While I love the food here, and the beautiful weather and the general being in California part of my year abroad, I know the thing that I was most excited about last year when I was leaving England was the extended Summer, which started at the beginning of April here in Los Angeles. It was Summer dressing I was excited about. You see, most people think I'm a Winter wardrobe person. I love big knits, layers and wearing lots and lots of black, but that is only because that is what I'm comfortable in in London. However, when I actually have a tan (mine had been building for months) and the weather is such that you don't have to remember to take a cardigan with you to go over your sundress every time you leave the house, I actually prefer Summer dressing.
Image via Planet Blue
Los Angeles and Southern California are famous for their laid back style and attitude, and while I did not really 'get' it completely before I moved here and I still don't understand why this is, but there is something about this incredible city that makes you just go about life (and dressing) in such a more relaxed and laid back fashion than the rest of the Western world seems to. I wonder how long my new mental place is going to last once I've moved back to England?! Anyway, I thought talking about the mystery of the very real laid back West Coast style would be the perfect introduction to looking at some of my Summer picks from a LA based clothing brand I adore; Splendid and their Coast To Coast Facebook contest which is taking a look at the totally different style ethos' that exist on each coast of the United States. (Also, a quick note to my British readers, while Splendid is mainly only available in the States, they do offer international shipping to the UK, and you can find their clothes on sites like Shopbop that also ship.)
Splendid Chambray Shirt Dress: $198, Splendid Boat Neck Dress in 'Citrine': $138, Splendid Short Sleeved Shirt Dress: $118, Splendid Ditzy Chambray Shirt Dress: $198
I was in Bloomingdales at Santa Monica Place the other day (god I love that place!) and the moment I walked through the doors of the womans clothing department I gravitated to this Chambray Shirt Dress which was hanging on the end of the Splendid display. Okay, so I still need to try it on, but I think I have found this years Summer dress. They also make it in a Ditzy print. Failing that, I could always go for this shirt dress in my usual black, or now because I have a tan for the first time in my life this bright yellow? I'm currently having a bit of an obsession with bright yellow nail polish; how awesome is Butter London's 'Cheeky Chops'?
Emi-Jay for Splendid Pack of 3 Hair Ties: $8
When I first moved to Los Angeles the team at Splendid were kind enough to send me a welcome to the West Coast package, and as well as some of their fantastically soft tanks I've been wearing over my bikini in and around Santa Monica and Venice when I'm not actually on the beach, they send me a couple of packs of their hair ties from their Emi-Jay collaboration. I've never really got on with hair ties (I find cut up rounds of old tights suit my hair better) but I have now fallen head over heels with these fantastic bands, and because I know they are hard to get back home I will be stocking up before leaving California.
Splendid Woven Dolphin Shorts in 'Plum': $78, Splendid Chambray Dolphin Shorts: $88, Splendid Woven Dolphin Shorts in 'Waterfall': $78
Recently when I was in the Splendid store at The Grove and I was trying on some of their basic tees (I picked up a great plain black scoop neck) I asked the assistant to grab me some bottoms as I'd come in wearing a maxi dress. She passed me a pair of their Dolphin shorts, and I must say that they make for the perfect Summer basic. You can move about in them, they have a flattering fit and they come in so many different colours.
I've entered this look which I feel really embodies West Coast style; it is something I would never have considered wearing before I moved here! You can vote for my look here, and enter your own look here! How would you define your style, regardless of where you live in the world? Are you more East Coast or West Coast?