Street Style Chic – San Francisco
It’s no easy task capturing moving targets my friends. One must have a darting eye, be capable of a quick sprint and most importantly, weed out style from the masses – let’s not event talk about the ones that got away! What’s true of fashion is also true of accessories and this style spy had a thrilling time darting up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco capturing it all. The San Francisco Ballet, architecture, graffiti, restaurants and shops all whet my appetite.
It’s good to stray every so often from the corporate centers of fashion — New York, Paris, Milan — and into the wilds of … well, the Bay Area. A few dress down days were welcome, leaving the Louboutin’s in the closet. Funny thing about the city, they aren’t wrapped around the axle in need of the next “it bag” or designer shoe. It’s about being brave enough to attract us and to be an audacious explorer of all this wild world of fashion has to offer. What you really see when you walk the streets is the beautiful diversity of people and their own stories. There is no “book” or “rule of thumb” when it comes to pinpointing a style of San Francisco. Union Square is a shopper’s mecca where you can momentarily feel like you’re in a miniature version of a normal American city (my “post” for the afternoon in between blowing my nose from the dreaded cold crud going around. Attractive.) Union Square is by far the easiest place in town to max out your credit cards, with big names like Saks, Neiman Marcus and Gucci. But let’s face it, you can find these stores almost anywhere. Did you really fly all the way here only to shop the chains? The city’s eclectic array of designer boutiques, thrift stores and vintage shops prove incentive enough for inhabitants to stay fully, and fabulously dressed. Chances are slim-to-none you’ll spot someone else sporting the same frock. Hello?! No brainer.
The changing weather plays a crucial role in dictating which runway trends actually make it to the streets. San Francisco is pretty well-known for its microclimates that vary from district to district and it doesn’t really have proper seasons. Expect three seasons in a day—crisp fall-like mornings, cool breezy afternoons and warm summery days. This makes layering pieces essential year round, even in summertime. Contrary to surfer life in Laguna Beach, skimpy sun dresses don’t meet San Fran Style standards without layering. Never leave the house without a scarf and sweater — no matter what time of year it is. Feel cozy and look great, especially in cashmere (even ones borrowed from the boys will make a fashion statement). What loves you like cashmere does? Not that man who calls himself your husband, not those little people who claim to be your children, nor the woman who incessantly rings because she says she’s your mother! ( just say’n) Giro wind-resistant cycling shells and antimicrobial stink-resistant pants are practical and hip. Graphic beanies are the perfect remedy to the winter grays, so don’t worry if tomorrow brings a bad hair day. Toss on a beanie for instant #IWokeUpLikeThis status.
While skinny jeans and flannel shirts, designer dreads and cool T-shirts, Restylane and kick ass heels, respectively, may be universally legible markers of group affiliation (hipsters, hippies,) there are other elements that enter into the mix. Hooded scarves, trilby hats, parkas — looked like stuff you see all the time in this foggy, sports and green-obsessed city, but with a twist. A cool graphic tee can be surprisingly versatile and I love getting lot’s of mileage by wearing one thing a million ways. Rebel Style was well represented (too much Alberta Ferretti) and in my book a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. Since most people in the city ride bikes or take Muni Transit, comfortable shoes and handbags are worn by both men and women alike. They represent ones unique point of view and everyone is wearing runners, sneakers, trainers (or whatever you wanna call em) as they dash about town. That clever little creature you wear cross-body casual or over the shoulder for a more powerful look for meetings can be seen in an array of colors, textures and styles. Scarves, black leather/punk rock, ponchos, blue hair, Doc Martin’s, silver back packs to neon workout clothing and colorful sunglasses all made fashion statements. Lastly, there’s something very relaxing about denim – you know where you are with it.
Style never goes out of fashion. Standing out as an individual is what we all want and need. Hone in on your own distinct look — then write your own rules around it. Be someone who would rather create their own fashions than follow the fashion. Hit the streets, set your auto-focus point (refer to your camera’s manual for info on this) to the exact center, aim at the subject’s chest area and snap away for your own style inspiration.
No one’s looking at you, dear: Except, hopefully they actually are….
PS: BTW, Will somebody tell me what’s up with this? People approach an intersection with no car in sight, but, if the little man on the sign is red they WILL NOT CROSS THE STREET! They won’t even take a few teeny-weeny steps into the road in preparation of crossing!?!? When they step into the road, they’ll always use the cross walk! You can’t just launch yourself into the street like a New Yorker! HELL no…you are expected to walk to the corner, cross the street (with the light, of course) and then trek down the block. That my fashionista friends would take too much time away from my shopping day…