I have lived in LA for a year and a half now. In this time, I have fallen in love with the luscious sunsets, the eccentric neighborhoods, the myriad of hiking trails, and the undeniable effect cinema have on people. One thing I still have not fallen in love with is LA’s sense of fashion. It is tough to pinpoint, but I would say it is designer, surfer, skater, hiker, or activewear. Additionally, you will see the abundance of Lakers and Dodgers gear (I don’t really see too many Kings, Clippers, or Angels gear).
Wrapping my head around LA’s fashion sense is a constant reminder that I miss Toronto’s fashion sense. From Yonge and Dundas to Brampton, there are certain things Torontonians rock that let you know you’re in Toronto and you won’t see in LA.
Whether you’re walking in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Highland Park, Echo Park, or Malibu, you’ll likely not see these 8 Toronto fashion staples.
If there’s one fashion staple that I could choose to represent Toronto, it’s Blunnies. Torontonians wear Blundstones in the summer, winter, spring, and fall. And who can blame them? Blundstones are versatile in snow, rain, sand, and mud, and Toronto has all four seasons – so, Blundstones make sense. I have worn my Blundstones a few times in LA, especially during a hike or in the fall, and people ask why I’m wearing such “hot-looking boots.”
2. Goodlife Fitness Bag
While researching this article, I had a good chuckle when Goodlife Fitness bags were part of a starter kit for people that work downtown. I never really thought about it, but it’s so true. Everyone that gyms have a Goodlife Fitness bag. You obviously won’t see any Goodlife Fitness bags in LA as it’s a Canadian company, but I miss seeing these on the subway. If I see someone rocking this bag in LA, I’m striking up a conversation with them – they probably work Downtown Toronto. Sweet Presto card!
3. S’well Bottles
What is it about Toronto and S’well bottles? You see them everywhere and in all sizes. “Kim’s Convenience” actually makes a joke about it, how everyone has to have a metal water bottle. And how each design is a reflection of that person. But who am I to complain? I have owned over six different kinds in my lifetime. Here in LA, I have two. And I DO see them on sale at shops, some going for as much as USD 49. I don’t see people rocking them as much. People usually carry normal see-through water bottles.
4. Roots Socks
You know the look, Roots socks with Blundstones or Uggs. Hell, Roots socks with any shoe and over leggings. I understand this style in Toronto, as it can get snowy and chilly. You won’t see too many people rocking Roots socks peaking out of their shoes here. LA is generally hot, and we don’t need thick socks.
5. Roots Salt and Pepper Sweatpants
I know Roots sells worldwide, but that Toronto look is strong with the salt and pepper sweatpants. Roots have so many different sweatpants styles, but for some reason, the salt and pepper one is the most popular – with Uggs and Roots socks. I have gone online and came close to ordering myself a pair, as well as the socks, but then when I get to the shipping, it’s always so killer! Anyone rocking Roots in LA, I’m striking up a convo.
6. Fjallraven Backpack
When and why did Fjallraven become the go-to backpack for Torontonians? Go anywhere Downtown, you’ll see Fjallraven backpacks, I guarantee it. I have seen them in LA, but not as abundant as in Toronto.
7. Peace Collective Home is Toronto Shirts
Remember when everyone rocked these shirts? I know people still do, especially when the Raptors won the NBA Championship in 2019. But in recent years, the look has evolved past the regular sans-serif font and taken on different formats and colors. Peace Collective has also branched out and started selling other brands, even Dodgers stuff, but you definitely won’t be seeing “Home is Toronto” styles in LA – and I miss seeing people rock it. When you’re rocking one and you see someone else rocking one, you nod at each other – if you know you know.
8. OVO Outfits
Toronto is a Drake city. LA is a Kanye city – that’s one thing I have learned since living here. As a result, you won’t see too many people wearing anything OVO-related. I miss seeing those gold owls on the streets. The only time I see OVO anything is when I’m watching the Raptors on TV!
There you have it, 8 Toronto fashion staples you won’t see in LA. I miss the Toronto look and have tried to rock a few of them here in LA, especially the Home is Toronto shirt. Though, someone once confused Toronto for being in British Columbia. So, I don’t wear my Peace Collective stuff as much as it may confuse people. I love how the above fashion staples make Toronto so unique. Although recently I have been gravitating more towards the skater and surfer style, these Toronto fashion staples will always be in my DNA.