Brandy Melville is, ironically, an Italian clothing brand, but one that epitomizes the California girl look. The store sells the most up-to-date trends, including a wide selection of t-shirts, jeans, crop tops and sweaters, in addition to loose-fitting dresses and all the charming accessories you can imagine. Tread carefully here, though – most clothes are designed as ‘one size fits all,’ with the assumption that skinny and long-legged is the universal size. Also be aware that while the clothes are often advertised with euro pricing, the conversion is false, equating the euro with the American dollar.
Free People is the more mature, bohemian counterpart to Urban Outfitters, filling its inventory with apparel that emulates ideas like ‘femininity, courage, and spirit.’ The line is designed for the likes of ‘a 26-year-old girl, smart, creative, confident and comfortable in all aspects of her being, free and adventurous, sweet to tough to tomboy to romantic.’ The selection here tends to be relatively pricey compared to most of the brands on this list, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality.
Nasty Gal has become an iconic brand in recent years, since the publication of CEO Sophia Amoruso’s memoir #GIRLBOSS, soon to be adapted into a Netflix TV series. The brand has evolved from a purely vintage Ebay store to a global powerhouse dressing women in empowering, edgy, confidence-inspiring clothing. Let your inner California confidence shine through by wearing something a little more risky from this line on your next night out.
A classic young American brand, American Eagle’s style has evolved alongside California style. This global brand is designed for college-age men and women, known for its jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, and outerwear. Since 2006, the company has developed the Aerie sub-brand, a line of lingerie, loungewear, and activewear targeting girls aged 15 to 25. The line has recently been recognized for its efforts to promote body positivity, launching advertising campaigns with models that have not been retouched.
Victoria’s Secret is another typical spot to shop for Californian attire, primarily offering high quality lingerie, in addition to swimwear, loungewear, activewear, and beauty products. While the main brand is targeted to a primarily older demographic, leaning toward more mature, sultry styles, the company launched the Pink sub-brand in 2002, targeting the 18-22 year-old demographic of women. The line embodies a more youthful aesthetic, while still selling the same types of products. Pink is a perfect place to shop for typical California swimsuits, bralettes, and loungewear.
Another store that consistently keeps up with California girl trends is Urban Outfitters. This brand is designed for young adults from their late teens to late twenties, often collaborating with outside designers and luxury brands to offer the best selection possible. The clothes embody a wide variety of styles, from the modern hipster to the retro bohemian. This is a great spot to fill out all aspects of your wardrobe, from basics and comfort wear to statement pieces and accessories.