Shopping in southern California is just as popular as swimming and sunbathing – and Los Angeles is no exception. In fact, L.A. is listed as one of the Top Ten Fashion Capitals of the World by The Global Language Monitor (GLM), along with uber-famous cities such as New York (#1), Rome, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, and Singapore. L.A. made the list for a reason – you will find some of the worlds most cutting edge fashions in L.A. and a population that knows the true meaning of individual style. And it gets better. Designer hunters will find every edgy or powerful name in the fashion industry here from Armani, Balenciaga, and Dior to Fendi, Prada, and Versace. And finally, because Los Angeles is all about some seriously individual style, you will find a wide variety of shopping districts filled with shops and boutiques to satisfy even the most eccentric tastes.
Los Angeles’s major shopping districts are known around the world, whether the popularity stems from feature film appearances or cameos in some of the world’s most iconic TV shows. Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue are just a few of the areas famous shopping districts. Rodeo Drive is where you’ll find every designer name or high-end boutique under the sun and on Melrose, there’s plenty of people watching, hooking up, and cool gear collecting to last a lifetime – so it’s best to make a day of it in order to this famous strip to the fullest. Expect to come across an impressive assortment of men’s stores here such as Tracy Feith Men (8428 Melrose), and Marc Jacobs men’s line (8409 Melrose). At 8410 Melrose, you’ll find Marc by Marc bridge line (less pricey), and other awesome men’s stores such as Alpha (8625 Melrose), and John Varvatos (8800 Melrose).
In nearby West Hollywood, check out J Ransom for cool t-shirts and belts, and rock-and-roll gear; Undefeated for retro footwear (112 ½ W. La Brea), and Lo-Fi (1038 N. Fairfax) for old-school hoodies, Levi’s, and edgy tees.
There are literally dozens of mega shopping malls and shopping districts in the surrounding areas as well that are worth a visit, especially if you’re planning an extended stay. These include Westwood Village, beautiful 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica and Main Street, Santa Monica.
In addition to L.A.’s most popular shopping districts, there are lots of short “shopping streets.” These shopping streets are located in many of the city’s super hip areas – areas that can easily slip under the radar if you’re not paying attention. In these areas, you can find one-of-a-kind pieces and wares, and some pretty good deals if you’re on a budget. Two such areas are Los Feliz and Silver Lake.
Los Feliz, which can be found in the area of Vermont and Hillhurst avenues and Sunset and Los Feliz boulevards, has its fair share of vintage threads and groovy neighborhood record shops. Rockaway Records is a popular place to purchase good music and try Ozzie Dots for odd accessories and weird gear. Other top shopping spots include vintage stores such as Squaresville at 1800 North Vermont Avenue (323.669.8464) and Pull My Daisy at 3908 West Sunset Boulevard (323.663.0608) as well as X-Large – co-owned by Mike D of the Beastie Boys.
Head just a 5-minute drive away to Silver Lake and you’ll find a handful of funky shops such as Dean (cool handmade watches and bags) at 3918 W. Sunset Boulevard (323.625.2766) and the art-meets-fashion Show Pony at 1543 Echo Park Avenue (Echo Park, 213.482.7676) for starters. And here’s a bonus for guys – if you happen to be shopping with your girl or a girl. Panty Raid, a sexy lingerie store, has a special space to hang for men, complete with a PlayStation and men’s magazines.
Los Angeles tends to take malls to another level, so you won’t find anything typical average about these shopping complexes featuring everything from fine cuisine and top department stores to live music, celebrity sightings, and pretty people galore. Just check out The Farmer’s Market (also an L.A. landmark) and The Grove, where you’ll find the usual suspects such as the Apple Store, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Lucky, Nike, and Abercrombie & Fitch – but with a twist.
If you’re interested in some serious bargain hunting or you just want to find some cool stuff that you just won’t find anywhere else, visit one of L.A.’s top flea markets. These include The Melrose Trading Post at Melrose and Fairfax -- held every Sunday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (admission $2), the Rose Bowl Flea Market featuring 2,200 vendors -- held on the second Sunday of every month (admission $7), and the only free flea market in the region – The Pasadena City College Flea Market, which attracts 480 vendors. The Pasadena City College Flea Market is held the first Sunday of each month.
If you want more information about what’s to see and do in L.A. pick up a copy of the LA Weekly -- L.A.’s largest and most popular free weekly featuring information about art, attractions, recreation, entertainment, film, music, dining, and events in and around Los Angeles or pick up a copy of The Weekly Time Out.
Another great place to find out about everything L.A. is the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times – L.A.’s only major metropolitan newspaper. Check out the Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal Blog for other ideas on attractions and things to do in and around L.A.
You can also find useful information about everything L.A. by visiting the following popular websites:
Excellent place to find out about events and tours around L.A. as well as information on dining, shopping, hotels, recreation, attractions, and nightlife.
Fodors.com or Frommers.com
Fodors.com and Frommers.com features summaries of places to shop, see, dine, dance, and sleep in and around L.A. If you want a quick list of the top spots in L.A., you’ll find it here!
Lonely Planet features background information and fast facts about L.A., as well as places to see, an image gallery, and travel tips.
Read reviews from people just like you that have been to the places you want to go. Expect to find raw reviews (and opinions) on just about everything from restaurants and nightlife to hotels, shopping, and attractions.