What One Year in L.A. Has Done to My Style

Meghan Blalock

When I moved from New York to L.A. just over a year ago, I knew my life was about to change in some major ways—I graduated from riding the NYC subway system to owning my own car, I ditched all my super-heavy outerwear to adapt to the warm climate, and iced coffee was no longer a seasonally determined treat. But little did I know that one of the biggest changes of all would be my personal style.

As has been much discussed, everyday life in New York has a severe impact on your wardrobe—clutches become impractical non-options as you bounce around the city, heels are absolutely required to be extremely comfortable, and layering becomes your sixth sense. For me, my six-year time in one of the world’s best cities had an even more profound sartorial impact: For a period, I adopted the leather biker jackets, cutoff denim, moto boots, and DIY crop tops that once so defined the Lower East Side punk culture of ’70s New York. I wore my hair very short, and it was platinum blond. I regularly rocked old-school bandana scarves—way before they got trendy. Generally speaking, I was a badass—and I was very New York.

My love affair with New York will undoubtedly continue as long as I’m alive, and even though I don’t live there anymore, I still romanticize all the same things about that city that I’ve always romanticized. But having been away from it for a year now, it’s clear to see how my style has drastically changed now that I’m on the West Coast. I went quite blond back in September, and it’s all been downhill from there—I’ve (largely) abandoned my biker jackets, DIY tees, moto boots, and cutoff denim in favour of a much more comfortable and laid-back daily uniform: Flowy oversize dresses, sun-shielding hats, round sunnies, and slide-on sandals have become my daily go-tos.

I don’t think my style change has necessarily watered down my badassery, though—my New York–era tattoos still show from beneath my dresses, and every now and then, I will pair a leather jacket with my billowing dresses. I’m just a much more comfortable version of myself than I was in New York—because Los Angeles allows for it. New York necessitates a bit of discomfort, just in order to survive—you need that heavy tote stocked with your brush, moisturizer, change of clothes, flat shoes, and beyond—and life in Los Angeles has officially freed me from that harsh and challenging New York lifestyle. As such, my clothes have started to reflect that freedom—and hopefully, my attitude in and about those clothes does, too.

Keep scrolling to shop some pieces I’ve fallen in love with since moving to L.A.!

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