I would not consider San Diego a very fashion-conscious city. Being that it is near the ocean, there is a beach fashion vibe, and the style here is very very casual. I often catch my self dressing kind of frumpy and dumpy. If I’m not in my workout clothing and I am dressed in my usual clothing and have my makeup on, my kids ask “Why am I so dressed up?”. I am fortunate to be able to travel in and out of the country and see trends from different regions. However, I do have my favorite stores here in San Diego. Some are chain stores that may be in the city that you live in. I think any of these stores can get you a young, elegant, fun, comfortable look.
My all-time favorite go to store. All Saints started as a wholesale menswear brand of clothing in London in 1994. Years later, the women’s line came out and they opened their first store in 1997. I love the storefront windows designed with several vintage sewing machines. The clothing is on the edgier side. Lots of black and grey (my favorite)! It is a pricier line of clothing, but everything is pretty timeless. I wear my clothing from All Saints over and over. Below is my most recent purchase. I love anything Leopard print. This is a long silk tank dress with a sweater over it, which can be worn separately. Boots also from All Saints.
Dress, sweater and boots from All Saints. Vanner hat from Kites Fabulous windows at most All Saints stores
Another one of my favorite stores is Aritzia. Aritzia started in Canada by a family. They created their own labels and brands just for their store. Fyi, Aritzia is Meghan Markles favorite affordable Canadian brand. Aritzia is street style clothing, great quality, a kind of refined undone look. There are a lot of great basics. Again, I wear the pieces from this store over and over. The clothing at this store is timeless. They recently opened a new location at UTC. Their stores are found in most major cities and online.
Meghan Markle in the Aritzia Wilfred Beaune dress
One of my favorite stores and has been for years is James Perse. A very high quality, basic, comfortable clothing store from men and women. Most of my husbands’ clothing comes from James Perse. I love everything this store always has, especially t-shirts, tank tops, and sweatpants, so soft and comfortable. I also have a couple of dresses that I have kept for years. A lot of movie sets use James Perse clothing. I can always pick the clothing out when watching onscreen. James Perse stores are in most urban cities and are also in department stores including Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdales
I am obsessed with this cashmere Grateful Dead blanket from James Perse. I hide it is my closet so my kids can’t use it!
This boutique is in Solana Beach. It is way too close to my house, I have to look the other way when i drive by it every day. The store was founded by Deborah Cornell (love her), who was making jewelry in her garage. She then opened her first store in Solana Beach in 2006, where she added clothing, lingerie, etc. Deborah has also added another store in Dana Point. Camellia has everything clothing wise, and also, shoes, handbags, and accessories. They carry my favorite brand jeans “Black Orchid”. They are a good fit for a more athletic build, lots of stretch. If I ever have an event or a specific item, Camelia is the store
Love this Tularosa yellow mini dress from Camellia
KITES BY CARLA MANUEL
I used to drive by this store and think why is there a kite store on Cedro’s. This area is a good place to fly kites but the rent is pretty high to be selling kites on Cedro’s. I finally walked in and found the best-kept secret in San Diego. Shopping at Kites can be very DANGEROUS!!! Carla Manuel is the owner who designs a one-of-a-kind clothing line, for women. I would describe her clothing as feminine yet edgy. Carla, who is from Brazil is not only a lovely, wonderful, talented woman, she has an eye for fashion and she also brings in amazing vintage pieces for her store. Carla carries a brand of hats in her store that I am obsessed with, Vanner hats. Also, she finds different leathers in her travels and makes sandals and slides. If you are looking for one of a kind pieces that you will keep forever, then Kites is your place. The store is open Wednesday thru Sunday 11-5, closed on Monday and Tuesday.
I love this dress that Carla designed, especially the sleeve Love this emerald dress that I can dress up or down
Vanner hats and handmade leather shoes