How Your Style Can Change When You Move to New York

“After about six years, I feel like I’ve almost nailed down my groove in NYC,” says Dylana Suarez, a supremely stylish L.A. native who made the move in 2013. I hate to begin this story by disagreeing with her, but I’ve got to say that IMO, she’s actually nailed the whole big-city girl-on-the-go look. In fact, she *almost* has me (a born-and-raised Angeleno) convinced that the East Coast is the best coast. Almost.

So just what is it about NYC style that captures our collective imagination and fills street style galleries on the daily? To find out, we caught up with Suarez talk about how moving from Los Angeles to New York changed her overall approach to getting dressed, her favorite Botkier handbags of the moment, and how Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally is still someone who inspires her daily. (Relatable.)

“All my favorite movies when I was growing up were based in NYC. When Harry Met Sally was my favorite. Sally’s style was masculine; she wore everything oversize, yet she still looked to so feminine and beautiful,” she told me. Fast-forward a few decades to one structured, shoulder-padded coat—plus a versatile but chic bag in a neutral hue—and the metamorphosis to city girl begins.

In NYC, Suarez says it’s also imperative to consider both style and wearability: “I found two bags from Botkier that are functional and also bring me back to my days of vintage shopping out on the West Coast, finding amazing leather bags everywhere I went.” She added this mock-croc bag to her growing collection because it fits all her essentials, which is crucial when she’s running from meeting to dinner party. (It also means she can leave her canvas New Yorker tote at home).

When I ask her if she’s been totally able to shake off her inner Angeleno, to put it simply, the answer is no. “I’m a California girl at heart,” she confessed. “I always need my dose of nature. I do enjoy walking from Fifth Avenue every now and then, acting like a tourist, and finding myself in Central Park, and then maybe a museum uptown. It’s nice to see the city through the eyes of a tourist and just go with the flow.”

Who said the NYC uniform has to be head-to-toe black? Suarez always incorporates color into her looks, which is why this top-handle bag caught her eye. “When I’m going to events all day, I want to be comfortable, but I also want to stand out, and this Botkier bag definitely helps me do so. Playful is the best way to describe it, and that’s what I want the essence of my blog and work to be.”

Whether you’re in NYC or not, stock up on a chic, functional crossbody à la Suarez, because you never know—you may be making a big move yourself someday.