How we dress can send messages not only about who we are and what we like but also where we're from. There is no singular “L.A. look,” and Silver Lake isn't all beards and ironic T-shirts, either.
Still, there are certain aesthetics — in the form of everything from accessories to hairstyles — that seem more concentrated in certain areas. Why do we always see the same aviator shades on guys driving SUVs in Glendale or clusters of cupcake tattoos on pink-haired Culver City art tarts, for example? Is it the tipping-point effect? A subconscious monkey-see, monkey-do thing? And how does it evolve within certain places?
Here, we present some of these familiar neighborhood looks. Yes, some are stereotyped composites, but we've included a peppering of emerging trends that are moving these looks to new places.
6. Hollywood Velvet-Rope Vixen
Uniform: Tight, short Lycra dress that she constantly has to pull down to cover her G-string; cork platform heels; fake designer purse; neon pink mani-pedi; Mac Viva Glam Lipglass; moussed brown hair (brunette is the new blond!)
Shops at: Forever 21, H&M, Steve Madden, Santee Alley
Hangs at: Playhouse, Kress, Supperclub, Drai's
Listens to/watches: Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, Britney, Bitch
Trending: Girlie bows, tutulike skirts, cracked-effect nail polish
Fashion philosophy: No matter how cold it is in line, sweaters and jackets are the enemy. And no one can see your cankles in a dark nightclub.
5. East L.A. Greaser/Goth
Uniform: Cuffed Levis; black Creepers; black T-shirt with skull motif; slicked-back hair; sleeve tattoo, including spiderweb elbow; leather cuff watch; crucifix necklace; black nail polish; Pendleton jacket; a Latina gal in a leopard-print dress on his arm
Shops at: Glory, Iguana Vintage, Target, Hot Topic (but won't admit it)
Hangs at: Little Cave, Eastside Luv, Spikes in Rosemead, Lucha Va Voom, any burlesque show
Listens to/watches: Social Distortion, the Misfits, the Cramps, the Smiths
Trending: Less Fonz, more fun with nostalgic rawk style. A blending of the usual '50s looks with '70s garage/punk gear and '80s androgyny, including more spiky stuff, tighter pants and longer hair
Fashion philosophy: As Johnny Thunders said, always dress “L.A.M.F.” (Like a Mother Fucker).
4. West Hollywood Wo(man):
Uniform: Big wig (preferred color: platinum); plus-size pumps; sequined dress (custom-made); colored faux lashes; press-on nails; and chola-like dark lip liner/light gloss
Shops at: Sephora (for Make Up For Ever), Hollywood Wigs, Maya Shoes of Hollywood
Hangs at: Hamburger Mary's, Rage, Mickey's … but only when she or her gal-pals are performing, of course.
Listens to/watches: Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, Peaches, Glee, RuPaul's Drag Race
Trending: Realism, breast plates (molded rubber with nipples) and plastic surgery on lips and cheeks (on face and in the trunk)
Fashion philosophy: More is more.
3. Echo Park Shagster
Uniform: Beards are for bears (big boys), but shadows and fuzz imply “I don't care” best; retro-referencing T-shirts and tops in surfer, skateboarder or preppy style (Op, LaCoste shirts); pants cut off into Bermuda shorts; vintage white belt; street-beat black Chuck Taylor shoes; Ray-Bans with lenses punched out; script tattoo featuring words to favorite song or inspirational motto; beanie to cover up the greasy grow-out
Shops at: Origami Vinyl, Rose Bowl Flea Market, Salvation Army, legal marijuana dispensary
Hangs at: The Echo, Cha Cha Lounge, the Gold Room, Taix, Chango
Listens to/watches: Every band on the FYF Fest bill
Trending: Carry-alls of all kinds, from fanny packs (for the weed) to big manbags (to carry records or laptop for that DJ gig)
Fashion philosophy: Too cool to shampoo
2. Downtown Polysexual 'Starving' Artist
Uniform: Fauxhawk; guyliner; belly tee; skinny jeans; layered chains; fishnet gloves; motorcycle boots
Shops at: Skingraft, Maxfield's, Opening Ceremony, Urban Outfitters, friend's closets
Hangs at: His loft, the gym, Mustache Mondays, A Club Called Rhonda
Listens to/watches: Electro, dubstep, disco
Trending: Body and face paint, leotards
Fashion philosophy: Tough and tender, leather and lace
1. (San Fernando) Valley Glam Mama
Uniform: Rock and Republic jeans; babydoll top; hoop earrings; layered necklaces; wedge platforms; highlighted hair; Louis Vuitton purse; Betsey Johnson diaper bag; Bugaboo stroller or Baby Bjorn
Shops at: Whole Foods, Kitson, La La Ling, Sherman Oaks Galleria, all of Ventura Boulevard
Hangs at: Pink Cheeks (for the Playboy wax), Katsuya (sushi's low-cal), Mommy and Me yoga, play gyms
Listens to/watches: All of the Real Housewives shows
Trending: Luxe earth mother/hippie chic: feathers, braids, giant scarf-looking baby slings
Fashion philosophy: MILF-ism
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