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California Casual Chic

by habituallychic

03 . 03 . 10
I’ve already been warned by numerous friends that I’m going to have to tone it down a notch or two (or maybe 10!) when it comes to my outfits for LA. It’s a much more casual city than New York so jeans are appropriate everywhere and heels are almost never worn during the day. I always like to fit in when I travel so I’m doing my homework and looking to Reese Witherspoon for guidance. She seems to have the California casual chic look down pat. Looks like I’ll be packing lots of jeans and flats which is fine by me. Now I just need to find out if the no white after Labor rule is applicable in LA and more importantly, where I can find Jake Gyllenhaal when I get there! I don’t know what she was thinking!

Photos from Google

Comments Closed

  1. Adventures in Dressmaking March 3, 2010 | 11:37 pm

    Reese is one of my style icons, she is so great! I love her formal wear but she also manages to look cute and fashionable in jeans and flip flops. Love it. Not sure if I could pull off the fedoras though… 😉

  2. Habitually Chic March 3, 2010 | 11:41 pm

    Adventures in Dressmaking – I think the fedoras are stricktly for celebrities trying to hide from the paparazzi!

  3. The Zhush March 4, 2010 | 12:01 am

    Reese=breezy easy fashion perfection!

  4. kimberj March 4, 2010 | 12:26 am

    My daughter lives in LA and works in the industry. White is fine anytime, at this time of year boots are worn with jeans, and think “statement” pieces in jewelry. The key is to look like you wake up fabulous.

  5. sarah, flourish design + style March 4, 2010 | 12:30 am

    Great choice! Such effortless style-

  6. paintedpreppy March 4, 2010 | 12:36 am

    I love her, she is by far one of my favorite actresses! Love the first outfite, blue and white always looks so clean and neat.

  7. nicolefalack@gmail.com March 4, 2010 | 12:41 am

    I live on the UES in NYC as well… No one really wears heels during the day. At least I never do (unless I have a luncheon or party or something!) Everyone is wearing flat boots over pants/black jeans/leggings…

    Reese always looks good but I especially love when she dresses up for award shows. I love how simply she dresses!


  8. EJR March 4, 2010 | 12:53 am

    Reese is one of my style icons! I love how effortlessly chic she is.

  9. Amanda March 4, 2010 | 12:55 am

    I love her style. She’s definitely a good barometer for SoCal dressing.

  10. phillip March 4, 2010 | 1:09 am

    If you’re out shopping in Beverly Hills or WeHo the more casual you are the more you’ll fit in. Don’t be surprised to see celebrities in sweats. t-shirts and house slippers lol. I’m a designer and worked in Beverly Hills for a couple years and even the designers there dress way down. I remember being at the PDC one morning at Kneedler and I ran into Vicent Wolfe in the fabric wings in grubby jeans, flipflops and a white undershirt. I quickly migrated back to my standard Alabama attire of jeans and a black t shirit. Have a great time and if you’re interested there’s some great hidden sources where the designers shop. Some of these sources are workshops where some of the big name companies have product made. Send me a note if you’re interested. By the way, I read your blog regularly. It’s kinda nice to keep up with the city through your eyes. It’s still a far mor invigorating design scene than the west coast.But I do love LA too. Ciao

  11. CHELZERS March 4, 2010 | 1:18 am

    I agree! She it the epitome of true chic SoCal style! Yes, white is totally appropo year-round.

    I am headed to NY for the first time in June (first trip sans my triplets!) and I have NO idea what to bring wardrobe wise….Can you offer any tips? We will be going to lots of baseball games, seeing shows and of course shopping and eating everywhere that has food! 🙂 If you have a moment, I would love to see your recommendations! Thanks HC!

  12. CashmereLibrarian March 4, 2010 | 1:18 am

    What was HE thinking??! How adorable.

    Hope you have a great trip!

  13. the NEO-traditionalist March 4, 2010 | 1:27 am

    I adore Reese! She’s so southern-belle-meets-california-beach-babe and it really works! Yep, she’s pretty much my style idol… XO

  14. Gina March 4, 2010 | 1:48 am

    Love her style. One of my favorite things about living in southern California is how casual it is. You can really just wear whatever you want – it’s the best.

