LA To NYC: Fashion Must Haves

Recently I moved from our Santa Monica, California, office to our smaller east coast office in New York City. I’ve lived in New York before, so I knew the fashion “decisions” I’d been making in sunny SoCal wouldn’t be acceptable in “the fashion capital of the world“. At our Beachbody® corporate office, I could wear gym pants, tennis shoes, and a T-shirt any day of the week. When I wanted to “dress up,” I’d wear a sundress and some nice sandals.

Here in NYC, however, it just feels weird to walk down the street in workout gear or flip-flops when everyone else is dressed to the nines. Now that I’ve been here for a while, though, I feel like I’ve gotten back in the swing of things fashion-wise, and I’ve realized that it’s not that hard to look like a stylish city girl. Here are the five wardrobe staples every well-dressed woman should have if she wants to look like she belongs in chic, trendy New York City.

1. Leather boots. These are so versatile. You can wear them at the beginning of the fall with a dress and cardigan, or in the cold of winter to help keep you warm. The weather can be harsh in NYC, and boots are a great way to protect your feet from the cold rain, snow, and slush (they can double as rain-boots or snow boots in the winter months. Just make sure you get them treated with leather protector). has great options (with free returns!), or try DSW—they have great deals on designer boots, often at a savings of 50 percent or more.

2.  Anything black. Yes, New Yorkers love black! But who can blame them? Black is slimming and matches everything, and when you wear it, you can look dressed up as easily as you can look dressed down. A basic black dress can be worn any month of the year, and can be the most versatile item in your closet. In the spring, you can wear terrific black pumps and accessories. In the fall and winter, black leggings, sweaters, and boots are always great. The black dress will become the most versatile item in your closet. And when you have a great pair of black slacks, you can change your look by changing from heels to flats, and changing your tops from dressy to casual.

3.  Jeggings. I know some women may still be a little iffy on wearing a skin-tight pair of leggings that look like jeans. I used to be one of them, so I get it. But jeggings are actually flattering on all body types. You can balance them with the right top and look completely on trend. Just work with your body type when pairing a top with the jeggings—ladies like me with wider hips might want to wear something a little looser on top, the more flowing the better. If you’re shorter, make sure the top hits right below the belt loops. If you want to make your legs look longer, wear a longer top with a shorter jacket or cardigan to lengthen those gams. The great thing about jeggings is that you can wear them to work with flats and a blazer, wear them out on the town with a great pair of pumps, or dress them down on the weekend by tucking them into a pair of boots. The lines will make your legs and booty look great, and because they aren’t baggy, you’ll look slim and sleek.

4.  Colorful solid or print scarves. I’m sure you all already own at least one wonderful scarf. I have eight, in a variety of colors and patterns—some plain, some sparkly. A scarf is the key accessory for a New York City girl. Scarves can pull together a wide variety of outfits; they can really elevate your look to a new level. Plus they keep your neck warm during the chilly months, or when your office blasts the AC in the summer. If you’re feeling wild, go for a leopard print. If you’re wearing your all-black outfit, try a bright pink or blue scarf to punch it up.

5.  Waist-cinching belt. Now, here’s an accessory I’ve seen even more often here in New York City than I’ve seen high heels. Women here love to flaunt their beautiful curves by cinching their waists with a statement belt. You can wrap a belt around your dress to give it a more flattering line, or wear a belt outside your cardigan to give your outfit a new look. You can even use a belt to help make your winter coat look more feminine. I’ve been wearing waist-cinching belts for a while, because I find they help me more than double my wardrobe. Sometimes I just throw a belt around a dress to give it a little something extra. When it gets colder, I take that same dress, layer a cardigan over it, belt the waist over the sweater, and viola!, a brand-new look, sometimes for a dress I’ve owned for years. Just be careful when choosing waist-cinching belts—you want to make sure they’re not too tight, so they’re comfortable both when you’re sitting and when you’re standing (you don’t want to feel like you’re wearing a corset). If a belt has some elastic components, you can change its position to change the look of your outfit. Wear it right under your ribcage at your natural waistline, or wear it a little lower to make your torso look longer.

So there we have it: five wardrobe essentials that’ll make you look like a city girl. As you’ve read over this list, you probably noticed one or more items you’ve been wearing for years. But that’s how fashion is—constantly recycling and renewing itself.  It may be the “fashion capital of the world”, but we’re all women – we just want to look fabulous and be comfortable while doing it!

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