Anyone who’s lived in both NYC and LA knows how different styles are on the opposite coasts — and if you’re making a big move, you’ll need your wardrobe to transition along with you.
I recently made the move from NYC to LA myself and had the opportunity to apply the same personal styling systems I use with my clients to my husband’s closet.
Here I’ll walk you through my 3 steps to transitioning from East Coast to West Coast clothing style for men.
Step 1: Clean Out Your Closet
The first step was doing a thorough pre-move closet cleanout and getting rid of anything that didn’t suit our new Los Angeles lifestyle.
Moving is a natural time to do a deep closet purge, so take advantage of it!
Be sure to donate any items you haven’t worn, don’t like, are damaged or aren’t appropriate for the new climate. Items we offloaded included heavy winter coats, snow boots, and bulky sweaters we’d never have a use for in LA.
Once the closet cleanout is complete, be sure to pack your clothing by category — t-shirts with t-shirts, jackets with jackets, etc.
This not only will save you on shipping costs but make the unpacking process less painful!
Step 2: Organize Your Wardrobe
Once you’re moved into your new home, it’s time to unpack and organize in a way that will be most efficient for your day-to-day life.
While it can be easy to put off unpacking all your boxes for weeks or even months, I recommend making your closet a priority.
Dressing appropriately for your new city will help you acclimate to your new West Coast life!
In our new bedroom closet, I organized first by category (button downs, pants, t-shirts, etc.), then light to dark colors, only stocking the closet with items we’d wear every day.
Special occasion or rarely-worn items can go in an extra closet or into storage. This will ensure it’s quick and easy for you to get dressed daily.
Step 3: Create a Shopping List
Finally, it’s time to create your shopping list for any new items you need.
Because our closet was beautifully organized, it was easy to see what the ‘gaps’ were in our wardrobes.
For Ramit, we saw he needed some long sleeve t-shirts and sweaters. He had a lot of heavyweight ones suitable for NY weather, but had a need for lighter layers more suitable for the LA climate.
Other essential pieces for men’s West Coast wardrobes include light jackets, casual pants like chinos, and a variety of short sleeve shirts in lighter tones.
If your NYC roots mean you’re having trouble envisioning how men can dress for the West Coast, try a quick Google or Pinterest search for “men west coast style” or “LA men’s style” — or consider hiring a men’s image consultant to strategize your new look.
Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals. Cassandra’s been featured in Greatist, Livestrong and NY Mag.