In the City By the Sea

I’ve spent some time lately in the sunshine of San Diego, California. My main occupation? To observe what everyone is wearing. This can best be accomplished by sitting at an outdoor espresso bar along India St. in Little Italy. Leggings are everywhere, worn with a tank top and a low-cut singlet over that, or maybe a super-short dress. Footwear is invariably sandals. This summer there is also a lot of lace. It might be a lace dress or an airy unlined coat. Or a panel of lace on the back of a boyfriend madras plaid shirt. Or lace sleeves on a slouchy tee shirt. It is bold lace: colorful, mixed with other fabrics such as eyelet, adorned with pompoms, ruffled, outsized enough to be quite revealing. The unassuming use of lace gives a South of France hippy/peasant look that is cheerful and beachy.

But the Mediterranean influence is just a takeoff point. Like the palm trees that were planted in Southern California in the 1930s to create a European garden atmosphere for vacationers, the fashion landscape of California offers its own character. Its athletic and casual style borrows here and there, but conjures a look that is local and unique. San Diego mixes Victoriana, Mexican tiles, salt air, sailors in blue camo, magical wildlife, tropical flowers, fortune-tellers, dry docks, courtliness, the whisper of Spanish, youth.The SD take on lace is all its own and becomes the influencer.

To create your personal lacy West Coast look this summer, keep it nonchalant. You might start with a sheer lace shirt such as Dana Pisarra’s black number and wear it under a tank top, slip dress, or even a light sweatshirt. Or try Elise Anderegg’s Mademoiselle Black Lace Dress as the base for a white summer smock. A sheer lacy chemise would look great peeking out beneath a short dress worn with leggings: Valery offers the show-stopping blue Mosaici; Elise Anderegg’s collectible Mistinguette flatters in pink or black.

Enjoy experimenting with these beautiful layers to become the influencer yourself.

-Kate L

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