I’m going to L.A. Here’s what I am probably packing

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I haven’t been out to Los Angeles in a few years, and I’ve really been itching to get there—to experience some balmier winter weather, but also to see various beloved friends and family—and yes, probably to shop a bit, because the shopping in L.A. is the best. So I just pulled the trigger on a plane ticket, and if you L.A. readers would like to have some kind of meetup, I’d be seriously up for that—I’ll be there from the 16th of February to the 22nd. Meanwhile, here’s what’ll be coming along in the carry-on.

My number one rule of packing is to stick to a pretty limited color palette, so that everything you bring goes with everything else. So I’ll definitely pack a simple white V-neck tee because that’s as classic and goes-with-everything as it gets. And after I’ve worn it once or twice, I can sleep in it for the rest of the trip (is that gross? Maybe a little?).

A striped tee is versatile, layer-able, and always reliably cute.

And even though it will need steaming once I unpack it, I’ll probably bring along at least one white cotton button-down—I like this one because it’s slightly oversized.

And I really like to travel with silk tops like this three-quarter sleeve popover, because the wrinkles hang out pretty easily, and they pack down to nothing.

 

I will definitely wear these James Perse joggers on the plane, because they’re as comfortable as sweats, but a little more polished-looking than them. I think they may actually be the perfect airplane pants.

I know these pants stray a little from my tight color palette, but rules were made to be broken, and I love this honey brown. They’re also some of the only high-waisted pants that are flattering on me.

For warm afternoons, I’m thinking this cute denim skirt might be just the thing.

And when it cools off, I’ll throw on this perfect (and perfectly tomboyish) corduroy chore jacket.

And I’ll layer a cashmere hoodie under that if it gets really cool.

 

I’d love for it to be warm enough for me to wear a pair of sandals like these; I also very much like this pair.

And of course, for day-to-day traipsing around, I’ll bring clogs.

 

People wear a lot more color in L.A. than they do in New York, and when I go there, I try to bring little pops of some with my accessories, like these super-good light pink sunglasses.

And on that note, I’d also love to carry as my everyday bag this awesome suede tote, but alas, I do not (yet) own it.

And I love a good bright woven belt; here’s something cheaper on Etsy.

And finally: I’m very intrigued by this travel steamer—it’s seriously small and apparently packs quite a punch.

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67 Thoughts on I’m going to L.A. Here’s what I am probably packing
    Judy
    6 Feb 2020
    10:23am

    Definitely check the weather before you come out. We’re having a mostly chilly February. Might want to add some sweaters and a warm jacket.

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      Kim France
      6 Feb 2020
      8:48pm

      Well I’ll definitely have a warm jacket, as I’ll have whatever I left NYC in. But thanks for the heads up!

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    Aline
    7 Feb 2020
    12:20am

    Keep us posted on a meet-up!

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    ads
    6 Feb 2020
    11:04pm

    I love that crazy tote. And I would love an LA meetup! Keep us posted!

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      Nik
      7 Feb 2020
      9:25am

      Yes, yes, it’s been chilly for us out here (for LA) so layers would be great. Please do keep us posted on a meet up, would love to say hello. I’m in the Valley so anything from Hollywood to Los Feliz would be ideal.

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    Susanna
    6 Feb 2020
    12:23pm

    I didn’t know that LL Bean did a cashmere hoodie—and it’s reasonable as cashmere goes! Have a great trip.

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    Ellie
    6 Feb 2020
    12:30pm

    I think a meet up would be really fun! What area will you be staying in — helpful to know when coming up with ideas for a location. -Ellie (Tragic Denim 👖😬)

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      Kim France
      6 Feb 2020
      2:27pm

      Hello Ellie from Tragic Denim, I will be staying on the east side for the first few days, then west for the remainder. Silverlake and (probably) Santa Monica. Would love if you came to a meetup. We must make this happen, people!

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        LJ
        6 Feb 2020
        6:41pm

        Have an awesome trip. I’d definitely meet up. Bring: one outfit for 65-70 and sunny, one for 45 at night. Sunblock AND pea coat.

