Mining the Style Vibe… in Santa Barbara
Last month’s business trip? Santa Barbara, CA. I really didn’t know what to expect, not to mention what to wear, or where to dine.
Conclusion: Santa Barbara is that rare fusion of “low key” glamour that somehow perfectly mimics its natural environmental combination of mountains, beaches and beautiful sunsets.
So, what are they wearing? Not the flamingo sorbets of Florida. A different kind of beach chic. Not the blacks, metals and animal prints of LA. Rather, a different kind of California style. It’s early March and the temperature range is between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here’s what I observed (my first trip to this beautiful place):
Baggy sweaters combined with rich cashmere scarves and Birkenstocks seem to take precedence. If you’re looking for cutting edge fashion, you won’t find it here. But you will find “artisan fashion”—meaning creative, original accessories that are at once hand-crafted and high-end (check out the shops in Montecito; current favorite: Angel).
As far as the Santa Barbara personality is concerned, I would say this:
The people are as down-to-earth as the style—laid back, friendly, open and unpretentious. The dining experience? You really can’t beat fireplaces overlooking the ocean against a backdrop of mountains and delicious, varietal cuisine. A couple faves include the Four Seasons Restaurant and Cava (yummy, authentic Mexican). And then, of course, don’t miss out on trying Santa Barbara wines, which takes the experience to a whole other level. I’d rate this place a 10, meaning, I’d go back in a heartbeat!
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