It may be nicknamed the City of Angels, but this trendy metropolis is more known for its A-listers and fashion. If you’re headed to this fun West Coast city, see our tips for what to pack for Los Angeles year-round.
What to Pack for Los Angeles
The City of Angels may be filled with more hipsters, vegans, and celebrities than actual angels, but it’s one of the most iconic cities in the world. Prepare for your trip with these tips on what to pack for Los Angeles.
Going to Disneyland or another amusement park? Here’s what to pack.
Los Angeles Clothing Style
Los Angeles is a bustling city with diverse fashion styles depending on your neighborhood, so keep this in mind when deciding what to pack and include in your travel capsule wardrobe for Los Angeles. Chic streetwear can be seen on the east side (Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park) or downtown, while the casual surfer style is present on the West Side.
But no matter what your personal style, all is welcome in the land of palm trees and sunshine.
Los Angeles is a big city so we’ve got the scoop on the what to wear in LA by neighborhood so you can fit right in everywhere you go!
What to Pack for Los Angeles in Spring
Los Angeles in the spring greatly varies in temperature, as well as in rainfall. Rainfall may be “heaviest” in the winter, but in the spring, you never know when a random shower will hit. This will impact your choices for what to pack for Los Angeles. Temperatures are as low as the mid 50s in March, but can get as hot as the mid 80s in late May and early June. In other words, the temperature lows are very mild.
Note: generally speaking, it’s always sunny in Los Angeles and rainy days are not the norm.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- Feminine Clothing for Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Los Angeles Packing List: Spring
All things floral or pastels are perfect for this time of year but you’ll never be out of place in an edgy black. With the varying temperature, you’re going to want more layers than heavy-duty clothing so be sure to bring a couple of tees, tanks, and of course a few dresses or rompers.
I recommend bringing one of each: shorts, skirt (maxi/short), jeans, pants, and leggings. ALWAYS have a jacket for the evening time because the temperature varies greatly from day to night.
A variety of trends are always welcome (such as ripped jeans, high-waisted shorts, and skater skirts); they’re an easy addition to your list of what to pack for Los Angeles.
Take a look at these these cute summer dresses!
A light jacket, cardigan, or sweater is the perfect outerwear during springtime. While it may rain, you’ll rarely see anyone wearing a raincoat since most people drive from Point A to Point B. For outdoor sightseeing bring an umbrella and possibly a leather jacket if it suits your style, as it works to protect you from the rain and is always on trend.
Booties, comfortable flats, and sandals are perfect additions to your list of what to pack for Los Angeles in the spring.
What to Pack for Los Angeles in Summer
Summer in LA is unbearably hot and it’s getting hotter every year. On occasion, it July and August has reached as high as 120º F, although this is a somewhat rare occurrence. On average, day time temperatures range between the high 80s and low 100s, depending on where in Los Angeles you are.
Remember to add a jacket to your Los Angeles packing list, as the temperature will drop anywhere from 10 – 20 degrees at night. Once in a blue moon there may be summer rainfall but it’s rare. This is most likely in early June when the first two weeks are grey, misty, and drizzle rain. This is called “June Gloom”.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Versatile Beach Dresses for Summer
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Beach Sandals for Hot Weather Vacations
Los Angeles Packing List: Summer
Because of the unbearable heat, breathable clothing is a must for your list of what to pack for Los Angeles. Lucky for you, Angelenos are used to clothing that requires very little fabric. Tank tops, tees, bralettes, and even sports bras (like the Calvin Klein favorites) are perfectly acceptable. Dresses and rompers are also preferable, so long as they are made from breathable fabrics.
If you want to cover up, leggings will be your best bet in this active city. Other than that, shorts and skirts should be your main go-to on this particular trip.
These stylish summer shorts for women will take you from day to night, city to sea, and so much more!
In terms of footwear, the name of the game is sandals and sneakers! You can dress up your sandal game with heels or gladiators, but you’re going to want to let your tootsies breathe. Sneakers are perfect for touring the city while looking street chic. If you’re planning to go out at night don’t forget to bring heels for clubs. You can wear pretty much anything in bars.
