Build Your West Coast Wardrobe with Marketer Ally Romano

Ally Romano likes to keep moving. Her typical weekday includes a walk to Venice beach, a ClassPass, a full workday in Hollywood, networking drinks, and dinner with friends. 

Learn how she chooses pieces that don't just go from day to night, but from LA's west side to the east side—and that isn't so easy. 

What fills your days?

I do marketing and public relations for Shondaland, Shonda Rhimes’ production company. For my role I do both marketing and PR for the Shondaland shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, along with the marketing for the company as a whole.

I enjoy food a lot. I like to try new restaurants [check out Ally’s gluten-free food articles]. I also really enjoy whiskey beverages and wine. Oh, and then I love TV but also enjoy working out and taking long walks to the beach. I do a morning walk to the beach while drinking coffee and listening to podcasts. And I just started a garden—don’t leave that out—that is very important.

Venice, CA's newest botanist.

Venice, CA's newest botanist.

How would you describe your personal style?

I wear a lot of black; that is my staple and what I am the most comfortable in. I love sneakers, jeans—I prefer loose fitting clothing. Anything comfortable with a little edge to it is what I’m drawn to. Some pieces I have that embody that are my leather jackets, and I also love my black baggy denim jacket from Urban Outfitters.  

How has your style evolved, especially from college to 5+ years out? 

I was very easily influenced and cared more about what other people thought looked good in my teens. In college I couldn’t even tell you what I wore. It was either a costume for a party or workout clothes during the day.

When I entered the work world, [Ally started hustling the mailroom of ICM Partners talent and literary agency after graduating from University of Southern California], I bought a lot of business staples. But I didn't feel like I infused my personal style into my work clothes then.

Now I have the flexibility to wear what I want so I have been able to tailor my wardrobe to what are pieces I can wear all the time, not what is separate for work and what is separate for my social life. I have also gotten more comfortable in wearing what I like, not what everyone else likes and worrying about that. 

You do a lot during the week. How do you make sure your outfits can take you from work to out, and across LA?

Shondaland has a very casual dress environment so I can wear jeans and no makeup to a dress and heels if a I wanted to, so I can be versatile. I go with my staples of all black. I wear pretty much jeans every day and a flat shoe—sneakers, booties, loafers, mules—and I can wear a hoodie at work and put a more fitted jacket on at night.

I am typically going to a dinner with a friend after work or I have the rare date, supermarket run, networking drinks [this is a very entertainment industry thing I learned], a concert, work event, or a family dinner. My clothes need to meet all those needs and events.

What is your go-to look?

My black leather IRO jacket is my go-to piece. I wear it everywhere I go—to work, dinners, drinks, concerts, dates. It is piece I got as a gift and I love it because I feel comfortable in it. I usually pair it with black tank because you can never go wrong with black tank. This one is Joie and these are black high-rise Madewell jeans. I love them because they are high-waisted, stretchy, and I love the fringe at the bottom. To pull it together I wear my my high-top white Vans. I think they reflect my Venice lifestyle—comfortable and casual—you can wear them everywhere too.

Ally likes white tennis shoes.

Ally likes white tennis shoes.

What's a piece in your closet that is a bit more of a statement piece?

I love this Elizabeth and James coat. I do Rent the Runway’s monthly subscription where you can have 4 items at a time. I've had this coat for 4 months. It is long and oversized and seems very impractical for LA, but I have gotten so many compliments. I have worn it to work, out after work, and when I visit New York once every couple of months.

It is such a good fun piece. It’s comfortable; I feel good in it; I haven’t seen anyone wear it and it just feels different. I might as well just buy it. 

Ally hangs in her backyard with her rented coat. (It usually isn't worn in 80 degree weather.)

Ally hangs in her backyard with her rented coat. (It usually isn't worn in 80 degree weather.)

LA ladies wear coats too.

LA ladies wear coats too.

What has stayed in your closet? What have you happily parted ways with? 

I don’t get rid of jeans unless they rip or don’t fit me. I have Gap basic denim skinny jeans from 4 years ago I still wear all the time. I’ll also never get rid of a leather jacket.

However, I have gotten rid of a lot of cheap stuff I purchased—Forever 21 tops that aren’t flattering, that don’t really fit correctly, but I thought were cute and fun at a time. I have also gotten rid of formal work clothing because I don’t see myself in that business attire environment anymore.

If there are items in my closet I haven't worn in awhile I will test them out one day. I will wear them to work and I will see if I feel good in the pieces. If not, I'll sell on Tradesy or I will donate. 

I've sold 5 items including an Alexander Wang shirt and J Brand jeans. [Check out Ally's Tradesy closet!] 

What other brands do you love? 

I’m an online shopper. I get very overwhelmed by going into stores and hate trying clothes on there. I’ll shop online at Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Shopbop, and Revolve.

I love FRAME jeans. They fit so well and are really good quality. I also love Mother Denim. The fabric has the perfect amount of stretch without feeling like they will lose elasticity. I have a butt and I am curvy so I appreciate jeans that can fit my waist and my butt. These do.

What's your favorite fashion advice? 

It is fine to try a trend. You can find a trend and make it your own. I love a baggy shirt and can try a more trendy color in this style. But if a trend doesn’t look good for your body type, it’s okay to pass on it. I want to feel good about myself in what I wear.

Also, if you like a piece who cares if it’s on trend. When you wear clothes that look good on you, you are going to feel good; you are going to feel confident. That’s what matters.