In n Out

In n Out

I heart Los Angeles.  I really do.  I know it might be down to the novelty or the fact that I haven’t had a proper holiday in over five years (i.e. one that wasn’t a blog/work-related trip) but I’ve not had tingles about a new place in a while.  The sort of tingles, where thoughts of “I could possibly live here!” bubble up in the brain.  It’s been far too short a trip to really think seriously about such a notion but I’ve seen enough to know that the exciting part is that I’ve only just scratched the surface of this sprawling, space-filled, open-to-all and up-for-it strange city.  That means I’ll return for sure.  No empty promise there.  Steve and I will make it our annual soul-nourishing pilgrimage.  I thought I’d compile a text/pic postcard round-up of just a smattering of things I saw/did/bought/loved/ate, guided by recommendations from friends as well as Joy Yoon’s 1,001 ideas book.  There was definitely more though.  In the words of California’s current Governator and L.A. resident, “I’ll be back.”

– It’s true what they say about the light in California.  The sun beats down in ways that I’ve never experienced.  It’s almost as though the sun decided to beam down its rays vertically to cast the strong shadows and blind you into willing submission.

– It’s also true what they say about dreamers and chancers in this town.  We saw bellmen, bouncers and waiters/waitresses all expressing their ambition to write/direct/act.  My own silly dreams (Ballerina?  Astronaut?  Concert pianist?) died a death an age ago so I’m glad people out there are willing to dream their way into adulthood.

– Best take-home quote?  A girl called Jackie, who I met at my hotel Sunset Marquis, said to me “You’re a cool bitch doing your thing.”  Right on.

– The Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles is momentarily my favourite one out of their stores, just by virtue of being housed in what was once Charlie Chaplin’s dance studio and I love the way it’s spread out into different annexes and rooms.  Oh, and I have to thank Carol and Humberto for recommending Korean joint The Corner Place, where we had cold vegetable broth noodles – truly a revelation.

– Nick Metropolis prop store on La Brea (a great drag of shops in general) would be my furnishing store of choice if I did live in LA.  Who doesn’t want a giant Homer Simpson statue, an Elvis-themed dollhouse or a diner booth in their house?  They have anything and everything here.

– Speaking of furnishings there are a lot of dumped sofas in Los Angeles.  I spotted at least three along Venice Beach.  They somehow don’t look out of place.

– I can see what all the fuss is about with Rene Holguin’s RTH store.  It’s so intrinsically rooted to California with its curious mix of tie-dyed sweaters, American West crafted jewellery, leather goods, all scented with heavy cedar.  Steve got himself some beaded safety pins and I got a giant bandana print leather-trimmed tote that I could possibly climb into if I need shelter.

– I didn’t hit up every single shop on my exhaustive list but in general, I loved the boutique scene in LA.  Highlights include the very zen, very wabi-sabi New High (M)art, the selection of local LA designers at The Well and the hard-to-find roster of designers at Weltenbuerger.

– There seem to be an abundance of oh-so-cute, bordering-on-twee and well-curated lifestyle/stationery/general goods stores.  Poketo near Little Tokyo and Reform School in Silver Lake were my faves.  I discovered local jewellery label Highlow at Poketo and duly bought one of their Embrace polymer clay cuffs…

– Ok, I didn’t technically drive but driving around Mulholland Drive, the canyon roads and along the Pacific Coast Highway with The xx, Nico and Biggie respectively as a soundtrack really was a treat.

– It goes without saying that I ate well in LA.  Very well in fact.  Great tacos/Mexican food, Korean food and sushi are a given.  For particularly “me” type of food, I loved the sweet n’ sour flavour combos at Baco Mercat, the insanely good lobster rolls at Son of a Gun and a meaty triumph breakfast to challenge the hardiest of carnivores (chicken fried steak slathered in sausage gravy) at Village Idiot.

– The whole reason I went to LA was because I had extended a press trip to visit shoe maestro George Esquivel, in celebration of his upcoming collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger (more about that later) and they had collectively planned out a truly classic night out in LA – drinks and dinner at the legendary Chateau Marmont followed up by a session of bowling at the Spare Room at Roosevelt Hotel.  Was it a cliche?   Maybe.  Sometimes the plainly obvious works for a reason though.  The best thing about the two-lane old-fashioned bowling alley at Spare Room?  The chance to wear well-worn, beautifully crafted bowling shoes made by Esquivel.

– How much did I love cycling along Venice Beach/Santa Monica?  This much.  Yes, I’m hopelessly goofy.

