Best Vintage & Secondhand Shopping in LA

by Melissa Massello
February 23, 2011 - 2:32pm

Only in Los Angeles could you just as easily see, say, Reese Witherspoon wearing vintage on the red carpet as you could shop directly from the set of, say, Sweet Home Alabama.

Heading back to LA this weekend for the big Green the Red Carpet Sip & Swap with The Swapaholics, I'm unbelievably excited to continue working through this list of vintage, consignment, thrift & secondhand shops most often recommended to me by friends and fashion bloggers. The forecast is for rain, it's Oscars weekend, I'm sure I won't come home empty handed.

Be sure to follow my new Tumblr blog, Stealfinder, to see pics of my inevitable scores, and please add your favorite shops to the comments so I can be sure to check them out while we're in town!

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It's a Wrap
Punky and I tried to hit this famous treasure trove of straight-from-the-studio-lot finds last June, when we held our first LA swap just up the road at the North Hollywood Performing Arts Center, but could never make it there during store hours. Fingers crossed: they just added a second location on Robertson Boulevard, near where we're staying, to the original Burbank store. The prices are a bit high for thrifting, but I'm sure I'd be willing to pay a premium to own one of Lorelei's dresses from Gilmore Girls or similarly be able to say my outfit really was As Seen on TV. Sample listings in their General Stock section hint at some  cool scores from The Shield, CSI, and also a ton of stuff from Hannah Montana. Who knows what shopping karma may lay in wait...

Goodwill of Southern California
I have a special place in my heart and my closet for Goodwill, and naturally I have to hit every Goodwill in every city I pass through, so  I'm super excited to not only get to shop there in LA, but also to work with Goodwill of Southern California as our official charity partner for the Sip & Swap, sending all our leftover clothing to be sold in their stores to benefit their job training & youth empowerment programs. And apparently Hollywood's elite feel the same. Recently, papperazzi spotted Amanda Seyfried donating her castoffs to Goodwill, and rumor has it that Angelie Jolie recently contemplated wearing another dress from Goodwill on the red carpet, like the famous $26 vintage dress she wore to the Mighty Heart premiere back in 2007. Expect a very special Goodwill Hunting/Thank Goodwill It's Friday this week!

Jet Rag
The last time we were in LA, Punky and I must have driven by this popular Melrose thrift store about 20 times, each time with our noses pressed up against the car windows like sad puppies, hoping that maybe, just maybe, on the next pass we'd actually be able to stop. Alas, it never happened, but thankfully this time the swap venue is only two blocks away, so I've got my eye on hitting up the famous $1 Sunday Sale to try my hand at finding the ultimate steal.

decades
This LA vintage and consignment shop is so popular, and so famous, that they now have not only multiple locations (decadesTwo, decadesTwo.1), but regularly partner with the private sale sites to sell their best merchandise online. The last time we were in LA, I saw a gorgeous pair of practically new gold lame espadrilles from Christian Louboutin at decadesTwo on Melrose for just $140 (which anyone who speaks Louboutin knows are a huge steal) and am psyched to see what else they have in store, now that we'll have a little more time to shop.

The Way We Wore
Absolute fashion eye candy, this high-end shop is the vintage clothier to the stars, regularly dressing celebrities like Dita von Teese, Mila Kunis, Nicki Minaj, and many many more in museum-quality pieces from decades past. Checking out the TWWW gallery and blog are favorite pastimes spawning endless hours of photo shoot daydreams, so here's hoping we'll be able to visit the store this time, as we'll be just down the street on La Brea — and last time we were in LA I foolishly skipped it, thinking you could only shop there by appointment!

Out of the Closet
Owned and operated by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, this chain of Northern and Southern California stores (similar to Boomerangs in Boston) is a favorite haunt for scouting vintage and thrifted finds. With three locations in LA, I'm sure we'll find the time to check it out for ourselves. Apparently, they get more than 1 million shoppers a year!

This Is Not IKEA (TINI)
This fabulous Fairfax spot for mid-century modern and antique furniture at IKEA prices has fast become a go-to for set designers, bargain hunters and A-listers alike. Somewhere (hopefully not tragically lost due to the death of my beloved Mac-a-Saurus Rex), I have a really fun interview I did by phone with Alex and Tom, the two founders of this new LA institution, last year, but if I have to recreate it with a visit to shop the store, well, I've done worse in the name of research.

Melrose Trading Post
Considering that the last time we were in LA, our $2 admission to this Sunday shopping institution got us up close and personal with Dexter's Michael C. Hall, wife Jennifer Carpenter, and two friends (yes, we were totally those people), we'll definitely be returning to see what other steals (and celeb sightings) we can score. The "Melrose Flea" market is open rain or shine, and though the forecast doesn't look good, I'm sure it will be well worth braving the elements.

Story: Copyright 2011, Shoestring LLC. Photo: Courtesy of The Way We Wore.

About The Author Related Articles
Photo of Melissa Massello
Melissa Massello is an editor, start-up junkie, entrepreneur, Swapaholic, and lifelong New England girl. As a sustainable style expert, Melissa has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX news station affiliates around the country and in US News & World Report, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The New York Post, The Denver Post, The LA Times, The Dallas Morning News, MSN Money, and WalletPop, among other fine media outlets. Melissa currently lives with her husband and their Whippet mix in Somerville, Mass. -- "the Brooklyn of Boston" -- where they strive each day to save money, save the planet, and live the dream for less.
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