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Planning for LA

by habituallychic

03 . 15 . 10

I had a few readers ask if I was going to post my outfits for LA like I did for my trip to Paris and since I’m still not exactly sure what I should be wearing, I start planning them out! These outfits are my first run through of options that I think will work. As I mentioned previously, LA is much more casual than New York but some of these looks are my version of casual. I’ve also heard conflicting advice as to whether white jeans are acceptable so I decided to just go for it and include them. I can always swap them out for my dark jeans if I get there and realize that they are indeed inappropriate. I’ll also be changing each night for dinner and I think I might need to add another dress outfit but that just might give me an excuse to go shopping when I get there!

I’m still undecided on what to wear on the plane and the above outfit might work. It will be chilly when I leave New York but I don’t want to wear a heavy coat since I won’t need it in LA so I think my old Helmut Lang anorak could be a good outerwear option. I’ve also been advised that I need to wear layers in LA so the tee shirt means that I can peel off J. Crew cashmere sweater when I get hot. Even though it’s white, my Goyard tote is perfect for packing all my reading materials for the plane and I can’t wait to wear my new Jack Rogers flats! My Hermes watch with the blue band will also add a pop of color.

Again, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to wear white but this could be a good casual outfit for driving up the coast or hitting the Farmer’s Market where I hear they have great fish tacos!

We have some fancy stuff planned while I’m in LA and I will be meeting some important peeps so for some of the days, I might need to be a little more dressed up. I thought this black J. Crew jacket would work with my silk Rag & Bone tank and white jeans. I have been told that the girls in LA are still wearing boots but the whole point of my going away is so that I don’t have to wear boots so I will be wearing my Roger Vivier sandals as much as possible! I also plan to take a page out of Rachel Zoe’s book and bring my black Birkin. I’ve also been told that I need a scarf so I’m packing two, including this black one from Club Monaco.

If I can’t wear white jeans, then this outfit of black jacket and blush colored top with dark jeans is my alternate choice. I am very excited to wear my Phillip Lim ribbon necklace again!

If I need a slightly more casual outfit, than I can replace the blazer with this black Phillip Lim cardigan. Although, it does have some beading on it so maybe it’s not really any more casual!

Again, my idea of casual is a blazer and jeans so I hope I can wear this white linen and cotton version from J. Crew. It’s actually a little more on the winter white side so I’m going to make it work! If it’s too cold for the Roger Vivier sandals, I am also going to pack an old pair of black Loeffler Randall flats. The necklace is from Asha by ADM.

I’m trying to plan outfits with components that can be worn more than once and the white blazer could also work for a casual night out with the blush top, Phillip Lim necklace and my vintage gold clutch. I also have a blush colored cashmere scarf to complete the look.

For a dressier night on the town, I am packing my plum colored Phillip Lim jersey dress. Since it will be chilly at night, I will top it off with one of the black blazers and the black cashmere scarf. The heels are Christian Louboutin, the belt is new from Marni, the gold bracelet is from J. Crew and the ring is from Marcia Moran.

I am debating if this Phillip Lim dress with the attached rhinestone bib necklace is a little too dressy for LA but I could always cover it up with the black scarf. Rolling up the sleeves on the jacket might help dress it down as will the tan clutch from Club Monaco and Lanvin bracelets. Or maybe not. I feel like I should just wear a sign in LA that says I’m visiting from New York and this is as casual as I get!

I was also trying to pare down the essentials in my handbag. For this trip, I’ll definitely need my make up case, Goyard business card holder, pink agenda, orange receipt envelope, wallet, Mason Pearson hair brush, passport (it has a better photo than my driver’s license!), CrackBerry, camera and case with extra memory cards and battery, and Tom Ford sunglasses.

Luckily, I don’t leave until Thursday so I have a few more days to tweak my “casual” outfits and wrestle my Hartman suitcase out of the closet to start packing. Just hope it’s not over the weight limit like it was in Paris!

All photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Comments Closed

  1. Rebecca June March 15, 2010 | 3:42 am

    It looks like you are all set! I cannot wait and I hope we get a chance to meet up! Either way, have so much fun!


    Rebecca June

  2. Cherish March 15, 2010 | 3:53 am

    Good luck with your packing, Heather. It can be such a chore, but good pre-planning means no last minute panic purchases while you’re away. Unless of course you WANT to make those last minute “panic” purchases, LOL. Enjoy the west coast!!

