Today we bring back Tarzy (Tara), a fabulous forum member who’s been with YLF for five years. Tara is a talented writer and super divine gal who hails from Manhattan, but has lived in LA for many years. As a New Yorker at heart, Tara wrote about last year’s NYC gathering and had us all in stitches. This time round it’s from her new home town.
Los Angeles, also called the City of Angels, is known for many things including bright sunshine and head-turning celebrities. Last weekend all of those elements were present at the LA YLF get-together, when we received a visit from a stylish seraph from Seattle – the lovely Angie Cox, creator of YLF, and fashion muse to all of us on the site.
We had arranged to meet in Old Town Pasadena because of its abundance of shopping and restaurants, and luckily, the day turned out to be perfect SoCal weather – bright and beautiful. Even so, it wasn’t nearly as beautiful as Angie herself.
Waiting to pick her up at her hotel, I was wondering what Angie would think of LA’s super casual style, when a slender woman with short spiky hair strode over to me. I’m not exaggerating when I say Angie’s smile lit up the lobby, and heads turned to look at her – quite an accomplishment in a town where every waitress is a gorgeous starlet.
Angie has that same kind of appeal – she stands out in a crowd. She was wearing a bright midi-length, multi-panel skirt that was cut close to the body at the waist and hips, then floated out around her as she moved. Her skirt, featuring shades of pink and purple with bits of cream and yellow, was topped with a cropped denim jacket. She wore her signature pearls in champagne, carried a gold satchel, and her famous fussy feet featured open toe neutral shoes with a walk-friendly heel. I loved the way Angie’s denim jacket was the perfect touch of SoCal casual, while her skirt took the outfit up several notches.
We were quickly joined by MaryK, our own “business bombshell” on the forum, who looked cool and casual in white jeans with a bright green and white print top. Mary is as bubbly and fun in person as she is on the forum, and the three of us made our way to Zara, where we found five more YLF ladies waiting patiently.
Angela (Cloud9) chose her forum name well, because she’s as sweet as an angel, with a shy smile and gentle manner that makes her instantly likable. She was a picture perfect MOTG in a denim skirt, knit top, fab silver sandals and sparkly statement necklace.
Rachel (Rae) is like the gorgeous younger sister of your best friend, and you try to be jealous because she’s wearing tiny short shorts and has silky long hair, but she’s super smart and funny and she completely wins you over.
Lily (Karli) is grounded and friendly, and looked effortlessly stylish in a black and white skirt and denim jacket, with a pop of color from her utterly fabulous yellow Kate Spade handbag that I almost “accidentally” took home with me.
DesmoApril (April) has the most beautiful deep blue eyes, which were set off perfectly by the blue in her blouse – no coincidence, because she really knows her stuff. Incredibly generous and helpful, she gave spot-on advice about various items that were considered for purchase. It’s no surprise such a smart cookie works in publishing, although the fact that she works on magazines about motorcycles, and also owns and rides them was a fun discovery.
Finally, ChewySpaghetti (Khris) drove all the way from the desert and still managed to arrive looking stylishly cool and casual, from her fun chocolate colored Cons to her fabulous tortoise shell glasses. Shy in person, Kris exudes a caring personality and can’t hide her sensitive, artistic soul.
We all headed into Zara, sticking close to Angie like baby ducks, noting what items she was drawn to. Most of the others were too courteous to pester Angie for her opinion, but I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to shop with a pro again, so I boldly solicited advice. I spotted a casual knit blazer that filled a huge hole in my wardrobe (casual coverage in warm weather) and got thumbs up for the cream color. Rachel found an amazing butterfly print top, and Angie was rhapsodic about the bright orange featured throughout the store.
Leaving Zara, we walked down the street toward H&M, with a slight detour into a pet store. The loving mama of a furbaby, Angie bought a tasty treat for Yorkie Rosie back in Seattle.
As we headed to the next store, an attractive man on the street literally stopped in his tracks and told Angie she “looked like a movie star.” The rest of us instinctively closed in like a protective entourage, while the admirer complemented her outfit. An embarrassed Angie laughed it off, and we quickly scooted into H&M, where Karli found a fabulous scarf, MaryK bought a blazer, and Khris tried on lots of tops and dresses.
Next, MaryK led us to a small boutique she loves, and beamed with pride when Angie was smitten with several handbags. She brought home too?
Still going strong, we made our way over to the GAP, where Karli, MaryK and I scooped up the same blue knit blazer at 40% off the sale price!
Moving on, we were drawn into the Kate Spade shop by the beautiful handbags, and MaryK scored an amazing jacket, half-off, that fit her like a glove.
Time for lunch! We walked to Chado Tea House, where we met the man behind YLF. Greg sported a casual purple striped shirt over a black tee, jeans, and his signature no lace shoes. Not many men would willingly endure lunch with eight women, at a tea house no less, but Greg was a real trooper, and took time to talk to each of us individually.
After lunch, we posed for pictures outside, and it was obvious we were having a blast – a passing woman was compelled to stick her foot into our group “guess the owner of the shoe” shot!
After strolling past a few more boutiques, a quick look around J. Crew, and another visit to Zara, it was obvious no one wanted to end the day just yet, so Lily suggested we get some coffee. Total strangers just a few hours earlier, we sat and talked like lifelong friends for a bit longer, until finally, reluctantly, it was time to say our goodbyes.
If you ever have a chance to attend a YLF gathering – try to do so. It’s not just about the shopping, although that’s a wonderful part of it. It’s more about meeting people in real life you’ve come to know through the online forum, and getting to know them beyond the questions about shoes and handbags. I feel I have six wonderful new friends, not to mention two new blazers. Thank you, Angie and Greg, for visiting Los Angeles.
And thank you, Angie, for inspiring us with your personal style and professional advice. You are our very own fashion angel, and we’re all so glad you’ve created this heavenly spot for us to learn and share!