There are many, many reasons to love living in LA: Life is a little slower, the beach is always nearby, and the sun shines practically year-round. That said, the comforting feeling of passing “seasons” might be the one thing we’re missing out on. If you’re following the runway, it can be especially confusing: When everyone else is talking coats and boots, the local weather is still telling you shorts and sandals.
Luckily, LA’s fashion set has acquired quite a few styling tricks to make the seasonal trends work, even in the lasting heat. Moreover, they’re experts in the denim department—no one loves their jeans as much as an LA woman. So we’re taking cues from our favorite local ladies on how to use the wardrobe staple to help transition your wardrobe, even if the weather hasn’t yet. If you live in an area that faces a similar predicament, considering trying out a few of these tricks.
Here’s what LA residents always wear with jeans in the fall.
Prairie dresses might be big this fall, but LA women have always had a penchant for pairing the blouse version with baby blues. While the dresses can be downright adorable, they can also be a bit shapeless: Tuck a top with a high neck or voluminous sleeve into jeans to give structure to the look. Denim also makes the style more casual, as west coasters notoriously prefer. Ultimately, the outfit becomes a nod to the prairie girl trend, rather than the full-on costume.
Okay, before you call this one obvious, let's get a little more specific. Sometimes, all it really takes to feel ready for fall is an updated color palette: Shift from bright, light summer colors to richer, warmer fall hues with something as simple as a T-shirt. For instance, a wide-leg pair of jeans can feel ready for a weekend by the sea with a crisp white tee, but opt for a black or maroon iteration to automatically shift your color scheme to fall-friendly. Just swap Aimee’s espadrilles for booties and you’re ready to go, even if it’s still 75 degrees out.
The great thing about a denim jacket is it’s relatively lightweight, and the oversized, boyfriend styles that LA women tend to wear give you a little more space to breathe, too. It’s no wonder these jackets are summertime staple to throw over a breezy dress if you’ll be out past sundown — but they’re also great for fall, when the temperatures between brisk mornings and toasty afternoons can range dramatically. Obviously, LA girls love their denim, so pairing the two together for the fall has always been a no brainer. Plus, with this season’s arrival of the western trend, it’s an especially relevant look to start wearing — cowboy boots optional. For an elevated version, opt for a silk blouse underneath and suede sandals, a la Ashley Bell.
Sneakers + Jeans
Bulky sneakers paired with frilly mini dresses is always a winning outfit combination, but LA women will be doubling down on the dad trend for fall. With extra-femme dresses existing "seasonally appropriate" territory, denim is naturally the next place they’d turn to style the shoe-of-the-moment. For a nonchalant vibe, pair with equally nostalgic denim (hi, mom jeans!) or for a modern feel, try a flare jean. A borrowed-from-the-boys button-down or tank completes the look.
Skirts + Sweaters
Think it'll be months into fall — or winter — until you can break out all your cozy sweaters? Think again. A classic LA-girl trick to coping with the extended months of heat is to pair fall sweaters with denim shorts and skirts, rather than full-on jeans. To the unfamiliar, they may seem incongruous together, but really, it’s the perfect compromise. Plus, there’s no way LA women are letting the cardigan trend pass 'em by. Wear yours with a favorite fall shoe, like a bootie or suede pump, for a weather-appropriate outfit.