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July 06, 2016

A Philly girl in L.A. — a tale of two trendy cities

East Coast vs. West Coast style

Lifestyle Fashion
jordynShaffer_Philly1 Druf/for PhillyVoice

While leaving part of her heart in Philly, Jordyn is enjoying exploring her new home in Tinseltown.

As a self-proclaimed Philadelphia girl, it’s been an exhilarating eight months acclimating to my new home: Los Angeles. There are many cultural differences between Tinseltown — spread out, glamorous and gluten-free — and Philadelphia — artsy, edgy and carb-loaded. Amid all of the wide-sweeping stereotypes respective to each city, ranging from the weather to workforce, it came naturally for me to compare and contrast my current and former home through what I know best: fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

Courtesy of Jordyn Shaffer/for PhillyVoice

Peace Signs always pair well with a Cali Gram.

Before Philly’s retail resurgence, The City of Brotherly Love was often pigeonholed as the sweatpants capital of the world. Fortunately, Philly slowly but surely started to shed that Scarlett Letter. Meanwhile, out in Hollywood, sweats will be forever trendy. Cute casual joggers and zip-ups lend themselves to the surfer/yoga chic, laissez-faire lifestyle on the west side of LA (Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu) just as much as this casual staple cater to the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills gossiping over brunch. The laid-back California disposition seamlessly pairs well with trucker hats (thank you Ashton), big sunnies and tiny dogs. When you spend this many hours on the freeway, you quickly learn that comfort is key. Driving in heels on the 405 is neither practical nor pretty.

Naturally, the climates of Philly and LA will affect how women present themselves. With LA’s drier air and perpetual limelight shining on the rich and famous, there’s no such thing as too much makeup and too many highlights. In a sense, we all have to be Instagram ready. During a hike on Runyon Canyon you’ll see a crew clad in cat-eyes, Lululemon and barely there sports bras. It’s not just Kardashians who rock bronzer at their favorite boutique fitness of choice. While most associate relaxed Giselle-inspired beach waves and tans to the West Coast, it looks like everyone is riding the more-is-more look made famous by our favorite reality TV family. 

Courtesy of Jordyn Shaffer/for PhillyVoice

The author adjusting to the Los Angeles lifestyle.

In comparison, Philadelphians don’t indulge in that much makeup. Imagine this: You’re wearing a smokey eye at the shore and then the humidity begins to set in. Even with a cool ocean breeze, our eye makeup would melt fast faster than a Rita’s. And, really who needs blush when you have four inches of snow to give you those naturally rosy cheeks? Glowing skin and blowouts seem to be more important to Philadelphians. Perhaps the only beauty trend that has fully made its transition from LA to Philly is eyelash extensions. But, that might be gone in the blink of an eye.

Courtesy of Jordyn Shaffer/for PhillyVoice

Keeping it casual and cool on a bike ride in Laguna Beach. Note: The Eagles hat.

Residents in LA are commonly out and about during the week. No one is tied to a desk job from 9-5; models are auditioning, actors are waiting tables and yogis are getting juices. Hats, sneakers and shades pair well with easy breezy boho chic dresses just as much as they pair with skintight leggings. But, for all of the crystal-hoarding, vintage-loving ladies walking around LA with their yoga mats in tow, there are the Reality Stars of Rodeo Drive, who teeter in Louboutins and carry the latest it-bag. 

The juxtaposition between the Hollywood elite and east side dwelling hipsters is startling. Philadelphians, meanwhile, are not as easy to categorize. Sure, there are Maine Line moms and No-Libs hipsters roaming about town; yet, there seems to be an air of east coast edge that is embedded throughout all of our personal style. Or, maybe, we just wear all black and blend in? Avant-garde, neutral outfits from local atelier NINObrand and lines fit for a global goddess at Joan Shepp make high power statements that would fair well in France, Milan and yes, New York City.

Courtesy of Jordyn Shaffer/for PhillyVoice

The author pictured in Silver Lake, CA still asks for 'jimmies' when ordering ice cream even though everyone says 'sprinkles'.

Fear not bicoastally confused dressers — we can really have it all. Want to bring some West Coast whimsy to your next shore weekend? Hit up my favorite downtown boutiques like The Geisha House and Moon & Arrow, which carry quintessential LA lines such as Wildfox, For Love & Lemons and Flynn Skye. Finally, bridge both coasts with a statement that always works in both regions: the leather jacket. James Dean wore it well and so does Bradley Cooper. And now you can too, dude.