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The Forgotten Fashion City

SAN DIEGO – The fashion world seems to stop south of the 110 freeway. Los Angeles – the impending metropolis, where the chic and savvy sport their wears with an effortless grace, and where the world turns inward to gawk and stare, creating a mythical land of the beachy-free-spirited wonder woman. There is more than just the archetype, more than just that quintessential California look; you just have to know where to find it. If you can make it past Orange County, you will enter the forgotten fashion land – San Diego. A large and bustling cityscape, San Diego sports a unique fashion culture, one that blends the free-LA whimsy with suburban practicality while peppering in a little San Francisco sophistication, all while infusing a little Latino flavor from our neighbors due south. Every neighborhood tells a story, every block has hidden gems that define inspiration and defy convention. La Petite Winget has found Mecca.

I am a newbie San Diegan, fresh out of the college bubble from Santa Barbara. After coming from the fanciest college town in America, where the effortless, tousled, and totally understated chic reigned supreme, San Diego has provided me a fresh creative palate to stretch my fashion legs. Being defined as petite, fashion was always a challenge, standard things like jeans, fancy dresses, even women’s shoes, seemed just out of reach. I was the one sneaking into the kids department, or belting every skirt to somehow make it fit around my waist. Growing into myself and comfortable with my proportions came later, after college, where in San Diego, self expression and an accepting environment created, well.., me.

The sun is shining right now in San Diego. It’s been summer here since April, and with a cloudless sky 343 days a year, summer is guaranteed through October. The fashion sensibility in San Diego dictates a summer wardrobe, colors, light fabrics; I don’t even own a warm jacket. So I would describe San Diego Fashion as fun. And my fashion has morphed, becoming more comfortable, finding a safer place to try those trends out from LA (pyjama bottoms as pants), while giving them a casual spin (pairing them with a tank). San Diego has its own safety net, and has provided me with an opportunity to morph into me, and showcase my style via my blog, La Petite Winget.

My style can be described as classic, yet twisted. I love wool pants, silk shirts, but I love them to be different, to play fun within a constricted confine. Wool does not have to be drab. Handbags don’t have to be black. Color, and pattern, and neon, and silk, all those things combine to create La Petite Winget. I am not effortless, and my style reflects the work I put into it. I have never been able to throw and go, and you can usually find me, on any given week night, playing dress-up in my room, scheming, testing, thinking. I wander the city in my carefully constructed look, and literally stumble upon a vista at every block. Balboa Park looking over downtown, the Spruce Street Bridge tucked away behind some mansions, the murals of Hillcrest, the ocean views in Ocean Beach, the list is endless. San Diego not only provides me with endless creativity and inspiration, it also lends itself to be its own, my partner, a backdrop that stands alone, a palette that is uniquely and utterly mine.

Lauren Winget – La Petite Winget