  3. Ryan Hines March 15, 2010 | 3:53 am

    I don’t see a lot of black Birkins, but I wish I did… 😀

  4. stylecurator March 15, 2010 | 4:10 am

    I think you are all set-the outfits look great-I wish I could be that efficient when I pack.

  5. Julie March 15, 2010 | 4:25 am

    Amazing! I would love to own everything in your suitcase! Please do more of these style posts.

  6. Smile, Emily March 15, 2010 | 4:26 am

    Oh my god, I want your wardrobe. I love your style – chic, classic, feminine. And a Birkin! Really, your outfits are perfect.

    x Emily

  7. Julie March 15, 2010 | 4:26 am

    And by the way, the weather in L.A. is very conducive right now to boots or sandals, short sleeves or jackets. It is the perfect time of year to visit.

  8. tv March 15, 2010 | 4:30 am

    you’ll probably get more use out of the vivier sandals than you think.

  9. maison21 March 15, 2010 | 4:50 am

    so whadda i know, but i think the dress with the attached bib necklace is the most LA-y looking thing out of the bunch.

    forecast is high 70s maybe even 80 the first two days you are here, and increasingly cooler (low 70’s) but still sunny fior the rest. maybe you’ll use the scarves at night?

    oh, and if you run out of room in your suitcase after shopping here, i just picked up a vintage hartman tweed and leather suitcase with a toile print lining we can send home with you- it’s adorbs. no wheels though…

  10. Marija March 15, 2010 | 5:10 am

    I’m one of the white jean supporters and I like the way you do it in image 2. More subtle. Great outfits. You’ll have so much fun! Marija

  11. Lindsey Conrad - Nabors March 15, 2010 | 6:57 am

    LOVING all of those outfits!! You will be stylin!! Love how you can use some of the same pieces, those are the best pieces of clothing to have! Have a great time!

  12. DAVID LAWRENCE STUDIO March 15, 2010 | 7:45 am

    WHO is more chic than you! 😉
    Miss you, have a great trip and we MUST MUST MUST see each other when you’re back. I miss you!!! xoxo DL

  13. Brandie Herbst March 15, 2010 | 10:49 am

    You can also wear the ivory Lim dress w/ a jean jacket or military inspired jacket and that would bring the dress down a little bit. The fact that you have a bloody birkin is the envy of most women!

  14. Lizzytish March 15, 2010 | 11:08 am

    L.A. weather is definitely unpredictable. I was there in June a couple years ago and had to borrow a big sweater to wear the first night but was sweating in sleeveless a couple of days later! I think the white jeans will be fine. All I would say is maybe funk it up a little: throw in some wedges and a big necklace?

  15. Suze Yalof Schwartz March 15, 2010 | 12:41 pm

    OMG – You should have my job!!!! Can you pack for me I am off to Israel! XOXOXO Suze LOVE all of your choices .Suze

  16. arthurndi March 15, 2010 | 1:55 pm

    I think going with neutrals in clothing is really smart but I agree with Lizzytish that you need to funk it with some colorful chunky statement jewelry or throw in an acid green bag or some shoes with a colorful pattern. You look awfully winter. LA is fun and again the key is to Look Like You Roll Out of Bed FABULOUS! Another way I’ve heard it put is to ” Look like you could be or should be someone famous”.

  17. Heidi March 15, 2010 | 1:58 pm

    You crack me up! I travel about every 4 weeks these days, your images are an inspiration, I should be better at packing by now…LOVE the black Birkin. One thing I’ve learned, every hotel does laundry, so I tend to pack stuff I’m not afraid of them washing. Here in hot & humid SE Asia frequent laundry is a necessity! Also a bottle of Febreeze. And a fabulous pashmina for the air conditioning…

  18. Tali Schiffer March 15, 2010 | 2:50 pm

    I never saw anyone who sets up their entire outfit-sets for a trip away! How strange, but cool, and so very very organized!

  19. mustang March 15, 2010 | 2:55 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful wardrobe you have! And, I say wear the white jeans – really. You will be glad you have them. Depending on where in LA you are, it could be pretty warm during the day. But once the sun goes down, it will cool off. So you may be glad you have your boots, though all you might need is a “wrap” or pashmina.

