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5 Northern California Style Tips To Follow

5 Northern California Style Tips To Follow

Wondering where to get the latest and greatest in Northern California style? Follow these tips and you’ll be wardrobe-ready in no time.


5 min read

November 08, 2021

Northern California embraces an eclectic mix of styles and fashion, making it pretty hard for anyone to stand out for the wrong reasons. That is unless you’re dressed poorly for the cool and foggy marine weather. In that case, you and your flip-flops would be singled out as a tourist in a second. But don’t worry, you can easily adopt the Northern California style and make it your own—the rules aren’t that many. 

Leave the always-sunny and beachy stereotype at home—that’s very SoCal and doesn’t really stretch to NorCal apparel. Instead of shorts, sandals, and bikini tops, opt for denim, light layers, and comfortable boots and sneakers, especially if you’re heading to NorCal during the fall or winter.

Wondering where to get the latest and greatest in Northern California style? Follow these tips and you’ll be wardrobe-ready for your trip up north in no time.

This is How You Nail the NorCal Style

The York is slim fitting throughout and has double-breasted center front buttons. Photo courtesy of Reformation.

1. Wear Trendy and Timeless Outerwear

The weather is still very pleasant in Northern California, but it does tend to get a little chillier and gloomier around the fall and winter months. But, the fact that your outerwear will steal all the spotlight from the rest of your outfit won’t be so bad if you invest in quality pieces to carry out the colder months throughout the year. 

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In any case, finding nice outerwear is easier said than done. The key is to opt for versatility and good quality so you won’t have to repeat it every year. A leather jacket for fall and a nice trench for winter will not only keep you warm, but it’ll also kick your Northern Cal style up a notch. Plus, these styles have been around forever and are pretty much immune to the trend cycle—you’ll be good for years to come.

Get ahead of the curve and get on the waitlist for the York Coat from Reformation. Irina Shayk is rocking it a la true Northern California fashion and so can you.

Los Angeles-based designer Heidi Merrick’s eponymous collection is quintessential California minimalism. Photo courtesy of Heidi Merrick.

2. Build a Capsule Wardrobe of Minimalist and Comfortable Clothing

Having a good collection of sweaters, jeans, leggings, and zip-ups as a part of your Northern California clothing capsule is crucial. Comfortable materials in neutral colors and minimal prints are great additions to your wardrobe—they’ll also be in constant rotation. So, choose wisely and pick out items you can mix and match to wear interchangeably.

Los Angeles-based womenswear designer Heidi Merrick makes great pieces in high-quality fabrics and minimal styles, perfectly capturing California style. Find button-ups, bodysuits, and structured midi and maxi dresses from the brand for an elevated everyday wardrobe.

Choosing a more laid-back vibe for your Northern California style? James Perse is another Californian designer that makes great wardrobe staples such as sweatpants, sweaters, and tees. But if you need more options, sustainable local brand Amour Vert makes feminine clothing that’ll fit right in with your chic, on-the-go NorCal apparel.

Bold, edgy, and comfy boots are what's missing from your wardrobe. Photo courtesy of Freda Salvador.

3. Invest in Shoes That You’ll Love in the Morning and Won’t Hate at Night

In an age where your shoes introduce yourself before you do, many people pick out their outfits bottom up. This is especially true if you live in a city where choosing clothing is largely dictated by the day’s weather. If versatility is a concern of yours, you might want to forget open-toed shoes for fall in Northern California. Instead, choose sneakers, boots, and maybe even heels (if you must) that you can easily wear day to night.

You most likely already have a pair or two of comfy sneakers in your closet on constant rotation. But if you’re looking for a new pair to add to your Northern California style, check out California’s coolest online stores to find the best new releases. 

As for boots, Maxfield has a great collection of upscale brands, both online and in their boutique in Los Angeles. Freda Salvador also has a large selection of cool boots, sneakers, mules, loafers, and more, all of which are designed in the Golden state.

Embellish your beauty with your tote and keep them speaking by showing off your bag. Photo courtesy of Hozen.

4. Carry a Practical Tote That’ll Allow you to Transport your Necessities in Style

Tote bags have been having a major moment under the spotlight in 2021, but they’re nothing new when it comes to Northern California style. In fact, Bay Area residents have been carrying around chic, practical totes for a long time now, and the world is simply catching up. 

Want to get in on the trend? You don’t have to look far. Many California brands make beautiful totes that are environmentally conscious for everyday wear. Von Holzhausen has great variety and an even better commitment to sustainability and ethics. We’re obsessed with their Shopper bags, but many of their other styles also perfectly mesh in with Northern California fashion.

Another great California brand making cool, versatile, and sustainable bags is Hozen. The latest addition to their collection—the Lunch Bag—is something we can totally swing along San Francisco’s streets.

Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it. Photo courtesy of B-low The Belt.

5. Opt for a Statement Piece to Tie your Northern California Style Together

And finally, Northern California fashion is not aaallll about practicality and practicality alone. After all, fashion isn’t something you can approach with pure pragmatic sensibilities—the most important part of dressing is having fun with it! That’s why it’s common to see people rocking a statement piece or two that don’t typically fit in with the basics of Northern California style. And hey, you should do that as well. 

Whether it’s with funky jewelry, a cool bag, or maybe a pair of bright-colored shoes, it’s important to project a bit of yourself and your personality into every outfit you put together. Consider a bag and a matching hat from ultra-chic local brand Janessa Leone to serve as your uber-cool statement piece. If that’s not your cup of tea, check out the fun bag strap from Clare V. to elevate your look. Better yet, the boldest pair of sunglasses from Cult Gaia will make you stand out. Or, maybe a trendy golden waist belt from B-low The Belt is the product you’re looking for? The opportunities are endless—you do you, boo.

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