People Magazine has a popular style feature called "Get the Look," which shows readers how to recreate a celebrity's outfit on a budget, with a selection of off-the-rack clothes and accessories that are similar to the designer duds the stars wear. Here in Los Angeles, we can do the fashion editors of People one better: Instead of dressing like the stars, we can purchase the actual clothes they wear at a handful of resale and consignment shops favored by costumers and stylists. You just need to know where to go:
1116 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Owner Maureen Clavin and her staff will greet you cheerfully at this clean, well-organized Santa Monica shop. They will offer you coffee and even help you feed the meters outside. This is a good thing, because you won't want to miss any of the high-end treasures hanging from the racks. You won't find out exactly where these designer gems came from, but autographed photos displayed around the store indicate that over the years, consignment clients have included such stars as Meg Ryan, Sharon Stone and Salma Hayek.
Clavin stocks everything from jeans to designer gowns to shoes and accessories from some of the world's most renowned fashion houses: Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Valentino, Roberto Cavalli,etc. Some of the pieces have never even been worn. Prices are commensurate with the quality and condition of each item. I saw a lovely St. John summer knit sheath for $248, a Dior cocktail dress priced at $495 and a Chanel suit for $1200. While these are not exactly budget prices, remember that the Chanel alone would run you about $5,000 new.
The shoe racks look like the contents of Carrie Bradshaw's closet, with items from Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Laboutin. I found a couple of pairs of Manolo Blahniks in my size for the not unreasonable price of $158.
The AdDress Boutique holds clearance sales twice a year; in February and August, where prices can go as low as $5-$20. Notifications will go out to those who sign up for their email list.
3020 Designer Consignment Resale
3020 Nebraska Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404
This cozy boutique is a little bit off the beaten track, but well worth finding.
"I'm so sorry about the mess," apologized Gina, the shop's owner, who was in the middle of organizing a new shipment of clothes and accessories. Just so you know: It looked perfectly neat and clean to me, which tells you something about Gina's high standards. A former studio costumer and designer, she has her finger on the fashion pulse.
Yes, 3020 has its share of big name fashion icons (Jimmy Choo, anyone?), but you'll also find a number of mid-range styles here, too… and bargains on sale for as little as $5.
It's A Wrap
3315 West Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
1164 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 246-WRAP (9727)
The original Burbank store consists of two jam-packed stories of studio castoffs. There is something here for everybody, both for men and women, from very casual to Hollywood glitz, from lingerie to shoes to jewelry and in every size. Every item is tagged with a code indicating which production it came from (there are keys to the production codes posted all over the store).
There are some real bargains here. I found an Ellen Tracy suit (from the 2006 film, "Relative Strangers") for just $17, an Anne Klein ensemble for $55 and a lovely Dolce and Gabbana jacket for $97.
Right now, there is a well stocked section of costume items perfect for Halloween.
While you're at the Burbank store, you may want to check out a couple of shops across the street:
3220 West Magnolia
Burbank, CA 91505
If you ever have the urge to dress like Mad Men's Don Draper (or his ex-wife Betty) , you'll be right at home here. In fact, this is one of the favorite haunts of the hit show's legendary costumers. The shop specializes in mid-century vintage clothing (1940's-60's… for 1970's and '80's, you need to mosey across to:).
Junk For Joy
3314 West Magnolia
Burbank, CA 91505
Their website describes the merchandise as "Silly & Ugly; Good & Bad Taste." There's truth in advertising here. You do have to comb through a lot of junk, but if you're diligent, you just may find something that gives you joy. This is another popular stop for studio wardrobe staff, as well as for ordinary folks looking for unusual accessories (or Halloween costumes).
Baby Jane of Hollywood
7985 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA
This Hollywood memorabilia shop does stock some rare and unusual star clothing from other eras, but you pay the price for that authenticity. When I popped in, I noticed some old costumes that were worn by Evelyn Keyes, Ann Miller and Sheree North, a couple of Don Loper originals designed for Ella Fitzgerald ($500). I especially liked a Bob Mackie outfit for one of Mitzi Gaynor's Vegas acts ($1,200, including a beaded, feathered headdress).
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