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The 10 best shops in Los Angeles

Find everything from big-name designer shops to indie and vintage boutiques and much, much more

By Ashley Tibbits |
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Nonna
Photograph: Courtesy Nonna

There’s no shortage of interesting things to do in Los Angeles—whether you’re a tourist, a native or somewhere in between. Between the culturally diverse culinary adventures, the ever-growing art scene and music venues that celebrate both burgeoning and established talent, there’s a lot to take in. But time and time again, the shopping scene in L.A. also proves it’s a force to be reckoned with. From hunting for affordable gems in a vintage mecca to brushing shoulders with celebrities in high-end boutiques, there’s a little something for everyone. If you’ve yet to fully investigate the city’s retail situation, let this be your introductory course. Here, in no particular order, are the 10 best spots to shop in town, from a hidden sneakerhead haven in the Arts District to an iconic bookstore where you’re almost certain to find something you never knew you needed.

1
Shopping, Boutiques

Individual Medley

icon-location-pin Atwater Village
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In search of a gift for someone you know? How about someone you don’t know? No matter, you can find just the right thing—plus something for yourself—at this quintessentially California boutique in low-key, unassuming Atwater Village. Breezy yet pulled together clothing for men and women by a mix of established and emerging brands? Yep, they’re there. Speciality cookbooks and culinary goodies for your foodie friends? Check and check. A curated apothecary section filled with products to satisfy earth mamas and cult beauty fanatics alike? Definitely. Add in housewares, home fragrance, paper goods and hip stuff for the little ones and you’ve pretty much crossed everyone off your list.

2
Shopping, Womenswear

Nonna

icon-location-pin Highland Park
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Discerning women shoppers who are always on the lookout for what’s new and next shouldn’t skip a stop by this off-the-beaten path boutique, just a few blocks away from Highland Park’s most bustling stretch of Figueroa. While the selection may be tight, owner Olivia Perez stocks the shelves with a balanced mix of coveted indie designers plus a few that might just be new to you—but if you found your way here you’re more than likely to love ‘em. And while the list of labels for clothing, jewelry, intimates, home goods and accessories is well-rounded and international (from Alexa Stark to Zepherina) there’s also significant attention paid to local names, like Desiree Klein and Town Clothes.

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3
Shopping, Boutiques

The Apartment by the Line

icon-location-pin La Cienega
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At the time of its initial opening, Apartment served as the California counterpart to New York’s now-shuttered The Line. Currently, it stands firmly on its own as an impossibly chic, appointment-only shopping destination that serves as a showroom of sorts for high-end furniture and fixtures, decorative accents and some luxury clothing and accessories by the likes of Brock Collection and NewbarK sprinkled throughout for good measure.

4
Shopping, Boutiques

Fred Segal

icon-location-pin West Hollywood
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Fred Segal has long been a must-stop for out-of-towners who are looking to score some stylish goods (and enjoy a potential celebrity sighting). But when the iconic retailer recently relocated its flagship location to Sunset Boulevard, it became less of a tourist trap and more of a destination for all serious shopping enthusiasts: Its sprawling space boasts two eateries, a Credo Beauty shop-in-shop and men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel and accessories from an impressive list of new and established brands (including the occasional collab or exclusive collection).

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5
Shopping, Thrift stores

Jet Rag

icon-location-pin Hollywood
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Los Angeles is a mecca for great vintage, from the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market to ultra high-end designer and consignment shops, like Decades. But if you had to make just one shop your stop to roll up your sleeves and hunt for hidden gems among racks and racks of not-so-curated finds, it’s this tried-and-true one. And that’s especially true if you’re the vintage shopper who isn’t about to blow their budget on some quirky secondhand pieces; Jet Rag is not just affordable, its monthly $1 bin sale in the parking lot is the stuff of legends—so long as you’re down to dig deep.

6
Shopping, Womenswear

American Rag Cie

icon-location-pin La Brea
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Americian Rag is a go-to spot for anyone looking to find some fashion-forward brands or learn about a few up-and-coming ones. But the real bread-and-butter here is the denim selection. Shopping for jeans that suit your shape and style can be one of the most frustrating experiences, but considering this well-respected retailer offers a wide selection that ranges from forever classics (Levi’s) to more specialty ones (Mother, Naked & Famous), you’re more than likely to find a pair that’s practically perfect.

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7
Shopping, Menswear

Bodega

icon-location-pin Downtown Arts District
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Hidden from plain sight, this sneakerhead heaven—located in DTLA’s conceptual shopping complex ROW—is disguised as the entrance to a produce-filled warehouse space (a clever nod to the building’s origin). Inside, Bodega is no less creative, with an actual bodega art installation filled with shaving cream and detergent bottles. But let’s face it: You’re here for hard-to-find footwear styles, special brand spotlights and the selection of streetwear-meets-luxury clothing and accessories on the second floor.

8
Shopping, Boutiques

Alchemy Works

icon-location-pin Downtown Arts District
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In the heart of the rapidly evolving Arts District, this concept shop (part gallery, part boutique) is the perfect place for aspirational browsing, considering the decidedly pricey finds for women’s clothing and jewelry, housewares, bags and shoes by a roster of impressive—often indie—labels. But that doesn’t mean there’s not something for everyone to be found here, even if you’re on a budget. Actually, this location boasts a Warby Parker annex where you can browse the affordable eyewear line IRL.

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9
Shopping, Bookstores

The Last Bookstore

icon-location-pin Downtown Historic Core
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There’s no shortage of fantastic bookstores in the city, but DTLA’s iconic The Last Bookstore floats to the top of the list in no small part due to its unique space: sculptural installations of books make for perfect photo ops and nooks and crannies to explore, an old bank vault holds rare finds for crime and mystery. But it’s not just looks: The airy, two-level shop is filled with a wide variety of new and used books (and records) that also happen to be super affordable. Pro tip: You’ll have better luck if you go without something specific in mind.

10
Music, Music venues

Amoeba Music

icon-location-pin Hollywood
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For music lovers, this sprawling record and video store doesn’t really ever go out of style—even if it’s always buzzing with out-of-town visitors. Selection-wise it’s still your best bet for finding rare vinyl (as well as, of course, all the current stuff). Catching a show here is a quintessentially L.A. thing everyone ought to do once, and while you’re there don’t forget to rifle through the dollar bin.

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