Culture + Style

From Pinup Panache to Customized Kicks, Why San Diego’s a Fashionista Haven

Owner Tatyana of Tatyana boutique in San Diego models some of her retro fashions. (Photo: Courtesy of Tatyana)

Even if your shopaholic tendencies max out with souvenir or window shopping, you’ll be hard-pressed not to loosen your purse strings in San Diego.

The quest for fashionistas begins in the city’s signature shopping districts. Boutiques line the streets, selling trendy and retro fashions and accessories ranging from chill beach attire to Dita Von Teese-inspired pieces. Pop your favorite goods in a bag for stylish mementos from an unforgettable city.

Retro Respect in Gaslamp Quarter

Tatyana Boutique in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter specializes in retro-style dresses, but they also have casual resort fashions, like flowered overall shorts. For themed photo ops, snap up a sailor blouse and head to the Maritime Museum of San Diego or USS Midway Museum. Or splurge on a ’50s-inspired one-piece bathing suit and Dita sunglasses for poolside lounging. Top off your ensemble with a flirty hat to shelter your face from the rays.

Gaslamp District
San Diego’s Gaslamp District ablaze with lights is a shopping mecca. (Photo: Sean Pavone / Alamy)

Full-figured women particularly rave about Tatyana’s Mad Men-era dresses, designed to show off curves. If you’re looking for a flattering look for dinner, slip into a pencil dress.

Along with women’s fashions, Tatyana has a small men’s section where you can find dapper shoes and Brilliantine hair polish for your sweetheart.

Find Fashionable Feet in Little Italy

Vacation time is a great excuse for new shoes, and Azzurra Capri is a must-visit. Sink your feet into their Mediterranean-inspired signature sandals, handcrafted from Italian leather and Swarovski crystals. Bling-tastic choices include sparkling starfish or head-turning jewels. You can have shoes fitted and customized on-site or to order.

San Diego's Little Italy
Explore the shops in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. (Photo: Blaine Harrington III / Alamy)

If you want to complete the ensemble, browse the embellished tunics and lace tops imported from France and Italy. Slip into a chic sleeveless jumpsuit or short caftan for casual dining. Or outfit yourself for a day by the pool with a sleek bikini from Côte d’Or or Olaya Beach.

Not sure whether to add a scarf or a Panama hat? Torn between leather shorts and a tank dress? You can enlist expert help. Staff members provide a complimentary consultation to help you master San Diego fashion and craft the perfect look for your resort holiday.

Green Is Gorgeous in Cedros Design District

When you’re in Solana Beach, stop by Cut Loose in Cedros Design District for trendy resort and beach attire. Browse through items grouped by seasonal colors, such as pale pink and sea-glass green. Mix and match to find the perfect outfit for walking along the Embarcadero or relaxing by your resort’s pool. You also can place custom-dyed orders for that adorable keyhole dress in teal. They’ll make it happen.

Cedros Avenue
Cedros Avenue Design District is a popular San Diego shopping destination. (Photo: Eyhal Nahmias / alamy)

Cut Loose’s outfits are designed for easy packing and care, so there’s no need to bother with dry cleaning or ironing. They also use non-toxic dyes and minimal packaging for low environmental impact.