Shopping in Los Angeles can be a pretty overwhelming experience if you dont know what youre doing. From Melrose to Rodeo, beach-side boutiques and the best in vintage buys, were here to make sure you find exactly what youre looking for whether youre a hipster or a hippie. Stick closely to our Los Angeles shopping guide, and well make sure you avoid those Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman shopping catastrophes. So lets break it down; here are 15 top spots to shop in L.A. by location:
The infamous Melrose Avenue, known for its cheap and trendy boutiques and vintage shops is widely known for workers being paid under the table, meaning you can haggle for goods like youre at an Indian trading post.
A Melrose icon for 17 years, Wasteland originated in Berkeley 23 years ago, and there is now a location on the infamous Haight Street in San Francisco. A favorite of Hollywood stylists and fashionistas like Rachel Bilson, celebs like Lindsay, Britney and even Bruce Willis, the store carries ’60s and ’70s vintage, but is known for current designer labels. With only 15 percent new merch, the Melrose flagship store is packed with fresh vintage finds weekly. Theyre seeing a lot of ’40s and ’50s workwear and Americana this season for the men, and are loving the skinny dark denim with lace and a touch of the boyfriend/workwear vibe as well for the ladies. If you suddenly become overwhelmed by a bout of charity, and feel the need to purge a percentage of your fabulous closet, well then Wastelands buyers are on hand daily. 7428 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
It should be noted, west of Crescent Heights, Melrose takes a turn for the higher-end. Once you see Fred Segal you know youve just entered the land of the high profile boutique, and it is there that you will find the one and only Revolve flagship store. Revolves architectural design reflects a true appreciation for fashion. When you walk into Revolve you arent shopping, you are exploring an array of the latest in couture design and you are experiencing the newest wave of up-an-coming and hard-to-find designers. The layout design demands respect for each wearable work of art on display. It is here that you snatch rare finds by Shakuhachi, Brian Lichtenberg, Kai-Aakmann, Naked & Famous and B.Scott. Famous fashionistas that love Revolve include: Rachel Bilson, Kristen Bell, Jessica Alba and Linsday Lohan. Revolves top picks for Fall include: military, a ton of shearling, fur, animal print and clogs. 8452 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069
Malibu is the ultimate beach community. Home to supermodels and superstars, the 27 miles of scenic beauty is now also home to high-end boutiques like James Perse, Alice + Olivia, John Varvatos and many more. Rule No. 1 for hanging in the Bu, no matter if youre sunning in the sand or sipping cocktails at The Sunset, you best be sporting the right gear.
III. Theodore Beach
While there are several Theodore boutiques throughout SoCal, youre going to want to check out Theodore Beach, the quintessential Malibu lifestyle store. A long-standing staple of the small beach community, Theodore Beach offers an array of choices to complete that perfect Malibu ensemble. Not sure exactly what I mean by that? Allow me to explain. The ultimate Malibu look is perfectly assembled, ridiculously comfortable, and comprised of layer upon layer of the softest washes, latest prints and trendiest cuts accented with an artistic array of precisely-placed accessories. However, complete with beach-tossed tresses and dewy sun-kissed skin, the only way to pull of a Malibu ensemble correctly is to make it look like it was an accident. Mastering the Malibu ensemble does take some effort and is a skill that must be honed. Luckily for you, the Theodore girls are welcoming, super sweet and very talented. Check in with my girl Jessica and shell hook you up and have you feeling like a local in no time. This fall she suggests an array of army influences, vests, and cargos paired with cozy knits and one of Theodores amazing scarves and of course pieces from the Theodore private label. 23733 Malibu Road, Malibu, CA 90265
IV. Hidden Treasures
Treasure trove of all treasure troves! This is hands-down one of my favorite weekend excursions. The drive alone is half the fun. Cruise up the PCH to Topanga Blvd, at which point I recommend that all of the windows be rolled down, and all you can hear is The Weight by The Band as you cruise up the curvy mountain pass. Topanga Canyon is speckled with colorful tree houses secret hideaways that have sheltered the biggest names in music and film. With its rich artistic history and eccentric bohemian lifestyle, there could be no better spot for the ultimate in one-of-a-kind shoppingHidden Treasures. Specializing in vintage pieces from the Victorian era through the 1970s, their prices are truly a steal and keep visitors from far and wide including Kate Moss who constantly raves about the unique boutique coming back for more. In addition to famous British supermodels, Hidden Treasures also draws in celebrity stylists and photographers. In fact, if you happen to be perusing the September 2010 issue of Playboy, the centerfold was shot right there in the store. Fall trends featured here include a kickback to ‘90s grunge, tiny floral prints paired with ankle boots and leather accessories and of course authentic ’70s boho ensembles. 154 S. Topanga Blvd, Topanga, CA 90290
Beverly Hills is synonymous with shopping. There are more designers packed into the tiny 90210 than anyone could possibly ask for. So for the sake of not being predictable, heres my fave 90210 pick.