  20. Kirstey March 15, 2010 | 3:16 pm

    My advice: rock the white jeans and if the LA inhabitants are not wearing them, they will see them on you and change their minds!

  21. Amy March 15, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    I would LOVE your closet- your clothes are timeless!

  22. Irene March 15, 2010 | 3:21 pm

    An invaluable post. You have great style. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  23. rikshaw design March 15, 2010 | 3:26 pm

    can i spend a day or 2 in your closet?! seriously you ARE as chic are your work and your blog!
    i am gonna be in LA LA land sunday-monday..can’t wait to hear about where you go, as i will be trailing behind! can’t wait to get in that sun by the pool!

  24. EMILY March 15, 2010 | 3:37 pm

    PERFECT! I just got back from an LA trip and it looks like you’re good to go. Also, I wore white jeans out and abbout Abbott Kinney on a sunny Saturday- no one gave me a sideways glance! Enjoy it. We’re suckers here in NYC on this grey day. I hear it’s 80 in CA today. Phooey. XOX

  25. Roxy Te Owens March 15, 2010 | 3:58 pm

    You are fabulous. That is all.

  26. Chic Coles March 15, 2010 | 4:50 pm

    Cute outfits! You are so lucky to be going to LA.

  27. Slim Paley March 15, 2010 | 4:54 pm

    Wow- I leave for New Orleans tomorrow morning. I haven’t packed a single thing yet and this post has just succeeded in humbling me, inspiring me and making me want to go back to bed.
    I have been that organized only once, and it was so fabulous.
    My two cents; white jeans are totally cool for LA now, as long as you wear with dark accessories. Everything you’ve chosen looks perfect. You can never have enough glittery bits for LA- we wear rhinestone bibs for breakfast, so the Philip Lim is fine for day. Conversely, the black Birkin… that’s probably a little tired and if you want me to take it off your hands (arm) for you, I’ll send you my address 🙂

    Have a great trip!!

  28. melissa March 15, 2010 | 5:18 pm

    your Roger Vivier sandals make me lick my lips! I WANT them! from the looks of it, you will dazzle on the west coast am much as you do the east! can’t wait to read about your adventures!!!

  29. Christine Schwalm Design March 15, 2010 | 5:24 pm

    My rule with white is that if the temperature is appropriate (mid 70s or so) then white is totally appropriate. It’s only silly when someone wears a white linen shift dress in 50 degree weather. I say pack the white, you’ll be glad you did.

  30. red ticking March 15, 2010 | 5:24 pm

    hi heather…
    i just returned and i will tell you.. bundle up. it was quite chilly most days (5) and then the weekend was finally nice. i wore a t shirt, sweater and jacket most days and a scarf… did pull out my sandals occasionally.. we were by the water alot – no sunning but one day…

    if you have a chance, go say in mailbu .. “reel inn” has fabulous food.. although fish tacos – pass on those. but everything else amazing. i could go on and on but know you have your own schedule and fun places to go… have fun! it was amazing regardless of the weather… xx

  31. nicole March 15, 2010 | 6:14 pm

    No jeans? Or did I miss those? I think everyone in LA wears jeans all the time.

  32. Me March 15, 2010 | 6:32 pm

    I covet your impeccable taste! All of these outfits are so classic yet glamorous. Have a great trip!

  33. bailey March 15, 2010 | 6:44 pm

    Love your style. Those outfits are so cute! Those Jack Rogers ballet flats are a must have. I just bought a pair on their website. Have fun on your trip!

  34. Laura Trevey March 15, 2010 | 8:12 pm

    Wow… you are amazingly organized!!

  35. mmwalsh22 March 15, 2010 | 8:15 pm

    All your ideas are great! The best thing about LA is that anything goes, really (ok, to a point). As an East Coaster who lived there for 6 years that was one of the most refreshing aspects to living there. You can wear white, winter white and sandals — it’s warm right now but you are right to pack scarves and sweater/jackets for the temp drops since they are unpredictable. Your instincts are right on, so relax and enjoy!

  36. my little apartment March 15, 2010 | 8:39 pm

    eeeek, no white pants until after Easter!! sorry, I’m a Southern girl and it’s just in my blood.

    that said, I lived in LA for 7 years and it actually does get chilly! what you’ve packed is totally fine though (except the white jeans). have fun…I’m starting to miss it!!


