How to Dress like a Santa Monica Local

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california fashion

Look, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. We’ve looked out the window and started, as the Mamas and Papas put it, “California Dreamin.” California, and especially Santa Monica, has for many of us, a feeling of an escape with its unique terrain, lifestyle, and fashion.

Why not stop dreaming though and start dressing the part? Let’s explore some of the hot trends in California fashion.

High-Waisted Skirts

Perfect for semi-formal events or a night on the town. These skirts are easy to accessorize and work well in the heat of a California night.


The mini-dress has made a comeback in a way. In the 80’s this was the Hollywood outfit of choice for what they portrayed as “California fashion.” Today though, it’s become a staple in the closets of many California women.

They are fun and flirty, and available in a number of styles from “Lunch with Grandma” to “Night out with friends.” While popular in solid colors, you’ll also find them in bold floral patterns, which is our next fashion tip.

Floral Patterns

Once the distinct fashion choice of the over-sixty set, floral patterns are now popular with Californians of all ages. Dresses, skirts, tops, scarves, tunics, socks – all can be found with distinct floral patterns.

The Kimono – Classic California Fashion

From the images of classic Hollywood, the kimono has returned as a fashion choice for many a Californian. The kimono is generally used as an all-purpose robe, something that can be worn around the house or by the pool.

They have a certain classic style in their simplistic design and are functional enough that they can be a part of your year-round wardrobe.


Yes, feathers. This year, when you’re out at a more formal event, you are sure to be met with feathers. Some of the hottest designers have turned to the skies for inspiration.

That’s resulted not in feather boas or walkable wing-suits but dresses adorned with feathers, in the way that they have in the past been beaded.

You’ll Shine!

For the more fashion-forward among us, rubber and plastic will be replacing cotton and silk in your closets. Mini-skirts, jumpsuits, and tops made of the shiny, semi-reflective materials will give you an opportunity to turn heads this summer.

Don’t Forget to Accessorize

Everyone knows that no outfit is complete without an accessory or two. (Remember the old adage before going out: Always stop at the mirror and remove one thing!)

This years fashion conscious will be sporting smaller purses, held tightly at the chest. You may even find some that have substituted a “traditional” strap for a band that wraps horizontally around your top.

Chunky earrings are poised to make a comeback and, on the opposite end, you can expect to see more people in sneakers, no matter the dress or occasion.

Style Your Way

Of course, every true Californian knows that the perfect California style is one that you make your own. So what’s your true California fashion style? When you are in Santa Monica, stop in and show us.

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