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I've Lived in NYC, Paris, and L.A.—These Are the Fashion Essentials I Swear By

Trendy fashion essentials

Photo:

@kristenmarienichols; Pictured: With Jéan dress; Chanel heels; Marina Raphael bag; Krewe sunglasses; Kenneth Jay Lane earrings

While I talk about fashion on the regular and share snaps of what I'm wearing, travel is another big personal interest that demands most of my other attention. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with travel—a passion that I attribute in part to my Sagittarius inclinations. Even though my travel plans have been put on hold this year, there’s no denying the impact all of my past travels have had on me. Notably, the cities I’ve lived in. Over the years, I’ve spent as much time as I’ve been able to exploring new places and moving to new cities, which is why I’ve lived in NYC, Paris, and L.A. during my adult life.

Each city is known for fashion in its own way, but it’s clear that there’s a distinct take on style in each place. Living in each of the cities, I picked up on some key styles lessons that helped shape how I dress today. In Paris, fashion revolves around sleek, timeless clothing essentials in a neutral palette and clean lines. In New York, there’s more layering and attention to trend-forward pieces. And in L.A., it’s all about a relaxed-meets-cool wardrobe.

Ahead, I’m highlighting the trendy fashion essentials that I was inspired to wear after living in each city. At this point, they’re all part of my core wardrobe, but I’ll dive into why each city inspired me to add them to my closet.

Tops

NYC: turtleneck
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@kristenmarienichols

When I lived in NYC, turtleneck tops became a core part of my wardrobe. They're the perfect transitional piece for autumn and a key item for winter.

Paris: puff-sleeve button-down
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Photo:

@kristenmarienichols

Parisians have basics mastered and I always noticed women wearing them with cool tweaks—like a button-down with a puff sleeve—to make them feel modern.

L.A.: bodysuit
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@kristenmarienichols

I know so many L.A. people who own and wear this exact bodysuit. It's definitely an L.A. staple.

Shoes

NYC: knee-high boots
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@kristenmarienichols

In NYC, boots are a must and knee-high versions are my favourite silhouette.

Paris: kitten heels
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@kristenmarienichols

After living in Paris, I pretty much ditched all of my tall heels. I spotted low kitten heels everywhere and quickly realised how much more practical they are.

L.A.: sneakers
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@kristenmarienichols

Like I said, comfort is king in L.A. And that means making sure you have a great pair of sneakers in your closet.

Bottoms

NYC.: straight-leg jeans
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Photo:

@kristenmarienichols

NYC is where my love of straight-leg jeans really took off. They're the most versatile style to add to your closet and look great with anything from boots to heels.

Paris: relaxed trousers
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Photo:

@kristenmarienichols

Great tailoring is a trademark of Paris, so you'll find the women there wearing amazing trousers like these.

L.A.: sweatpants
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@kristenmarienichols

Sweatpants are a regular street style staple in L.A. Bonus points in they have a relaxed fit.

Outerwear

NYC: faux fur jacket
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@kristenmarienichols

I didn't really experience true winter weather until I moved to NYC, so I had to quickly learn how to stay warm with some new layers, like the faux fur jacket I added to my closet.

Paris: tweed jacket
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@kristenmarienichols

Nothing makes me think of Paris more than a classic tweed jacket. Paired with jeans and slingbacks, you have the perfect wear-anywhere outfit.

L.A.: leather trench
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Photo:

@kristenmarienichols

L.A. doesn't get that cold, but you do still need some light layering pieces in the winter. One of my standby staples? A leather trench.

Dresses

When living in NYC, I attended more semi-formal events than anywhere else, so it was great to have a black dress on hand.

Paris: printed dress
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@kristenmarienichols

A favourite dress style among Parisians? Pretty floral printed styles that you can wear just about anywhere.

L.A.: mini dress
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@kristenmarienichols

Nothing is more L.A. than a fun mini dress.

Accessories

NYC: hair claw
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@kristenmarienichols

Claw clips made a huge resurgence when I was living in NYC and they were one of the accessories I always spotted when I rode the subway. Now, they're a mainstay in my wardrobe.

Paris: classic bag
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Photo:

@kristenmarienichols

On the streets of Paris, I would see timeless (often vintage) bag shapes more than any others. You can't go wrong by investing in a classic silhouette.

L.A.: '90s-inspired sunglasses
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Photo:

@kristenmarienichols

If you've ever been to L.A., you immediately realise that you need sunglasses at all times.

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know. 

This piece originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. 

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