A sister store to the Los Feliz vintage clothing institution Squaresville, Urchin carries similar stock for bargain-loving hipsters. There are inexpensive finds that cleave to trends (neon colors, acid-washed jeans), neighborhood-specific apparel (like the western gear favored by rockabilly fans), and “lots of black,” according to owner Reiko Roberts (for the Goth contingent). There’s a wider range of sizes for heavier clientele. Note: Unlike Squaresville, this shop doesn’t buy or trade. Cheap thrill: Goodies bin, $2 each. Hotcake: Men’s western shirts, $16-$22. Best value: ‘50s and ‘60s dresses, $25-$35. » 5006½ York Blvd., Highland Park, 323-259-9059.
The mall address of a vintage shop curated by hipster photog Mark "Cobrasnake" Hunter is either a sign of his filtering-up success or of a total loss of indie cred. He's too busy combing thrift shops (or having his minions do so while he jets to yet another party) to worry about it. There's no denying he has inspired high school and college students to embrace the worst of '80s fashion. The windowless space feels like a clubhouse, with video games, vintage TV sets playing movies, a photo booth, and murals by Hunter’s mentor, Shepard Fairey. In addition to the vintage clothing, there is dead stock by Adidas (circa 1980s), books, small toys, and clothes designed by Jeremy Scott and by Hunter in collaboration with the O.C. label RVCA. Cheap thrill: A sales rack with pieces for $10 or less. Exclusive: Outline LA’s vintage shirts screen printed with new designs, $80-$120. » 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-463-1089.
No digging required: The wide selection of designer (Hermès and Halston, for starters) and mass-market items are organized by color. In a pastel-hued space decorated with prints of Paris, owner Nikki Swasey sells her handpicked pieces (girly frocks, biker boots) from the 1940s through the ’80s. The bold hats and small handbags are all in spectacular condition. Most of the clothing is for everyday wear, save for a grouping of fancy cocktail dresses. Best value: Tangerine silk micropleated dress, $154. » 7403 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-933-3708.
Arianna Schioldager and Nate Newell scour the country for unique vintage clothing that blends with modern styles. For fall that means silk blazers and tweeds. The small but well-edited collection is showcased in a compact, den-like setting with an old leather couch and antique Singer sewing machine. Best value: Black silk backless cocktail dress, $107. » 620½ N. Doheny Dr., West Hollywood, 310-888-2868.
Enhancing the region’s reputation for beautiful furniture made from sustainable materials, Nativa, which has two San Diego stores, has opened an L.A. showroom. Beds, dressers, chairs, and other pieces in the 7,000-square-foot space are made from responsibly harvested woods and crafted with artisan joinery such as mortise-and-tenon or tongue-and-groove. Mario Scolari started the business in 2001, in part to bring jobs to his native Argentina. Cheap thrill: Decorative flowers, $15 each. » 7470 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-954-7470.
Jewel-tone dahlias, succulents, and colorful hanging glass containers are artfully arranged on the front patio of Fiore Designs. Inside, staffers whip up bridal arrangements and gift baskets and offer consultations for events. Best value: Yellow milk glass vases, $7. » 1617 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-230-5007.
ACCESSORIES AND JEWELRY
In a sleek interior designed with eco-friendly materials and fixtures made by Venice artists, you can set your lens prescription in contemporary frames by Moscot, Orgreen, or Michel Henau or take advantage of a terrific selection of vintage models. Exclusive: Barton Perreira’s "Sebastian" optical frames refashioned for sunglasses, $380. » 1636 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-452-4633.
At her minuscule Atwater Village studio, Serena Kojimoto uses threadlike strands of sterling silver to hold colorful gems and natural stones. The modern shapes and arrangements give these delicate ornaments impact. Cheap thrill: Sterling silver pivot earrings with gray, pink, or white freshwater pearls, $68. » 3129½ Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, 323-913-1318.
Named after owner Genavieve Lynch, this accessories boutique specializes in costume jewelry. From Unearthen’s pendant vial of Pacific Ocean water to Too Late’s colorful rubber watches, Vieve carries a wide range of vintage and contemporary styles. If you are unfamiliar with the brands—Litter, Wendy Nichol, Sunday’s Best, James Colarusso—it’s because Lynch seeks out lesser-known designers. The shop also sells sunglasses, fragrances by État Libre d’Orange, and artwork. Exclusive: The store’s line of necklaces made from old locks and keys, $50-$120. » 8908 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-550-1850.
Tiziana Guida says she wants to bring a more feminine style to the neighborhood with Bing Bang jewelry (featuring metal feathers and keys), MarkWongNark cocktail dresses, and Lucy B fragrances made from Australian flowers. Exclusive: Patent leather-and-mesh catsuits by L.A. designer Maggie Barry, $800. » 1766 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz, 323-663-3370.
If your style is to pair a sequined tank top with zebra-print shoes, you’ll get a kick out of the first West Coast location of New York’s 25Park. The list of designers carried here spans the globe, from France (Nina Ricci) to Italy (Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti) to Australia (Collette Dinnigan) to here at home (Koi Suwannagate, Current Elliott). Cheap thrill: Candles and room fragrance diffusers, $50 and below. » Malibu Lumber Yard, 3939 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu, 310-456-6625.
T-shirts with skull and pop art graphics, jeans with extreme washes, neon hats with rhinestones: This shop isn’t for wallflowers. The Ana M. name is embroidered on velour jumpsuits and polo shirts, and brightly colored crinkled tees abound. All this in a space decorated with guitars and rhinestone skulls. Cheap thrill: Key chains, $2.50. » 7729 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-966-2626.
Art and music inspire the graphics on the T-shirts and hats at this Brooklyn import. Think comic-book influences, ghoulish figures, Japanese Kaiju toys, and the occasional homage to (or rip-off of) Von Dutch. The shop carries gear for fixie bike aficionados, focusing on flannel and jersey long-sleeved shirts, polos, toy figures, and belts. Everything’s arranged beneath an octopus chandelier. Cheap thrill: Pins, stickers, patches, and key toppers, $1-$10. Exclusive: New Era “Amerikana” hats, $45. » 1547 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park, 213-536-4234.
The success of Gap’s 1969 pop-up store on Robertson last year led the chain to open a permanent storefront across the street for the nascent line. About 10 percent of the merchandise—like skinny, spot-bleached jeans—is exclusive. Plaid cotton shirts, oversize sweaters, striped knit tops, and brown leather belts round out the offerings. Cheap thrill: Basic jeans, $54.50 and up. Hotcake: Jean leggings, $69.50. Exclusive: Japanese selvage styles (made on exported American machines, they bear a red stripe on inside seams that’s prized by purists), $89.50. » 109 S. Robertson Blvd., L.A., 310-275-1390.
Images courtesy of (from top) facebook.com/urchinmerchant, shop.thecobrasnake.com, revivalvintagela.com, foundbyclothing.com, nativaonline.com, fioredesigns.com, hoffoptometry.com, serenadesign.com, vieveboutique.com, tizianashop.com, 25park.com, anamdesign.com, mishkanyc.com, flickr/kx0101