This post is about how to dress California Casual style. Read what this style is about, its key elements, and how to pull it all together at any age.
Disclaimer: The brands mentioned did not sponsor/endorse this post.
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California or So-Cal style refers to a casual way of dressing particularly popular in southern California. The outfits are about simplicity, and comfort, often with a touch of vintage and/or Bohemian Style. The style celebrates youth, and energy with appealing looks that can have a hint of beachy vibes. The basic fundamentals style elements are updated with those trends adopted by Hollywood celebrities. The looks are laid back and voguish in bright colors.
Must-haves clothing pieces to create this look are:
- Jeans, denim high-waisted pencil skirt, and cut-off denim shorts (legs are still about 4 inches, i.e. 10 cm)
- Flared high-waisted (print) pants or sailor trousers
- Front button-down A-line skirt, handkerchief skirt, A-line wrap skirt, corduroy miniskirt
- Bold color pattern leggings
- Pieces in breezy/sheer chiffon, cotton, or linen for layering
- Sleeved or sleeveless shirts in various colors and pattern to wear with jeans or shorts
- Vintage-inspired graphic tees
- (spaghetti-strap) tank tops in dark bold colors
- Neutral color button-up flannel shirt (to wear with jeans and boots)
- Cropped tops and sweatshirts
- For date night or going out: Flirty summer (mini) dresses, mini halter dress or cute tops (to wear with jeans) or jumpsuits
- Bright color floral designs for (maxi) beach dresses, kimonos and coverups
- Sneakers, gladiator sandals, heeled (strappy) sandals, ballet flats, clogs or wood sandals, and stack-heeled ankle boots, Birkenstock sandals, tall flat boots
- Prints: Floral, paisley, block print, graphic print
- Outerwear: Blazer, duster, leather/suede jacket, denim (trucker) jacket, fleece jacket, hoodie, fitted vest
- Hoops, organic studs, layered or statement necklaces, silver cuff, wooden bangles, leather bracelet, gold and gemstone pendants, stackable rings. More on styling stackable rings.
- Hobo bag, bucket bag, slouchy carry-all, straw bag
- Straw hat, trilly hat, aviator sunglasses
Use the following styling tricks of how to dress California Casual Style
- Combine loose with fitted pieces
- Take inspirations from the 1970s style of dressing
- Pair cropped tops/sweatshirts with a hoodie in winter
- Wear a mini dress with sneakers
- Layer and avoid these mistakes when layering
Brands that have – among other pieces – California Casual clothing are:
- American Apparel
- California Vintage
- Christy Dawn
- Fendi (California Sky Collection)
- Marine Layer (See my Marine Layer T-shirt review).
- Ray Ban (aviators, vintage styles)
- The Elder Stateman
- Trina Turk (Palm Springs collection)
California Casual style is comfortable, carefree, relaxed, voguish, breezy with vintage elements and bold colors. Layering serves to cope with the wide diurnal course of temperatures in summer, and the chilly conditions of the mild winters. More on layering for thermal comfort.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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