Kacie North does most of her shopping in Los Angeles boutiques. The Arizona State University business communications major thinks spending money at the mall is fine from time to time, but her real eureka fashion moments come when she's browsing unique pieces in local shops.
The 23-year-old, who was born and raised in Arizona, has done public relations and marketing work for some of the boutiques she loves. Through many fashion-related internships in both Phoenix and Los Angeles, she's also dabbled in the role of creative director, stylist, as well as part of the re-branding team for lines like Soul Carrier.
North's personal style is heavily influenced by an easy, light Los Angeles aesthetic. "When I go to L.A.," she says, "I feel like I can dress things up a little more. Here, it seems like there are only some parts of Phoenix that 'get it.'"
A lot of Phoenix boutiques, she says, just carry what's on trend in the city and don't really carry more challenging pieces or products. Instead, she turns to shopping destinations like Melrose to find some funky pieces.
"I love boutiques. It's this idea of buying something on Etsy versus picking something out at Forever 21. You can get unique pieces that you know not everyone has, which is what's intriguing. I'll walk into one and know I've found what something amazing I've been looking for, whereas going to the mall is more about cost and ease."
"A lot of the blogs I love have bloggers who sport more of a basic style with an edge to it. That's how I'd describe the look I aim for. Depending on where I'm at, the edgier it gets," says North.
Whether she's in L.A. or Phoenix, North uses basics to achieve her desired look. "You can build your wardrobe entirely out of basics without worrying that things will go out of style. That's where I've been investing my money lately."
"Fashion," she says, "lets you show a part of yourself no one would know about. A first impression is everything, because people can get to know a lot about you. The magic of clothing is that you can show who you are without having to say a word."
What are you wearing? I'm wearing a basic white top, a denim button-up tied around my waist, a Zara skort, some shiny black boots from Last Chance, and some layering gold necklaces.
Where do you usually shop? In Phoenix, I shop at Zara, H&M, Nordstrom, and Last Chance. When I'm in Los Angeles, I shop in a lot of boutiques on Melrose.
What's the last item of clothing you bought? I just bought a pair of boots from Zara.
Name five items every woman should have in her closet. 1) A good pair of jeans 2) Black flats 3) Some great simple, black pumps 4) Basic white tees 5) An awesome peacoat or leather jacket to throw on top of everything
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What's a trend you can't stand? I'm not into a lot of sequins. A cool sequin blazer is awesome, but people take it way over the top. I just went to Vegas, and the sequins I saw scarred me for life. There were a lot of body-con sequin dresses paired with sparkly Steve Madden pumps. There's so much more potential there.
Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. I used to play dress up with my twin cousins all the time, and we had these tutus that I was obsessed with. Mine was pink and purple, and that was the first time I fell in love with clothes. I also had these plastic, fuzzy heels, like Carrie Bradshaw's--but for kids.
What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? I think people should start investing in more basics. I think everyone goes for prints, which is great to mix in, but they go out of style. People should spend more money on quality over quantity.