Deciding what to pack is always a challenge. Maybe you are a pro, but I tend to overpack and then I end up wearing the same 2-3 outfits my whole trip. LA is a casual city which is part of the attraction. You’ll be at the beach, at a pool, shopping and eating so you want to have transitional outfits that suit the chill LA ‘beach to bar’ lifestyle.
Here are our suggestions for what to bring or buy once you are there. At the same time, this is a bit of a heads up for what’s coming for hot summer trends here in our home base. And of course, some items are classics that we all have in our closet and can’t wait to pull out for the hot summer months.
Your Leather Jacket and Your Favorite Jeans
Let’s start with an essential, the leather jacket. Vegan also applies. Spring and Summer nights can get chilly in LA so you need a lightweight jacket that you feel confident in to cover yourself up if you catch a chill from the ocean breeze. It is also a key part of the “off-duty model” look that works for any night out in this laid back but happening city. For you this may be an XL denim jacket.
My favorite jeans are black, form fitting and ripped. I wear them with a cute black lace cami from Zara, my favorite black leather jacket and a nude high heel sandal. I add a sparkly bag.
If a cami is not your thing, wear your favorite vintage t-shirt or logo t-shirt.
XL Sweatshirt & Leggings
This is a look I saw at a lot of brunch spots. Sneakers, black leggings, an oversized sweatshirt and a baseball cap. Nothing says casual & cool like this minimalist athleisure look. Kendall Jenner rocks it.
Sneakers are getting a lift right now so go platform if you dare.
Gucci Slides & White
One of my favorite outfits spotted at Great White was an oversized beige off the shoulder sweater with straight legged ripped white jeans, Gucci slides and a whicker bucket bag. It epitomized the casual summer look I love right now. Her long blonde hair was flowing and blowing in the wind, of course. Shopping at Browns the other day, I saw about 10 different iterations of this shoe.
Striped Shirt Dress
Stripes are still hot this year, with a twist. The shirt dress is a new way to wear this trend. If you don’t like that look, go with striped pants and a white t-shirt, or just a striped blouse with white jeans. Add those Gucci slides and you are good to go, or the new kitten heel slides.
An essential for summer is the little white dress. Eyelit boho details were on most runways for SS 2018. Bring your bleach pen in case you spill.
Bathing Suits & Accessories
I saw fewer bikinis and more lowcut ruffled one-piece bathing suits. Just be careful getting in and out of the pool. I saw one girl experience the embarrassment of the fashion mishap we all dread when in public. Zimmerman bathing suits are gorgeous.
Girls were wearing XL earrings and turbans. I also saw a sleek gorgeous Italian in the thin sunglasses.
Net wraps as a cover up (to make you look like a mermaid caught by fisherman?) or a look that took my breath away, a button down striped crop top and matching skirt. Not just any skirt, a skirt that caught the wind like a sail. It was open in the front and long at the back. So beautiful that I’m pretty sure my friend and I were both staring simultaneously.
Florals on one-piece bathing suits, short dresses and hair accessories were everywhere. I literally stopped a woman on Abbot Kinney Blvd. going into Neighbour to ask if I photograph her loose-fitting baby doll dress, thin long sweater and bangles. This was one of my favorite looks by far.
You can’t go wrong in a one-piece playsuit. It is the dressier version of shorts and a t-shirt and can double as a dress for evening. Ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles please. Pair with sneakers for day and then add heels for night.
If you prefer to wear pants, these are great for night and you don’t have to worry about having a Marilyn Monroe flyaway moment. It’s dressy and easy to wear. It’s the secret lazy girl’s trick to looking sophisticated.
Sequence & Metallics
My personal favorite dream item was a dress I spotted at LCD. Covered in large scale sequence, it was divine. An easier way to add this trend to your outfit is with earrings or a purse. You can add some sparkle without committing to full-on mermaid.
I went to the 10-year anniversary party of California fashion blogger Emily Schuman who created the blog and lifestyle brand Cupcakes & Cashmere. Her pal Mandy Moore was there. Mandy wore a gorgeous leopard print coat, a fuchsia lip, a balayage short haircut, yellow suede sandals and a macramé bag. She basically rocked every trend at once.
Emily was wearing a bold colored asymmetrical Cupcakes and Cashmere dress with a Zara nude heel.
The New Make-up
Walking on the artsy section of Melrose on my way to Wasteland, I spotted a girl wearing the coolest make-up. Blue lines were drawn on her eyelids. What I loved about this experience was seeing a Pinterest moment come to life. It was pure art.
