For years it's been an acceptable uniform for the "nice casual" party: chinos and a polo shirt, topped by a dashing black or blue blazer.
But over time, this classic California outfit has been getting sloppy. Guys have been pulling on loud striped polos, and they aren't tucking them in (gasp!).
"With that kind of outfit, you should go with a solid color shirt," says Terry Barbour of Polo Ralph Lauren in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa. "Stripes aren't appealing in that situation."
Also, make sure your collar's down, and don't follow the current women's trend of leaving your shirt out.
A guy with a pulled-out polo looks more sloppy than chic, and when he combines the look with a jacket, it's a mix of styles that makes him appear more disheveled than eclectic.
Necking: There's been a revival of sorts for clothes from the early part of the century, which is why the high-necked Victorian-style white blouse was a big seller a few years ago.
However, many of those same blouses are now doing time on thrift store racks, which makes one wonder if wearing one will draw some unusual stares.
"That high-necked blouse faded quickly," says Lisa Valeriano of Twice the Style in Costa Mesa. "In its place, women are buying the puffy, ruffled white blouse."
If you haven't given away your Gibson-girlish blouses yet, you can still wear them.
The key is to match them with a bold blazer or jacket, stay away from a pin or cameo high up near the neck, and keep your jacket on as long as possible.
Now playing: What piece of clothing do you pay $25 for, wear once and shovel to the bottom of your drawer for posterity's sake?
It's the concert T-shirt, of course, and it's hard to find someone who doesn't have a black cotton tee with "Rush World Tour 1985" or "Cheap Trick" brightly silk screened across the front and back.
Most people keep those concert shirts hidden from view on purpose, but some are still proud fans of the Knack and want to keep wearing them . . . in public.
"These are great for '70s theme parties and not much else," says clothing buyer Bill Rigioni of Huntington Beach. "Keep them in the drawer in mint condition. Maybe someday they'll be worth something."
If you can't hide your exuberance for Megadeath and you've got to wear the shirt, make sure it's paired with jeans and dirty sneakers. Shorts are OK, but jeans, preferably ones with a few holes in the legs, will give you the look. Ponytails optional.