Let’s face it—every cool CA-girl follows the same tried-and-true formula. A cropped white tee paired with hi-rise frayed shorts. Or a striped-top-and-cropped-jeans ensemble. There’s a reason why we keep going back to the basics, especially out here in Southern California where temperatures hover near the scorching side of things. Sometimes we just need something easy and no-thought-required to slip into when making a dash to the grocery store or a pit stop at Starbucks. But other times, we need something that’s a little bit, well, more.
The five brands that we’ve featured are just examples of how California style transcends the easy-breezy, while staying true to its laid-back energy. So, without further ado, here’s a roundup of our favorite LA-based brands and a sampling of the designs we heart. (Arranged according to average price, for the low to high kind of gal).
1 – Between Ten
Four sisters—Brittany Steinmann, Monica Peterson, Stephanie Brusig and Christina MacLean—kicked off this LA-based company back in 2015, making a cause for a solid transitional wardrobe. The goal? Eliminating the “let me go home and change” from the equation. Between Ten‘s pieces function beyond a single occasion. You can take their clothes for a spin anywhere from office to bar, beach to downtown, downtown to just around the block to your favorite Chinese takeout joint.
Left: Jamie Mini Dress, $128 | Right: Maxine Cullottes, $75.60
2 – Shop Girl
Shop Girl originally got its start by providing a collection of carefully curated, on-trend vintage finds, but moved on to carrying its own designs. The collection is still small—mostly just tops as of right now—but you’ll have a hard time passing up the delicately designed garments. The caveat? There’s a bit of waiting involved, which is a hard thing to do when the items in your cart are this cute. The mother-and-daughter-duo behind the operation work to deliver made-to-order pieces like this puff-sleeved Victorian-style top, which is guaranteed to prompt the question, “Where did you get this from?”
Left: Charlotte Blouse in Check, $189 | Right: Violette Blouse in Lilac, $189
3 – Lykke Wullf
Lykke Wullf—which stands for ‘happiness wolf’ in Danish—toes the line between California cool and Danish minimalism. Now, admittedly, we didn’t even know that line existed, but we have Designer Jemma Swatek to thank for bringing the aesthetic to the forefront of California fashion. To better understand how it was formed, you just need to know her background. Hailing from England, Jemma grew up in Denmark and now lives in California. She draws her inspiration from “American Wild West, Danish fishing villages, and the mystical beauty of the desert,” which we can see glimpses of in details like the corseted bodice and ruffle hems of the Cassidy Top (left) and the easy, straight silhouette of the button-front Jesse Pants (right).
Left: Cassidy Top, $198 | Right: Jesse Pants, $237
4 – Simon Miller
Originally launched in 2008 by Daniel Corrigan and Chelsea Hansford as a purveyor of menswear, the brand stepped into the world of women’s ready-to-wear, bags and jewelry. What makes Simon Miller stand out from the crowd is the brand’s unabashed use of color. Drawing heavily from a 1960’s palette—vibrant yellows, emerald greens and almost jewel-toned fuchsia—Simon Miller’s silhouettes are relaxed, yet feminine. Chic, yet versatile. Casual, yet still very It Girl. Not to mention, their online store is a dreamland of swoon-worthy wide-legged pants.
Left: W504 Aliso, $285 | Right: W504 Aliso, $415
5 – Shaina Mote
If we could think of two words to describe Shiana Mote’s line, it would be effortlessly elegant. Shiana elevates the classics with unexpected feminine touches—a twist of fabric here, a knot there. In perusing her designs, everything feels familiar, but also, in a way, fresh and new. Take the Lark top, for example, which flaunts a shoulder-baring detail, balancing a twisted top with a side bottom knot. Or the Poet Top, an button-down shirt upgraded with a nipped waist and a twisted-back cut-out.
Left: Lark Top Linen, $297 | Right: Poet Top, $362