V. LF on Robertson
Robertson is the hipster’s Rodeo. If youve ever picked up a trash mag, youve seen pics of Robertson because the paparazzi basically take up residence on the sidewalk. The street houses enough boutiques and high-end designers to keep you busy between brunch mimosas and happy hour cocktails. When youre trying to decide where to spend your time and hard earned cash, definitely pop into LF. A favorite of the Kardashians, Miley Cyrus, Jessica Stroup and Chanel Iman, LF is known for their exclusive shoe collaboration with Jefferey Campbell. Additionally, they carry local L.A. lines like Car Mar and Furst of a Kind, which is a re-worked vintage line guaranteed to be unique. For fall, LF is inspired by the Earth Spirit, a more natural boho look accentuated with hoods and over-sized sweaters. 106 S. Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, 90048
Avoid Hollywood & Highland, unless youre down to snap picks with Sponge Bob and Superman. Instead, check out these more enjoyable of shopping experiences.
VI. Michael Kors at The Grove
The Grove who doesnt love The Grove? Adorable touches of Americana like the double decker trolley and 76-year-old Farmers Market make The Grove an outdoor shopping experience like none other in L.A. Pick up a latte and a date and peruse the store fronts, but make sure to pop into Michael Kors. Hopefully your date is in the mood to spend, because it’s going to be hard to pass up their incredible fall trends. Its all about camo this season and MK is on the front lines. The Hamilton bag in Glamo Camo is to die for so classic, so chic. So pop on your new camo peep-toe pumps and walk on over to The Grove concierge for complimentary valet, because they know how to make sure you come back for more. 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036
VII. Space 15 Twenty
A secret hipster hideaway tucked just under Sunset on Cahuenga, Space 15 Twenty is an experimental shopping adventure. The space is always new and different since a selection of unique pop-up shops and artist installations filter through monthly. Aside from the staple Urban Outfitters, youll also find What Goes Around Comes Around, for the rarest of vintage finds. There’s also Hennessey & Ingalls which is the largest bookstore in the Western U.S. and boasts books on architecture, landscaping, design and photography. The Free People boutique offers loungey boho knits, and at the moment, Shoes + Shoes + Shoes + Bags, is the space to pick up unique shoes, and bags but mostly shoes. Space 15 Twenty is always holding amazing events in their outdoor courtyard, from concerts to movie screenings a sceney scene of the best kind. 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
VIII. LIVE! On Sunset
Right in the middle of the Sunset Strip, LIVE! has taken over the old Tower Records building to create an interactive and one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Paying homage to its musical roots, the 8,000 sq foot space boasts a stage for live performances, which works out great for their in-store events and killer parties. LIVE! is known for carrying the seasons latest mens and womens clothes, shoes and an incredible selection of jewelry. This fall they are all about the leopard and lace together or separate but they definitely suggest adding a bit of lace to your military looks for a feminine touch. Paris, Fergie, Ryan Phillippe, Aly & AJ stop here to pick up styles from up-and-coming labels like Aris Geldis (jewelry), Malene Birger, IRO, Shakuhachi, Surface to Air and Zimmermann. 8801 West Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
IX. American Rag on La Brea
Just as the name implies, American Rag is the spot for some fun vintage finds, and the perfect place to compile that collective ensemble of this-and-that hipster couture. The buyers at the Rag are only interested in what they like, whats hip and cool, but nothing too in your face. Although they are known for their wide selection of vintage pieces they also have tons of new luxury affordables from the likes of Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang. Their jewelry section is fantastic, and of course theres the denim bar, where jean loving aficionados will make sure you find the perfect fit in the perfect wash. A fave of Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Gosling, American Rag is the shop for the trendiest of leading Hollywood men. 150 S. La Brea, Los Angeles, 90036
X. Planet Blue
Housed in one of the oldest buildings in what is technically Santa Monica, the space used to be used as a market warehouse and is now home to the trendy beach side boutique. The “Venice store” opened five years ago, and boasts the title of Most ambitious undertaking by Lucky magazine. They have an eclectic variety of high priced labels such as Dyptique, Peter Thomas Roth, Becca cosmetics, and Mario Badescu. The gorgeous girls who work in-store, also happen to model the latest looks on the website, and although Planet Blue is definitely a splurge, these girls have a knack for style and will create a personalized look that you will find irresistible just ask Kate Hudson, Lisa Ling, Brandon Boyd and Owen Wilson. Best in-store finds include great mens tees and button-ups that will work for the guys and the girls, not to mention their incredible selection of Elizabeth and James. The girls assure its all about the leather leggings and lace this season. 2940 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
SoCals history is rich in skate culture, and Fairfax Village has become the skater enclave. Not only do these skate boutiques offer the latest in street apparel, but they throw some super sick parties. Ive seen some pretty serious beer pong tourneys go down at the Diamond store. 451 N. Fairfax.
RVCA is all about the artist collaborations. For some super sexy womens pieces check out the Erin Wasson collaboration. It got a little crazy with their Cobra Snake x RVCA for men, but the bottoms in their pro signature series are definitely worth a look. Who would know better how to design a functional pant than a skateboarder? 501 N. Fairfax.
This store will step up your steez with their out-of-this-world selection of outerwear. Supreme 439 N. Fairfax.
XIV. The Hundreds
The Hundreds’ perspective on street subculture is written all over their statement tees. Also, it’s best to check out their playful accessories including rad eyewear. The Hundreds 7909 Rosewood Ave at Fairfax.
XV. Factory 413
The crazy concept store by Supra, Factory 413 offers a legit selection of footwear that will blow your mind, and intimidate your pants. 413 N. Fairfax.