From brunching to beaching, sunglasses are an absolute necessity year round. Necklaces make your average outfit look incredibly trendy and hats are the go-to item for summer lounging. An LA summer can never have too many accessories.
One of the popular ways to spend sunny days is on a rooftop bar or Sunday hotel pool party. If this is one your activity list, make sure to bring the appropriate clothing when planning what to pack for Los Angeles.
Here are comfortable walking sandals that are stylish, too!
What to Pack for Los Angeles in Fall
Fall is a steady transition from summer to winter. Early September is still scorching hot and things begin to cool down slightly later in the month. Rainfall isn’t prevalent until late October when the city might get a week or so of rain before going back to sunshine.
Halloween is almost guaranteed to be rainy. Temperatures typically sit between the low 60s and high 70s this time of year, and the weather is very comfortable. This is probably the best time to visit LA!
Angelenos love to dress in fall layers even though scarves may not be necessary for the weather. If you’re used to cold weather at home, then you’ll probably walk around in shorts and a tee here.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Los Angeles Packing List: Fall
Depending on the month you visit, your tops will vary. Tanks, tees, and breezy dresses are perfect for September and early October. The end of October to early December require long sleeves, maxi dresses, and thicker fabrics. Whatever you do, stick to earth tones!
While you definitely could get away with wearing shorts during the fall (especially if you’re making a beach trip), you’ll find that dresses, jeans, and leggings will be more comfortable throughout the season.
Download our free guide on what to pack for mixed weather travel!
Again, this can vary greatly depending on when you arrive, so that will impact what to pack for Los Angeles. In general, leather jackets, denim jackets, oversized sweaters, and cardigans are perfect for this time of year.
The rule of three is applicable here in the form of booties, sandals, and sneakers. Sneakers and sandals are always a California staple piece. Booties in size and heel height can depend on the time you visit, but fashion-wise, you’re set to wear them all season long.
Find out why fashion sneakers make cute comfortable shoes for travel!
What to Pack for Los Angeles in Winter
The winter is by far the coldest season in Los Angeles. While it may not be cold compared to the rest of the country, temperatures fall to the mid 50s and go as high as the low 70s.
Generally speaking, expect about 20 days of rain during this season; it usually comes in short spurts ranging from 3-7 days in a row before the sun peeks out again. While there have been many winters without any rainfall, most recently has been the wettest year in history.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Los Angeles Packing List: Winter
You’ll find Angelenos wearing their tanks and tops as usual, but topped with layers. Jackets, a couple of tanks, and even accessories help warm you up. Feel free to bring the same tops and dresses you would from previous seasons, just double up to keep warm!
The odds you’ll wear shorts or skirts this time of year are slim. Be prepared with pants, jeans, and leggings for any occasion. Maxi skirts and dresses are also appropriate (and match the LA boho style).
These are the best leggings for women that travel as voted for by our readers!
This is where your wardrobe will shine. A rainproof jacket (like a puffer jacket or leather jacket), a comfy cardigan and an oversized sweater are the perfect options for a winter trip to Los Angeles.
This may be the one time you don’t want to bring sandals to SoCal. For the sake of staying warm and comfortable a pair of sneakers and boots are the perfect shoes to pack. Ankle booties are stylish almost any time of year.
While it may not be snowing or even freezing in LA, we love our winter accessories. Beanies and scarves are the perfect addition to your outfit while still managing to dress like a local.
When planning what to pack for Los Angeles in winter, there are one-two weeks when it gets incredibly cold in the winter down to 35 F. Locals will get bundled up as they’re not used to the temperature. In fact, our post on how to stay warm in cold weather without looking like a snowman was inspired by winter in LA!
Los Angeles Packing Don’ts
Along with knowing what to pack for Los Angeles, you should also know what to leave behind. No matter what time of year you’re traveling in LA, it’s important to always bring a cool, breezy option. It’s not unusual for a spike in temperature in the middle of winter.
