L.A. Woman

Los Angeles is the city everyone loves to hate.  It’s easy to see why. Tinseltown is often represented by reality TV starlets and scantily clad celebrities showing off lots of plastic surgery.  To get an idea about what people say about LA’s style here are a few quotes taken from a discussion on The Fashion Spot: “LA suffers from ‘fake tits fashion’ – tiny tops with plastic boobs popping out paired with jeans and platform sandals.”, “LA’s image is very ditsy girls wearing girly girl outfits. …Plus plastic surgery/fakeness is very detectable.”, or my favorite “NY is definitely chic, classic and stylish while LA is trendy, generic and boring.” I did pick some of the more scathing comments on the thread, but the sentiment echoes elsewhere on the web. In some instances the scorn is well deserved, but personally I think there is a lot of style in L.A.

Fashion and Style in Los Angeles

I have lived in the general Hollywood area most of my life.  The beach cities of Santa Monica and Venice, glitzy Beverly Hills, energetic West Hollywood, decadent Hollywood Boulevard, and the vibrant neighborhoods around downtown Los Angeles are where I live and play. Many people say that LA has no style but it’s not true.  Each neighborhood has its own flair, but as a general rule Angelenos dress in a way that is casual, body-conscious and glamorous. The look works with the lifestyle here, influenced as it is by weather, the vast size of the city, and a vibrant economy filled with creative industries.

Surf and Sunshine

Although it can be rather chilly or blisteringly hot depending upon the time of year, the weather in Los Angeles is usually a mild 70 degrees with clear skies and lots of sunshine. As a result Angelenos are rather active.  All over the city you will see people jogging on the street or heading to yoga class. All that hard work would be pointless if we didn’t show it off, right?  Angelenos do tend to show more skin than people in the rest of the country. It’s usually warm, so why not bare your legs in the winter? The laid back weather influences the look in other ways as well. Bright, sunny days and ocean breezes express themselves in outfits that are light-hearted, colorful and casual.

 Car Culture

Los Angeles is HUGE. According to Wikipedia LA encompasses an area of 468.67 square miles. It is one of the most heavily populated cities in the world and is the second largest city in the United States. How does this impact the fashion sense of the people who call this megalopolis home?  If you want to get anywhere you will probably need to drive, and since your vehicle is as much a fashion statement as your purse, choose your wheels wisely. There are few practical needs to be met when you travel in your own private capsule, so people wear everything from sweats to really unique ensembles. You can strut whatever shoes you like, after all, you won’t have far to walk.  Women all over this city have embraced the 5″ platform sandal trend with gusto.

Hollywood and Glamour

I’m not sure who first called Hollywood “Tinsel Town” but there is something glamorous and sparkly about this city.  It’s as if anything you want to do is possible here. There’s an optimism in the air that translates into an aesthetic that screams “Look at me. I’m doing well!”.  Expensive brand names advertize the owner’s wealth, diamonds sparkle on fingers, and women get dressed up for all sorts of events. Although there will always be a grunge element, scruffy never really seems to take over. We do tend to like everything that’s new and exciting. The locals embrace new fashion trends wholeheartedly giving us the reputation for being trendy, fake and obsessed with the newest thing.

The Outfit

These thoughts on style in Los Angeles have been floating around my head for a while. I really appreciate living in this thriving city and it hurts when my fellow Angelenos and I are scorned for our fashion faux pas.  Many people just see the ugly side of L.A. and although it has it’s less appealing areas there is a great deal of beauty here as well.  My husband focuses on the fabulous side of L.A. in his photography blog Beautiful Los Angeles and I’ve pondered how to put together an outfit that presents the style of this city in my own way.

Last Saturday evening I donned a black maxi dress and white vinyl jacket. After teasing my hair into a tousled mess and applying what felt like a great deal of eye makeup I accessorized with my favorite multi-strand, chain necklace and new high heel snake-skin sandals. As I gazed in the mirror the image that stared back at me appeared gaudy and ever so slightly sleazy. My husband and I went out to dinner, had a drink and took some photos.  When we returned we looked through the photos and I realized that the outfit, which had felt so over the top at first, portrayed the casual glamour, glitz, and sexy qualities I equate with my home town’s style.

  • Dress: Veronica M
  • Jacket: Gianni
  • Necklace: Cara Couture via Gilt.com
  • Bracelet: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Tahari
  • Clutch: Thrifted from the Goodwill

Like the look?  You can see more photos on my Facebook Page and on Tumblr.

Tell me about the style in your hometown. What’s it like? Does it appeal to you?



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42 Responses to L.A. Woman

  1. Mary Jo
    January 20, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Looking gorgeous! Love that you shot it inside Chris Burden’s piece–can’t get more LA than that! And the foot shot is great for the polish, I’m going to post it on tumblr right now!

    xo Mary Jo
    Mary Jo recently posted..eye on style: heather from style confessionsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Thanks Mary Jo! I do so love that sculpture. Do you know it was almost sold to someone in Germany when LA’s wealthy got together and purchased it for the museum? It was an amazing story.

  2. sandy January 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    i <3 LA! great post, and beautiful totally LA look! also, i'm now hooked on Hugo's blog too. beautiful photos!