  15. Carolyn March 4, 2010 | 2:09 am

    I live in L.A. and wear heels ALL the time! Why not, you’re not walking that much after all! Heels are not, look sharp… the girls out here are way chic — the epitome of effortless cool.
    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  16. Marija March 4, 2010 | 2:30 am

    White whenever is my rule. And for Jake, go to Axe in Venice. I love their pancakes and after a trip to LA, spent a (pathetic) evening trying to find the recipe online but every search ended up with someone saying how much they loved Axe pancakes and how they happened to see Jake G having lunch/breakfast – and always with a different celeb. Not bad odds…

    Have fun! Marija

  17. Shorely Chic March 4, 2010 | 2:44 am

    she is the cutest thing I can’t even take it…LOVE the shots 🙂

  18. Ms Smart March 4, 2010 | 3:03 am

    LA resident: I wouldn’t do white in March – looks touristy. Casual w/a flare. Flair – scarf, big bag, head band, something colorful. Black. Bring sweater, jacket… it is cool at night. Have a great time HC, LA rocks it. Eat raw, shop, museums, sight see, cafe coffee, enjoy the sunshine!

  19. Andy and Jessica March 4, 2010 | 4:28 am

    Jennifer Aniston is another caszh Cali style muse. Just sayin’.

  20. Alexandra Rae March 4, 2010 | 6:14 am

    Completely agree Ms Smart. I’m a California native and have been in LA most of my life and I would not don the whites just yet. Though I just picked up the greatest pair of Eunia white skinnies today. You have to get out here to the newly revamped Malibu Country Mart. You have to get to Malibu period. But don’t be too disappointed that it doesn’t look anything like the beaches of Florida or the movie scenes. My Eastern in-laws were very dismayed by the predominance of PCH. But hey, cars rule in LA. Which brings me to my second point, Heels are fine in the day!, especially cuz you don’t walk much. Anything goes in LA, which is why I LOVE IT. San Francisco has it’s uniform, so does Boston and NYC. But LA is really a free-for-all. But it is a much more casual look overall than most. Right now it’s still super skinnies and baggie, banded t-shirts (yeah, no more muffin top) with, yes, mostly flats and sandals. Or, if it’s chilly, boots, long sweaters and scarves. Have so much fun. Try to get to the Getty. Eat foie gras at STK. If you eat that stuff. I order two for my dinner.

  21. Annie March 4, 2010 | 6:33 am

    And no one looks like this in New York? I don’t see many New Yorkers dressed up more than this except perhaps the Upper East Side.

  22. maison21 March 4, 2010 | 7:23 am

    so glad you posted this, as i know, i was no help on this subject. what do girls wear here? i dunno. i notice boys. 😉

    but now that i’m reading it, some advice is spot on: no to white jeans this time of year. wait ’til after easter; and yes, heels are fine- we really don’t walk much, it’s true! come to think of it, all the girls i know wear boots with heels constantly. dresses during the day are ok too, just not too dressy. at night, anything goes, from underdressed to overdressed, but as someone else pointed out, when dressing down at night, statement jewelry brings you back up a notch.

    at the end of the day, anything goes here- there are no rules to dressing but one- whatever you wear, *own it*- then you’ll look good no matter what! so you’ll do just swell, chic!

    really, you’ll be judged far more for pulling up to the valet in my truck, then for your outfit! now, *that’s* something to worry about!;-)

  23. Pink Martini March 4, 2010 | 9:11 am

    Always interesting to hear a visitor’s point of view. 🙂 Whatever you wear is fine. I wear white year round. There are no east coast fashion faux pas here – none.

    BTW, love the Reese pics. She apparently hangs out a lot at the Brentwood Country Mart as she lives in the community.


  24. jackie fo March 4, 2010 | 12:35 pm

    she is so CUTE – she always looks fabulous…

  25. NINA March 4, 2010 | 12:59 pm

    Seriously LOVE reese’s style! it’s simple, chic and low-maintenance. if i could copy her wardrobe, I would. Great post! I’m going to send my twitter follows over to check it out. xx Nina http://www.accordingtonina.com

  26. Alice Olive March 4, 2010 | 1:19 pm

    She does indeed have great casual style. Simple and uncluttered. A great inspiration. I hope we shall get a few snaps from your LA vacation!

