The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

What to Wear and Where to Shop in Los Angeles

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere models chic looks for a day of shopping in L.A.'s best boutiques.

A reader recently asked me for some advice about what to wear while touring Los Angeles in mid-March, and since I'm a Midwest-girl living on the East Coast, I was pretty much stumped! So I called on the lovely SoCal native Emily, author of the popular fashion/lifestyle blog Cupcakes and Cashmere and expert on all-things-fashionable on the West Coast, who kindly obliged to respond to my dear reader with her superb advice. Without further ado, here's what Emily had to say about some of the best places to shop in L.A. and how to look good while you do it. —BB

Written by Emily from

One of the best parts about L.A. is the fabulous shopping. Of course, with all those adorable boutiques and designer duds come impeccably dressed women. Pretty much anything goes in Southern California, but it's not fun when everyone can tell you're an out of towner. Here are some of my tips for disguising yourself as a local when shopping amongst the stars.

  • For the designer shops in Beverly Hills (and on Rodeo specifically), I would suggest some dark denim, comfortable high heels, a simple v-neck shirt and a blazer. You want to look put together, but if you're too fancy, your tourist cover will be blown. L.A. is all about accessorizing so whether you throw on some simple gold hoops or opt for a tangle of chains around your neck, it will help complete your ensemble.

  • If you're opting for more California casual and browsing through beachy boutiques, maxi dresses are easy and comfortable. Plus, you can get away with a few bangles on your wrist and some metallic sandals and you're good to go.

Here are a few of my favorite neighborhoods for shopping.

Look for Less: Marni Platform Slingbacks

Marni at ShopStyle

You Want: Marni Platform suede slingbacks, $770 at Net-a-Porter. Two-tone suede uppers and a wooden cone heel made me shriek when I saw these (so did the price!).

Steve Madden at ShopStyle

Try This: "Tacee" multi-color slingback, $109.95 by Steve Madden. A little more cowgirl but no less fierce, these towering Steve Madden might give shoe lovers the designer fix for less.

Related deal:

March Must-Haves: Norma Kamali for Walmart

Norma Kamali for Walmart

Walmart has FINALLY added some new items to their perpetually out-of-stock Norma Kamali collection, and I want it all! Ok, not really but there are some amazing-looking pieces. See that all-in-one jersey top (above center)? It can be worn 6 different ways! And if you've been to American Apparel, Urban, or Free People recently, then you know that convertible pieces are hot commodities these days. And that amazing canvas bag? Available in either black/tan or white/tan, this versatile bag would be great for school, work or play (a budget alternative to the Longchamp Le Pliage, perhaps?).

Assuming the quality of these latest Norma Kamali additions is comparable to what was released in the fall (and I see no reason why it wouldn't be), budget fashion shoppers are in for a real treat. Click the thumbnail images below to shop for any of the items featured.