Synonymous with glamour, faded or otherwise, Los Angeles has always been a paradise for vintage lovers, whether looking for rock ‘n’ roll band tees or Hollywood style. Today, the city’s epic vintage scene is more diverse and vibrant than ever, thanks to a booming secondhand retail market, an emphasis on sustainability, and Gen Z’s rightful disdain for fast fashion.
From the upscale boutiques of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, oft frequented by A-listers and their stylists, to the vintage shops dotted all down Melrose Avenue, each LA neighbourhood has its own distinct vintage shopping experience. LA’s secondhand scene goes beyond brick-and-mortar – the city hosts several stellar vintage markets, such as the monthly Pickwick Vintage, Rose Bowl flea market, and the weekly Melrose Trading Post, all of which provide intrepid shoppers with countless opportunities for bargain hunting and people-watching. Check out LA’s best restaurants and bars to refuel when you’re done.
Melrose and Hollywood
Melrose Trading Post flea market
Best for: LA’s best flea market, celeb-spotting on a Sunday
When: 9am to 5pm every Sunday
Address: 7850 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036
Held every Sunday in the parking lot of Fairfax High School, The Melrose Trading Post weekly flea market has been a favourite among LA’s famous (and infamous) since its inception in 1997. Drew Barrymore, Lana del Rey, Paris Hilton, Taylor Swift and Machine Gun Kelly have all browsed the stalls here, lured by the prospect of nearly 200 vendors selling unique handcrafted artisan goods, eclectic arts and crafts and vintage fashion. There are food trucks to keep you replenished and live music throughout the day. Tickets are 8 USD in advance and 6 USD on the day, and we recommend a coffee at nearby Cofax or a bite at Sweet Chick before diving in.
Best for: Designer AF, darling. Special occasion vintage couture gowns in the heart of the Melrose Avenue shopping district
Address: 8214 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 90046
Melrose Avenue is teaming with vintage, and Cameron Silver, owner of Decades, is its King of Couture, and a revered, influential figure with the fashion industry. Silver has matched gorgeous red carpet gowns to A-list actresses for more than two decades, including Chloe Sevigny, Michelle Williams, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez. Racks read like an A-Z of couture, spanning Chanel, Balenciaga, Hermès, Oscar de la Renta, Alaia, Yves Saint Laurent and Halston, where Silver also serves as fashion director.
Prices are typically high but they do vary: pick up a Stella McCartney lace top for 125 USD, or a Chanel tweed FW21 bodysuit for 5,000 USD. Go all out and opt for a Christian Dior haute couture silk organza 1972 halter gown for a cool 9700 USD. Shop – or window shop – ‘til you drop, and if you’re hungry, stop into Crossroads Kitchen a few doors down for a delectable vegan meal.
Best for: The ultimate destination for chic pre-loved designer vintage and stunning thrift
Address: 7428 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046
Located along Melrose Avenue’s near mythic stretch of indie retail glory, Wasteland sells gently used gems from every decade, from pre-loved men’s Bottega Veneta trousers and women’s Vivienne Westwood corsets to bargain Chanel pumps and designer purses – including the occasional Hermès Birkin bag. Wasteland also has outposts in Studio City and Highland Park, but the Melrose Avenue location remains the best known, thanks to its red metal facade, a nod to the days when this stretch of concrete and palm trees was the beating heart of LA’s subversive street punk scene.
Best for: Trendy men and women’s basics for as little as 20 USD
Address: 7912 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 90046
Buffalo Exchange began in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona, when a woman named Kerstin Block had a vision of a curated secondhand shop where buyers and sellers could coexist in harmony. Her shop is now known as the OG trailblazer in American resale fashion, helping scrub the stigma from thrift shopping, re-branding it as a core youth culture activity. Now a chain of 41 family-owned and-operated stores across the US, with three locations in Los Angeles, Buffalo Exchange continues to champion an environmentally-conscious way of clothes shopping for indie kids, sneakerheads and ravers nationwide, keeping Gen Z fashionably-attired in the latest relaxed denim and Tenniscore essentials.
You’ll find popular brands from Levi’s to Free People to Nike, offered alongside gently used luxury items such as leather jackets and designer handbags, available at a fraction of the original price. Meticulous curation ensures you rarely encounter disorganised piles of nondescript clothing for a pleasant browsing experience. Grab a coffee afterwards at Community Goods, and if you’re there on a Sunday, make a day of it and stop by the Melrose Trading Post too, which is a few blocks away.
Best for: $1 dollar vintage sales
Address: 825 N La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Every Sunday in a parking lot on La Brea Avenue, a spectacle unfolds. Individuals blindly snatch armfuls of garments and dash back to designated bins to grab more. To some, it may look like chaos. To others, it’s a spiritual experience. This, budget-conscious shoppers, is the Jet Rag $1 sale. Amid the sacks of cast-offs you’ll find dresses from the 1960s and 1970s, fur coats, stained tees, your new favourite jeans – an endless assortment of finds, until suddenly, everything is gone, at which point you retreat to Tartine or M Cafe for a well earned brunch.
