Museums and Fashion: LA’s Museologist Fashionistas

Museums and fashion: an unconscious and best-kept collaboration is back. Featuring museologist fashionistas from Los Angeles, curating great style while in attendance at the California Association of Museums conference in Santa Barbara.

The museum conference season has started and jet-setting is on the schedule. Starting in museum work, I was not initially prepared for the environment rampant of cool, edgy, eclectic attire. Nowadays, I can pull off the emerging museum professional look after observing fellow museologist fashionistas.

It took a while for me to get it right. This is me networking at the AAM annual meeting in Minneapolis. Note to self – check the weather and remember cold conference rooms.

AAM Annual Meeting Minneapolis

Deceived by San Diego May weather, I came to realize that the Twin Cities called for my lime/olive green scallop dress to be accompanied by a coat, knee high boots, and leggings. This presented problems, though, in the style department. The dress has accented shoulders and was bothersome with a coat (bulky shoulders). My rugged boots didn’t go well with my dainty dress style, and my leggings really should have been tights instead since it is a dress (notice the bulk on my waist). Of course, the conference snagged a photo of me in action, leaving evidence behind.

Eventually, I would get it right. But even just this past week, I packed for cold, coastal, Santa Barbara February weather and was sweating from walking in knee high boots and wearing a bulky sweater. By now I’ve learned weather reports aren’t always reliable, conference rooms are guaranteed to be cold, and over packing is a must.

It’s been a journey, and next I will be featuring a new series on This Isn’t College Anymore (or Entry Level). A blast from the past will show how I took years to refine my style to be appropriate and stylish for the workplace and other events.

I’ve taken lessons from musesoloigst fashionistas. Up first is Kai who works at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) , and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.


Starting with her accessories, her sunglasses’ are prescription Raybans, and her scarf from a Thailand vendor ($3). She is wearing a chiffon printed shirt and a $3 cardigan from Downtown LA Forever 21. My favorites pieces on Kai are her $10 neon yellow Gap flats (on sale), and her pants from Target Mossimo – Fit 4 (currently on sale for $17.48). I’m not a fan of Target usually, but am curious about these pants. Kai says they now make them in a Fit 3 and are even shorter than the Fit 4. These pants are incredibly tanchi friendly. They are also an alternative to the skinny jean, which is not always as professional of a look as a tapered ankle pant and also not suitable for work places.

I caught Alex just in the knick of time before her presentation; she works at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).


Alex wore great jewelry pieces on all days of the conference. On this day she had a great collar statement necklace from Zara ($30). Although the necklace isn’t available online, I was intrigued by Alex’s piece and discovered great jewelry reasonably priced at Zara! Alex’s necklace is no longer available via Zara online, but here were some of favorites currently available: a Rigid Necklace with Ethnic Appliques ($29), a Studded Black Rubber Necklace ($19), and a Silver Plated Base Necklace with Ethnic Style Appliques ($25.90).

In addition, I also came across this great neon statement piece from a previous collection at the Curated Wares Blog. Neon and fancy put together are a personal favorite of mine.

zara neon statement necklace

Image from

The rest of Alex’s curated outfit consists of a color blocked hot pink blouse from Forever 21 ($20), Black pointy ankle boots from Zara ($129), and her bottoms from Banana Republic Outlet ($30).

These museologist fashionistas pull epic style on a budget. These ladies who work day in and day out with collections and exhibitions curate their own eclectic, chic, and professional style. It is this curating method that is the way of the tanchi as well. When it comes to our style, the practice of curating is one we can look to museologist fashionistas for inspiration!


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