...I'm going to California in a few days and I'm looking forward to shopping! I'm a college girl, so I need lots of casual and affordable stuff. Please do recommend stores that I shouldn't miss! And, would you recommend going to outlet stores? :) Thanks, MFO! - College Girl
Thanks for dropping by College Girl! I asked two California based bloggers, Belle and Debbie, who are certified experts when it comes to shopping in Southern California.
Here's what Debbie has to say:
I think it kind of depends on where you prefer to shop. If you don't mind combing the racks, Loehmann's or Nordstrom Rack is a good place to start. If you prefer boutique-type stores, Last Chance Boutique on Washington Blvd. carries great labels for half the price. I think they get their goods from department store overruns. If you don't mind going to Downtown LA, the vendors at the California Mart open up to the public for sample sales on the last Friday of every month.
As far as outlets go, Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Palm Springs and Camarillo Premium Outlets in Camarillo are the places to go. The Palms Springs location offers a variety of designer goods including Dior, Gucci, and YSL. The Camarillo locations has stores like Ugg, American Apparel, Betsey Johnson and Michael Kors among others.
Oh, and don't forget to check Bargains LA for the latest sample sales information.
Belle as well (ooh! that rhymes!), gave a rundown of her all time favorite places to go shopping. She says, "Not only will you enjoy shopping, these venues are really soothing because you see a lot of things..."
(The) Grove - an outdoor shopping district featuring high- end stores and restaurants, a theater, live performances. This is a nice place to wander around and take in the sights, or go on a shopping spree. Farmers Market is directly adjacent. [between Hollywood and West LA] (Although i dont think a college budget would be good for this place, its just really a great place to hang around and enjoy window shopping if ever. You cant miss this place if your visiting Cali. My husband and I saw a lot of actors shopping here, like two ladies from Desperate Housewives)
189 The Grove Dr # F80
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Then there's the Topanga Mall. This one is really close by our place. We most always prefer going here that any other mall near by because it has everything! They even have a Target and yet have Nordstrom, Ruehl (I see a lot of college students in this store), a coming soon Neiman Marcus (fall of 2008) and many more!
6600 Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Canoga Park CA 91303
(818) 594 8732
Third Street Promenade - An exciting open-air pedestrian street pulsates with an international mix of people enjoying an eclectic blend of restaurants, unique retail shops, movie theatres and nightclubs. The best in dining, shopping, entertainment and a non-stop kaleidoscope of street performers combine to make Downtown Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade a favorite destination for visitors and residents alike [Santa Monica area].
3rd Street (between Broadway & Wilshire),
Santa Monica, CA. / (310) 393-7593 or (310) 393-9825
From all the outlets I've been to, I like Camarillo Premium Outlets the most. I guess because the Saks is bigger than any of the ones I've seen.
740 E. Ventura Boulevard,
Camarillo, CA 93010
but there's one in the LA area, its not so bad either...
(The) Citadel Factory Outlet - Find many of your favorite name brands at up to 70% off retail prices. From clothing and accessories to house wares and gift items, you'll discover everything you're looking for, including a food court full of flavors -- all in relaxed outdoor setting for a true Southern California shopping experience [near Downtown].
100 Citadel Drive, Suite 480
Los Angeles, CA 90040
Wow! That's a lot! Thanks Donna and Belle! Hmmm, makes me want to go to California soon too! Let me add my personal favorites like Old Navy, TJ Maxx and Target! Easy to find clothes for under $10 in these shops! I've heard of Ross Dress for Less but I'm not too sure of how great the selection is, but it's worth a try! I totally agree with visiting outlet stores. These are your best bet for cheap and trendy finds!
Hope this helps you out College Girl! Enjoy your trip to California and I hope you find lots of good stuff! The secret is to scope out the sale or clearance racks first! I've bought dresses for less than $5 that way! ;) Happy shopping!
UPDATE: More from Raissa, another California based shopper/blogger!
Brea Mall has a good mix of high, medium and affordable shops. Its on OC so the sales tax is lower hahaha!
Old Town Pasadena (along Colorado) has a long stretch of shops - GAP, H&M, Forever 21 (2 floors), Banana Rep etc. and restaurants too and also clubs and bars.
Hollywood & Highland is also a nice place to shop and go around. It's near the Mann Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame. In the same street is the biggest Forever 21 store I have ever seen and there's an H&M nearby and also GAP, AE, Lucky and Sephora.
(How could I forget H&M? Please go to H&M College Girl! Lots of cheap but good stuff to buy here! - MFO)