How to Look LA Ready for Less

Picture courtesy of Mike Wally Photo Flickr

Picture courtesy of Mike Wally Photo Flickr

Before moving to LA, I had the idea that a shopping spree was imperative. I had to load up on some swanky outfits and that meant setting aside a budget. I was going to be out at bars, on auditions, taking meetings, and looking in fashion was crucial. I was right about the style, but wrong about the spree. In LA, it’s easy to look chic for less. Whether you’re an aspiring agent, a law student, an actress or a barista, you can shop without spending all your grocery or gas money. This goes for both guys and gals.

Trading in the Old for the New

The best way to upgrade your closet is by selling the old before you buy the new. When moving to a new city, cleaning out your wardrobe is a prerequisite. Once you’ve figured out which clothes need to go (if you haven’t worn it in a year, and it’s not a costume, give it up) sell them before moving or once you get here.

LA has some awesome places like Crossroads, Buffalo Exchange, and Out of the Closet for doing this. You can bring in your items and they’ll either give you cash or a store credit. If you’re new to LA and want a wardrobe revamp, this is the best option! These stores are great about only accepting items that are in style. I found a pair of Vans sneakers for $15 and a white blazer from Zara for $10 at Crossroads. I bought my dad a Hugo Boss wallet from Buffalo Exchange for $25! Designer items are another plus about these stores! Cheap and chic!

Flea Markets

I know what you’re thinking…flea markets for fashion?! Trust me. Not only can you scoop great deals, but you can also find inspiration from fellow shoppers! Melrose Trading Post is a hang out for photographers, which means that it’ just as much a fashion show as a place to shop.

Every time I’ve been, I’ve seen people stopped to be photographed for blogs. If you’re wondering what’s “in style,”-just look around! The Trading Post has everything from furniture to jewelry to clothes and isn’t too pricey. Admission is only $2 and there are over 200 vendors. I bought a vintage army jacket for my brother for only $15 last Christmas. I found some records for $2 to make record bowls with and 1970s gold dining table chairs for only $10 each! The Rose Bowl Flea Market has the same vibe on a larger scale. It’s in Pasadena and has over 2,500 vendors with an $8 admission fee. You’ll find that stylists and designers often go here to treasure hunt. You can find some amazing vintage clothing as well as shirts, shorts, and shoes that are versatile and everyday wearable. It may take more time to scavenger one of these markets for finds, but if you’re on a budget, it’s worth it!

The Sale Rack

It may be at the back of the store, clustered and messy, but never forget the sale rack. LA isn’t about having the newest dress or jacket in the storefront window. It’s about creating your own style. Unless you’re living in Beverly Hills and frequent Rodeo Drive, looking like a million bucks has nothing to do with the price tag. Urban Outfitters is a great place to find sales for both men and women. If you’re dressing in an Urban outfit, you’ll be in fashion. They mark down clothes up to 75% and have sales monthly.

Nordstrom is a department store that’s also great about reducing prices! If there’s an item you have your eye on, feel comfortable asking a sales associate if it will go on sale. The Beverly Center and The Grove are two hot spots in West Hollywood. Both offer an array of boutique and department stores. Give yourself a day to scour the options and always visit the sale rack.

Online is the New In Store

If you’re just moving to LA, you’re probably incredibly busy. You’re looking for a job, the nearest gas station, how to do your laundry. Having time to shop can be hard. Do it at home! There are some great online stores that will assure you look LA ready. is one of the best online stores to find LA style. They have great sales and if the item doesn’t fit, mail it back for free! Forever 21 is in almost every shopping mall, but their online store is even better! Because they have so much merchandise, you’ll have better luck finding what your closet is missing on their website. Their prices are amazing! is famous for their unique and reasonable merchandise. This is a great place to shop if you’re looking for accessories. Don’t spend a hundred bucks on a tie at Barney’s when you can find one on Etsy. Independent designers sell their products here and that means you can get interesting creations without sacrificing everything in your wallet.

When moving to LA, don’t fret about “looking fly.” Luckily, wearing torn up jeans and your dad’s leather jacket from the 60s is just as in fashion in LA. Find a style that fits your career and personality. I can assure you, you can look chic and still keep your budget happy.

Meredith Alloway

Meredith Alloway is a LA local and Texas native. She is currently Senior Editor at where she focuses on screenwriting education and entertainment resources. She also launched her own interview show “All the Way with Alloway” where she scoops the latest up and coming industry insiders.

Be first to comment