Today’s guest post is written by stylishly bohemian Cathy who lives in California. Cathy is a writer, music teacher, Mum of two delightful gals and a long time YLF supporter and forum member. She recently organized a YLF gathering in her neck of the woods and this is how it went down.

Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Gatos is a charming Californian town named after the wildcats that roam the surrounding slopes. Its pedestrian-oriented downtown boasts a vibrant mix of shops, salons, galleries, and restaurants–a perfect venue for the first Bay Area YLF gathering.

On an overcast, slightly muggy Saturday, I met Lori, Marianna, Srujana, Lisa (cyan45), and Lisa’s friend Cindy in front of Gap. The first thing I noticed, besides the group’s high style quotient, was the fab assortment of colorful handbags: pink, purple, gray, cordovan, yellow, and white.

Shoes and Bags

We first stopped at Gap to check out the new line of 1969 denim. I raved about the 1969 skinnies I was wearing. Lori tried on some boyfriend jeans but was undecided on this trend. Next was Banana Republic, where Marianna picked up the best deal of the day: a beautiful cobalt sweater for $7.97, down from $58. The rest of us pawed through the sale rack but could not match that bargain.

As we strolled down the main avenue, a “50% discount storewide” sign at the Anjou boutique caught our attention. I tried on a fun bohemian dress, which was unfortunately too large. Srujana bought a gorgeous lariat necklace that featured two translucent agate leaves. The saleswoman told us about a going-out-of-business sale at a nearby “L.A. ghetto” shop. Intrigued, we went off in search.


Along the way, J. Crew distracted us. Lori was wearing the gray ruffled J. Crew tank that Angie blogged about, and I wanted to find one. The tank was sold out, but we had fun trying on other goodies. Lori supplemented her fall wardrobe with pieces including a black ruffled cardigan, ribbon-embellished t-shirt, and mustard-colored pants.

Lori had to leave but pointed us toward the L.A. ghetto store, which turned out to be Karma Boutique: “Bringing L.A. to the South Bay.” We exclaimed over the True Religion denim, sequined t-shirts, Ed Hardy tattoo wear, and leggings printed to resemble distressed, studded denim (Angie would have an apoplexy).


Having worked up an appetite, we were faced with the most difficult decision of the day: gelato or pastries? Lisa suggested the award-winning Fleur de Cocoa patisserie, which met with universal agreement. It was pleasant to sit and chat while savoring exquisite French pastries and sipping coffee and tea.

Marianna and I left soon afterward. On a whim, Cindy, Lisa, and Srujana visited White House | Black Market, where Srujana scored a silver-and-cream beaded camisole (the last one in stock, on sale) and a gray ruffled corduroy jacket with a mandarin collar. Cindy had been looking for a cardigan all day and found the perfect one on the sale rack–a black 3/4-sleeved ruffled bolero-style number.

I had a blast hanging with these fashion-savvy women. As we shopped, it was so helpful to have realistic style feedback. And I loved how our conversations leapt from fashion to work, movies, music, family, and food. I hope to meet more local style mavens at the next Bay Area YLF gathering!