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    Shelly
    6 Feb 2020
    12:40pm

    An LA meetup would be great…I will try to make it if it happens! What neighborhood are you staying in and what type of venue do you think would be good for a meetup?

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    Jaime
    6 Feb 2020
    12:41pm

    We just got an American Giant shop in Silver Lake that’s worth checking out and is in a cool strip of shopping, food, and coffee shops. That general area (Silver Lake, Echo Park, maybe Glendale) might be a good, central location for lots of folks.

    I also second all comments about our relatively chilly weather (esp. at night and early mornings) as well as doing a meetup.

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    monique J johnson
    6 Feb 2020
    12:42pm

    I live in Marina del Rey and concur with my other L.A. sisters – the weather is seesawing all over the place, but I’m sure you’ll check the weather of the week you plan to arrive. You probably won’t need the sandals.

    I just wanted to say how much I love that belt. It looks very Colombian (although I know it’s Marant), so I googled it. Here is a nice Colombian one from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/729779104/multi-color-woven-thread-waist-belt?ref=shop_home_active_32&frs=1&cns=1

    And yes on the meetup, although I just fractured my toe and not sure I would be able to attend.

    Oh, and I really enjoyed the last Everything is Fine podcast. In terms of dressing right for your age I can only say…. it gets murky. I wouldn’t wear jeans with holes in the knee but there is a woman in her 60s who can style them and wear them as if she was born for it. I haven’t seen that woman yet…. but I’m sure she exists. My point being that generally there are things that don’t look good on most women of a certain age, HOWEVER, there are always a few women of that certain age who can pull it off beautifully.

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    Sara Campbell
    6 Feb 2020
    10:57am

    Would love an LA meetup! I’m in Echo Park but willing to travel. As others have said, it’s been all over the place, temperature wise.

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      Kim France
      6 Feb 2020
      11:19am

      I would love a meetup too, but need suggestions regarding a venue. Also, what dates might be good for you guys? Please do weigh in!

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        Valerie
        6 Feb 2020
        4:58pm

        A meet up would be lovely! Count me in!!! I’m based in the South Bay and work in Pasadena, but would be willing to travel (which means a lot in LA! ;))

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    Sara Licastro
    6 Feb 2020
    11:08am

    Yes! Another LA’er weighing in on how “freezing” it been. I’m an ex New Yorker so I know it’s not that bad but seriously it was 41 yesterday morning so for Los Angelenos that means puffers and shearling boots. All kidding aside, not sure you need the sandals but maybe some cute sneakers or boots for a hike? Would love to hear about a meet up! xx

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    Viajera
    6 Feb 2020
    11:32am

    Hoorah, you’re coming to visit!!! I would love to know about a meet-up. I have no idea where I’ll be those days but I would try to make it, you are *all so delightful.* …para…

    Ahem … those “joggers” *are* cute … but imho they are still sweatpants. Not that there is anything wrong … para …

    I am glad the scarf issue got fixed. I am a tad sorry I apparently can’t fit into the smallllll boat bc that is a very cute striped tee. Oopsie.

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      Kim France
      6 Feb 2020
      11:33am

      Viajera, if we have an LA meetup and you DON’T come, I will be bereft!

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        Viajera
        6 Feb 2020
        8:09pm

        Oh, that’s so sweet! I do live a bit like a vagabond these days but I will do my best!!! … para … If I focus for 2 weeks I may be able to find something to wear. Lately I wear an assortment of ill-fitting black items. Trying to move towards color, verrrry sloooooowly…

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    Suju
    6 Feb 2020
    11:42am

    Let me echo everyone else and say – it’s been cold! Can’t wear my Birks outside (oh, the humanity!). Enjoy your stay 🙂

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    MaryAlice
    6 Feb 2020
    11:43am

    Yippee! Welcome (in advance!) to LA! A meetup would be fabulous. I can suggest some possible meetup locations if I have a general idea of where you’ll be staying (don’t want to subject you to a 2 hour commute if you’re downtown and the meetup is in Santa Monica!). I really hope it warms up before you get here – last Saturday I was driving down Fairfax with the top down, by Monday I was wearing two sweaters.