– I wasn’t ready to subject Steve to the sprawl of Rose Bowl Flea so we took it easy with Melrose Trading Post flea instead, where there are definitely veritable bargains and concise opportunities for browsing.  Never though have I seen so many racks of denim cut-off shorts.  I’m afraid this is one LA-ism I just can’t get onboard with.  I particularly dislike the super-short, super-ripped, pocket flap-exposing ilk of denim cut-offs.  Could that be why people instantly detected I wasn’t a local (one girl in a store immediately said to me, without hearing my accent “Oh my god you look so cute… where on earth did you come from?”).

– The Abbot Kinney stretch of shops and restaurants in Venice is so pretty to walk around.  Browsing the stores almost converts you into a cheesecloth shirt, thong sandal and hippie beaded jewellery devotee.  I liked the touches of Tokyo-style retail here with the Stussy Livin’ General Store selling Japanese lifestyle wares (they even had a Japanese wood carving workshop going on in the back yard) and Americana textiles king Kapital.

– I love a street crazy.  LA seems to have the best of them – these eccentric characters roam the streets looking like they’ve been there forever because nobody bats an eyelid at their crazy get-up.  I’ve always wanted to follow one around discreetly just to see what they get up to.

– Speaking of the weird, I loved the premise and concept of Echo Park Time Travel Mart – a storefront cooked up by 826LA, a non-profit organisation supporting creative writing in young people.  It sells an array of clever copy on clearly spoofed-up products, with anything from dinosaur eggs to bottles of bittersweet juice.  It was there that we were recommended to take a trip to Museum of Jurassic Technology, which was a whole other level of spoof.  You go in knowing what you know and come out questioning everything.  Scientific fact will never be the same again.  No wonder we saw a guy high on pot there, taking in this “educational” experience.  If you need to take a breather from the overload of fact/fiction fusion, go up to the tranquil rooftop and have a cup of tea.

– I will never tire of looking at palm trees.  Especially when you’re driving on a freeway and you see them dotted around in rows, towering over the city.

– Ditto for the street art which looks properly ingrained into the city’s landscape as opposed to randomly popping up in small enclaves.

– Ditto with the Hollywood sign.  Was especially jealous of the view of Hollywood Hills from Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders studio.

– In-n-Out burger really is the real deal.  I’m now going to feel forever cheated when I do Meat Liquor/Market/Mission in London.  We made it our last pit-stop before going to the airport and it really hit the spot.  I rapidly demolished a 3X3 animal style (from the not-so-secret-secret menu) much to the bemusement of the table of Chinese tourists next to us…


IMG_7353Marc by Marc Jacobs cardigan, Topshop slip dress, Christopher Kane clutch








IMG_7388Carven printed top and shorts, Birkenstock blue sandals












IMG_7454Poketo tea towels

IMG_7455Highlow bracelet






IMG_7505Sretsis blazer, Birkenstock floral sandals







IMG_7580Tommy Hilfiger striped top, Sacai kilt skirt













IMG_7624Subtle Luxury embroidered blouse




IMG_7638Swash cardigan, Stella McCartney for adidas swimsuit, Kye skirt, RTH oversized tote, Karen Walker sunglasses



Whistles swimsuit, L’Wren Scott sunglasses, Purl Harbour knitted shorts


Leave a comment
  1. Shelly

    2013-07-16 at 8:00 AM

    You live life out of a suitcase! Interesting trail of pics. The nail art adds to the laid back feel in the picture!

  2. Denisa

    2013-07-16 at 9:53 AM

    Very interesting. Great day.

  3. The Fashion Fraction

    2013-07-16 at 10:22 AM
  4. Khoa

    2013-07-16 at 10:31 AM

    Glad you like L.A, Susie. It’s either love or hate with most people I know, and even for those who love it, it’s the gradual kind of love. Anyway, just recently started reading your blog religiously (I know I’m a late bloomer) and love the fact that your blog has maintained such a superior quality and consistency over the years. It’s really rare, a lot of successful blogs seem to be selling out now.

  5. WOWS

    2013-07-16 at 11:43 AM

    Wow! Stunning and amazing pic selection!
    Don’t miss today my Fresh look….with a Neon Pink crochet skirt and amazing sandals!!!.
    Kisses from – My Bloglovin

  6. Amy

    2013-07-16 at 11:48 AM

    You made me travel with all these beautiful pics!

  7. lady vintage

    2013-07-16 at 12:11 PM

    Such a great post adore all your outfit

  8. Caz

    2013-07-16 at 1:29 PM

    I love the fact that the photographs you posted aren’t conventional ‘LA’ photos…you see beauty in things others don’t. Looks like you had a wonderful time. 🙂 it’s my dream to go and visit and if I do I’ll be sure to check out the places you mentioned! xx


    2013-07-16 at 4:00 PM

    Wow!!! What a wonderful trip and your pictures are amazing!
    Thanks for sharing all the details with us!!
    Best, Maria.

