What should I pack for a trip to Los Angeles?

Answers from Our Experts (6)

Tinseltown may make this city seem sunny everyday, but don't expect Los Angeles to be all clear skies and perfect weather. The city's many microclimates mean the temperature could vastly change depending on where you are, so it is best to be prepared. Of course, you'll need your swimsuit and suntan lotion for a jaunt along the Santa Monica shoreline, but pack layering pieces as well; the Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu beach towns can get chilly come evening. Your best bet is to expect heat, so pack warm-weather duds, but be prepared for the occasional chilly day — you never know when a random rainy day will come along. If you've planned a winter trip West, you'll definitely want to bring a jacket and some long-sleeve pieces; L.A. may not get snow, but the temperature does dip down into the 40s during the chillier months. And no matter what time of year you're headed to L.A., you'll want to read up on the latest-celebrity gossip and bring a camera; you never know what B-list (or C-list) celeb will be standing next to you at Urth Caffé.

Los Angeles lives up to its reputation of sun, sand and surf, even in the winter. Dress light in the summer and layer in the winter to be comfortable in this mild climate. (Summer temperatures can go very high). Bring casual clothes with a dressy edge for taking in the sights and spending time visiting friends. Sundresses are great for women, while shorts and a button-down short-sleeved shirt are appropriate for men. Although this town is notoriously relaxed, people tend to dress up versus down. Bring along chic clothing for restaurants and nightclubs, as you?ll want to dress to impress.

Take a jacket and a few sweaters to layer when visiting during January, February and March. Pack clothes made of lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen and rayon for spring, summer and fall visits. And always bring sunglasses, sunscreen and a swimsuit in your bag for a quick dip in the hotel pool or a swim in the ocean.

James G. Little

Remember that Los Angeles is a coastal desert with varying climate and temperatures, so be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses and a warm jacket in case the evening gets chilly. The nightlife is a big part of any trip, so be prepared with appropriate upscale casual clothing for restaurants and night clubs.

For your trip to Los Angeles, pack your sunglasses, bathing suit, sunscreen, a light sweater and a positive attitude.

Dana Damato

What you choose to pack on your trip to Los Angeles relies heavily on what you have on your to-do list. While Los Angeles is always sunny, warm and dry – be aware of the temperature once the sun goes down. For the most part, you’ll see most locals of Los Angeles strolling around in work out clothes or trendy attire. The best thing about coming to Los Angeles is that anything goes. You can get away with wearing jeans and flip-flops or a dress and heels. It all depends on your own personal style.

The most important clothing items to bring are scarves and a jacket (and maybe a few long sleeve shirts and pants). Los Angeles does drop into the low 60’s/high 50’s in the evening - which tends to throw most visitors off guard. Of course, if you’re planning to hit the beach in the daytime, don’t forget a swimsuit!

Christina Xenos

Although Los Angeles averages out to be 70 degrees and sunny year-round, the reality is that the L.A. basin is made up of various micro climates. For example, in the summer you could experience 90-degree weather in Hollywood and when you jump into your car—swimsuit and sunscreen on and surfboard in the back—you'll wish that you packed a wetsuit because the marine layer that creeps in from late May to July will cool things down the closer you get to the coast. Along those lines, always think in terms of layers. You may warm up during your lunch at the Original Farmers Market, but by the time you hit Venice beach you could encounter a chilly breeze.

In addition to swimsuits and wetsuits (if you're planning on really hitting the ocean) your packing list will depend on what you plan on doing. A comfortable pair of walking shoes, flip flops or sandlas are perfect for long stretches at one of L.A.'s many museums or a hike in Griffith Park. Sunglasses are a must no matter where you are and if you pair them with a pair of your favorite jeans, leggings or yoga pants during the day, you'll fit right in.

Come nighttime, you'll want to stash your casual wear, athletic shoes and flip flops in your hotel room and clean up for dinner. You're on vacation. Don't you want to look stylish for all the photos you're going to take while you're out and about? Ladies can get away with dressy flats, but why not go the extra mile and break out that pair of Jimmy Choo's you've been dying to wear—after all it's unlikely you'll walk much farther than from the valet to your table. While L.A. isn't strict on dress codes, some clubs have a policy against athletic shoes and hats, guys should check into this. Keep in mind that jackets and scarfs also go along way when temps drop into the 50s as the evening progresses.

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