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    Cindy Kamm
    6 Feb 2020
    11:46am

    Would love an LA meetup!! It’s been pretty chilly here but sunny & beautiful😎. Doubt you‘ll need those sandals. Have been living in my cashmere sweaters and Uniqlo down jacket.

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    Susan Blakey
    6 Feb 2020
    10:32am

    Another LA’er here…depending on where you’re staying, it may be a little chillier than expected. I’m on the westside, and the forecast highs are low-to-mid 60’s. Lows in the 40’s. I’d love to meet up if you manage to arrange one!!

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    Mary
    6 Feb 2020
    10:42am

    Sounds good to me! While we’re on the topic of warm weather clothes, how about shorts for women of a certain age? Do they belong on the “no no/Route 66 List?”

    On the podcast, you guys discussed skirt lengths, saying mid knee-length is best. The only shorts I gravitate to are denim shorts. I wouldn’t wear them in the city too often but nice to have nonetheless?

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      Kim France
      6 Feb 2020
      11:32am

      I like shorts—and especially denim ones—but I like them on the longer side.

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      Mindy
      6 Feb 2020
      11:28am

      I commend you for wearing shorts. I gave them up after turning 40. It’s not like I think they look bad on GOACA – I see them out and about and they look cute. But, personally, for me, I had to give them up. When I looked in the mirror, they either skewed too young or too Golden Girls. I just decided “screw it” and gave them all away and stuck with skirts, dresses and pants. I’m fine with that. Good luck on your hunt for the perfect shorts!

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        Mary
        6 Feb 2020
        1:19pm

        It’s true! A lot of denim shorts are heavily distressed and far too short. I’m currently on the hunt though!

        I’m looking to hearing about the LA meet-up and wish I could you join you guys! Please get some group shots.

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          Kimbersam
          6 Feb 2020
          2:55pm

          I agree about the shortness of (ahem) shorts. Last summer I started buying a size bigger so they hang off my hips. I tend to belt them. It gives me a strategic inch or two that makes all the difference.

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            Mary
            6 Feb 2020
            4:34pm

            Good idea, Kimbersam. Nothing worse than tight shorts on a muggy day anyway.

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    Kathi
    6 Feb 2020
    1:35pm

    Great packing list & I think the color scheme is spot on for travel. Have an awesome trip!

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    Cheryl G.
    6 Feb 2020
    1:13pm

    Northern Ca checking in. I would live to join you but alas I broke my hip. Boo!
    I’d love it if you went to Scent Bar and picked something out. Selfish, vicarious shopping for me. Looking forward to your bounty nonetheless. Have fun!

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      Mamavalveeta03
      7 Feb 2020
      10:35am

      Speedy healing, Cheryl G!

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    Francine
    6 Feb 2020
    1:13pm

    We HAVE to meet up. I’m in south OC, so unless you guys want to come down to Laguna Beach…? I’m cool with Santa Monica. The promenade? 20th?

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      Jeanne
      6 Feb 2020
      2:46pm

      Also in Orange County and would be willing to drive up to the Westside for a meet up if I am free. Ditto on the chilly (and sometimes windy) weather we’re having.

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    Samantha W Zutler
    9 Feb 2020
    10:58pm

    I would love to see a post on your LA shopping picks!

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    Mamavalveeta03
    7 Feb 2020
    10:26am

    The “single color palette w/pops of color accents” packing method has absolutely saved my sanity before taking trips. I used to get kind of panicky about what to bring, what not to bring, and this just makes it so easy. I still usually bring too much, but that’s another post. *Kim, I’m curious how and with what you’d style the bright woven belt? (Spoken in an up-talking voice.)

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    Hanna
    7 Feb 2020
    11:28am

    Hey LA experts! I’ll be in LA, too, (mostly Disneyland for kids). If I get a morning off where should I shopping??

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      MaryAlice
      7 Feb 2020
      1:22pm

      If you’re in Orange County Fashion Island in Newport Beach is fun. Also Laguna Beach for more indie, artsy stuff. In LA, Abbot Kinney is fun and walkable with lots of different shops & restaurants.

