Sometimes we just want to look like a celebrity off-duty. I can’t say why, but sometimes we just get the urge. And I’m here to help you out.
People rave about Parisian style – everybody wants to look like the chic mademoiselle from Paris – but what about LA style? True fashion enthusiasts will tell you that style in LA is dead, that there’s no true fashion in LA, you have to go to New York for that, but I politely disagree. Yes, sure, seeing someone decked out in full-on Margiela walking down the street is improbable – you’re more likely to see Lulu Lemon and cool band tees, but hey! What’s the problem with that? I think LA has nailed the cool girl off-duty look, which – let’s be honest – is the look that most of us rock on the daily. Except, I tend to look more can’t-be-bothered than curated-cool.
Last time I was in LA, I was walking down Sunset, and this old Mustang peeled past me around the corner and parked up ahead. First of all, I was enamoured because A) it’s an old Mustang, you can’t get much cooler than that, and B) it was in a dark metallic greeny-blue, which is even cooler. The door opened and some girl with long, wavy brown hair, square Bottega aviators, and a band tee popped out of the car. She had flared jeans on, and some old beat-up sneakers. I was in love. I only wished I look like that on my days off.
The point is, there’s a real nostalgic unattainability of cool-girl LA dressing, and since I’ve been missing LA for about two years now – and it’s looking unlikely that I’ll visit in the near future – I thought, why not do a roundup of great brands that can help you look like that LA cool girl that doesn’t look like she tries at all?
The ultimate cool-girl brand, I just know you’ve seen that leopard print silk midi skirt somewhere on your Instagram. You’ll be pleased to know they also do other things apart from that leopard midi-skirt, like cute floral dresses which are perfect with cowboy boots, or cute cropped tees, best worn either with pajama bottoms at home or some daisy dukes when you’re off to pick up your iced coffee from Alfred’s.
Adored by Kaia Gerber and Devon Lee Carlson, Realisation Par is the ultimate brand to wear for the laid-back LA girl.
Are You Am I
A brand started by a woman named Rumi Neely (the brand is Rumi’s name spelled out phonetically – clever), it focuses on sensual minimalist clothing like silky crop tops, mini skirts, and barely-there bodysuits. Rumi herself is one of the tiniest women I’ve ever seen, and I know from personal experience that their sizing runs a little small, so best to size up. If you’re daring enough to bare that much skin, my favourite piece is the Kyften Skirt – very different and interesting to wear. Is it a dungaree skirt or just a skirt? Who knows, but I enjoy trying to figure it out. You can also go for the Missi Dress, which Rihanna wore in a red maxi version.
The ultimate sportswear brand, Alo Yoga is worn by anyone who’s anyone. Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, J. Lo, Hailey Baldwin, Gigi Hadid… the list is never-ending. And that’s because it’s just so good. My absolute favourite are their Airbrush leggings, which sit high-waisted and give you a flat tummy, and smooth out your skin-dimples so that you look, well, air-brushed. They do them in a variety of colours, and lately they’ve become so popular that they’re now doing exclusive weekly drops in different colour ways, so if you’re into the colour peach, you might wanna hightail it to aloyoga.com ASAP.
Started by selling vintage clothing in 2009, Reformation has grown into a sustainable sector leader, with many cult fans worldwide. Great summer dresses, work clothes, and – clap with me now – clothes to wear to your friend’s wedding, Reformation pretty much has you covered, without breaking the bank. Sitting firmly in the mid-price range, you’re getting excellent quality for your clothes, as well as having the peace of mind that what you’re wearing is trying it’s best not to ruin the planet. Bingo.
In my mind, the best brand in the world for authentic beaver fur hats that are less park ranger and more extremely cool shaman who attends Burning Man. The hats are embroidered all over, and you can even get a custom hat if you’re willing to wait a few months. The signature match he places on the band exudes cowboy chic, and should be best worn with some cowboy boots and an Alanui jumper for proper California cool.
Vintage Levi’s became a hot commodity a couple of years ago when the resurgence of 90’s culture came back into discourse, and wanting to retain the genuineness of the jeans, as well as be more sustainable, Re/Done decided to buy old Levi jeans and recut them into shapes that better fit women and more specifically, the cuts that the women of today favour more. What started as just jeans has now blossomed into a whole brand, with Re/Done creating their own jeans from scratch, as well as basics like tanks and tees, as well as cool blazers and sweatsuits. I really rate their basics, and their tank tops and bodysuits are some of the softest and most well-made basics I own.
If you’re looking for the perfect band tee, look no further. Madeworn specializes in recreating the perfection of a great, worn-in band tee. Soft fabric, cracked printing, and looks good on absolutely everybody. They also create one of a kind leather jackets, which are perfect to go over your band tee for that extra kick of cool. Wear with a pair of denim shorts and some Nike Blazer’s, and you’re looking like an off-duty celeb – or at least somebody I would like to get to know.
The brand that basically everybody wore when they were 14 is back! Funnily enough, it’s become quite a niche cult brand, with girlies worldwide searching for rare Brandy Melville pieces. Known for being super comfy and easy to wear, Brandy Melville creates great basics for chilling at home on the 5th of July recovering from your All-American party, or babydoll tops to wear out to get a milkshake with friends, to show everyone that you can be cute, kind, and also very niche.