These days, I keep my “fancy” clothes in a suitcase in my closet. It seems like the older I get, the fewer chances I have to dress up.

At my cousin's weeding a few years ago -probs the classiest I've ever looked

At my cousin’s weeding a few years ago -probs the classiest I’ve ever looked

My hometown of San Francisco was never a dressy city, but in the past it seemed like there was more room for glamour. There were more glittering drag queens, more decadent industrial goth-types in South of Market (once you start calling it SOMA, it’s a slippery slope to NOPA and Pack Heights and all those others real-estate generated neighborhood names) and more locals wearing the official lady-uniform of the Bay Area: a black hoodie and a pair of huge-ass earrings, perhaps accented with a cat-eye. It’s a casual look with a nod to glamour, a sort-of urban NorCal mash-up I never fail to appreciate.

While San Francisco has perhaps always been a bit of a sloppy dresser, today the sloppiness has taken on a generic feel, and a look I like to call “expensive slob” has spread like the plague in our fair city (please note no one I know who grew up around here dresses like that, so don’t blame us.) I was delighted to read Ravneet’s recent post about this- could we be more on the same, hateful page?

A subtle look from my college days in the fleece-drenched Pacific Northwest

A subtle look from my college days in the fleece-drenched Pacific Northwest

The “expensive slob” aesthetic involves wearing workout clothes all day, every day (but expensive workout clothes, from North Face or Lululemon) and then topping it off with a pricy Longchamp or Louis Vuitton handbag. During weekends in the Marina, where the leisure class reigns, parades of people wear this outfit, their male counterparts in equally terrible basketball shorts and Dartmouth sweatshirts.

Divine for Halloween far from yoga pants as you can get

Divine for Halloween …as far from yoga pants as you can get

Wear Your Voice is an Oakland-based magazine, not an SF one, but it’s something Oakland locals and residents can relate to. Both cities have always had their share of transplants, and, like many coastal port cities, that’s kept things interesting. People bring their cultures, subcultures, delicious foods and fashions- but what if all people are bringing is polo shirts and polar fleece? (And, of course, the income to afford an insanely expensive apartment and $40 brunches every weekend.)

A 1940's sequin cropped top and metallic DVF skirt

A 1940’s sequin cropped top and metallic DVF skirt

In the spirit of NOT being an expensive slob, but the glamorous cheapskate I really am, I present a few end-of-the holiday season looks. Above, a vintage cropped sequined blouse that sits in my fancy-clothes suitcase, and a truly amazing bell-shaped Diane Von Furstenberg skirt, purchased at my mom’s consignment store, Mary’s Exchange, for an affordable $40. (I know everything kind of looks like sand because these are camera phone photos.)



This cardigan is swimming with sea-urchin like beading, and is the perfect topper to the outfit above. Being vintage, it cost less than a pair of fancy REI sweats or a top that wicks sweat from your body or a Longchamp bag that looks identical to everyone else’s Longchamp bag.


And to finish the black and gold palette, a 1950’s necklace that looks totes modern and relevant today, a necklace that I believe says no to sweats, no to preppy workout-wear and no to yoga pants all day long.