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      Kimbersam
      9 Feb 2020
      11:05am

      If you are planning to hit Abbot Kinney you should also take a run down Main Street. They are both in Venice. If you want to stay in the OC South Coast Plaza is an amazing, luxury mall.

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    Kim France
    7 Feb 2020
    11:55am

    OK guys, about the meetup: I think the 17th or 18th would be best. I will be on the east side. Who’s got thoughts about where we might meet?

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      MaryAlice
      7 Feb 2020
      12:04pm

      Cliff’s Edge on Sunset in Silverlake has a gorgeous patio and a lovely interior area.

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      SC
      9 Feb 2020
      1:56pm

      I’m down for an LA meetup.

      Eastside joints: Cafe Birdie. Freedmans. Nomad Hotel (downtown, but worth the extra five minutes).

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    J
    7 Feb 2020
    12:18pm

    I’m living in my Nili Lotan Nolan sweat pants. Maybe you should pack those? (I got the camo on sale – I wish I had the solid!) sweats, jeans/pants, a cashmere sweater or two and cool sneakers. A light weight uniqlo for early mornings and nights out. You won’t need sandals. Unless you’re getting a pedicure. Have you ever taken a day trip to Santa Barbara?

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      Kim France
      7 Feb 2020
      2:38pm

      Yes, I’ve spent time in Santa Barbara—it’s glorious, and there’s that great Mexican food place I can’t recall the name of.

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    Kimbersam
    6 Feb 2020
    10:06am

    LA Resident here. Temperatures here…crazily wide-ranging. (Santa Ana winds) Last week it was in the 80s. This week (at least in the AM) has been really chilly. I’ve been wearing a down coat to take madame dog on her 5:30 AM walk. Those James Perse mix media pants are really comfy and cute. I have 2 pairs.

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      Debra K
      6 Feb 2020
      10:39am

      Same here. The days are sunny and beautiful during the middle of the day but when the sun goes down it gets cold fast. And it has been super dry, I am using all the moisturizers in heavy rotation. I doubt you’ll get much use out of the sandals but that cashmere hoodie will be perfect. I happily ran around downtown LA yesterday afternoon in a white button down, jeans and sneakers with no socks – by 7pm I was in a down puffer and my feet were freezing!!!

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      Clatie
      6 Feb 2020
      10:13am

      Right?! When I dropped my daughters at the bus stop yesterday morning it was 45°.

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    Eloise
    6 Feb 2020
    9:03am

    Wait a sec – a GoaCA travel post with no mention of a scarf? Are you feeling ok? Have a wonderful trip!

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      Kim France
      6 Feb 2020
      9:35am

      I know, I remembered yesterday afternoon that I forgot to include one, then I promptly forgot again. Here’s a cute light pink one, for those of you who are scarf-curious: https://rstyle.me/+CKSlkqaUFxtcT7_OyuDUAw

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    Candy
    6 Feb 2020
    9:15am

    I’m leaving for LA soon as well, so this is super helpful. Already have the striped shirt and (another brand’s less $) comfy joggers, but now you have me thinking of that hoodie for cool evenings near the beach.

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    Rachel in Portland
    6 Feb 2020
    8:31pm

    I love Los Angeles so much–have fun! Read Eve Babitz on the flight over. If you’re shopping in Silver Lake, check out Matruska Construction for their flattering dresses (https://matrushka.com/) and Dean (https://dean-accessories.myshopify.com/) for their amazing bags.

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      Kim France
      7 Feb 2020
      11:51am

      I wish I had some Eve Babitz left to read, Rachel! And thanks for the store suggestions.

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    Praleen
    6 Feb 2020
    8:31pm

    😩So sad I don’t live in L.A. Lots of GOACA in New Orleans. Just sayin’….
    Love all of your travel picks. Also, do you find the New School clogs comfy? I’ve been wanting to get a pair for some time, but am a tender footed gal.

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      Kim France
      7 Feb 2020
      2:39pm

      I do find the New School clogs super-comfy.