If you can’t wait until Sunday, there are bargains to be scored inside the store every day of the week. Jet Rag is one of the best vintage stores in LA – just allow plenty time to rifle through the racks.
West Hollywood / Beverly Hills / Westside
LILY et Cie
Best for: Mint-condition designer vintage
Address: 9044 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 90211
When Demi Moore stepped out at the 1992 Oscars wearing a vintage Versace gown, she was one of the first celebrities to bring pre-loved couture to the red carpet. It was procured from LILY et Cie, a 5,000 square foot veritable fashion museum, filled with impeccable vintage Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Chanel pieces. Located a stone’s throw from the Four Seasons Hotel, it draws A-listers including Kate Moss, the Olsen twins and the Kardashian clan (Kim Kardashian picked up a 2003 Alexander McQueen ‘Oyster Dress’ here for the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscars after party). Fashion veteran Rita Watnick has run the store for more than four decades, and legendary Hollywood costume designer Gilbert Adrian’s designs also have a home here – Watnick claims to hold the largest known collection of his pieces.
Best for: Marauding vintage pirates in Topanga Canyon
Address: 154 S Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Topanga, 90290
Fashion buccaneers take note: Hidden Treasures is a one-of-a-kind vintage trove that embodies the eclectic hippie spirit of its fairly remote, rustic Topanga Canyon neighborhood, north of Malibu. Its founder, Darrell Hazen, started selling vintage clothing on the canyon roadside in the 1970s before establishing a brick and mortar shop. The Tiki-style space is filled with a unique mix of wares, ranging from fur stoles to silk scarves and charmingly unique bric-a-brac. Designer brands are hard to come by here – but then, this isn’t your typical Melrose or Beverly Hills vintage experience. While in the neighbourhood, embrace the area’s laidback hippie spirit at Endless Color, which combines Neapolitan pizza and natural wine with vinyl records and crystals.
Best for: Show-stopping designer vintage for men and women
Address: ROW DTLA, 777 S Alameda Street Suite 174, Los Angeles, 90021
Arcade bills itself as a vintage co-op and consignment shop, from the team behind Pickwick Vintage market. It houses an eclectic collection of high-end pre-owned designer fashion for men and women. Think Dries Van Noten snakeskin ankle boots, a magenta 1980s Calvin Klein overcoat, and a Courreges purple vinyl jacket – just a handful of recent offerings at this trove of vintage finds. Prices are steep, as one might expect, with a 2005 Christina Dior haute couture button skirt fetching 800 USD, while a 1970s Missoni printed halter jumpsuit comes in at 1200 USD. You’ll will also find more affordable pieces among the racks, such as a 1970s giraffe print linen jumpsuit for 300 USD.
Arcade is located in the 32 acre ROW DTLA outdoor shopping complex between the fashion and arts districts, and is surrounded by top-notch dining, drinks and coffee options. We love the Rappahannock Oyster Bar, and Go Get ‘Em Tiger.
Pickwick Vintage Show
Best for: Statewide vintage finds, monthly market
When: 10am-4pm, monthly
Address: ROW DTLA, 777 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
This monthly vintage market at THE ROW DTLA showcases a stellar selection of vintage clothing, textiles and jewellery from more than 70 exhibitors who come from all across California. Tickets are priced between 10 and 20 USD, and attendees include serious collectors, connoisseurs and design enthusiasts, obsessed with everything from Victorian amulets to 1970s caftans.
The market opens at 10am for early buyers and 12 midday for general admission, and runs until 4pm. Parking is free for the first two hours, with a rate of 2.50 USD per hour thereafter. Scroll #PickwickPreview on TikTok and Instagram to get a sneak peek of what awaits you. You’re also spoiled for choice when it comes to pre-and post-shopping refreshments — we recommend a Vietnamese iced coffee or blueberry matcha latte from Cafe Dulce.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Best for: An overwhelmingly huge selection of vintage everything
When: The second Sunday of every month
Address: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103
With a legacy spanning almost half a decade, this monthly outdoor mega event is affectionately known as “the granddaddy of them all.” It hosts more than 2,500 vendors, offering an eclectic mix of antiques, vintage clothing, local art, and specialty products. Head straight for the orange zone, dedicated to furniture and antiques, while the white zone is a vintage fashion lover’s dream.
Pro tips: Food and drink options inside are limited, so consider packing snacks to keep your energy up as you navigate the market alongside 20,000 fellow buyers, often including a smattering of celebrities. Dressing rooms might be scarce, so wear something lightweight and easy to layer for trying on clothing. Finally, don’t forget to bring along a dolly or market cart for added convenience.
For the early birds, admission from 5am to 9:00am is 20 USD. Regular admission runs from 9am to 3pm and costs 12 USD, and children under twelve enter free when accompanied by an adult. Avoid long lines by purchasing your tickets in advance.