I’d just finished eating at City Tacos in North Park and was sitting sipping on a lemonade and digesting. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a young woman wearing leopard print pants styled with badass boots and a leather biker jacket. It was a bold look for a casual Wednesday but she pulled it off effortlessly. I couldn’t resist interrupting her lunch with a friend to ask about her eye-catching outfit.
Emily, a 31-year-old hair stylist from Barrio Logan, broke it down piece-by-piece, starting with the leopard print jeans that she got on a trade-in from Buffalo Exchange. Her printed ribbed tank with lace neckline was a trade-in from Flashbacks in Encinitas.
“I do a lot of exchanging and consignment. So whenever I want to go shopping, I usually just grab a bunch of stuff that I haven’t worn in a while and just do a little exchange and basically go shopping for free. It’s just like a never-ending conveyer belt of old and new stuff.”
Her skinny jeans were barely tucked into a pair of black leather, ankle-high boots with chain detail. She recalls spending about $100 on them at a shop in Mexico. “These boots were handmade by some little family-owned place in Oaxaca. Which is cool — it’s supporting something… non-local, but not corporate.”
A good friend gave her the motorcycle jacket. “She got it in Amsterdam. She gave it to me from her travels, but I Venmoed her $20 — felt like it was necessary.” Emily showed me the label on the jacket. The brand name was Bershka, an international clothing retailer comparable to Zara (another place she likes to shop).
The final touches to her ensemble included an oversized oval gold ring and small pins that gave a little texture to the lapels of her jacket. Her look was tied together by bright red painted lips and thick-rimmed glasses tucked just below blunt bangs.
Emily wasn’t expecting anyone to call out her attire that afternoon. “I actually put myself together today. It’s like the universe telling me that made a difference!”