  37. Habitually Chic March 15, 2010 | 9:09 pm

    I want to thank everyone who left helpful comments and sent me emails! The group is still split on the white jeans issue. I will probably still pack them and check out the scene when I get there. I was figuring that maybe I could get away with them if I paired them with black. I’ll let you know what happens!

    Oh, and to Nicole who asked about jeans, I’m packing two pairs of dark skinny jeans for the day.

    And to Slim Paley, if I ever tire of the Birkin, which I doubt will happen, I’ll let you know 😉

  38. nicole March 15, 2010 | 11:48 pm

    Haha… good. I like black skinnies for at night too.

  39. My name: Julie My design firm: SHELTER March 15, 2010 | 11:50 pm

    so chic..looks great to me..this must have taken you so long to do..have fun.


  40. kj March 16, 2010 | 3:00 am

    Love your blog and your clothes, but as a So Cal native, I’m more of a jeans and tee girl. (“Girl” is stretching it, I’m a 43-year-old grandma!) Anyway, I was in West LA today, the weather was perfect, but warmer than I expected. If you choose to wear a jacket, most likely, it will be thrown casually over one of your shoulders. Gotta love LA’s sun, when the majority of the US is still thawing out. Check out the shopping in Santa Monica. From high-end to thrift, it has it all. Have a safe trip!

  41. Anna/Quilted Giraffe March 16, 2010 | 3:51 am

    You have the best clothes. Swoon! You should post your shopping tips sometime– you have some lovely pieces!

  42. the red bungalow March 16, 2010 | 3:59 am

    Your outfits are fabulous (as usual). As a So Cal resident myself, I would have to say white jeans aren’t really worn unless it’s a summer day…but with that said it was over 80 degrees here today (uh-mazing!), so I say rock it!

    Enjoy your time here on the West Coast 🙂

  43. Global Atelier March 16, 2010 | 4:06 am

    I’m so impressed that you took the time to photograph all of your beautiful outfits – you’ll look great. I have purse envy – a black Hermes – maybe someday!

  44. A.A.B.B. March 16, 2010 | 2:11 pm

    Your outfits look fabulous! And sticking out as a chic New Yorker is a good thing. 😉


  45. Lee Nicholson March 16, 2010 | 4:44 pm

    Love your outfits! Perfect. Now can you come to my house and plan out a week for me? WestWeek is going to be busy I hope and I want to look good. Stop by the studio if you are near the PDC ! Filmore Clark 607 N West Knoll.

  46. Judy March 16, 2010 | 7:58 pm

    I love your site. I’m not sure how I got to it but i’m glad I did. Your outfits look perfect. It’s really warm here today (in the 80’s) but I always carry a light jacket or sweater at night. White jeans are fine. I haven’t gotten into sandles yet though. My feet do get cold. I do ballet flats. They are perfect for this time of year. Happy Travels.

  47. Barbara March 17, 2010 | 12:47 am

    You have put together such elegant outfits. Have a wonderful trip.

  48. Alexandra Rae March 18, 2010 | 3:32 am

    All timelessly gorgeous! I think you’ll be quite surprised at how casual our casual is. Yours is a bit more tailored, but beautiful; and anything beautiful works is LA. Hope you have a wonderful time. It is HOT today!

  49. Romi March 19, 2010 | 12:06 am

    I live in LA and your outfits are perfection! Pretty much anything goes here so white jeans aren’t a problem. Some people dress up and some dress down in So Cal. I think your style will turn heads and make people think you are a star! Have fun while you are here.

  50. Sophi June 9, 2010 | 1:37 am

    Love your wardrobe for the LA vacation… What size is your Birkin? I wann buy one but still have no idea of size it’s more eternal, you know… Help me on that?

  51. Habitually Chic June 9, 2010 | 1:46 am

    Hi Sophi/Ana – thanks! My Birkin is 35cm. I think it’s the best size. The smaller ones look too small and this one allows me to carry papers or a magazine. Hope this helps!

  52. Pablo October 5, 2010 | 10:17 pm

    Wow, I have just seen this post and… You’ve a great style, ALL your clothes are gorgeous! =) I love J. Crew btw, I loved its shops when I was in New York, it’s a shame we don’t have that in Europe.