5 Tips for Bargain Shopping in the Fashion District

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K&M II, 229 E. 12th St., 323-592-0459

The LA Fashion District is 100 blocks. It’s huge. There are hundreds of stores in the area offering 4X$10 bargains and advertising $9.99 sales, which got us thinking… where can you really get the best bang for your buck? We invited fashion blogger and avid Fashion District shopper, Karishma Donde, who’s been shopping in the district for years, to show us how she shops for bargains and share her top 5 bargain shopping tips.

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We met up with Karishma on a slightly overcast Saturday afternoon determined to find the best prices in town.  We started off on Santee Street and browsed various shops until we reached an alleyway near 12th Street. This, she informed us, is where the real deals and gems are.

Tip 1: “You can find the same things they sell in other parts of the district, but for much less.” It may be a bit off the beaten path, but it’s worth the walk. (See the area labeled as “New Alley” on this map.)

Case-in-point: The racks of $5 and $8 tops that lined the various little shops. We walked along the alleyway until we made our first purchase from a lady selling skater skirts for something like $5.

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Tip 2: “Always bring CASH and have a budget.” You’ll be able to better bargain if you have a set amount you want to spend and have cash on hand. Vendors are a lot more willing to bargain if you have cash in hand.

We walked through the alleyway heading toward Maple Avenue, making a couple purchases along the way. The store below is run by the sweetest lady. It doesn’t look like much but, it was a gold mine for work-appropriate pleated skirts. So many patterns and prints to choose from!

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Angel, 1213 S Maple Ave. #2, 213-747-6842

Tip 3: “Bring a large reusable bag.”  This one is a no-brainer. It makes carrying your purchases easier and frees up your hands to do other things, like browsing the sales racks.

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L.A. Apparel, 326 1/2 E 12th St. (inside the alley), 213-748-0370

We walked along Maple Avenue until we reached Santee Alley. Karishma was hoping to find outfits to wear on an upcoming cruise, but alas after much browsing we gave up on the idea of cruise wear.

Tip 4: “Come with low to zero expectations. What you are looking for may not always be there.” Bargain shopping is done best with an open mind. Remember, you are treasure hunting!

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The Santee Alley

Tip 5:  “Wear comfy shoes and expect lots of walking.” Good deals don’t find themselves 😉

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After a full afternoon of shopping, we ended up spending about $115 on 4 pants, 2 skirts, a top, a jumpsuit, and a romper. That’s about $12 a piece if you average it even, and a complete steal for the big ticket items like the jumpsuit and pants. Not pictured but also included in the budget – churros.

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You can see how Karishma styled her purchases and more of her OOTDs on Instagram @adairestarr. Thank you for sharing your tips with us Karishma!

Check out www.karishmadonde.com and feel free to reach out to Karishma on Twitter and Facebook. She’s on Pinterest too.