Not since Elvis Presley bent up the brim of his Army cap has personal style been so important to making a strong fashion statement. After all, clothes are mass-marketed these days, and you're likely to find the same pair of shorts you bought in a shop on Montana Avenue in a boutique on Melrose Avenue. When that happens, it's those small individual touches that can make the difference between looking unremarkable and looking unforgettable.
Take suits, for example. Just about everyone looks good in them, but there's always the danger of looking like just another unimaginative person in a cast of thousands.
So to proclaim your unique sense of style, you add the Italian cheesecake tie your wife gave you. Or you jazz up some not-very-extraordinary separates with a wild pair of shoes you bought on Rodeo Drive for a small fortune or a scarf you found at a Venice street stand for a song. The point is adding interest to your wardrobe and dressing to self-express.
In Southern California, great style isn't the exclusive domain of any particular age or income group. It zigzags through all walks of life. Here's a look at some of the best mix-and-match styles on the streets of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Venice and West Hollywood.