  10. Eileen

    2013-07-16 at 4:07 PM

    Love this post so so much!!! <3 The outfits are amazing!

  11. Mari Saito

    2013-07-16 at 6:42 PM

    Very fun! always looking forward to seeing your blog!! Thank you so much, Susie:)

  12. Floyd Gary Clyne

    2013-07-16 at 6:44 PM

    You are as cute as a button and the pics capture a raw flavor of LA often not seen. Enjoyed!

  13. Jana H.

    2013-07-16 at 6:58 PM

    It’s so beautiful those shoes they give you for bowling! Usually girls look better before they change into their own shoes again, don’t you think, it’s so cute!!

  14. Matthew Pike

    2013-07-16 at 7:57 PM

    Such a good post, looks like you two are having a wicked adventure. Hollie’s just about to buy one of those bikes, thee same one in fact. Adopt a tshirt, imagine a tshirt with that on.

  15. Peter

    2013-07-16 at 8:36 PM

    I’m glad you loved it!
    I moved to San Diego as soon as I finished high school and I’ve never regretted it. One of the few times I become aware of myself as an American is when I’m directing foreign visitors around the sights and sounds of Southern California… I feel so much responsibility as a citizen. I want them to go home and tell their friends Americans are so nice! California is so cool! I’m glad you had that.

  16. Andrea

    2013-07-16 at 8:39 PM

    Love your style!!

  17. stylelovely

    2013-07-16 at 8:49 PM

    i love ur posts!

  18. Joanne

    2013-07-16 at 9:08 PM

    Such great photos, I love that they all have the same tone and edit.

  19. thetextiler

    2013-07-17 at 12:08 AM

    i crave a holiday intensely! paris is on my mind as is LA !, you’re killing me susie so jelll ugh

  20. milex

    2013-07-17 at 1:13 AM

    Someone is living her life!

  21. Sunday Desire

    2013-07-17 at 1:30 AM

    Amazing pics! looks like you’re having so much fun
    Love the one with you on the bike, so cute 😉

  22. Sora Daniel

    2013-07-17 at 8:05 AM

    Good post ! Thank you !

  23. Nikita

    2013-07-17 at 5:42 PM

    Love the pics.

  24. 33

    2013-07-17 at 8:52 PM

    As a long term resident of LA (los feliz to be precise), this post is about the best I’ve read on LA highlights. The very best!

  25. Violet Vixen

    2013-07-17 at 9:17 PM

    Great pics!

  26. Style is...

    2013-07-18 at 9:47 AM

    I have never considered a holiday in LA but it looks great. Love love love the Carven print shorts and top and the Karen Walker sunglasses are amazing.

  27. FashionSnag

    2013-07-18 at 2:00 PM

    Still haven’t been to In n Out!

  28. Indre

    2013-07-18 at 6:41 PM

    Lovely post!

  29. jay

    2013-07-18 at 7:08 PM

    Oh come on, you too with the Birkenstocks? You’re supposed to be the one with some originality.

  30. susie_bubble

    2013-07-19 at 12:14 AM

    I’m also a human being – with feet that get calloused, ripped and torn from wearing heels/shoes without socks…. and I’m on HOLIDAY – it’s frickin’ hot, I still need to walk but my feet need to breathe…
    Sorry if my feet have not always got original attire on 100% of the time…

  31. LIV

    2013-07-23 at 6:14 PM

    great photos!!! nice post!!

  32. McKenzie

    2013-08-02 at 11:30 PM

    It does sound and look truly incredible as they say! I dream of going one day!

  33. Andreea

    2013-08-04 at 5:33 PM

    Good Post ! Thank you !

  34. ioana

    2013-08-06 at 6:54 PM

    Thx for post!

  35. Hilary

    2013-08-18 at 12:23 PM

    I really loved your holiday clothes- no boho in sight! This makes me really want to go on holiday to somewhere warm where I can get sunset painted manicures!

  36. Loli-pop's

    2013-08-20 at 9:47 PM

    Liiiike 🙂
    you can visit my blog if you want 🙂
    thank you !

  37. Stylerevival

    2013-09-05 at 5:57 AM

    In other words – until you walk in Susie’s shoes (excuse the pun) and work as hard as she does,
    try really hard not to be so judgemental.. pretty please?

  38. Calicali

    2013-11-01 at 2:23 AM

    Great blog and pictures! I live in California and I am wondering where in LA the picture with the white pillars in a garden setting is (the 4th image down) Do you recall the name of the building? Thanks!

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