Coastal Chic, California-style

If “relaxed coastal chic” is your style, or if you’re looking for packing ideas for a casual getaway, keep reading! Today I’m featuring some relaxed and versatile women’s clothing styles that are great for travel, and everyday living.

Many thanks to Frank & Eileen for their sponsorship of this post. Some clothing items were gifted (indicated with “c/o”). All ideas, words, and opinions are my own.

These days, I’m all about styles that embody ease and a relaxed attitude. Comfort is non-negotiable!

Morning walk

Susan B. stands on a sidewalk holding a book. Wears a navy fleece peacoat, off-white button front shirt, navy slim pants, off-white sneakers.
JACKET (c/o) | SHIRT (c/o) | PANTS
My sizes: jacket – XS, shirt – S, pants – M

One of the most common misconceptions about California is that it’s always warm here. Not so! If you’re planning a visit to coastal areas in the spring or summer, be prepared for some chilly mornings and evenings (and sometimes, entire days). This Belfast 100% cotton fleece peacoat (c/o) is a perfect weight for our breezy or overcast days. It’s available in several colors, sizes XS-XL (I’m wearing XS.)

I also own and love the shorter version of this jacket, HERE.

Susan B. stands next to a library box, examines a book. Wearing: Frank & Eileen Belfast blazer in navy, Eileen shirt in off-white, Murphy pants in navy, off-white sneakers.

What I’m wearing…

These Murphy pants are 100% cotton, and a great leggings alternative. They’re comfortable but refined, and IMO would be great for travel days. They do run small; I’m usually a 4-6, and sized up to a Medium.

Frank & Eileen started with, and are known for, their button up shirts. This one is the Eileen style, which is relaxed but not crazy oversized. I’m wearing the Famous Denim fabric in “Vintage White,” which is a nice off-white alternative for Springs & Autumns. I’m wearing size S, but could probably have sized down to the XS. It’s available in a bunch of colors and fabrications (including some prints).

Susan B. sits on a wooden bench reading a book. Wearing navy jacket and slim pants, off-white shirt, off-white sneakers.
JACKET (c/o) | SHIRT (c/o) | PANTS

I love these little neighborhood “libraries” that have sprung up over the past few years. I always find something fun to read!

Apéro time…

Going out or entertaining doesn’t have to mean getting trussed up. We like to keep it relaxed and easy.

Relaxed clothing styles for women: Susan B. stands in front of a swing holding a glass of juice, wearing an emerald green top, natural linen pants, gold sandals
TOP (c/o) | PANTS (c/o)
My sizes: top – XS, pants – 6

I’m really looking forward to the weather being warm enough to enjoy drinks in the garden again. I was very curious about the color green of this jersey top, which turned out to be a true emerald green (great for you Winters!). I do really like the style of the top though! And there are lots of other colors available. I’m wearing the XS.

The wide-leg linen pants are a newer style, and I think they’re very flattering! I’m 5’1″ and they hit me just below the ankle. This is the “Cement” color: they’re also available in navy and white. I’m wearing size 6, think they run true-to-size.

Susan B. sits on a wooden bench, wearing a green polo top, beige linen pants, and gold sandals.

What I’m wearing…

👉 Style tips: if you’re petite, here are some tips to be able to wear relaxed styles without being “swamped”

  • Show some skin. Roll or push up your sleeves to expose wrists and forearms, cuff pants to let your ankles show.
  • Balance proportions. If wearing something more oversized on top, keep the bottoms slim and visa versa.
  • Add structure: collars, set-in sleeves will add neatness and structure.
  • Tuck (or half-tuck) tops to create more definition.

Frank & Eileen is a brand I can feel good about partnering with. They’re a woman-owned slow fashion brand, and a Certified B Corp. (which means they meet high standards for social and environmental impact). The clothing is well-made, from natural fibers, washable, and made to last.

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  1. I ordered the Belfast jacket and sweatpants in Navy last week and was thinking I should ask you about sizing. What a coincidence I should see your post today. Hoping the jacket runs big as I ordered a Small. Planning on wearing it while traveling to Rome to visit my daughters. Was hoing to order the Wexford pants but am concerned about the length. Will probably have to have them shortened. Wish they offered Petite sizing.

  2. i love your long over lean look here- it’s one i really like for travel/ long white linen button down over black fitted pants with white sneakers.

  3. Here in San Diego spring can indeed be chilly. May and June can also be overcast all day (May gray and June gloom). I occasionally apologize to tourists at the beach for weather I think they’re not expecting, only to find out they’re “Zonies”, from Arizona, and they’re delighted to escape the heat.

  4. I am EXTREMELY picky about my button up shirts, and the ‘Eileen’ is the best I have ever found. The white is not too see-through, the cut is relaxed but not baggy or droopy, and the fabric is beautiful quality. I own 3 of the white and a lovely blue floral. Highly recommend! Pricey but worth it.

  5. Lovely look thank you Susan. I so enjoy wearing Frank and Eileen clothes; l recently bought a new Rory dress in linen and l love the Eileen shirts too, especially the prints and the stripes. I am going to save up for the jacket !!

  6. I agree, they have high quality stuff. The two tops I bought in Vancouver in 2015 are still in my wardrobe.

  7. I like Frank & Eileen also but I’ve had some trouble with their sizing. On a different note: what nail polish do you have on your toes in that last photo?? I frequently shoot for a nude or a coral but that looks like a good (and different) nude. BTW I love that Patrick shirt also. Even though I’m an Autumn, I got that pale coral you got last year and I love it. Very flattering.

  8. I love Frank & Eileen clothes! They are so comfortable and the fabrics are top notch. I was really nervous the first time I washed them. Now I wash and dry , no problem. I just wish the pants were a little larger. I couldn’t fit in any of them. Thank you for sharing these great looks!