Decode the East Coast and West Coast Style with Serena Goh

The difference between the opposite coasts is always interesting to decode. While both are quintessentially American, they understandably differ due to culture, geography, and season, all of which shape clothing preference. Mind behind The Spicy Stiletto blog, Serena Goh is a style blogger born and raised in California but now living in New York City known for her casual street looks with a blend of west coast meet east coast style. So keep on reading to decode the east coast and west coast style.

  1. The East Coast Style typically exudes a sleeker, more polished bearing.

brogues with culottes and chic top

chic sweater with full skirt chic East Coast outfit with heels

East Coast style is definitely more polished, fashion-forward, and sophisticated. Black, navy, white, some bright greens and pinks make consistent appearances and simple patterns like checks, stripe, and polka dots are common. Like Serena, you may opt for a pair of boxy culottes and a well-fitting top teamed with sharp masculine shoes. Remember, East Coast style has structure and purpose, even when the look is casual. If you’re traveling to the region, pack neutral colors, smaller prints, dressy tops, and a pair of chic stilettos that will complete your statement.

  1. West Coast fashion tends toward relaxed silhouettes and carefree vibes.

black maxi dress off shoulder bohemian dress midi skirt with cropped tee

In the West, style is more carefree and relaxed, even when dressed up. The style is more festival-oriented and is inspired by natural bohemian looks. However, looking carefree doesn’t mean looking sloppy. Like Serena, you may opt for a free-flowing maxi dress, roomy mermaid skirt, or an off-shoulder bohemian dress to complete your theme. West Coast style walks the fine line between careless and creative and does so in chic manner.

  1. East Coast style features statement accessories yet sophisticated enough to dress up your outfit.

leather trousers with clutch and metallic top wrap skirt with white top printed pants with feminine blouse

Opt for sophisticated, elegant, and polished accessories to complete your looks. You may play up one piece of statement jewelry complemented by more subtle pieces to pull your look together. Handbags, shoes, and jewelry are generally statement-making to take you from day to night. Choose structured handbags over slouchy ones and architectural footwear that will make your style polished.

  1. West Coast style features carefree, grunge, and bohemian-inspired accessories.

lace up sandals with comfy dress west coast outfit with hat

In the West Coast, you’ll see lots of layering of small, delicate pendant necklaces or long bolder pendant necklaces that break up long flowing layers. Like Serena, get a carefree vibe with a pair of suede lace-up sandals, preferably with tassels and fringes, while keeping your outfit relaxed and cool. Fringe and crochet, mixed with a bohemian bag give the classic Cali vibe, as well as black hues and grungy floral make up the perfect flower child look.

  1. East Coast style is known for very polished look of layering.

casual chic outfit metallic gold blazer with casual outfit jumpsuit with feminine blouse

Some of the style differences come down to weather. In New York, you might have the structured coats, winter coats, spring jackets, and even a cape while most West Coast people do not have the range of clothing required in the East. Also, East Coast ladies have tastefully mastered the art of layering and bold color usage without looking overdone. Casual jeans make rare appearances and outfits are never less than precisely chic.

  1. West Coast style is known for rips, fringe, and festival details.

West Coast outfit ripped jeans with chic blazer relaxed button down shirt with jeans fringed jacket with tribal dress

If you’re heading to the West Coast, ivory and black shades are constant go-to’s, and typical prints are floral and tribal-inspired. Like Serena, make your button-down shirt hang loose with your jeans to get a carefree vibe. Also, crop tops and denim shorts are found everywhere you look, and looks are always free-flowing and effortless. Rips, fringe, and crochet are star attributes to clothing and accessories worn in the West, and contrasting textures are always welcome. Indeed, East Coast style and West Coast style differ, but can be stylish and chic depending on how you’re going to make them work for you.

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