Los Angeles, or rather LA, is quite surprising for the first time visitors. It´s not quite all that glamour that you would expect to see if you grew up with Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place or, more lately, are a fan of reality TV shows shot in amazing mansions of Bel Air and alike.
LA can even shock at first as most of it is a far cry from the luxury- quite the opposite actually. Not that great infrastructure and a lot of boxes-like buildings with some rather unimpressive stores and alike. If you are visiting LA more often than just once, you start to understand the city better and even like it.
It is no wonder though that shopping wise it´s quite a similar story. You don’t have to go to Rodeo Drive and replicate Julia Roberts at Pretty Woman if you want to get some glamorous stuff. On contrary, you may find some true gems at rather unassuming locations, last you would expect to find any luxury stuff.
Whereas in LA, I tend to stay in rather nice hotels and rent a decent car, for shopping, I go to places like Beverly Connection– on the opposite side of the street from the Beverly Center.
While from those pics you may think I am suggesting you to visit some weird location, trust me, you are practically in West Hollywood full of fancy restaurants and celebrities (you would never tell, would you?). Beverly Connection is a shopping centre hosting practically all notable discount stores of the US (think of the trinity of TJMaxx, Ross, Marshalls, Off 5th, Nordstrom Rack, etc etc). All in one place!
Selection of items in most stores are pretty good, considering of being at the heart of LA (or almost). My favourite upon my last visit, was a place I thought this would have been impossible- no other than TJMaxx! Aside of the usual stuff, that is some Tommy Hilfigers, Ralph Lauren’s, Calvin Kleins, it had quite a few racks of heavily discounted, real designer gems!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I never thought I would bump into Tom Ford or Valentino at TJMaxx! Yet I did! Check it out for yourself!
Not only Tom Ford and Valentino! Though this white dress of the latter made me want to marry!
Heavily discounted Escada, Kate Middleton´s favourite Reiss, Derek Lam, to name a few.
What´s more? The section I usually give it a miss at TJMaxx, that is handbags, also had a pleasant surprise- Givenchy bag that is!
All in all- not all that cheap as I would like that to be, yet few gems to be brought home for sure! I found Valentino discounted from 2160 USD to 359 USD, Escada from 300 USD to 89 USD, Reiss from 280 to cool 34 USD. Sizes are obviously limited, hence luck is quite a factor.
Cosmetics section deserves a separate mention: a great selection of heavily discounted Estee Lauder, Clinique or Elizabeth Arden won’t leave you empty handed, even you don’t find your size in clothes section.
I must admit, even Tom Ford looks somewhat less appealing when hanging not in a sleek boutique, but on a rack in a discount store, yet it somehow fits that understated LA side, so shopping wise it may be some of the best spots in town.
Do check it out when you are around!
Where: Beverly Connection, 100 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA