Sept. 29 2009 07:08 PM

Our fab four panel's picks for what's in and what's out this fall, San Diego-style



San Diego, the freedom to wear non-weatherproofed shoes at a time when others shovel their walkways comes at a price: We wait for what feels like forever to unveil our new knits. In honor of neglected tights across the county, four style-conscious locals share their picks for fall, whenever it gets here.

Who: Kate RossWhat: The Shop GirlWhy: She owns Kate Ross, a hip one-stop for men's and women's clothing, shoes and accessories. While other boutiques have been closing shop, she's managed to keep 'em coming back.  What she's noticing: Ross says asymmetrical dresses, flannels and mixed-metal jewelry top the women's must-have list, while plaid, checks and sweater- and military-style jackets top the boys'. As you survey racks of Ben Sherman and Corey Lynn Calter, expect to see Ross wearing dresses with tights and either heels or ankle boots.What she's ignoring: San Diego's climate allows for easy transitioning from one season to the next, so pieces like leggings stay in style longer, Ross explains. But, she says, that also means San Diegans dress casually. She cites North Park as one of the city's stylish neighborhoods but says, “I wish there was more city vibe to dress up and push some limits.”Favorite place to shop: Juggling a business and a new daughter, Ross turns to blogs like The Sartorialist, Face Hunter and Street Peeper for inspiration, then surfs Shopbop and Revolve Clothing for her own adaptations.

Who: May*StarWhat: The Party GirlWhy: Hosts Club Fashion Whore, an indie nu-disco event featuring fashion shows and shopping. What she's noticing: Studded, ruffled and fringed bags match what May describes as a “high-fashion-meets-Karen-O version of '80s goth.” For men, May defines the look as “classic with a hint of Sgt. Pepper.” She also suggests vintage-inspired brooches pinned to v-neck cardigans. “Well-fitted suits should come back in as something to wear to a dive bar. That would be amazing,” she adds. True to this season's lamé vibe, high-waisted minis, sequins and leggings top May's shopping list.What she's ignoring: When asked this question, May simply says, “This is making my head hurt.” She disregards seasons and their constraints. “Probably everything I wear is some form of faux pas. I usually wear what I want and don't dress to season unless I feel like it.” But she does admit to disliking ornamental zippers.Favorite on-stage fashion moment: When Reset Couture missed its scheduled Club Fashion Whore appearance, May sent male models down the runway in their underwear. They carried PBR cans (“in honor of dive bars everywhere”) and mannequin halves (tops only). “The crowd loved it,” she says.

Who: Maria PalmaWhat: The Blogista. Why: Her blog,, focuses on fashion, beauty news and building self-confidence.What she's noticing: Palma says fall's cosmetics match the season's edgy, early-Madonna-esque looks. Purples, lashes and heavy liner complement the black and white seen on the fall runways. In men's fashion, she notes that guys in San Diego rarely stray from jeans and tees, a failsafe combination she calls “down-to-earth.” For her own closet, she's buying dresses and scarves. “I'm going for the feminine look.” What she's ignoring: The “me decade” influence on fashion is waning. Good thing, because Palma has a strong dislike of neon. “I wore it in the '80s.... I don't want to go back to that.” She also hopes to keep acid wash at bay. Current nail color: Scroll through Palma's previous posts and you'll quickly recognize her love of nail polish. She's wearing Sally Hansen's Royal Opal, a translucent pink, but says deep hues like black, ruby and midnight are the colors of choice for fall.

Who: Robyn CerffWhat: The DesignerWhy: Her 5-year-old line, Thrashed, is best known for its distressed denim but offers a full range of women's clothing. Beginning in late fall, Cerff plans to launch The Fit, allowing customers to get their previously worn jeans expertly distressed. What she's noticing: This season's pieces come in bold shapes with a dominatrix flare but are mostly monochromatic. Cerff says this sets the scene for shoes with hardware and architectural heels. “It's just the time right now,” she says. “I've never seen so many trends and styles from the runway on the sidewalk.” Cerff thinks people are willing to take more risks with shoes than they are with clothing, possibly because “nothing makes more of a statement than high heels.”What she's ignoring: Slouchy flats and moccasins. “Save it for San Francisco,” Cerff says of last season's hipster classics. Dream style companion: “I'm sad to say, but there are a few things from the '90s I'd resurrect,” she says. “My ideal match is someone who dresses like The Fresh Prince.”  


See all events on Monday, Oct 24