By Katherine Lewin
One thing that Los Angeles has no shortage of is shopping destinations. Rodeo Drive, Century City, and The Grove are among the many tourist-friendly shopping meccas in L.A. But for the seasoned local, there's much more to shopping in our city than mega-malls and designer duds. There's the thrill of the hunt, the joy of a bargain, the one-of-a-kind pieces you can only find in thrift and vintage stores.
As a cheap thrills kind of girl myself, vintage and thrift shopping has become a major hobby of mine. If there was ever a city to indulge in the addiction, L.A. is it. While the Goodwill stores in this town are amazingly stocked, I've stumbled upon many lesser-known treasure troves perfect for an ample dose of retail therapy. I've scoured the city high and low for all the most fabulous stockists of vintage and thrift gems, and here are six of my most beloved shops.
Out of the Closet
(many locations across Los Angeles)
8224 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA
Hours: Mon to Sun 10am-7pm
Website & Reviews
Out of the Closet ranks among the city's best true thrift stores, and is a fantastic alternative to Goodwill, offering newly donated items every day. Whether you're looking for a fabulously outlandish fur coat or a vintage record, this store is a great place for bargain treasure hunting.
Insider Tip: All proceeds from Out of the Closet benefit the AIDS healthcare foundation, so prepare to indulge in some 100% guilt-free shopping. Want to purge some of your own belongings? You can drop off at any Out of the Closet location in California.
Melrose Trading Post
7850 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-7679 ext.103
Hours: Sun 9am-5pm, rain or shine
Price: $2 Admission
Coffee, the newspaper, a cozy couch-- these are all rituals of a perfect Sunday morning. But next Sunday, consider adding another to-do to your list and heading over to the amazing Melrose Trading Post flea market.
Perfect for a fun day of bargain-hunting, the Melrose Trading Post is sure to mpress with its nearly 200 vendors who stock everything from gorgeous vintage jewelry to antique dining room tables. The Melrose Trading Post is a fantastic choice for one-stop thrift and vintage shopping.
Insider Tip: Parking can be tricky, so make sure to get to the Trading Post early to ensure you get a good spot in the nearby residential parking. Also, makes sure to come carrying cash, as many vendors do not accept credit cards.
825 North La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Hours: Mon to Sat 11am-7:30pm, Sun 9am-7pm
Jet Rag has quite a remarkable selection of vintage duds at very affordable prices. The shop has two stories, but even with the extra room, the space is overflowing with women and men's clothing, shoes, accessories, and outerwear. There's even an extra room in store just for the huge stock of vintage dresses - talk about retail heaven!
Insider Tip: Looking for the ultimate steal? Check out Jet Rag's $1 Sunday sale, where you can take home anything your heart desires for just a buck.
1800 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Hours: Mon 12pm-7pm; Tues to Wed 11am-8pm; Thurs 11am-9pm; Fri to Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 12pm-9pm
Website & Reviews
This shop has a smaller-sized collection of vintage clothing, which is great for the kind of day where you just don't have the time to spend hours picking through racks of merchandise.
Though the selection isn't huge, what the store does stock is fantastic — tons of dresses and tops for the ladies, with guys' clothing upstairs. As an added plus, Squaresville plays some rocking classic tunes to get you in the mood to find the ultimate vintage steal.
Insider Tip: Squaresville also buys vintage clothing, so if you have some great pieces you know you're never going to wear, consider selling them here. Their buying hours are Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-5pm.
1721 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12pm-6pm
Shareen Vintage is my all-time favorite vintage store in Los Angeles. While it may not be as cheap as the other stores I've mentioned (for example, a casual dress or top runs anywhere from around $20 to $50), I believe it is well worth the extra money.
Owned by the fabulously eccentric vintage-veteran Shareen Mitchell, this store is housed in a warehouse that from the outside, frankly, looks a bit sketchy. But once inside, prepare to feast your eyes on the most beautiful collection of vintage treasures I've ever seen. Whether you're looking for casual chic clothes for a lazy weekend, or the perfect cocktail frock for that upcoming party, you will have no problem finding it here. Not only is the store extremely organized (something that's very hard to come by in vintage and thrift shopping), but the staff is super-helpful, giving you their honest opinion while also pulling clothing for you that's tailored to your needs and body.
Insider Tip: There are no dressing rooms, so be sure to wear your cutest panties. The store has a strict no-boys-allowed policy, so make your shopping expedition a girls-only trip. Finally, if you want the best of the best of Shareen's selection, be sure to come on Saturdays, when she reveals all her newest finds from the week.
Katherine Lewin is a fashion blogger and college student living in Los Angeles. Her blog can be found at Get Dressed.
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