In my little pea brain, I was thinking that since we would be staying right by the beach, I should take a quantity of casual beach clothes like we might wear here in Oregon and some sandals--both beach and dress types. Also some khaki cargo pants and a pair of tennis shoes for walking around. One dress outfit for going dancing and one dressy pair of back pants.
I imagined it would be a balmy 70 degrees and packed accordingly, but I did take a bulky Oregon casual coat for our planned arrival back here at midnight.
No one told me about the SoCal dress code, and I should have studied the weather report more closely.
The first afternoon and evening we spent exploring Santa Monica. I don't think it was much above 60 degrees in the afternoon and not quite 50 after sunset. It was jacket weather, for sure; however, if you looked at the Santa Monica shoppers on the 3rd Street Promenade, you'd swear it was a mere 20 degrees outside.
The 3rd Street Promenade was lots of fun. Great shops. Hustle and bustle. There were Christmas shoppers hopping around toting packages galore.
All the women dressed pretty much alike. At least the women under thirty-five. (It didn't look like anyone much over forty was allowed to be seen on the street--at least not looking like they were over forty.)
Here's the current look for Santa Monica winter:
- Boots are the most important winter accessory. Calf or knee high, worn tucked into the next item.
- Skin tight black leggings or dark jeans on ultra thin legs.
- A shorty jacket, preferably an expensive one.
- A flirty scarf.
- Long (mid-back length) layered hair, blowing free and usually not covered by a hat.
- Sunglasses, even when there is no sun. (Take them off an hour after sunset.)
Even more fun was shopping on Melrose Avenue. The styles were more funky and eclectic with a mix of young designer boutiques and vintage/resale stores. Some fun things were purchased to be crammed into my suitcase for the trip back to Oregon.
I wanted this hat, but the store was closed.
The store next door was also closed but had a great blouse. Can't you just picture it with the hat and a long pair of champagne-colored silk pants?
The silhouette for dresses, based on the fashion window displays, was exclusively a sheath style. The other non-pants look was pencil mini skirts with leggings or tights and lots of layering.
I didn't photograph that much fashion on this trip, but here are a few more photos. The next one is from a display done all in gold hues.
The next is a glimpse into a California boutique:
The last photo is for a dear perimenopausal friend who is craving hooker heels as part of her mid-life crisis. I guess these shoes are what you wear when not wearing boots in LA.
Before the next excursion to LA, some preplanning will be in order. First off, three months of Pilates classes to tone the legs. Then a trip to the hairdresser for a new do, and a facial to perk up the complexion.
Then I'll need to order some clothes from this great Santa Monica boutique, LF, where the young sales clerk was totally friendly even though I probably looked like one of the Clampetts to her. I commented on the great selection of clothes and boots in the store. She told me that they carry boots year round. She herself wears her boots in the summer with her dresses.
I told her of the irony that in Northern cold-weather cities, where boots are really needed, you can hardly find a pair in the stores after February or March.