I like to buy used stuff. There is nothing better than a thrift store in a non-urban area populated by the elderly. While in L.A., here are my suggestions.
-Wasteland on Melrose / Wasteland on Fourth in Santa Monica.
-Resale: CrossRoads on Santa Monica Blvd. / CrossRoads on Melrose / Buffalo Exchange on La Brea.
-The only Goodwill where I’ve had any luck is in West L.A. on Santa Monica Blvd.
-The Japanese know good thrift: go to Shabon on Beverly or Popkiller on Sunset. Small and pricey but good.
-American Rag is definitely overpriced but I’m always buying stuff there.
-Jet Rag is too junky and everything on the east side of town has been picked over by the hipsters except sometimes Squaresville on Vermont.
-The Rose Bowl Swap Meet on the second Sunday of every month in Pasadena. Get there early (like 7am). The selection is great but don’t expect to find furniture. Everyone wants Mid-Century tables and chairs but you will not get them cheap so just save your pennies and go to Palm Springs to buy the good stuff.
-For less selection and less hassle go to the Fairfax swap meet on Sundays at Fairfax High School. Anything further than that is too far.
-For paintings and assorted crap (not clothes), there are two thrift stores on Fairfax between Olympic and Pico. The ones on the west side of the street. There you will find gems like a large, amateur (prison?) portrait of Bo Derek, nude in cornrows with giant, asymmetrical breasts.
*If you have more suggestions, please let me know
Here are my rules of thrifting:
Holes are okay. Underpaid tailors in drycleaners can sew/hem/adjust anything for ten bucks. It’s worth it. However, if something has a wee moth bite and you think you can sew it up and have yourself some nice cashmere on the cheap, you are wrong. Dead wrong. Microscopic beasties are living in that hole and they will have babies on all of your other clothes which will soon have holes as well. Also, steer clear of stains in the crotch area. Other stains are on a case-by-case basis (i.e. can you use bleach? Does it look like somebody died? What kind of death?). A musty odor is not necessarily a bad thing. It just needs a little hot wash and Febreeze. BO on the other hand, may never go away completely. But if the item is awesome, buy it anyway. We’re all human. Smells keep us real.