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