Fall Fashion in Santa Cruz

Clothing: Shoes, Maguba Clogs, Navy, $148, Stripe / Jeans, Mother, Rascal, Dark Wash, $205, Pacific Trading Company / Top, Elk, Chambray, $94, Stripe / Jacket, Eileen Fisher, $498, Pacific Trading Company / Scarf, Mara Snipes, $110, Stripe / Bag, Corral Made Tote, $298, Stripe / Hat, Olive & Pique, Panama, $40, Stripe / Earrings, Sharelli, $133, Artisans Gallery / Ring, Tiger Lilly, $50, Artisans Gallery. This story first appeared in Santa Cruz Waves magazine.

As fall fashion breezes into town, cut-offs and spaghetti strap tanks take a back seat to warmer looks. This season calls for smart layering, ocean-inspired hues, chunky outerwear, and individualized accent pieces. Seen here, Pleasure Point resident Stephanie models the latest looks that speak to how Santa Cruz women can embody the fall trends and make them their own. 

Her mission: To take Santa Cruz (and the ever-changing weather and tides) by literal fashion storm. First up—jeans, of course, because every local woman wears them. But how do you mix it up and have a fashion forward point of view? Go for a dark wash like these Mother jeans from Pacific Trading Company. This straight leg version complements all body types. But don’t drag them around. Lift the hems by adding a cuff. A small rolled hem is playful and charming. 

Next on the list: build your wardrobe from the jeans up. Pulling off the monochromatic look can be tricky, but Stephanie nails it by using blue as a grounding color. Add a chambray boxy top from Stripe (in a contrasting denim shade) to make the outfit sing. Then, she digs in her heels with a pair of striking navy Maguba clogs (a must-have shoe for the season), because any local style setter knows she needs to kick off her shoes in a flash if the ocean beckons.

Next up: insert texture and patterns. This indigo linen scarf is eye-catching and cozy at the same time and can be wrapped in myriad creative ways around the shoulders and neck. Add a cocoon shaped coat in a classic fall shade of brown to honor the season and stay warm at the same time.

The finishing touches: a hat is required for the season. Make it playful and polished by choosing one with a floppy brim and a sleek ribbon. The camel color seen here ties the whole look together.

Then, add your jewelry. The minimalism look has been going strong for a few seasons and is continuing to ride the wave of popularity. Make it your own by finding original pieces at Artisans Gallery like these matte gold hoops and over-sized ring.

Finish your fall look with a bag that’s practical, memorable and worth the investment. This striking leather creation by Corral Made, a local line, offers inside and outside pockets as well as comfortable straps and a buckle that will keep your goods tucked safely inside. It’s roomy enough to house your scarf when the sun comes out to play (like it always does in Santa Cruz), and can also comfortably fit a water bottle, novel and more essentials for a spontaneous jaunt to the beach. 

About the shoot: Santa Cruz Waves magazine teamed up with The Penny Rose to create this editorial fashion spread. Photographer Nick Chao captured these images during a photo shoot at Pleasure Point, while Christa Martin styled and produced the project.

Crew: Photographer, Nick Chao / Stylist, Creative Director, Christa Martin for The Penny Rose / Model, Stephanie Armstrong / Makeup, Jillian Wilkey for Salon on the Square / Hair, Tara Murphy for Salon on the Square