How to Mix California and Tulane Style

As a Californian, style has always been important to me; each outfit I wear corresponds perfectly to my location. So, when I applied to Tulane, I pictured a school chock-full of Nike shorts (“norts,” as they call them here) wearing, Chaco sporting, Cane’s eating southerners. I always imagined myself making a slightly less abrasive transition from the Los Angeles weather, fashion, and lifestyle I had grown to love.  Maybe I would be on the East Coast, showing off my duck boots and winter coats, or closer west, where I’d embrace my uniform of ripped jeans and sandals. However, because of my new home in the Big Easy, I have to remember that being a classic “Los Angeles teen hipster” doesn’t fit with the stereotypical Tulane model. Once I committed to the #TUlyfe for the next four years, I had to think long and hard how to combine my urban LA vibe with the down n’ dirty, southern gal getup.

The first things I purchased were Rainbow flip flops (obviously the so-called hip “Flirty Braidy” style) and Hunter rain boots.  These precious rain boots and my first-ever rain jacket have proven necessary: the torrential downpours occur way more frequently than I expected.  All of these items were part of my “welcome to Tulane” starter-kit. But there was no way I was leaving home without my suitcase filled with my go-to lace-up sandals, flowy sundresses, ripped skinny jeans and, of course, my favorite cashmere sweater.  Now, I know cashmere seems like a bad idea in this wretched New Orleans heat, but trust me, come November, you’ll see me break that baby out.

As for other DTLA must haves, I knew I couldn’t forget my cliché Ray-Ban metal-rimmed sunglasses—although these sunnies are as basic as it gets, pair them with a baseball hat and leggings and you’ll look like a real-live Los Angeles celeb hiding from the paparazzi!  

I’ve been quite pleased with how my LA wardrobe classics fit with those Nola must haves. One of my favorite “Cali girl meets Nola queen” looks was pairing Chacos with ripped boyfriend jeans, a green V-neck and a flannel tied around my waist. I’ve also adopted the T-shirt dress, Rainbows and NorthFace backpack look, which is perfect for when I’m too lazy to pick out an ensemble for class.

Each day I find new clothing and accessories that I add to my stock of Cali(Nola) looks.  This includes my most recent purchase: a pair of two-strapped black Birkenstocks. They go perfectly with cuffed skinny jeans and a loose white tank top or with patterned flowy shorts, a solid colored top, and, (DUH) a Patagonia quarter-zip, for when Monroe’s AC dips below freezing.  

Even though I will always be on the lookout for cute west-meets-south outfits, I know I’ll be Califorever—just as the saying goes, “you can take the girl out of Cali, but you can’t take the Cali out of the girl.”