Thifty Shopping

Los Angeles is the place to be for
fashion, even during a recession. There
are hundreds of thrift stores, vintage
outlets and consignment shops. L.A.
has been a fashion Mecca long before
the current economic troubles and its
fashion conscious citizens don't show
signs of letting that title go.

Not only are more people shopping at second hand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, but people are also looking to sell their old designer clothes at consignment shops. A person takes their old shoes, jeans or purses and brings them to a consignment shop, where they will receive 40 percent of the sale price once the item is sold.

This works differently from a regular used clothing store in that when you sell your used items second hand, you are paid up front, with no involvement thereafter.
Haute Seconds is a consignment shop in Santa Monica on Harvard St. and Wilshire Blvd. They have been in business for three years, though many people are just discovering the store in a search to save money.

Sales associate Ariana Moini estimates the store has been about a 10 percent increase since the economy turned. "We also got a lot more traffic since we were featured in Elle Magazine," Moini says. "We also got a lot of good reviews on Yelp."
At Haute Seconds there is no men's
clothing, but you can get a pair of Dolce
& Gabbana jeans for $95 and Marc Jacobs jeans for $65. There are Prada and Jimmy Choo high heels, both for under $130. Jimmy Choo's normally retail for $500 to upwards of $1,000. Everything in the store is in great condition, the staff is helpful and the environment is casual and makes for a comfortable shopping experience.

Wasteland on 4th Street in Santa Monica is a better bet if you're not looking for Jimmy Choo's or if you're male. They have a more "hipster" selection with both new and
used clothing, designer labeled and
otherwise. Wasteland finds itself in the
middle ground of used clothing. You
won't pay $130 for a pair of shoes, but
you may find yourself walking away
with a mild case of buyer's remorse.

Wasteland has a good selection of just about everything. Some items are moderately priced, others not so much. One may find a great t-shirt for $10, while a similar shirt might be on a near by rack for three times that. While it is often hit or miss, Wasteland is one of the vintage staples that is definitely worth checking out. If you don't go for the clothes, at least go for the sunglasses.

Though it may not have as glamorous a reputation as some of its vintage counterparts, Good Will should not be
overlooked in search of quality second
hand apparel on a budget.
In addition to clothing and shoes,
the Good Will on 6th St. and Santa
Monica Blvd. has a surprisingly nice
collection of other items such as lamps,
books and even a microwave for $25.

Decoration and shopping experience
is not something that Good Will puts
much weight in, but when you can buy a
decent shirt for $3, the florescent lighting shouldn't be what is taken away from the experience.
The staff has a slightly unapproachable
demeanor, so don't expect an offer to
help you find anything. With patience
you may find a hidden treasure, such
as a 100 percent cashmere sweater by
Charter Club for $5.49 or a Banana
Republic jacket for the same price.

The men's clothing section is unremarkable
except for their dress jacket and blazer
rack, where a good condition jacket can
be found for under $20.
It may be best to know what you are
looking for when shopping at Good
Will. Expect to spend some time sifting
through the numerous indistinctive
racks of what-have-you but the needle
in a haystack mentality can definitely
be applied here.

With all the great vintage and consignment shops in Los Angeles, the poor economy is no reason to cut out shopping from your life. Just be picky with where you shop.