  27. Jaime March 4, 2010 | 2:13 pm

    Such an effortless, chic style she has! Enjoy your trip! 🙂

  28. kimberj March 4, 2010 | 2:40 pm

    Jake G. FYI- Can’t reveal my source but have confirmed knowledge that Jake is a whiny baby who makes his assistant do EVERYTHING and that’s why he burns through them like Lohan does cash. Maybe Reece (LOVE HER!!!!) wasn’t ready for 3 kids 🙂 Have fun and wish I were going too!

  29. splendidmarket.com March 4, 2010 | 3:00 pm

    Oh YES — the Getty!! It is so remarkable, you really should try to visit. I would wear white jeans, but no white linen.

  30. Meg March 4, 2010 | 3:52 pm

    The Tods bag makes my heart sing 😉 as does your blog xo

  31. rikshaw design March 4, 2010 | 4:33 pm

    that shot of her with the turq dress and cardigan and fringe shoes..i die..(just like rachel zoe would say)
    have a blast get some vitamin d sunshine, drink and eat fresh cali foods, and tweet about all the strange celeb sightings you have.

  32. Alaina @ Live Creating Yourself March 4, 2010 | 5:03 pm

    Love every single outfit. This is also similar to Chicago style (in warmer months). Much more casual, feminine, and fun!

    Have fun on your trip!


  33. Prutha March 4, 2010 | 5:16 pm

    cant wait for summer to get here!!

    have fun on ur trip…


  34. christi March 4, 2010 | 6:34 pm

    i’m born and raised in socal and live in la. only tourists wear white after labor day and before easter, so i say it’s a skip on the white in march. bring scarves — they are just enough to cut through the ocean breeze. light sweaters and jackets are great for our chillier nights. flips flops year round here. jeans and casual tops. don’t be afraid of the white tshirt and dress it up with a scarf/earrings and cut jeans.

  35. Jennifer March 4, 2010 | 6:38 pm

    was out there last May and was surprised at how little white I saw. most anything seems to go but all in a laid-back California coast kind of way. I’m sure that was no help, but yes, Reese does look like a good barometer! love her.

    oh — pack to layer. I was surprised by the drastic temperature fluctuations day to night!

  36. EricNFashion March 6, 2010 | 12:17 pm

    Angeleno style is certainly unique. Designers have been adapting it for several years.

    The white jean trend is apropos of last year and should be worn cautiously. It may be wise to temper that look with an off white look (something creamier) that gets to the idea of spring, but isn’t so stark.

    It cant be stated enough that it’s the city of layers. Two and sometimes three tanks to create the appearance of depth to dressing. a cropped jacket or cardigan worn over.

    Scarf, scarf, scarf!!! Did I say wear a scarf? I remember when I moved to Los Angeles, and seeing how they were worn. I liken it to fabric donuts. Replaces a tie for men. It took me months to figure out how to wear it. Start from the center of the scarf and put it to the front of your neck and wrap it around the back, and again to the front. Then tuck the ends over, and underneath the front so that the ends lay in the decolletage.

    LA is a southern city, and color is an indication of this. A splash of a bright fancy color goes a long way.

    As for designer dressing. I think of Sharon Stone in a Gap turtleneck. Hollywood set love designer shoes and bags, and wear them with non designer clothing. It’s how some retailers decipher the hobos from the Goyard Hobos!

    It does scare me to see a perfectly beautiful starlet walking the city wearing Havianas, and cut-offs, but this does happen a little too often.

    Just rock your style, and turn heads!

  37. Paula Puryear March 6, 2010 | 8:25 pm

    I live in LA, so weighing in on the white question. Yep, you can wear white whenever you want. This time of year I’d pair it with ballet flats (or flip flops or sandals if you’re at the beach, though right now it’s a little cool). To make it L.A. winter appropriate, wear it with a black shirt or a blue and white striped shirt or any color that doesn’t scream summer (though you can wear more summery colors with regular jeans this time of year).

  38. ADIL SIDDIQUI April 29, 2010 | 10:01 am

    Very nice outfits