I grew up in a small town in Oregon that’s more known for its hiking than its sartorially-inclined residents. Come winter, everyone donned practical clothing to brave the chill—and I always hated having to sacrifice my fashionable inclinations for something as silly as “not getting frostbite.”
But when I moved to Los Angeles, I was able to essentially toss the phrase “practical clothing” out of my vocabulary. That’s the fun thing about southern California winters—even though one might be inclined to put the word winter in quotation marks—the weather never gets inclement, so we have the freedom to play around with cold-weather clothing because we don’t have to be practical. It’s also a little like buying new clothes before you go on vacation; we get daring because we get to break out items we don’t get to wear a ton.
Because of this, LA winter dressing skews more toward standout items with a bit of whimsy, tempered by the laid-back basics California is known for. The combination is like an instant mood-booster, so if you could use a cureall for cold-weather dressing, infuse your winter wardrobe with a bit of this energy by adding a few of these pieces into rotation.
If the weather is in the 60s or below that means it’s officially sweater weather. An arsenal of staples in camel, black, and gray is basically a given to wear day-to-day. But since we really don’t have to worry about snow/sleet/rain, a standout sweater with unique details, like bell sleeves, cutouts, or embellishments, is a casual night-out—or even date night—winter go-to. Plus they’re comfy. (See, we can be a little practical!)
Faux fur in colors and patterns
Yeah, a basic black jacket is nice but have you ever worn a cabernet-hued faux fur coat? Try it; it’s an instant mood-booster. Also on every LA woman’s outerwear list: a leopard print faux fur coat. I never thought I’d be the kind of girl who would break out a faux fur coat when the weather dropped below 70 degrees both for fashion and because I was chilly, but here I am.
I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say every LA woman has some iteration of this in her closet this season. I was grabbing coffee with a friend after a morning Pilates class at a trendy Venice coffee shop, and no fewer than six women came in wearing one in the hour we were there. They’re cozy and fluffy and excellent conversation starters. Plus, sometimes you’ll match with a poodle at your WeWork and will convince the owner to let you take a photo with their dog. And any jacket that gets me more dog snuggles is a win in my book.
Over the knee boots
As far as footwear goes, we’re not limited by needing shoes that are particularly functional. Enter: heeled suede OTK boots, worn with dresses and skirts.
Winter white footwear
Because, again, the weather isn’t ever really inclement, we can wear white shoes all year ’round without having to worry about them getting ruined by “the elements.” Patent-leather white boots are a great option if the weather where are you is too frightful to wear, say, suede—they go with everything and are, best of all, slush proof.
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