How to Dress in L.A.

Can you wear body glitter and not look like a stripper? How about a sweatshirt to the office? What is ”business casual” anyway? We answer all of these and more in our latest issue

Why did Los Angeles magazine decide to tackle the topic “How to Dress in L.A.” in its April issue?  And what exactly do we mean by how to dress in L.A. anyway? Angelenos put pants on one leg at a time just like the people every place else, right? Sure, but L.A., land of casual, is dotted with style pitfalls. It’s all too easy to find yourself noisily trooping down office hallways in flip-flops or showing up for a brunch date in yoga gear.

When I first moved from NYC to L.A. in 2004, I was shocked to find myself so overdressed so often. Desperate to assimilate at the time, I traded in my Dries Van Noten gabardine peacoat for a terry cloth Juicy Couture sweatshirt and my Donna Karan pumps for Ugg boots.

My, how times have changed! L.A. has come into its own, fashion-wise, and we’ve consequently branded a style all our own—a unique mishmash of effortless cool and sophistication. Still, some of us get stumped—what does black tie really mean in Los Angeles? Can you wear a bow tie with jeans and not look like a dork? What’s “office-appropriate” when you work for a tech start-up with bean bag office chairs?

To help tackle these questions, we’ve divided our instructional package into three sections—Day, Play, and Night—and packed it with more than 75 tips for dressing for almost any occasion.

No matter how polished our personal style may be, we’ve all committed at least one faux pas that even remembering turns our face red. I can recall countless—like when I accidentally dressed as the Ikea monkey to Grace Coddington’s book signing at LACMA. In the April feature writer Joshua Levine laments a lifetime of fashion woes while our cover model Sarah Silverman recalls a particularly wince-worthy ensemble. Because we should never take ourselves too seriously, we invite all of you to share your style mistakes and mishaps with us on Twitter and Instagram @LA_mag with the hashtag #UghLA. After all, looking back makes it easier to appreciate just how far we’ve come, and that’s chic.