Summer Packing/Shopping List
- Leather Jacket (and/or XL denim jacket)
- XL sweater or sweatshirt
- Logo t-shirt (Gucci is easy to find at Wasteland) or Vintage Rock t-shirt (Zeppelin, Bowie, Blondie, Hole)
- Black leggings
- Your favorite blue or black jeans
- White jeans (preferably ripped)
- Jean shorts, checkered XL men style shirt, beanie
- Playsuit (floral, striped, bold, ruffles)
- Jumpsuit (preferable with a triangular cut out above waist, under rib cage)
- Eyelit white blouse (wear with boyfriend jeans or white jeans)
- Floral boho dress
- Striped dress or shirt (can be worn with boyfriend jeans or shorts)
- Sneakers (that you can walk in for long periods of time blister free)
- Nude heel
- Gucci (-esque) slides
- Flip flops (for the beach)
- Hair accessories (turban, clips, scrunchie)
- XL bold earrings
- One-piece bathing suit (floral, ruffle or rainbow)
- Cover all (net or two-piece striped crop top & skirt)
- Boho beach bag & towel
- Whicker bucket bag
- Straw hat
- Red and/or Fuchsia lipstick
- Bold colored eyeliners (and pencil sharpener)
- Sequence, Metallic, Rainbow something or other
- If you want to try paddle boarding, biking, surfing etc., bring your sporty attire
Rent a car or prepare to pay for Ubers. Be sure you have extra room in your suitcase for the items you buy. Bring band aids for your feet. Bring good sunglasses to protect your eyes and lots of sunscreen. My friend and I ran out and it’s a pain to have to loose time looking for a pharmacy. I put emphasis on hair accessories because you may not want to spend a lot of time curling your hair and doing the whole blow-dry at the expense of missing out on trying a new bar for cocktails, so keep your beauty routine simple. Go with the sun kissed glow you will get in sunny LA and mascara with a bright lip.
Be sure to make reservations for any restaurants you know you want to eat at, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
While sitting at the Eveleigh bar with a friend we chatted with an interesting fellow and his friend the bartender (and actor). Turns out that while James Eysenbach has a day job and a serious title, he also models. He has lived in LA for 5 years and travels the world sailing, exploring and wearing clothes …as models do. He generously accepted my request to provide us with his LA guide. I thought it would be fun to get a native’s perspective (in his own words) on this amazing and fun city! Turns out he has a way with words.
Photo Credit: Nate Jensen @inn8creative
James’ West Hollywood Guide
West Hollywood is booming like I've never seen in my entire half decade of residence here. Each passing day brings another restaurant opening, club debut, or new hotel ribbon cutting. Never has there been a better time to explore the growing and vibrant city that I love to call my home. Here are a few of my fav's to check out the next time you're in town...
Where to stay
Petit Ermitage - Luxury boutique hotels are a staple in Los Angeles and Petit Hermitage in West Hollywood is a veritable garden sanctuary. Centrally located just south of Sunset and north of Melrose/Santa Monica Blvd, this hotel is everywhere you want to be for an intimate experience with a flawless rooftop pool and bar with endless views of the city of angels.
The London West Hollywood - This newly renovated gem just off the Sunset strip is my favorite urban refuge to get away from the tourists that flock to the city in droves every summer. This hotel exudes modern luxury and style, providing for a chic LA stay that you won't soon forget.
Chateau Marmont - If it's elegant old Hollywood glamour you seek, then look no farther than the Weho castle that is the Chateau Marmont. Home to more celebrities than you can snap a story of, this classic hotel will transport you to European country estate that will have you sliding into that A-list lifestyle you always knew you were so well suited for.
Where to eat:
Catch - The sister restaurant of the Catch New York, the West Hollywood version may well be the most instagrammable place to dine in the entire city. Frequented by some of the top names in entertainment, this one will put a hurt on your wallet but is well worth the price. Originally conceptualized by esteemed chefs Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, Catch is a culinary experience for the ages.
Gracias Madre - If you're looking to eat like the Angelinos do, you can probably do no better than this organic vegan Mexican hotspot. Even the hardiest meat-lovers can find something to tickle their plant-based palate and the outdoor seating will provide ample sunshine to suck down a spicy margarita or two.
Animal - Brunch is more than a meal to us here in Hollywood; it's more like a religion. And this new meat-lovers paradise on Fairfax will have you praising your god above for a long time coming. You're more than welcome to bring your own bottles of bubbly but a $35 corkage fee applies. Bon Appétit!
Where to spot celebrities:
- Chateau Marmont
- The Ivy
Where to shop:
Eden Sky on Melrose Ave and Topshop at The Grove
What to wear: Whites, stripes, floral, and denim.
See you on the other side