Spring brings top-down-on-the-convertible weather to Southern California, especially when cruising along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. This is the sunny, laidback, no work in the middle of the day California that songs are written about and the reason tourists from all over the world flock to the Santa Monica Pier and its beaches. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Santa Monica on one of these perfect spring days, chances are you’ll start humming a catchy tune, you’ll feel your problems drifting away and you’ll realize that “All I Wanna Do” is have some fun — just like Sheryl Crow in her breakout hit from 1994. The lyrics for “All I Wanna Do” are based on the poem “Fun” by Wynn Cooper, and the song was written by Crow, David Baerwald, Bill Bottrell and Kevin Gilbert. The official video shared below was directed by David Hogan.
It was an early Wednesday afternoon in not-quite April, yet beachgoers lined the water’s edge, and streams of people bridged PCH on their way to the amusements and restaurants on the Santa Monica Pier. It’s where Route 66 ends, where a crush of humanity holds their cell phones high over their heads for one giant selfie, and the screams and laughter from roller coaster riders drown out the waves of the Pacific. We’d been there before — and vowed we’d never go again — but this time it was different. Maybe we had been away from LA long enough for even a touristy location to entice us, maybe it was the jumble of people who looked like a United Nation’s costume parade and the sound of voices speaking in a thousand tongues that was music to our ears – but don’t claim it was just the perfect weather. The weather was the prize we had all won that day – a giant claw had reached into a springtime pile of wind and rain and fog and yanked out sunny skies and a gentle warm breeze. But it was the smiling crowds of people who chose to share that prize, gathered together on a splintering wooden pier stretching outward from Santa Monica to welcome the world that made us see this iconic corner of California in a new light.
A few travel tips: When you visit the Santa Monica Pier, take time for a stroll through Palisades Park and/or rent a bike at Perry’s Cafe and take a ride along the beach path. Be sure to stop at one of our favorite restaurants in Santa Monica, The Lobster, located at the entrance to the pier on Ocean Avenue. Order the American Lobster salad and enjoy the stunning views of Santa Monica Bay.
After rumbling around the urban underground for quite a few years, the word athleisure was selected for inclusion in the unabridged version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2016. My earliest siting of this formative trend began with RUN DMC somewhere in the ‘80’s — dressed in black leather Adidas track suits with red racing stripes and prominently placed logos, signature chunky square frames, pork pie hats and massive gold chains. In the 1990’s, women took control as Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor launched Juicy Couture and set the fashion world ablaze with velour running suits in candy-colored pastels and JUICY embroidered across the ass. By the early 2000’s every it-celebrity from LA to NYC had been photographed in Pamela and Gela’s eponymous label.
“Normcore” surfaced in 2014 as a unisex fashion trend characterized by unpretentious, normal looking clothing. K-Hole, a forecast/trendspotting company that bases their research on “emotional motivation,” began charting the influence of normcore on the fashion industry. Designers were already cannibalizing the trend and the term soon turned into a mega-meme. And so normcore became the new ugly. Sneakers became the finishing touch for every outfit including eveningwear and the word itself was runner-up for the Oxford English dictionary’s “Word of the Year (2014).”
The long and short of it is: the concept of mixing “performancewear” clothing with sportswear grew out of normcore and became athleisure. The trend has deep roots and is branching into new levels of sophistication and fabrication. I find the most successful way to incorporate athleisure into your personal wardrobe is to stick to a monochromatic color palette – especially black! There are many key items or core athleisure basics which will expand any man’s or woman’s everyday fashion vocabulary: a high tech fabric zip-front hoodie; a breathable stretch T-shirt; a slim pair of running pants; and, any item that includes tech details such as industrial zippers, raised graphic silicone letters and numbers; quilted nylon surfaces, rubber accents, elastic inserts, and reflective paints. The final accessory that truly elevates the entire athleisure look is the high top sneaker. Oh yeah, not just any running shoe, but one that comes from the hands of masters like Rick Owens or Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga. Sneakers have taken on the stature of art and sculpture with prices reminiscent of Art Basel! Athleisure is today’s best way to add a contemporary edge and transform your existing wardrobe. And don’t forget, these clothes are ideal for travel because they look great, are easy-care, fast-drying, and never wrinkle.
Are you still in doubt about how to incorporate new styles and trends into your life? Need help purging your closet of years of clothing mistakes and filling it with clothing you’ll love to wear? Dr. Style is available for personal consultations. I have 20 years of experience on 7th Avenue and a happy, stylish clientele. The key word is simplify! Hire me by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.