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    Karin
    6 Feb 2020
    7:22pm

    …adding to the chorus saying bring sneakers, not sandals. It’s freezing here (I am currently wearing a hoodie and sweater and fuzzy socks AND a blanket over my lap). For a NY-er it might be shorts weather, though, so enjoy!

    P.S totally not weird to sleep in your t-shirt. When I travel I pretty much only bring t-shirts and every night I just sleep in the one I wore that day.

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    Hilary Robertson
    6 Feb 2020
    7:34pm

    I’m here. Bring layers. Bring sweaters. It’s cold!

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    G
    6 Feb 2020
    5:33pm

    Wish I were in LA for the meet up but I’m heading to NY Saturday. Do you have any packing recs for a gal headed your way? Shoes are always my issue bc I don’t know if there’ll be icy sidewalks. And traveling with a carry on leaves only one coat option :-/

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      suz
      6 Feb 2020
      6:03pm

      Hey – former nykr who lives in LA – I am heading to NYC soon myself and I always bring a pair of chelsa boots that have enough tread for winter sidewalks. Wear them on the plane as they are heavy (to pack) and also they are super easy to get in/out of in the TSA line. They go with most winter outfits without being a huge clunky winter boot. Do pack warm socks though.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        7 Feb 2020
        10:40am

        And a cute beanie to wear with a puffer. It’s going to be horrendous this weekend:Cold, windy, and rainy. YUCK!

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    suz
    6 Feb 2020
    3:58pm

    Welcome (almost) to LA 😀 Adding to the chorus – right now it is chilly, it’s our sorta winter. I would leave the sandals at home and pack some sneakers (silverlake is hilly/stairs so you will die in clogs) and throw in a cardigan. LA tends to be jeans/t shirt/cardigan or hoodie most days. I would also bring some warmish pj pants, as the secret no one tells you is that LA houses are freezing inside this time of year. I love those ochre pants and the chore jacket is perfect winter wear for LA

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    Nic
    6 Feb 2020
    4:26pm

    Yay! LA! Let us know of you want restaurant recs for Santa Monica/Westside!

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    Lorea
    6 Feb 2020
    3:22pm

    No! Don’t bring the sandals! I get it, I really do (ex Californian currently living in the PNW) but save the suitcase space for a cool pair of sneakers. Love the hoodie.

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    c.w.
    6 Feb 2020
    8:01am

    Good for you for getting out of town! Already looking forward to your L.A. postings. The James Pearse joggers are tempting. About those Everlane pants….I’ve tried several pairs of Everlane jeans, none have truly fit my body no matter what size I tried, but these are setting off a longing. Did you purchase your regular pant size or did you go up or down? Reading the reviews was a bit confusing on the sizing. LOVE the corduroy chore jacket!!! And one word of warning about a “thong” sandal when your feet have been in winter shoes for awhile…a friend attempted this on a recent vacation. Unfortunately, on her first day out and about developed a blister on both feet between her big toe and second toe from the strap that ran between them. She was in agony for the rest of her trip. And, finally, no it isn’t a terrible thing to do to sleep in your white tee. I have an ancient silk short-sleeved long underwear tee that I pack to sleep in when traveling because it packs to nothing and is soft and if it begins to feel grubby I can wash it out in the bathroom sink and slap it over the edge of the bathtub to dry.

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      Gleaming the Cube
      7 Feb 2020
      11:45am

      I wore those James Pearse pants on the plane a few days ago and can vouch that they are excellent travel pants. Depending on the destination and weather, Either those or a pair of knockoff Pleats Please are my usual travel clothes.

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    Tricia
    8 Feb 2020
    10:18am

    Enjoy LA! I will be there at the same time, traveling from NYC. I’m a NY’er who spends a lot of time in LA (hubby in the industry). I echo everyone here, be prepared to be chilly when the sun goes down, and our LA home is freezing in the winter months…I’d love to meet up, but we are taking a little trip to Idyllwild on those dates, any recommendations fro the LA GOACA? Barbrix and L & E Oyster Bar are nice stops in Silverlake.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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