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Hey Sandy! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m glad you like Hugo’s blog too. I’m so impressed with what he’s been doing with his photography.

  3. Vicki January 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I think your pctures came out great, you look very glamorous!!!


  4. Alexis Grace January 21, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    Awww… I appreciate your spin on LA (although, there are definitely times that i think we deserve the bad reputation!)!!!! I definitely agree with your take on what inspires LA’s style.

    And your look is amazing—- not even remotely sleezy (seriously, I have been looking at the photos trying to figure out what you saw and can’t!)
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Spring Beauty CampaignsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      I’m planning on talking about how photography changes our perception of an image. It’s hard to describe but the way I looked in the mirror at home was much more over the top than the photos suggest. I mean, my hair was HUGE! It just looks normal in the photos.

  5. Lena January 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    This is very very nice. So 70’s….very good look!


  6. Lisa
    January 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    What a great post! I think it’s great you appreciate where you live and the style there. If all metropolitan city’s style were the same, how interesting would that be? I hail from Cleveland, and I can’t say is has outstanding style..kind of simple and nondescript. Luckily, I have moved around, having lived in CT, NY, FL and now in Atlanta for 10 years and hope that I have picked up a few of the style highlights from each place.

    Thanks for sharing and creating your vision of the L.A woman.

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks Lisa! It was a fun post to write. I haven’t lived in as many places as you have but I have visited enough cities to know that each place has it’s own flavor.

  7. Sylvia
    January 22, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    You look absolutely fabulous Heather. Love all your big necklaces and your shoes. I have only been in LA for a couple of days but loved the vibe. I think it would be a great city to discover as stay longer; there is just so much happening. The climate would suit me better than New York as well and there is so much beautiful nature to be found in the area. Hopefully I will be back one day….
    Sylvia recently posted..How to wear orange? 7 color combinations to get you started!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      There is a lot to do and see here, it’s just such a bit place it’s difficult to do in 2 days! I hope one day you can return.

  8. Arash Mazinani
    January 22, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Fantastic post, a great insight into LA fashion. I did a post a while back discussing how your location impacts your personal style and it’s a topic that always interests me. I think where I live it is quite open minded in terms of its fashion. A lot of the independent designers here like to go for really funky designs though, that is not always reflected in the style of the people in the city. People like to dress up for a night out but I still don’t think it’s as accommodating as a city like London when it comes to really quirky dressers.

    You look gorgeous as ever!
    Arash Mazinani recently posted..Mens Spring Summer 2012 Trend Guide Part 1My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Thank you so much for stopping by Arash! I’m glad you like the photos. Like you I find it very interesting just how much we are influenced by our surroundings.

  9. Jeannie
    January 22, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Wowza!! Gorgeous pics! Really love the location and you look fabulous! Not over the top at all…very glam!
    Jeannie recently posted..Not quite vintage…My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 22, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks Jeannie! There’s only so many places we can go at night that have light – that outdoor sculpture is one such place. And it’s very popular. We weren’t the only ones taking photos.

  10. SACRAMENTO January 22, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    I think you would look stylish and beautiful anywhere, my dear Heather.
    Looking beyond stunning!!!
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..2 Husband´s Shirts = 1 Wife´s SkirtMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      Thank you so much Sacramento! Glad you like the photos.

  11. Annabelle January 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    You look so chic, the combination of black and snake print is so stunning!!! And of course your photographs are so beautiful! Love your blog and now following, maybe you’ll have time to visit my blog:)

    Annabelle recently posted..StyleMint GIVEAWAY WIN A T Shirt OF YOUR CHOICE | OUTFIT POSTMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      Hi Annabelle and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m glad you like the outfit. I’ll check out your blog too!

  12. citizen rosebud
    January 24, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Good lord you are SMOKIN”!
    And you personally have changed the way I view Angelenos and their style. GREAT POST. I will presume this makes the cut for LALM. It’d better!
    citizen rosebud recently posted..Guest Post: The Foolish AestheteMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      I’m so glad I’ve changed your mind about Angelenos. Sacramento wasn’t even on my radar until I met you, and now I’ve discovered this great city because of you! Glad you like the photos. Hugo and I are having a lot of fun with them.

  13. A Brit Greek
    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Wow WOW WOW! Loved reading about Lala land too.
    A Brit Greek recently posted..Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Happy CNY!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Lala land is a fun place to live, I agree! Glad you liked the look.

  14. LadyLUX January 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Loving everything about this look. Can’t believe you thrifted that clutch at Goodwill….amazing find! 🙂

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Thanks! Finding that purse at the Goodwill was pretty amazing I agree. I do find cool things there once in a while for sure.

  15. Rachel January 26, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I really enjoyed this post, thank you so much and I found it really helpful, Los Angeles is one of three Californian cities I might be moving to in September!
    Rachel recently posted..Learning To Cook Like I’m On MasterchefMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Thanks Rachel! I’m glad you found it helpful. What I said about the cars is really true. You NEED a car here, otherwise you can really get stuck. Pubic transportation is not the best in the city of angels. If you’d like any other advice please feel free to send me an e-mail via my contact page.

  16. Dana January 29, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Great post…makes me want to move to L.A. right now!

    Dana recently posted..Retro Recommendation: Pillow TalkMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      The weather is pretty great here, that’s for sure!


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