Los Angeles and New York are undoubtedly the fashion capitals of their respective coasts, yet girls’ go-to looks are undeniably on opposite sides of the spectrum between the two cities.While style is certainly personal, it’s impossible to ignore the endless parade of these cities’ de facto ensembles , whether you’re just out and about, at the gym, or hitting the town. These metropolitan fashionistas have their looks down, no matter what they’re doing, so here’s our rundown of two of our favorite looks: west coast style and east coast style:
Via Harper’s Bazaar
Los Angeles is the most stylish spot on the west coast, yet every day seems to be casual friday in LA. Take the girl popping out of Starbucks on 3rd St in Santa Monica, nonfat frap in hand, and a Vuitton bag in the other of course. Her flouncy Gucci chiffon top is both comfy casual and perfectly suited for the consistently sunny weather, and of course a pair of denim cutoffs as short as can be are the ultimate LA bottom, for when actual pants aren’t required (which is just about never). No LA look is complete without some beachy accessories either, thats where her Valentino sandals and oversized Tom Ford sunnies come into play. Yet LA isn’t all beach and Starbucks, sometimes there’s yoga and organic juices too. Our Santa Monica girl is fully prepared with head-to-toe Lululemon and the brightest pair of neon Nikes known to man; but then there’s the white Louis Vuitton Neverfull which acts as her gym bag — perfect for holding her mat as well as some goodies from a quick stop into Whole Foods on Wilshire after class. Although LA is all about that constant sunshine, as soon as the sun has set the real fun starts, and the Hervé Léger comes out. Every LA girl, starlet, Kardashian, and wannabe can be seen hitting the streets wrapped in the classic bandage dress, but with LA’s flair for a little “cosmetic touch up” (or total makeover) sometimes it’s hard to tell if those bandages are from her favorite boutique or her favorite doctor. But either way they’re bound to be rocked with some strappy sandals à la Jimmy Choo.
While LA is certainly known for it’s coastal lifestyle, go a little inland and you’ll get a whole other story, take Silver Lake and Los Feliz for example, some of LA’s newest hip(-ster) territory. The beachy hollywood glam look is so 2004 in these parts, here they prefer something much more, well… 1994. If you park yourself on Sunset in that part of town you’re sure to spot a trendy LA gal on her vintage style bike, sporting some actual vintage relaxed fit denim as well as the love-hate shoe of decades past and right now, the Birkenstock. A worn in tee showing off her favorite band is an everyday go-to item for this girl, and then she pairs it with Saint Laurent’s now iconic wide brim hat from Heidi’s first collection, and a stack of leather and cord bracelets running up both arms. It’s a look that most find impossible to pull off, yet she manages to balance so now with so way back when with equally confounding ease. Her coolness only seems to grow when night time rolls around. Her favorite local bar or music venues are the usual spots where she can be seen sporting an uber-cool leather pant contrasted with a vintage oversize Chloe top, sleeves rolled, cuffed, and perfectly disheveled all around of course. Then there’s her Alexander Wang open-toe lace-up booties, and her signature stack of arm accessories. Up top there’s the to die for Lanvin mega statement pendant necklace, and of course hair that somehow perfectly embodies the “I woke up like this” feel.
These two girls are undeniably different, yet somehow both totally LA, especially when compared with New York girls, whose style is just about as hardcore as the city itself. But just like LA, or perhaps even more so, New York style is split in two, into uptown and downtown, the great divider on the island of Manhattan. Uptown is the obvious bastion of luxury and class, while downtown is the definition of cool.
Whether you’re on East 65th or Madison and 78th Carolina Herrera is the queen of classic uptown style, and while it may look like an ad campaign photo shoot for the classic New York designer (or an episode of the Real Housewives) those are just sprawls of your typical uptown woman out and about adorned in one of the designers simple sheaths, and of course they pair perfectly with an iconic Manolo pump. Unlike sunny LA, New York is plagued with a chilly (or downright dreadful) winter season, but luckily those uptown girls have their much beloved fur to add a cozy and ultra-luxe touch to any look. Crisp, luxurious, and to the point, words that can describe both the uptown look and their timelessly stylish wearer. And what bag could possibly emulate this aesthetic better than the one and only Hermes Birkin? All the Birkins found on the Upper East Side could easily pay for a endlessly instagram-worthy Hamptons getaway home, but these ladies already have at least one of those, and a dedicated Hamptons Birkin to match. Somehow these ladies find a way to turn it up another notch when those New York nights roll around. If Carolina is the grande dame of uptown style, then Oscar De La Renta must be king, no matter what gala or charity event these ladies maybe be attending his dresses and gowns are always a go-to. A classic Oscar gown, whether luxuriously simple or embellished to the extreme, is one of the only things that seems to stay in style in uptown circles longer than a New York minute. Then there’s the diamonds, fresh off of Fifth Avenue of course, which are the perfect accessory for such an endlessly stylish gown, since we all know diamonds are forever, and are perhaps one of the only things tough enough to take on New York. But while the uptown ladies are busy at the Palm Court at the Plaza and galas galore, the downtown girl is practically on a whole other planet with the style to match.
Whether she’s running around Soho, NoLita, the Lower East Side, or TriBeCa, this girl is busy, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have time to put together a killer outfit. A pair of dark skinny J Brand jeans is the obvious go-to pant for whatever New York has to throw at her, and as soon as she slips on her impossibly cool Saint Laurent leather jacket and Givenchy booties she doesn’t even have to say “don’t talk to me” the look and her strut down West Broadway say it all. Then there’s the perfect downtown bag, which has to be just as New York as she is, like her equally practical and cool PS11 by the New York duo Proenza Schouler. It’s this perfect everyday bag, which is why she has three… all in black. What’s even more impressive than this girl’s city style is the fact that she manages to make time for the gym in her non-stop schedule, check her heading into David Barton on Christopher Street still looking enviably cool rocking a perfectly draped Rick Owens tee, a classic black legging and sleek silver Nike shoe. And who knew that a Céline phantom could work as a gym bag? This New Yorker did, obviously. When the New York nightlife finally kicks into gear (never before midnight) our New York girl can always be spotted at the Standard in the Meatpacking district, there’s the Boom Boom Room if she wants to lounge and socialize, and if she wants to dance or gawk at those who are wild enough to hop in the club’s jacuzzi, she can head right over to Le Bain. Though no matter what Standard spot she chooses for the evening she always has an Alexander Wang mini to sport and a pair of black Louboutins so sharp they could kill. This New York girl is just as tough as the city streets she rules and has the wardrobe to match.
It’s obvious these west coast and east coast styles are miles apart, about 2500 if we are getting literal with it. But whether you’re more of an easy breezy Santa Monica kind of girl or a concrete pounding New Yorker, or maybe somewhere in between, there’s plenty of city style to go around. Whether they’re rocking denim or leather, Lululemon or Oscar De La Renta, these girls know how to work their wardrobes. So you do you city girls, and keep looking endlessly stylish while you’re at it.