Best shops in LA: The insider's guide to Melrose Avenue
Whether you're looking for posh party dresses or punk creepers, Melrose Avenue has some of the best shops in LA. Here's your guide to styles both high and low.
Mon Sep 17 2012
Luxury | Edgy
Melrose shops: Edgy
- Price band: 2/4
- Critics choice
Can’t afford to shop at the Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg or Helmut Lang shops on Melrose? Not to worry—Wasteland always has plenty of these designers and more, for less than you’d pay for lunch at The Ivy. This sprawling consignment shop is filled with rack upon rack of lightly-worn clothing and accessories for guys and gals, with a bit of vintage in the mix as well. The store also allows you to sell your closet castoffs for cash or store credit—we often spot celebs among the selling crowd, with garbage bags full of swag in tow.
- 7428 Melrose Ave
This store is worth a visit even if it’s just to Instagram its greenery-covered, floral-awning façade—but we recommend also having a look around inside as well. Here, you’ll find streetwear designed for those who don’t like to blend into the background, from bomber jackets and backpacks splashed with pop art-inflected prints to graphic tees with ’80s flair. Joyrich’s flagship store also carries a crew of similarly flashy streetwear brands—in the past, we’ve spotted names like Jeremy Scott for Adidas and Dimepiece.
- 7700 Melrose Ave
Back in the ’80s, Melrose was the sartorial epicenter of the city’s punk scene—a legacy that’s being carried on today by Posers. Here, you’ll find just about every style of Dr. Martens combat boots and TUK creepers imaginable, along with iconic Brit brands Fred Perry, Merc and Ben Sherman (all hallmarks of ’60s mod culture that have survived to the present day). And don’t let the store’s tough exterior scare you off—locals agree that Posers’ friendly service is one of the best things about it.
- 7417 Melrose Ave
Let’s be honest, ladies: We’ve all got a Joan Harris–style vixen inside just waiting to be coaxed out by a fabulous bullet bra. At What Katie Did, you’ll find them in abundance, along with a host of seamed stockings, girdles and garter belts. Fashion editors and costume designers flock here for the most authentic approximations of vintage unmentionables in town—most recently, the shop’s wares appeared in My Week with Marilyn—but with most price tags under $100, you don’t need a starlet’s salary to indulge.
- 7970 ½ Melrose Ave
- Price band: 3/4
- Critics choice
We’ve all been there—you find a vintage dress in the most perfect shade of cerulean silk, but with a ripped seam or set of ’80s puffed sleeves that render it all but unwearable. At Reformation, designer Yael Aflalo takes such diamonds in the rough and makes them shine, cutting vintage garb and surplus fabric into thoroughly modern silhouettes, from cropped blouses to breezy maxidresses and flirty shorts. Everything’s made right in the store, ensuring that the breaking trend you’re coveting today could quite possibly be approximated (and sustainably so) by next week—fast fashion, indeed.
- 8253 Melrose Ave
We never would have guessed that a Linkin Park band member would choose to open a Japanese-inspired concept store in his spare time, but we suppose stranger things have gone down in Hollywood. At Suru, look for a tightly edited selection of streetwear for guys and gals, with tees from the likes of Freshjive, Stussy and Iron & Resin displayed on a revolving conveyor belt. Art is also well-represented—think: collectable toys by Kaws and Ron English, artist prints and even spray paint and pens for Retnas-in-training.
- 7662 Melrose Ave
We’ll forgive Brooklyn Projects for taking its name from the lesser coast, but only because it’s got one of our favorite arrays of skateboards and gear this side of the 405. Look for kicks by Nike SB and New Balance, tees and such by Obey and Rebel8, and decks for all occasions. If you aren’t a hard-core skater or sneakerhead, don’t be intimidated—the shop has a reputation for ultra-friendly service, so even those who don’t know a longboard from a shortboard will be able to find their perfect match.
- 7427 Melrose Ave