Shopping Local: My Favorite LA Brands and Boutiques

creatures of comfort los angeles store

Creatures of Comfort. Photo c/o Refinery29

I know I knock LA a lot (if you were expecting something different from a blog with this title, you must be confused), but there are a few fashion gems here.  It may take a while to sift through the plethora of boutiques selling the Cali girl stereotype in the form of maxi dresses and expensive sweatpants, not to mention the Nasty Gal-esque retailers (L.A. is just so edgy, ya know?), but there are some homegrown LA brands and shops out here that actually kind of rock.

James Pearse

8914 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90069

Yeah, you’ve seen him in Bloomingdale’s for years, but did you know he’s based in LA?  Don’t be afraid to spend money on basics.  They’re staples and you’re going to get the most use of them.

Myrtle

2213 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Such a good place for lesser known (female!) designers from all over the world.  You won’t see any of the typical brand names you’re used to–that’s what’s so good about this place. Plus, they have great sales.

Library

121 1/2 N Larchmont
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Located in cute, small-town-main-street-ish Larchmont, this store is an obligatory stop when I’m in the area to get coffee or food with friends (there’s a Crumbs Bake Shop down the street!).  They carry a lot of Rag and Bone, my go-to jean brand, they have awesome sales, and the girls are friendly and offer great advice.  But of course the coolest thing is the atmosphere–it’s called Library, after all.  The annex in back looks like the back room of an old bookshop, with actual books thrown in for good measure.  Throw in some booze, and you just might have my happiest place on Earth.

Polkadots & Moonbeams

8361 W. 3rd St. at Kings Road
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Two sister stores sitting side by side–one is a vintage store and the other is modern.  They have a wide array of brands and looks, both affordable and a little more high end, and lots of fun and funky stuff.  Because let’s face it–it’s nice to buy chic and expensive basics, but it’s also fun to buy something NOT that.  Everything from Ted Baker to Mink Pink to Nicole Miller, to the ubiquitous Wildfox I can’t stand–they have it.  Go here for fun and variety.

Creatures of Comfort

7971 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Ok, I’m kind of cheating with this one–they also have a store in NYC.  But this store became my immediate favorite when I discovered it about six months after moving to LA.  As the name suggests, it’s comfortable and chic pieces from brands like Acne, Isabel Marant, Opening Ceremony, and A.P.C., as well as lesser known brands.  Plus they sell Repetto, so I’m on board.

Brigade

510 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

If I’m in DTLA, I go here.  They carry cool and quality brands like Elizabeth and James, Alice + Olivia, and Jeffrey Campbell that I don’t normally see in other DTLA stores.  Plus stuff that doesn’t cost me half a month’s rent.

BlackMarket

2023 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

If you’re looking for more of that L.A. street style look, this place has that and more–like designer wear, affordable prices, and cool knick knacks and accessories.

Madison

8115 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

You can’t really have a list of L.A. shops and not include this city-wide favorite.  You probably already know the name of this place because stars apparently love it…but they’re kinda spot on.  This place has such a huge and excellent selection of brands and designers–everything from Dolce Vita to Bottega Veneta.  And their sales are some of the best in this city.  The Melrose location in particular has an annex with ridiculous bargains, where you can get some upscale designers for less than an arm and a leg–which is great, because I’m too often tempted to give up that arm and leg.  (We’re talking Chloe for under $200).

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