Travelling Style: Dressing for Los Angeles

At the beginning of April this year, I went to sunny Los Angeles with Jen for that sweet taste of Hollywood magic and a dose of Santa Monica beach & boardwalk fun. I was only 12 the last time I’d been to California, and couldn’t remember much. All I really recalled was that the weather was always warm and my “I never want to experience winter again” soul would be satisfied once I touched down in LA.

I really enjoy packing for trips, but since I was travelling to the land of the rich and famous, choosing outfits became an exercise that required me to stop and think about how I could inject that La-La Land sense of fashion into my clothes each day. Looking less than a fabulous and respected B-Lister would simply be unacceptable. (Yes, B-List, because I don’t ask for much in this world.)

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What I quickly realized by watching the weather forecast as the trip approached was that, while the daytime might be hot and magnificent, it could get quite cool some days and evenings, too. There would also be lots of walking and some nice dinners to attend. I needed a good combination of outfits that would get me through each day & night – layers would come in handy, as would a few different shoe selections.

Looking for inspiration for your upcoming trip to LA (and a snapshot of what I did during mine)? Let’s dive into my travel closet for a closer look.

Day 1

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When we arrived in Los Angeles, the sun was shining bright and warmed our skin, invigorating me after the long morning flight from Toronto, but the air was still cool and refreshing. After dropping off our bags at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and freshening up, we went for a quick burger lunch at In-N-Out before heading over to Hollywood Boulevard to explore for the afternoon.

Because the day called for quite casual events, it was great to be comfortable in a breezy tank top, high-waisted shorts, and flip flops as we browsed through shops and meandered through the large crowds in front of the Dolby Theatre and the TCL Chinese Theatre.

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Later that evening, we eagerly headed to Katsuya Hollywood for an incredible dinner I’d been looking forward to for years. Since the sun had set, the temperature cooled, and a cute lace kimono cover-up and a pair of leather wedges were the perfect addition to bump up the chicness of the original outfit in preparation for the meal. The food was delicious and we left with our bellies full and our hearts light with excitement for the rest of our time in LA.

{Express} Pocket and Zip Crepe Front Tank / {Express} Lace Kimono / {Urban Planet} Brocade Shorts / {Tribe of Dreamers} “The Original” gold cuff, engraved with a passage from Tyler Knott Gregson / {Kate Spade} Cedar Street Maise purse / {Ardene} Tortoise Shell Sunglasses / {Ipanema} Trends VIII flip flops / {Express} Strappy Wedge Sandals

Day 2

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Our LA trip was definitely all about taking it easy and enjoying some rest & relaxation… and going for brunch the first chance we got. We started our day at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, a popular spot for celebrities to get their fill of Eggs Benny and mimosas. The sun was shining brightly and we got the heat I’d been praying for, which felt incredible.

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Soon after, we went to The Grove (where I picked up a new hat from a sidewalk vendor), followed by Rodeo Drive for some window shopping, before ending our day with dinner at the oft-celebrated Italian restaurant, Madeo, and drinks at Chateau Marmont. A cami, a brightly colourful and flowy floral skirt, and wedges worked as a springy outfit that lasted all day.

{Express} Reversible Barcelona Cami / {Express} Painted Floral Scuba Full Skirt / {Kate Spade} Cedar Street Maise Purse / {Ardene} Tortoise Shell Sunglasses / {Stella & Dot} Rebel Pendant / {Express} Triangle Tier Post Earrings / {Stella & Dot} Gilded Arrow Bangle / {Express} Strappy Wedge Sandals

Day 3

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There are a few choice locations for that coveted shot with the infamous Hollywood sign. Lake Hollywood Park arguably has the best view, which is where we headed to after a (hungover) brunch at Kitchen24. We also took a drive and laid around in Griffith Park afterwards to soak in the warm afternoon sun.

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After walking around in heels the day before, it was nice to be wearing comfortable sneakers for a change. Paired with a relaxed sleeveless shirt and a full textured skirt, and my jacket for when it cooled down, the outfit also worked for attending Easter Sunday mass that evening (with a really humorous priest) before going to The Church Key on Sunset Boulevard for dinner.

{Express} Sleeveless Portofino Shirt / {Express} High Waist Elastic Full Skirt / {Stella & Dot} Courage Bracelet / {Ardene} Grey Blue Canvas Sneakers / {Express} Leather Seamed Moto Jacket / {Kate Spade} Cedar Street Maise purse / {Forever 21} Owl Necklace / {Ardene} Sunglasses

Day 4

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On our “beach day” at Santa Monica, we stepped outside to find it was surprisingly cool. After brunch, we actually had to head back to the hotel to switch into my maxi dress for slightly more coverage than shorts and a tank top over-top my bikini, and I grabbed my jacket for good measure. It was a smart decision, as you can always count on the breeze being a little stronger by the water, especially after the sun sets. The beach and boardwalk were abuzz with tons of people (though the water was decidedly too cold to swim in), and we even indulged in a ride on the Ferris wheel before strolling across Ocean Avenue and browsing through all of the shops.

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My favourite part of the day was getting to venture underneath the boardwalk for an incredibly cool setting right out of a west-coast teen drama. Flip flops were a no-brainer essential to tread through the sand and water, and they were the easiest to rinse off before heading to Sushi Roku for dinner. Despite the casual footwear, the maxi dress provided enough flowery elegance for the nice Japanese meal, concluding another amazing day on our trip.

{Katie} Floral Maxi Dress / {Kate Spade} Cedar Street Maise purse / {Forever 21} Feather & Crystal necklace / {Ardene} Tortoise Shell Sunglasses / {Express} Crawler Earrings / {Brandy Melville} Elephant Bracelet / {Ipanema} Trends VIII flip flops

Day 5

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For our last day in LA, we went for a VIP Warner Brother’s studio tour up in Burbank. The air was heavy with rain and I stubbornly wore shorts, even though jeans would have been more appropriate, as it got to be a bit chilly. Still, when we weren’t coasting around the lot in the cart (getting goosebumps from the wind), we were indoors checking out sets and sound stages. Had it been slightly warmer and less rainy, my lacy t-shirt, high-waisted shorts, and sneakers would have been the perfect get-up for the day.

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I’ll be posting more about our eye-opening tour, but here’s a highlight: we got to visit the Friends Central Perk set and it was as amazing as you might imagine.

After, we grabbed a burger from Bob’s Big Boy, then retrieved our luggage from the hotel before setting off to the airport for our flight to New York City for another five days of fun. More on those outfits later.

{Express} Leather Seamed Moto Jacket / {Urban Planet} T-Shirt / {Express} 2 1/2 Inch High Waisted Denim Sailor Shorts / {Stella & Dot} Rebel Pendant / {Ardene} Grey Blue Canvas Sneakers


When travelling, it’s key to have a variety of outfits that you know you’ll be comfortable in. Make sure you always check the average temperatures for the timeframe you’re visiting, and pack layers and alternatives!

What are some of the staples in your travelling closet? Let me know in the comments below!

Follow me on Instagram @karriekwong and track my travels & adventures with #karrietravels!

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