I Moved From Manchester to L.A., and My Fashion Uniform Has Really Changed

It's tricky enough packing the perfect holiday suitcase when you're allowed to visit somewhere with a totally different climate from what you're used to (especially after a year or more spent restricted to your immediate neighbourhood), but boxing up your entire life and relocating over 5000 miles away? Now that's an epic wardrobe task. 

Recently, YouTuber and Instagrammer Naomi Genes did just that, switching Manchester for Los Angeles, and we wanted to know more. For June, our unyielding desire for travel has led us to vicariously live through our most stylish friends across the globe: We've mentally explored the world from our sofas, jetting from Lagos to Corsica thanks to the input of our external contributor network. But now, it's time for someone who knows Brit style inside and out to tell us about the real fashion-related differences between the UK and the starriest place on earth. With almost 850k followers on her IG handle, Naomi has been charting her big move and subsequent looks to many, providing some summer outfit inspiration, even if your local weather report isn't quite as optimistic as West Hollywood's. Keep scrolling to see Naomi's style and to read about the fashion changes she's made since her big move.

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

What would you describe as the look in Manchester?

So I definitely think it's more of a laid-back vibe day-to-day. Lots of matching loungewear, oversized blazers with matching gym co-ords underneath. You definitely dress for comfort and warmth there (it is freezing), and then the evening is super, super glam. That's what I soon realised when I went for my first dinner in Manchester and was just wearing jeans and trainers (oops!).

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

And what would you describe as the look in L.A.?

I am loving everyone's style in L.A.! I think the look here at the minute is cargo-style trousers, cropped, plain tank tops, chunky white Nike Air Force 1s and small-framed '90s sunglasses. Evening is a little different; I am seeing a lot of co-ords. I've bought a few gorgeous faux-leather ones from Aritizia, and I feel like I fit right in.

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

How has your style changed since moving?

I think I'm in more of an experimental mode at the moment. I'm trying colour, new textures and shapes—things I've literally never worn before—and I'm really enjoying it and just playing around with fashion.

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

Is there anything from your UK wardrobe that just doesn't seem to translate well?

My coats! It's definitely too warm for them right now, but I will be taking a trip to a colder climate in November/December to get my autumn/winter fashion hit because my audience knows I live for autumn/winter fashion. It's my favourite season.

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

Have you learnt any good style lessons since moving to L.A.?

Accessorising is everything. The girls here can be wearing a yoga gym set, but they have on small gold hoops and some small-framed sunglasses, and they just look so effortlessly chic. Really taught me that accessorising is a game changer!

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

Did you pack everything up or select a certain portion of your wardrobe?

So I gave away pretty much 80% of my wardrobe. I only kept my timeless, high-quality pieces that were going to last in my wardrobe, like my Levi's jeans, leather jackets and winter coats. I wanted a fresh start and an excuse to go shopping!

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

What do you think are the main differences between British and American style?

I think the fit of clothing. I feel like there are lots of body-con and figure-hugging pieces being worn in L.A. that I've noticed, and then in the UK, it's all about the oversized fit. I love both!

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

What is your go-to outfit right now?

Leather blazer, cargo straight-leg trousers, a ribbed crop top, Air Force 1s and big, chunky Jennifer Fisher hoops!

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

In terms of makeup and skincare, have your routines/favourite products changed since moving?

I apply even more SPF. The sun is so strong here, so making sure my skin is protected is a priority. Also no foundation, just concealer. It just looks so much more fresh-faced and effortless. I apply lots of rose blush across my cheeks and nose from Refy. (The TikTok sunburnt look is my vibe!)

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(Image credit: @naomigenes)

Shop Naomi's look:

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.