A true love for vintage and thrift will do either one of two things to you: make you sneeze or give you an adrenaline rush. And when both of those elements collide and you end up treasure hunting for a solid two hours, you know that this game will last a lifetime.
Starting to shop at thrift stores when I was a 14-year-old Chicago city girl, I found my calling at The Village Discount Outlet. A slight but no match comparison to L.A.’s popular Goodwill, VDO had not only twice the number of locations spread across the city, but it was an effortless darling box to original vintage and thrift – the type of treasures that the woman in line behind you offers you money for before you check out. My brother’s girlfriend at the time loved to take me shopping, and it was here, like love at first sight, that I grew anxious for Levi’s, 1960s furs, and developed an obsession with accessories that took a hard swivel to make me go back every chance I got. I was addicted.
Cut to some ageless years later, I notice that the beauty and trend of ‘keeping things real’ in vintage surely lives in a mess load of boutiques. There are even vintage pop-up shops at sample sales around the city. The bustle of Etsy online collections. Spanish Moss Vintage, whom I adore. The list is endless, and the discovery makes me get hyper at one sound: the hanger sliding across the bar as we feel, pin-point, and examine our next piece.
We are all tourists at one point or another, right? I know that when I’m in Florence, I stroll the streets with mi amici Genaro, my eyes on the prowl for any second hand or designer vintage shop I can find. Same as when we end up somewhere in the suburbs of Michigan or upstate New York, you know, the vintage spots where the the uber wealthy sell or give away couture items; good on us.
My heart still yearns for hard-to-find, no bullshit mark up on the price tag spots, and with L.A. being a big spread out city, it does the trick and I get my fix from time to time.
Re-visit, discover for the first time, or get reminded of eleven hot places to find Tinseltown’s Treasures:
20th century vintage couture. Enough said!
A solidified store, find their dollar dig through on the weekends. Yes, out in the open off La Brea Ave.
Cozy and low key, as if your shopping in a living room.
An amazing selection of costume-inspired pieces. Classy and chic.
A fave of celebrity stylists, you’ll find everything from 1980’s Christian Dior to 90’s Thierry Mugler.
A blend of high-end women’s and men’s vintage and contemporary brands including a glamorous private label.
An LA staple, guaranteed to quickly provide items for those last minute “nothing to wear tonight” freak out sprees.
Specifically for vintage eyewear, their dead/stock frames are to die for.
This shop never fails, add it to your favorites.
Top notch designer goods for a fraction of the price!
Check out the Vine Street location, they have tons of amazing dresses.
A boutique on Abbot Kinney filled with seashells and feathers. Pick up some Fendi clogs or a sweater that screams 1980s.
A 3-in-one boutique featuring avant garde designers, well kempt vintage, and redesigned old school pieces. Haute!