The Differences Between West Coast and East Coast Street Style

When it comes to fashion inspiration, college campus street style is the crème de la crème. Every day as I walk down Boston University’s stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, whether it’s stylish leather jeans with platform sneakers or the perfect embroidered denim jacket paired with black booties, I see dozens of eye-catching outfits.

As a California girl, I grew up indulging in that deliciously warm weather with flowy skirts, fitted tank tops, and light cardigans. However, as anyone in the Northeast knows, the weather in Boston isn’t exactly temperate. Despite constant layering, I’ve learned to admire and recreate the urban simplicity of an East Coaster. Although fashion is constantly evolving, in my experience, this is what I’ve encountered:

East Coast: For my “East Coast” outfit, I chose to keep it polished, sleek, and put together. I often find formal, dressier undertones in East Coast street style, so I channeled a sophisticated look with my leather skirt and mesh sleeve crop top.

As far as color schemes go, I find I’m surrounded by chic, muted neutrals and, of course, black and white. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed Easterners frequently use a distinctive pop of color, often a bold red or royal blue, to make the outfit look sharp and clean. For my touch of color, I chose a maroon bootie.

As for textures, denim and leather are standard, and during cold Boston winters, faux fur is a must. To stay cozy, I paired my outfit with a classic boyfriend cardigan to keep the look understated—perfect for a coffee date in the North End or a trip to Newbury Street. For jewelry, the structured look continued in the form of timeless bangles and a stylish yet elegant choker.

West Coast: For my “West Coast” outfit, I wanted to portray the playful, carefree nature of my many pieces. Although I personally almost never wear bright colors, I consistently see louder prints and statement patterns on the West Coast.

The loose olive shorts are the perfect way to stay comfortable yet fashionable in the heat, while adding some character to conventional shorts style. Florals are a West Coast staple, and kimonos are the perfect weight for summers on the beach.

For shoes, I went with my newest trend obsession: platform sandals. Although these have some height, they’re actually very comfortable for walking around and exploring the city. Also, they are perfect for a night out or all-day wear. For jewelry, Westerners often wear classic, soft pieces such as layered necklaces or simple stones. A pair of sunglasses never hurt, either!

At the end of the day, I think we can all agree on one thing—both coasts are doing a fabulous job of slaying street style on a regular basis. Whether Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue, Fashionistas continue to make lasting impressions on us!

Which coast style is your style? Comment or show off on social media and tag @CFashionista!