East vs. West Coast Style

25th July

East vs. west coast style

It’s always fun to contrast styles of dress from different regions, and at theSTYLetti, we have plenty of opportunities to observe style differences on the east coast of the U.S. versus the west. Liliya and I live on different sides of the country and frequently travel to each other’s. (Of course, Liliya gets around even more, recently sharing a “southern belle” look!)

The Zoe Report recently characterized differences of style on the opposite coasts:

“West Coast fashion tends toward relaxed silhouettes and beachy, feminine vibes, while the East typically exudes a sleeker, more polished bearing.” – The Zoe Report 

Personally, I’m not so sure about the “feminine” part, but I pretty much agree with the rest. Here are a 3 differences I’ve noticed in my wanderings – around Boston, New York, L.A., San Francisco, and Seattle – lately. I wonder to which side you most relate.


On the east coast, I tend to see more leggings in solid colors, especially black – whether styled for a dressier-chic everyday look,…

East coast leggings style, chic

New York

…something casual for the weekend,…

East coast leggings style, casual

New York

…or to go sporty.

East coast leggings style, sporty

New York

West coast girls seem to go more for leggings with livelier patterns, and I also noticed that accompanying handbags, if they are used, tend to be more casual.

West coast leggings style, San Francisco

San Francisco

West coast leggings style, L.A. and San Francisco

L.A. – San Francisco

Vintage / Retro

I can’t always tell when someone on the street is wearing something truly vintage, but this New Yorker shared that her white button-down shirt was just that. What I seem to find on the east coast is that vintage/retro clothing is more often treated with subtlety –  often blending with the rest of an ensemble so that it can be seen as a great piece and not necessarily drawing attention to its era.

East coast vintage style

In contrast, west coast girls are more likely to go for a more playful all-retro look.

Update: Although I have never seen these fabulous women, I have been proven wrong in an article by Harpers Bazaar. Well, it was only a theory. 🙂

West coast vintage style

Sneaker Style

When it comes to sneakers, I have to hand it to those east coast girls who incorporate them into chic, sophisticated looks – like this groutfit (grey-outfit) with mustard/chestnut accents…

East coast sneakers style

New York

…or this lovely autumn palette with skinny jeans. I love how the bag matches the sneakers – both of burnt sienna.

East coast sneakers style

New York City

On the west coast (especially from San Francisco on up the coast), the same style of sneaker is more likely to be styled with grunge/hipster overtones – like this adorable example – with maybe a little less attention paid to color coordination; it’s all good!

West coast sneakers style

San Francisco

These are a few of my observations of differences between east coast and west coast style. If you want to see more, I think that The Zoe Report has an interesting take on it. Do you identify with the style of one coast more than the other?

XO, Janea


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6 responses to “East vs. West Coast Style”

  1. David says:

    Perfectly illustrative photos!

  2. Thanks for sharing. The “southern belle” outfit is stunning!
    Obsessed, x
    http://www.styletolove.com | Instagram @hadasahlove

  3. Jalisa says:

    This is such a fun post, I really enjoyed reading your observations here! I’m from the East Coast, but from the inner city borough of The Bronx, which is one of the 5 boroughs that make up NYC. Outside of Manhattan, which tends to get the sole reference of NYC, you tend to see a lot more vibrant colors, patterns, and styles, especially when venturing out into ethnic/cultural neighborhoods! Though in Manhattan, it’s typically black, grey, and navy. I’m not at all aware of West Coast fashion, since I’ve never been there before, so it was great to learn what their style is typically like! Thanks so much for sharing, beautiful, and I hope you have a great week ahead!



    • Janea says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Jalisa. While it’s fun to search out differences between one coast and the other, it is so true that there is great diversity in each state and even as you point out, each city. I would love to check out your neighborhood for my next street style shoot! I hope you also have a great week ahead! XO


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