From desert sands and sandy beaches, to sprawling metropolises and mountain ranges, Southern California offers a beautiful juxtaposition of varying climates, landscapes and terrains, as well as a libertarian, laid-back yet glamorous culture.
As an international gateway to the United States and the principal hub for the American film industry, Southern California (or So-Cal) has become a notorious melting pot of languages, foods, hippies, entertainers, traditions, beach enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs—and nowhere is this unique blend more evident than in its fashion.
Flip-flops and sunglasses are typical staples in every Californian’s closet, and the lack of a true winter season means that residents can usually get away with dressing like it’s summer year-round. Most natives consider anything below 60 degrees “cold,” and regularly flit between “casual cool,” “boho-chic” and “upscale sophistication.”
In order to produce a true snapshot of what authentic So-Cal street-style looks like, I approached California fashion bloggers, Kristen Conahan of Style Wax Poetic, and Marla Verdugo of Marlita on the Run to inquire about what Southern California style means to them. Of course, as a California fashion and lifestyle blogger myself (LoveAndBiscotti.com), I had to add my own take on street-style, as well as share what I love about being a native of the infamous “Land of Milk and Honey.”
Kristen Conahan: “It's hard to live in California and not be captivated by its laid back, romantic lifestyle. Being creative, enjoying the sun, exploring a mountain, having drinks on a rooftop, taking a dip in the ocean… We live in a state that allows us to be as dressed up (or down) as we want. My style incorporates the California lifestyle by mixing boho pieces, maxi dresses, ripped jeans and gladiator sandals. I love big hats and soft, natural beach waves for my hair.”
About Style Wax Poetic: Style Wax Poetic approaches fashion, beauty and lifestyle in a romantic sense and hopes to inspire its readers to look at life in the same way. Primarily focusing on street style editorials, beauty reviews and shopping guides, the site will soon expand into boutique travel later this year.
Marla Verdugo: “What I love about Southern California style is that you can pretty much dress like it’s summer all the time. For me, that means an endless collection of summer and party dresses, skirts, pretty sandals, and hair accessories like flowers and colorful bows. Beachwear, summer dresses and fancy old Hollywood glamour dresses are all fair game too. But even when I dress a little more relaxed, i.e. jeans and Chucks, or pencil skirts, t-shirts and cat-eye sunglasses, you'll still find that my style is very pinup influenced. Which is as California girl as you can get, right?”
About Marlita On The Run: Through her blog, Marlita on the Run, Marla Verdugo shares her journey as a professional makeup artist, while celebrating beauty and sharing her fun, personal style as a modern day pinup. Also included are Marla’s dabbles in photography, and other lifestyle adventures such as traveling.
Brittany “Bella” Graham: “I’ve always lived in the coastal cities of So-Cal so beach culture heavily influenced my personal style. I love a good sundress and taking advantage of our amazing weather, and I rarely ever wear pants—unless it’s raining. I’m also fascinated with film-noir, and living so close to Hollywood, I naturally incorporated ‘thrifted’ and vintage clothing into my wardrobe. California style is really just about embracing what’s beautiful and comfortable to you. You can easily dress an outfit up or down, and it’s usually as simple as throwing on a great pair of heels.”
About Love & Biscotti: Catering to cosmopolitans and intellectuals, Love & Biscotti is Brittany “Bella” Graham’s self-proclaimed “purity bath.” Sharing her musings on fashion, philosophy, culture and spirituality, as well as her poetry and investigative editorials, Bella uses the platform to explore both light-hearted and deeper topics. A self-made entrepreneur and “digital nomad,” Bella also writes about her adventures in travel and dining, and career tips for creative professionals.
Brittany “Bella” Graham is the CEO of Miss Bella Graham Consulting™, and a Beverly Hills based creative director, marketing consultant, poet and writer with several years of experience in the Beauty, Fashion, Nightlife, Lifestyle, Food and Travel industries. Bella is also the Founder of Global Sophisticate, an exclusive lifestyle and travel club for creative professionals.