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A Guide to the Best LA Bargain Shopping

Michelle Forstadt is one of those chicks you wish was your bestie. Not just because you want to borrow everything in her closet, but as an image consultant and founder of fashion blog, Catching Couture, she’s a pro at thrifty finds and mixing high-low street style — which to me, means she’s super savvy and down-to-earth. She also happens to be a new mom to a beautiful hapa baby and is rocking the shit out of motherhood in style. (I know. It’s tough to decide whether to love or hate her, but I’m taking the high road.) Here, Michelle dishes her secrets on where to find the best LA bargains — not just on disposable wear from you-know-where, but classic pieces so special you’ll rock them time and time again.

Without further ado, some tips from Michelle:

“Sure, you can always find a great bargain online, but what if you want to do some guilt-free shopping IRL? (and not at the usual H&M/Forever 21/Zara suspects). Here are some of my top picks and shopping tips from downtown to the beach!”

 

OFF-PRICE RETAIL

Beverly Connection

It’s the ultimate off-price retail shopping center. I don’t know anywhere else that you can find an Off 5th, Nordstrom Rack, TJMaxx, Marshalls and Ross in the same place!

100 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Shopaholic Sample Sales

Retail-style shopping for sample pieces. They have a big selection of AFL’s (Australian Fashion Labels) clothing lines (C/MEO, Finders Keepers, Keepsake, etc.) as well as other high-end contemporary lines. This store has two locations (in WeHo and Santa Monica) as well.

1613 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403 | 8032 West 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Image by Ray Baba

Michelle wearing Marshalls boots.
Michelle wearing a flowing dress from Wasteland.

Image by Taylor Kent

Michelle wearing shorts from Shopaholic sample sale.

VINTAGE / CONSIGNMENT

LA has so many great options for vintage and consignment shopping, but several spots have such limited/specially-curated stock, they can get quite pricey (and you feel as if you’re almost paying brand-new designer prices). These 3 stores are at the top of my list for thrifty finds in LA.

Shareen Vintage

I discovered this place around 10 years ago and still have the dresses I purchased my very first time there (That’s how you know they were really great finds!). Very fair prices, huge selection, and unique pieces perfect for weddings and parties. FYI, ladies only so you are free to wander around in your skivvies.

1721 N. Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Image by Adam Forstadt

 

Crossroads

A melting pot… you never know what you might come across here. Several locations across SoCal, too!

8315 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069 | 1449-B 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 7409 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90046

Wasteland

My absolute favorite. Probably the best-organized and always has a good selection of high-end designer labels. This is my go-to place when looking for a unique dress for an event.

7428 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 | 800 Cole Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038 | 1330 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Image by Adam Forstadt

Michelle wearing a Wasteland bodysuit.
Michelle wearing a dress from the Cooper Building sample sale.

SAMPLE SALES

Now if you’re cool with getting down and dirty… sample sales are the absolute best places to score amazing deals. And luckily for us, LA’s Fashion District is regularly offloading perfect merch at great prices.

Cooper Building + California Market Center

The last Friday of each month, showrooms in these two massive buildings open for sample sales – I like to go for Halston Heritage, Alice + Olivia, Theory, and Wildfox. Park between the two locations and set aside several hours to do a thorough job.

Cooper Building: 860 S Los Angeles St Ste 900, Los Angeles, CA 90014

CMC: 110 E 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90079

The Saturday Sale

On select Saturdays (and more during holiday shopping season), the California Market Center’s Exhibit Hall is filled with racks of clothing with super-steep discounts.

CMC: 110 E 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90079

Image by Adam Forstadt

 

ABOUT MICHELLE FORSTADT

Michelle is an LA-based fashion blogger and image consultant who prides herself on her bargain finds and high-low street style. She has been featured by NYMag, StyleCaster, and Lookbook, and has contributed to Glamour.com’s Fashion section. When she’s not rummaging through boxes at sample sales, she’s hanging out at the Farmers Market with her husband and daughter.

Image by Adam Forstadt

 

Michelle in a multicolor striped dress with a yellow blazer.