Hello from a very glum me who’s stuck in that we’ve-checked-out-but-our-flight-isnt-for-9-hours funk. Luckily our hotel are letting us continue using the pool and bar until we leave, which means blogging and sipping champagne like it’s not really our last day is on the cards.
Yesterday I dragged Mr TBG to the final thrift stores of the trip, and thought I’d share my thoughts on the LA thrift shops we visited in case you’re heading there soon.
The thing with LA is everything is so spread out and the traffic is AWFUL all the time. So, unless you have a stack of time there and a car, you’ll probably find the same struggles as me, and not be able to get to any of the smorgasbord of likely-incredible thrift shops dotted around.
The three went to were within easy reach of our walk from Santa Monica to Venice Beach, so if you’re down there, you can tie this in with your visit, too.
2499 Main Street, Santa Monica CA
There are Buffalo Exchange stores scattered across the US, and to be honest I’d been avoiding them until LA because I figured they’d be more of a consignment store than a thrift store. In a way I was right, because the Santa Monica store did have more of a ‘sourced’ feel to it, which is great for finding goodies quickly, but less appealing if you love a good treasure hunt. That said, the prices were pretty reasonable, and seemed to get more reasonable the more luxury the item got, which is weird but cool. The only thing that confused me is I saw several duplicate brand new items throughout the store, so I guess they consign bulk lots from retailers or something. That aspect just gave it more of a ‘shop’ feel than a ‘thrift store’ feel to me, but don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of gems there. I only had a quick sweep, but I did manage to find a pair of Madrid-made espadrilles for $22 that I’m confident I’ll be living in for the Aussie summer.
If you follow Jess from @JessWithLess on Instagram, she recently did an IGTV on some of her finds at buffalo exchange, including a Burberry trench coat for $28 which is just INSANE. Definitely don’t make the mistake I did by avoiding Buffalo Exchange! I
The Closet Trading Company
2708 Main Street, Santa Monica CA
If you’re a beginner thrifter, this place is for you. Highly curated and boutique-y in style, The Closet Trading Company had some great pieces, from Valentino shoes to Coach bags to Equipment Femme silk tops. It was skewed more to smaller sizes, though, both in clothing and shoes, so I didn’t have much luck. The prices are also more in what I’d categories as ‘think about it’ prices. Some pairs of shoes were $180, and a lot of the clothing pieces were $30-$70. Thing is, time to think about it is a luxury you don’t really have when you’re on holiday AND it’s a second hand store where someone else might buy it if you don’t. I scuttled out of there pretty quickly as I could feel myself edging towards impulse purchases for that very reason – especially given it was our second-to-last day away.
St Matthew’s Thrift Shop
2812 Main Street, Santa Monica CA
This was a thrift store in its truest form. There was a 50% off rack and several vintage goodies, including a Ralph Lauren blazer that some Santa Monica local woman practically snatched from my hand as we were thumbing through the rack at the same time. Annoying, though I didn’t need another blazer, so she probably did me a favour. I also spotted some vintage Christian Dior for $40, but other than that, there wasn’t a whole heap of stuff I’d purchase. That said, with more time on your hands, you could find lower cost treasure in here.
Are there any other LA thrift spots you love?