West Coast Flare: How to Dress Like a Californian When You’re Not One


West coast style is a style of its own. California’s fountain of wealth is the foundation of their forward-moving fashion sense. You won’t find last year’s trends donned by celebrities and the super-rich.

This is a daunting, misleading representation of California. Don’t let the Gucci-clad A-lister stepping out of their ‘Rari intimidate you. This is because nobody’s interested in seeing news about a regular guy dressed in Old Navy.

These are the west coast styles for the rest of us.

Beachy Bests

California is synonymous with its powdery sands. Beachwear has made its way into an acceptable fashion style on the west coast.

Everything about the beach screams relaxation, and that’s evident in the clothing.

This isn’t a place to wear highfalutin garbs; kick off your dress shoes. Instead, wear flip-flops or Sperry’s boat shoes. The salty waters give them a nice worn look.

Shawls or loose, transparent tops for the girls and a casual tee for the men. Keep it light and breathable. There’s a lot of sun in California.

Because of the resounding connection between beach-life and California, beachwear is acceptable just about everywhere. We wouldn’t, however, advise wearing it out to eat, but people won’t bat an eye if you wear it ’round town.

West Coast Styles All Over California

Where you are in California dictates the fashion trends. California isn’t a lavish paradise filled with money-trees everywhere you go.

Downtown Los Angeles has a very casual take on clothing. It’s a lot of basics that are paired with something like a coat. People don’t wear suits and pencil skirts outside of the business sector.

San Diego is very similar in this aspect. There’s nothing far-fetched and outrageous. Pasadena, Burbank, and Hollywood are a little more upscale. It’s still not black-tie, but expect to see more sundresses and chinos with wingtips.

Areas like San Fransisco are different. People are living in poverty on six-figure salaries in this metropolitan.

There’s an inverse effect on fashion there. It’s filled with tech-gurus and nerds that dress however they want. A lot of their fashion is drawn from inspirational tech engineers like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg.

A Retro Renaissance

One of the trends flashing through California now is a retro-dated look. There’s a cycle of nostalgia that plagues fashion, and it’s an epidemic on the west coast.

Denim is in. Jean shorts and a denim jacket or tattered, dyed jeans are the rage. Funky, retro shirts are making an appearance again, too.

The more eye-catching, the better. This goes doubly for tie-dye.

For some extra, funky stuff, we suggest a west coast staple, California Glory.

Fashion Sets on the West Coast

Fashion can be intimidating, especially when it’s debuted on red carpet celebs. But, in reality, most people don’t have the time, desire, or wealth to imitate the snobs.

A lot of people wear casual beachwear. It’s among the airy west coast styles.

Fashion also depends on where you are, but don’t let money fool you.

Retro’s making a return, so bring your dad’s tie-dye shirts.

If you’re traveling elsewhere or want the scoop on other trends, check out the rest of our site for more posts on fashion.