looking at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house. That's what I tell my children! Bra straps showing are a huge pet peeve of mine. I don't care how young or old they are. It's inappropriate in my opinion.
Laz Smith, 30, Barista, Talmadge
I'm wearing brown Dickies — work pants — and a western shirt I picked up at Salvation Army for three bucks. I like the western shirt, the colors — kind of fallish, orange piping on the pockets, fits in with the coffeehouse work environment. The black-and-white glasses are from Lenscrafters — I'm kind of an emo guy...I dunno, a little indie.
I'm a designer-phobe; I don't like wearing anything with a label. As for what I can't wear? I think I'm so good-looking, I can wear whatever! My biggest fashion mistake was late-'80s/early-'90s denim shorts. I hate fake ripped jeans. Drives me nuts. San Diego men and women should never wear anything you'd see in an MTV video.
Candace Ridley, 20, Full-Time Student, Researcher, Downtown
I'm going out with friends after work and I wanted to look classy, so I put this black-and-white retro outfit together. I got the top at Ross for $13, the skirt from Act II was $9, the ankle-strap sandals were $8, drop earrings were $5, and the headband was $1. So, for the whole outfit, under $50. Everything has to match for me. I'll go out of my way to find it. I can get a shirt in La Jolla and drive all the way to El Cajon for the skirt.
I'm so into Dolce & Gabanna, and I'm a Britney Spears fanatic. If I could, I'd wear stilettos, but they kill me. And I love dresses, but I don't always have the body for them.
Fashion mistakes: sweats and a headscarf. Whenever I wear sweats and a headscarf, that's when the hottest guys come up to me. When I dress up, I never meet hot guys. It's crazy! I hate the dickie thing that people wear under shirts -- the sweater/turtleneck thing, that's like a half shirt? I think it's so ugly. Too '60s. People shouldn't wear clothes that are too tight or too small. Women try to squeeze themselves into something that doesn't fit. Just be you!
Steve Brunolli, 20, Tutor, North Park
I go for a rock 'n' roll mod look. I like to be flashy and be seen and be noticed -- I like people to remember me. These pants are Gloria Vanderbilt; they're women's jeans. I sewed 'em up so they'd fit. Paid $3 at some thrift store. Gold belt with studs, about $15. Italian Beatle boots from Flashbacks -- can't remember what I paid for them. Velvet jacket, $5. Striped boatneck T-shirt, $10. Medallion from Claire's, $3. And the Who button, a few bucks.
If I could spend whatever, I'd get my clothes custom-made in London by the same guy who designed for Mark Bolan, from T. Rex, and all the mod guys. I like a lot of girls' coats, but they have the boob darts. I gotta figure out a way to get rid of that.
My biggest fashion mistake? I had a sparkly purple silk coat that I used to wear all the time. It was so ugly. I look back on it now and wonder, "What the hell was I thinking?" I have a friend that wears short little leather jackets that are cut off, and he has a really long torso, so it doesn't look good on him at all. I don't like the headband look on women, and I hate cargo shorts on men. The Ugg boots with short skirts? I never understood it.
Laura Rottman, 39, Real Estate Development, Mission Hills
I wore this outfit because it's comfortable and cool. It's a little bit warmer today, so I was trying to find something easy that I could put together quickly. It's professional, clean-cut, neutral. It won't offend anybody — I work in a semiconservative environment -- also, I'm running around a job site, so I try to get things that will hide dirt. I'm wearing a silver-blue silk top from Banana Republic, probably $50. Gray pants are Ann Taylor Loft — love them, I just bought them — they were $69. Black leather pumps, around $50. I have a change of shoes in the car because I don't wear heels on the job site.
I'm not really good with designers, but I'm sure I'd have a lot of fun in Nordstrom and Macy's going into the higher-end stuff that really fits your body. I pretty much can wear anything I want, though I'm limited in the workplace. But I don't wear Talbots, for example, because it's too conservative.
Big fashion mistake of the past: Can I just say "the '80s"? As for others' mistakes, people make choices I would prefer not to make. Variety is really lacking in our city in terms of fashion for all ages. Everything's about what's totally "in." You really have to seek out unusual stuff to find variety. I wish San Diego would showcase a little more versatility.
Victoria Abbou, 38, Cosmetology Student, Stylist, La Jolla
I had an interview this morning, and it was a little chilly, so I wanted to dress warm and look professional but stylish. I like the fall colors and a little bit of flash. My skirt and shirt are from United Colors of Benetton. The shirt was $39, the skirt $75. My sweater — that's chiffon piping and camel fur -- I purchased from the La Jolla Farmers Market for $75. I have on camel fishnets from Nordstrom and Jessica Simpson brown suede boots with bows that cost $99. The brown Ellen Tracy leather bag was probably $200. I'm wearing earrings that my mother gave me. I took them apart and remade them — they're 18-carat gold with glass beads.