And the summer and fall seasons are known to have some incredibly hot weeks. When you’re planning what to pack for Los Angeles, make sure you’re prepared with one short dress, pair of shorts, or breezy skirt.
Find out how to turn any one of your dresses into versatile dresses!
Los Angeles Shopping
There are a plethora of shopping options in Los Angeles. The classics are Melrose, Third Street Promenade, Rodeo Drive, Silverlake, the Rose Bowl Flea Market and Ventura Blvd. But in LA, you’ll find a brick-and-mortar boutique just about everywhere you go!
Los Angeles Accommodations
Accommodation in LA can be rather pricey, especially if you’re staying along the beach. Palihotel Melrose is a centrally located hotel with a funky vibe, and Mama Shelter is one of Hollywood’s trendiest hotels. If you want to splurge in an iconic experience, try the famously pink and green Beverly Hills Hotel!
Airbnb is a great option for accommodation in Los Angeles and other parts of California. I prefer to to book “the entire home” instead of opting for shared accommodation on Airbnb.
Aside from safety, I also like to feel like I’m living in the destination. It’s a small taste of local life plus you get more amenities than you would at a hotel such as a kitchen and washing machine. Sign up here for a free $40 credit!
Read these Airbnb tips for more info!
For hostels, Travel Fashion Girl recommend Hostelworld and Hostelbookers. Always read the reviews before booking to get the best idea if the hostel is right for you. Some are quiet and family friendly while others are known for their party atmosphere.
Are hostels safe? Here are our tips for women staying in hostels!
Los Angeles Transportation
Public transportation isn’t great in LA (in fact it’s one of the worst), but it’s slowly getting better. You can take the Metro or bus, but you’ll find most locals driving their own cars or taking a Lyft or Uber. To get in and out of the city, try a train or bus at Union Station.
I love renting a car with Alamo because they have a super easy self check-in and free shuttle at the airport. I’ve used them to book rentals in LA on three different occasions now for a total of six weeks. I can’t recommend them enough. Book here!
Los Angeles Must-See Sites
When traveling to LA, make sure to check out some of these legendary sites:
- Griffith Observatory
- Santa Monica Pier
- Getty Museum
- Third Street Promenade
- West Hollywood Bar Scene
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- Malibu Beach
- Universal City Walk
These are a few popular Los Angeles guidebooks:
Los Angeles Safety Tips
Be cautious about where you stash your cash so you don’t fall prey to muggings and pickpocketing. Make your clothing theft-proof and choose items with strong zippers.
Jeans are handy for this reason: you can put important items, like your wallet and phone, in your front pockets, where it’s very difficult for a wandering hand to snatch it. Add items like the Secret Stash Bra Pocket and Underwear with Pockets to your Los Angeles packing list.
And be mindful of purse snatchers! They either slash the bottom of your bag so the content fall out or slash the strap. Wear your purse strap across your body and the zipper towards the front. For extra security, check out the “theft-proof” bags featured in this post about crossbody purses.
These are articles with other suggested anti-theft products:
- Money Belts and Anti-theft Accessories
- Best Anti-theft Bags for Women
- 6 Tools to Protect You From Pickpockets
Remember, the safest place for your passport is locked in your accommodation. Carry a photocopy or other ID when you’re sightseeing or are out at night.
Read these tips on how to keep your passport safe when you travel!
Read these articles for destinations close to LA:
- What to Wear in San Diego
- What to Wear in Las Vegas
- What to Wear in California National Parks
- What to Wear in San Francisco
What are your tips on what to pack for Los Angeles? Please comment below!
For more USA packing lists, please read:
- What to Wear in Los Angeles: Neighborhood Travel Guide
- What to Wear in California: Outfits for SoCal Style
- What to Pack for USA in Summer: California, Oregon, Nevada
- How to Pack for a USA Southwest Road Trip with a Complicated Itinerary
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Author Bio: Sebrin is a newlywed, flower child, and travel-obsessed blogger. When she isn’t traipsing the globe with her husband, you can find her curled up with a book, snuggling with her kitty babies, or binge-watching Netflix. Follow along her travels on Instagram @theclumsytraveler or her blog!