A floral skirt from Bcat Threads. Photo by Mahal Style. Living in San Diego, transitioning a wardrobe from winter to spring should be easy enough. When it's time for spring, you only have to remove, say, one layer, and not six. To help you figure out what to wear once the sun completely burns away any trace of cloud cover, we've enlisted four San Diego style makers to tell us what they're looking forward to wearing come spring.
Who: Jacqueline Coulon
What: The Blogger (www.thelovelettersblog.com)
Why: LoveLetters, the blog she co-writes with friend Ashley Holmes, is a conversational fashion journal. Going by the names “Claws” (Coulon) and “Blades” (Holmes), the two share their take on street style, designers to watch and their own personal preferences.
Her picks for spring: Sheer tees and tanks from Kain or T by Alexander Wang; mixed proportions (short shorts with tall boots, for example); leather shorts; a lightweight, cream-colored motorcycle jacket; slouchy styles; and menswear elements.
What she's always into: Coulon, also a bartender at The Casbah, says her style is about a “symbiotic relationship between music and fashion.” She's drawn inspiration from rockers since as far back as she can remember. When in doubt, she says, “a pair of motorcycle boots, black jeans, a white T-shirt and dark-rimmed sunglasses always work.”
Favorite shops: “I've become obsessed with online shopping,” she says, adding that she usually visits Gilt Groupe and Shopbop to score designer goods. She also visits Target to snatch up pieces from its Go Collaborations. “I bought five dresses from the Rodarte for Target collection,” she says.
Sources of inspiration: She frequents FashionToast.com, another San Diego fashion blog, and the style sites Lookbook.nu and Style.com to get outfit ideas.
Who: Chantal Gordon
What: The Writer
Why: She attended NYU and went on to work for Vogue, the holy grail of fashion magazines. The La Jolla-based freelancer has also written for Women's Wear Daily, Nylon, Teen Vogue and C Magazine.
Her picks for spring: Nineties-esque items, from biker shorts to Doc Martens; cropped tees with high-waist bottoms; flat, lace-up oxfords; round, sci-fi-looking sunglasses à la Proenza Schouler; socks with platforms; and athletic-inspired styles.
Sound advice: Fast fashion is the way to go. Don't be afraid to buy inexpensive things that are super-trendy. “I like experimenting with trends,” she says.
Favorite shops: Gordon frequents Hunt & Gather in University Heights, Univ in Encinitas, Capricorn in Bird Rock and Fowlers in Solana Beach.
Sources of inspiration: Being a writer, she flips through plenty of magazines, including V, W and, of course, Vogue. Her blog roll is pretty packed, too, with Garance Dore, The Sartorialist and TheCoolHunter.net at the top of her reading list.
Her style in three words: “MIA meets Heathers.”
Who: Elizabeth Leffler-Agia
What: The Boutique Owner
Why: The owner of Cecilia Boutique (www.ceciliaboutiquesd.com) in Mission Hills, stocks her little shop with sought-after items, including Divine Rights of Denim jeans and unique pieces by Prairie Underground.
Her picks for spring: Neutral color palettes, chic shorts (no cutoffs!), anything with ruffles, tunics (leggings underneath are still allowed), bird and bunny motifs, bows and chunky watches and jewelry with simple tees.
Dream item: She's currently on the hunt for “a really nicely tailored, funky trench coat” that she could wear year-round. “San Diego is perfect for trench coats,” she says.
Sources of inspiration: “I look through them all,” she says of fashion magazines, but she counts In Style and Fashionising.com as two that she's most faithful to.
Staples: Her recommendations for what should be in every woman's closet? Jeans with no distressing, a classic cardigan and a feminine blouse.
Sound advice: To make any outfit more eye-catching, buy one bold piece to mix with basics. Whether it's an eccentric pair of shoes or a huge watch, it will elevate a look. “That's all you really need—one piece,” she says.
Who: Brooke Catherine Nevins
What: The Designer
Why: While studying fashion design at Fashion Careers College, Nevins began work on her online boutique, Bcat Threads, which she launched after she graduated in 2008. The site (bccatthreads.com) is now a fully functioning online boutique that sells her designs and carries looks by other local designers.
Her picks for spring: “What I'm the most excited about,” she says, “is florals. Hello, it's spring.” She's especially excited to break out her floral shift dresses and skirts. She's also looking forward to wearing shorts. “They are going to be everywhere and work for everyone,” she says. “I used to be the one who said I'll never wear shorts, but now they work in every way: pleated, baggy, cutoffs, knee length, anything.”
Sound advice: “My advice is to always try something new,” she says. “Take a risk and see how it makes you feel.” What to do if you're not into what you tried? “Always just resort to what works for you. If you aren't confident in what you're wearing, no matter what it is, you aren't going to look good.”
Her style in three words: “Feminine, structured and classic.”
What always works: “I've been designing quite a few wrap dresses and skirts,” she says of the look that Diane Von Furstenburg pioneered in the '70s, “The fit is versatile, since it wraps to your liking.”