Frugal Fashionista: Gotta Have It

What do I do with a brand new, never been before worn pair of neon Chucks, or the vintage boots that I can't wear because they are a half a size too small?

I get tired of seeing them in my closet and the only time they get moved is when I go to mop the floor.

The whole time I'm thinking, "Well that was money I didn't need to spend." I've got five bucks for the week but a closet full of really cool stuff I never wear.

According Denise Portmans, owner of Gotta Have It clothing store, lots of people have closets full of stuff they never wear. Birthed from this were stores like Crossroads, Buffalo Exchange, and her store.

The existence of places like this, where one could easily run down the street and trade in clothes for money, or for store credit wasn't always the case.

Way before the WasteLand's of Los Angeles, you either had to pass your clothes on to friends and family or drop it by a Goodwill taking a potential monetary loss.

Gotta Have It, one of Venice's gold nuggets, was a pioneer in this concept and has built a reputation which spans beyond the greater Los Angeles area.

Located on Pacific Avenue just around the corner from Windward Circle the store promotes its long lived philosophy "3 fold": selling, trading, or consignment.

"If I get it cheap I sell it cheap whether it be Chanel or anything else," said Portmans, who is constantly busy running around, cleaning up, and helping the constant flow of customers in and out of the store.

"Everyday is Christmas here. You never know what they will bring in," said Portmans.

The store, in recent years has also allotted one day a year, around Thanksgiving, for trade only; which means anyone can come with a bag of clothes that they don't wear and leave with a bag of clothes they'll wear.


As busy students, we need space to sweat the important stuff. Gotta Have It makes one part, fashionable self-expression, easy and rewarding but it also promotes purging.

Portmans' no stranger to the importance of purging, something not to be under-estimated. "Shopping is a form of therapy and I think a lot of people can't afford therapy that definitely need it so they will come in here and experience it… getting rid of stuff."

Unlike Buffalo Exchange and some of the other stores, who's consignment policy is limited to name brand high ticket items like Gucci purses, Gotta Have It offers its clients a more comfortable way to purge themselves of emotionally burdening fashion extras while not limiting their consignment. You can name your price, within reason, on any items of fashion and if the buyer thinks they can sell it they always give you the option of consignment, sell, or trade.

What to bring in: anything vintage and in good condition and/or new clothes or accessories. Both her men and woman sections are crazy fun and filled with exciting surprises which cost an average of "inexpensive" so there is no excuses as to a lack of things to wear and money to eat with.

Gotta Have It 1516 Pacific Ave, Venice Ca 90291

35 % cash back 50% store credit