Let the blogger-turned-designer behind Song of Style show you how DTLA does levels

Fashion blogger-turned-designer Aimee Song in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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This story is part of L.A. — We. See. You!, the second issue of Image, which explores various ways of seeing the city for what it is. See the full package here.

“When I was first starting out 10 years ago and going to fashion week, I thought you had to be as loud as possible to get noticed. I wore too many trends all at once, and I literally wore everything designer because I thought that’s how you got to be a part of the fashion industry,” says the fashion blogger-turned-designer Aimee Song. “Now my style is a mix of high and low. It’s much more understated but it’s still polished.”

Scroll through Song’s Instagram, where she has 5.6 million followers and you’ll see the levels: her fashion and style blog, Song of Style, which she started in 2008; and her ready-to-wear clothing line, Song of Style, which she launched with Revolve in 2019. She also has a bestselling book and a collaboration list that runs the gamut, from Giorgio Armani to Dior and Chloé.

In the last year, she has learned to treasure the quieter moments. She’s sipping a different coffee or coffee-adjacent drink every other day it seems: “Ever since I came back from Japan last January, I’ve been obsessed with matcha.” And obsessing over the ingenuity of L.A. Mexican food: “You know it’s a good Mexican restaurant when they have good tortillas”. Sometimes, she’ll stroll through the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.

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On a recent sunny day, we joined Song on one of these walks to talk about how she finds power in personal style, her mandatory looks and current obsessions.

What is your fashion must-have?

I like to stack my jewelry. I always wear necklaces. I feel naked without them. Even when I’m wearing sweats, I’ll wear my hoop earrings and all my gold jewelry.

Aimee Song in the Arts District
“I like to stack my jewelry. I always wear necklaces. I feel naked without them. Even when I’m wearing sweats, I’ll wear my hoop earrings and all my gold jewelry.” She’s wearing head-to-toe Song of Style pieces.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
A close-up of Aimee Song's jewelry.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

What do you wear on the road?

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My airport outfit because it’s comfortable. It’s stretchy but it’s still really cute. I love a good tonal look because you don’t have to think so much about it. Even when I’m traveling, I always have a color scheme going on so that it’s easier to mix and match.

Portrait of Aimee Song in the Arts District.
Aimee Song says she prefers mixing high and low pieces for the perfect look.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
Aimee Song in a two-toned ribbed set in the Arts District
“I love a good tonal look because you don’t have to think so much about it. Even when I’m traveling, I always have a color scheme going on so that it’s easier to mix and match.” She’s wearing a two-tone Song of Style ribbed-knit set with a pint-sized Dior bag and a Bychari necklace.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

What is your essential L.A. vibe?

My go-to L.A. look is a cute blouse with a pair of denim. I’m obsessed with these poofy sleeves.

Why does fashion matter?

Fashion is the first impression that you can make. You never know who you’re going to run into. It’s a way of expressing yourself. I know some people think fashion is frivolous, but it’s not frivolous because it feels like armor. You can be having the worst day ever, and then you put on a nice outfit and you feel more confident. I’ve suffered from depression. I’ve had many low points in my life, but I was able to put on something nice and it made me feel so much better.

Portrait of Aimee Song in the Arts District
“Fashion is the first impression that you can make. You never know who you’re going to run into.” She’s wearing an Endless Rose padded T-shirt and Agolde jeans with a Mansur Gavriel bag.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

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How much time do you spend on outfits?

I’m really quick. I know exactly what I like and what I don’t like. Because I’ve been styling myself forever, I know what works on my body shape and what doesn’t.

Aimee Song in the Arts District
“I’m really quick. I know exactly what I like and what I don’t like. Because I’ve been styling myself forever, I know what works on my body shape and what doesn’t.” She’s wearing an Isabel Marant blazer with a Chanel bag and Song of Style top, shorts and heels.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

More from issue 2 of Image