1. Long hair. Sorry if you thought shoulder-length brown hair that was all the rage in Idaho was going to cut it out here. It’s not. The stereotypes are true, you need your hair to be straight, glossy, messy (I know, how do you get it to be messy AND glossy, I KNOW), down to your butt, and blonde. Or at the very least ombre.
2. Do you own suede booties? One pair? Cool, that’s not gonna cut it. Get approximately thirteen more pairs. Because you are about to wear the shit out of those. Even when it’s not weather appropriate.
3. T-strap sandals. Okay, you really can’t fathom getting your feet into some fashionable booties? Fine. You may wear t-strap sandals today. Bonus points if they have gold detailing on them. Best worn with flow-y maxi dresses and skirts.
4. Skinny ripped jeans. This is where it’s at in the non-summer months. If you want to venture outside of booties and t-straps, you are allowed to, if you’re wearing these. You may now wear white low top converse sneakers. Got it? Good.
5. Oversized sweaters. You need a lot of these, because you can — and indeed should — wear chunky knits at all times of year, even when the weather does not necessitate a chunky knit (okay, I’ll stop saying chunky knit). Rules: you should be drowning in them, but they should also be falling quasi-seductively off your shoulders at all times.
6. Denim cut off shorts. If you don’t feel comfortable with showing a little ass-cheek, then Cali ain’t for you, baby. Jk! Kinda. Not really. You need to get yourself a pair of these, the shorter the better. If that means you gotta go high waisted, go grrrl, go. Get a little spangled pair? Phenomenal. Wanna get a tribal print? Go crazy. But get you some denim booty shorts.
7. Bralettes. This is of the utmost importance because you WILL be showing your bra 97% of the time, outside of funerals and serious job interviews. Actually, you’d probably be fine to show your bra there in Southern California. So that beige underwire nonsense is not going to fly. Your boobs are too big to do this, you say? Nonsense.
8. Midi rings. If you don’t know what these are, you are already so not SoCal (which is good, stay that way you, innocent caterpillar). These are those rings that go at the tops of your fingers and look they they are going to fall off at any moment. And they might! That’s the fun of it! You’re so boho, you don’t care about your rings falling off!
9. Maxi dresses. This is obvious. This is a continuation of the hippie vibe that’s been lingering around California since the 60s. If you can manage to get a slit or some cut outs so that you aren’t even for a second bordering on business appropriate, that’s for the best.
10. Glasses that are out of your price range. People here spend an irresponsible amount of money on both sun- and prescription-eyewear. Why? Because there’s a lot of sun and we like to look smart, even if we aren’t. You are going to need more pairs of sunglasses than you think if you’re going to live on the Golden Coast (is that even a thing? I just heard it in that Katy Perry song).
11. Graphic print crop tops of a 60s band/80s cartoon/90s pop culture phenomenon. People are going to accuse you of not knowing enough of the songs/episodes/whatever to be wearing the shirt. Defend that shit. Defend it hard. You’ve earned this baby. How? Because you bought the damn shirt with your own (parents’) money.
12. Flannel. This is of the utmost importance. Because, despite the temperature rarely dropping below 55 during the day, people need something to tie around their waists to remind you that they loved the 90s. Plus they must be chill guy’s girls, ‘cause they can rock flannel, get it? get it? get it? I’m chill. I’m wearing flannel. I’m chill, guys.
13. Workout gear. There is nothing not achievable in Lululemon. Nothing. You look like you could hike Runyon at any moment! Whip off that shirt to get the whole leggings/sports bra look that we loved from the bitchy almost-stepmom Meredith in Parent Trap, and you, babe, are ready to strike a Tree pose at the top of your way strenuous hike.