California style: at work and play

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions and content are my own.

California definitely has a reputation for being laid-back, and that’s often true (except in rush hour traffic, and then all bets are off). Our California style is easy and unfussy, and the biggest sartorial sin is looking like you tried too hard.

However California is also home to some of the hardest-working and most innovative people and businesses in the world. But the common denominator of California style, a certain uncomplicated ease, holds sway in the workplace as well.

“Business Casual” was born here, but at times can feel as complicated as rocket science (or nano-technology) to decode. It doesn’t have to be. Think simple, a mix of soft and structured pieces, and a coordinated but not over-thought or over-styled approach to outfits. You’ll rarely go wrong with that formula.

Vince apparel exemplifies that California aesthetic: uncomplicated but hard-working, simple but inherently functional. The lines are clean; there isn’t a lot of frippery or superfluous detailing. The pieces I’ve tried on are well-made and the fabrics of very good quality.

I have a few Vince pieces in my wardrobe: those “Strapping” stretch wool trousers shown above (which are so beautifully made and that I absolutely adore), a leather scuba jacket similar in style to this one, and I’ve recently added a pair of the Blair slip-on sneakers (black, natch) to my shoe collection (will show them here soon). Nordstrom is a fabulous place to shop for Vince clothing and shoes, with the free shipping and returns, and extensive selection of styles. They’ll hem full-priced pants at no charge, and I’ve always found the sales staff to be very knowledgeable about the products and fit. Call the customer service line if you have questions about any online items; they are very friendly and helpful.

Is there a particular style aesthetic where you live? Does it sync up with your own style, or do you do your own thing?

MORE FAVORITES FROM VINCE:

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14 Comments

  1. April 2, 2015 / 5:47 am

    Florida is similar, but not as chic! I dress like your “off-duty” set most days now, it’s so lovely. xox

  2. April 2, 2015 / 6:36 am

    I don’t wear Vince clothes – they are more flowy than I prefer – but I swear I live in my Blair sneakers. I love it that we’re both out and about in them.

  3. April 2, 2015 / 6:41 am

    OOooooooo! I love those Strapping trousers. I’m pretty sure I need those. I’ve been on the hunt for a high quality workhorse pair of trousers in that style.

  4. Susan
    April 2, 2015 / 6:52 am

    We have a free standing Vince store close to our neighborhood. I’ve perused, but have never purchased. As Amidprivilege suggests, their offerings are flowy. I think flowy works best on the very very slim. Otherwise, flowy looks like you are trying to hide something and amplifies size, in my opinion. I do think the jacket that you highlight is attractive.

  5. April 2, 2015 / 11:31 am

    I have several Vince items and love them. Funny, I’ve never thought of them as flowy…I must just gravitate to and purchase their more structured pieces. I think I need those strapping trousers too!

  6. nell
    April 2, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Interesting questions you pose, as usual! As much as I like the West, I’d stick out like a sore thumb in California. Of necessity, my “style” has to be more studied, since I look better in more slightly structured items. I consider my look casual, but it’s more “throwback casual”– lots of short skirts, button downs, fitted sweaters and semi-fitted jackets. For example, today for grocery shopping and outing with son, I wore a rustic brown skirt, brown tights, blue shirt, and a short pale blue twill jacket, sleeves rolled back and collar tweaked.

    Accessories– tank watch, brown flats, big lapis ring, small silvery cross on chain in honor of Easter, and one other endless chain wound around and around. Pretty “studied”, all in all.

    I very much admire the “California look” on those whom it enhances. That sort of style “flattens” me out– I need to have a look that is a weird amalgam of classic, retro and a little bit gamine. (For lack of a better description…)

  7. Debra
    April 2, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    I’ve been looking for a great pair of black trousers for work/travel – ran by Nordstrom after work this afternoon and tried on the Vince trousers – they ARE fabulous and are now mine (or will be shortly, I’m having the pockets sewn up in order to get a smoother line). Thanks for the tip! They’ll be traveling to Paris with me at the end of May and I’m sure they’ll get lots of wear. I can see them dressed up with heels and dressed down with a slip-on sneaker. Yay for versatility AND style AND comfort!

    • une femme
      April 2, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      Debra, I’m so glad you like them too! I think they drape beautifully.

  8. April 2, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    Seattle is quite casual and I often wish people would step it up a bit at my work. I don’t like to overdress my co-workers but don’t want to go overly casual either. I’m loving flowing button up blouses, jackets, and narrow clean pants.

  9. Jill Ann
    April 2, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    I’m in the market for a nice pair of black pants, and like the looks of the Vince pair….but I just don’t love ankle pants. I will be happy when full length pants are back in style! I have been known to order “talls” online, so that I end up with something closer to the proper length.

  10. Helen
    April 10, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    just observing, for a site that is supposed to be for une femme of a certain age, those models look awfully young! oh, I’m just jealous in So Cal!

    • une femme
      April 10, 2015 / 3:42 pm

      Hi Helen, the images used are from the Nordstrom website. You can see a fifty-something woman wearing a Vince jacket here 🙂 http://wp.me/s3EHEc-click

  11. Helen
    April 13, 2015 / 8:38 am

    ahhhh, the 50-something ROCKS it!
    whew!

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