East Coast Vs. West Coast

The differences in fashion from SoCal to East Massachusetts.


By Caroline Kawabe


Coming from Huntington Beach, a town in Southern California, to Boston University, an urbanized campus in the heart of the city, I knew I might experience some “culture shock.” One of the most fascinating contrasts I have noticed between the two areas is fashion.


If you were to take a stroll through downtown Huntington Beach, you would likely see the majority of people in a bathing suit, jean shorts, and birkenstocks; or a “Salty Crew” t-shirt, boardshorts, and a pair of flip-flops. Most locals are rocking the post-surf hairstyle and driving around in their Jeeps. Now I know it sounds stereotypical, but if we’re talking about the majority and trends, it’s honestly true. My everyday wardrobe at home mainly consisted of jean shorts and a tank top or t-shirt; leggings if it was cold.


On the other hand, walking through downtown Boston is a completely different scene. Girls are dressed up with Aritzia business pants, leather blazers, heeled booties, and slick back ponytails. I have found that, generally, people seem to dress up more on the East Coast, or at least in the heart of Boston. Even just for everyday activities, if I wore my daily outfits from home I would probably get some weird looks walking down Com Ave. I usually feel much more dressed down than the average Bostonian.


It’s completely understandable why these differences are present, I mean one town is a beach town, and the other a big urban city. Additionally the weather varies drastically. My wardrobe mainly consisted of shorts at home because that’s all we ever really had to wear. My high school had uniforms, and we all wore skirts all year long with no problem. ‘Winter’ and ‘fall fashion’ didn’t really exist. I cannot imagine walking out in the cold of winter in a uniform skirt. You have to have a variety of wardrobe options here just to survive the walk across the BU Bridge. People here seem to take advantage of the opportunities seasons present for fashion. Fall and winter styles are exciting, and I have noticed many young adults take liberty in styling their winter coats, hats, and scarves in chic new ways unfamiliar to me. My first fall and winter here, I was in awe of all the different styles and trends I saw modeled throughout the city.


I love both cities, and I honestly love being able to channel my inner surfer chick at home and my inner city girl at school. The East and West Coasts are both incredibly special and unique in their own ways, and I believe their fashion trends couldn’t be more fitting.. I love embracing the transition between the two.’