What chic L.A. wears to the nightclub
Dressing for L.A. night life is about getting in tune with the vibe, whether you're a cool kid, a hipster or channeling old Hollywood.
Carly Lynn, left, and Jenn Peterman go muted in shorts and a mini-dress at the Beverly nightclub in Los Angeles. (Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times / August 19, 2011)
FOR THE RECORD:
Nightclub dressing: In the Nov. 13 Image section, an article about what chic L.A. wears to nightclubs said the Beverly is in Los Angeles. It is in West Hollywood. —
Los Angeles is home to some of the most exclusive speak-easies and lounges in the world, and even Malibu Barbies have a place to call home. Each venue comes with its own personality and unwritten rules on dress. Style is measured in heel inches, attitude and accessories.
"I think you'll find a mixture of styles at every venue," says Ari Goldberg, chief executive of Stylecaster.com, a fashion and beauty website. "But "people end up role-playing. I think people do that naturally."
PHOTOS: Nightlife style
The tastemakers in the corner booths aren't always famous — they are frequently people like stylist Donna Danon. The 24-year-old says she changes her look based on her mood, but she can play up a certain style based on the night's venue.
"If I go somewhere like Hemingway's, more of like a lounge-y place, I do more of a hipster look because that's the vibe that place gives off," Danon says. "I'll maybe do shorts, a blazer and a cute little hat. If I'm going somewhere like Eden, I'll do something a little sexier like an LBD," or little black dress.
Just in case the subtleties of the L.A. scene seem elusive, what follows is a style guide to some of the city's most fashionable clubs and lounges.
The Cool Kids: The Beverly
When you arrive at the Beverly, an exclusive club open only two nights a week, a tall man with finely trimmed facial hair wearing a suit and a newsboy cap stands guard at the door. Patrons call him L.T., and as head of security (and selection), he ensures that patrons embody a "cool kids" vibe.
There are no guidelines for dress at the Beverly. "It's more about personal style," L.T. says. "It's like a delicate formula we work with. One individual could pull off something that might not work for another."
That "delicate formula" involves a heavy dose of confidence oozing from the clientele, who often seem effortlessly attractive and trendy — but casual — in their dress.
The aforementioned Malibu Barbies blend in with the Beverly's varied clientele — women in shorts and espadrilles, one-shoulder mini-dresses and sequined skirts and frocks.
The men seem to be going for a different look. On a recent evening, a young patron sitting in a private booth that costs hundreds of dollars to reserve for the night orders a bottle of Cristal Champagne — with a price tag of several hundred dollars more. But he isn't dressed in a suit befitting a luxury buy. He wears a Ramones T-shirt, dirty Converse sneakers and a pair of Burberry boxers peaking out of his slightly saggy jeans.
"Individual and personal style with a particular flair will always stand out," L.T. says. But just because the Beverly doesn't have a dress code doesn't mean it's not selective.
"Anything sparkly, Ed Hardy or Affliction-style graphics, square-toe shoes and sunglasses are definite 'don'ts,'" says Darren Dzienciol, co-owner of the Beverly and Trousdale lounges. "If it's on the 'Jersey Shore' it's not coming through the door."
The Beverly, 8713 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday and Saturday; (310) 855-0202.
Old Hollywood: The Sayers Club