I've always been of the mind that putting together a basic outfit is easy, but accessorizing is hell. Still, I personally love it when people give me accessories, and in my experience most giftees feel the same way. Of course, most great accessories aren't cheap (and why would you give something crummy, anyway?), but they are necessary, since a beautiful scarf or hat or belt often makes an outfit. Plus, buying someone really special an equally special Comme des Garcons wallet might cost you, but that gift's guaranteed to last them for years.
In this Accessory category, I've included jewelry, too. And keep in mind: jewelry doesn't have to cost a mint to make an impact.
Local LA Accessory Shopping
Ten Over Six: This wonderful boutique totally filled an LA shopping hole. Artsy, edgy, and dog friendly, the designer/owners have filled this store with cult brands like Rachel Comey, Lizzie Fortunato, Comme des Garcons, and their own fabulously inventive labels. It's so carefully curated that they even stock a few cosmetic items from hard-to-find brand Rodin. Does any of this come cheap? Not really. But if you need to please that fussy fashionista on your gift list, you could do no better than Ten Over Six's Document Clutch (pictured at right). It's total genius.
8425 Melrose Ave.
Lost and Found: I warned you. This string of stores on a Hollywood block pretty much covers all the bases, and thus might be mentioned in most categories. Featured today is the amazing selection of gorgeous scarves, wallets, handbags, and jewelry, many made by local designers. To browse through the scarf selection is to appreciate the fine art of accessorizing; they come in every colorway and size. The bags and wallets, many by Italian designers Il Bisonti and Sissi Rossi, are super expensive (you've been warned) but are classic and gorgeous. This is stuff for the discriminating woman who keeps her style classic. But, there's also strings of African beads and fun beaded bags to be had for far less.
6414 Yucca St.
Noodle Stories: This store is the snottier, even more upscale version of Lost & Found. Located in an all white, gallery-like setting on Third St., this boutique has upscale accessories aplenty. It's simply awash in silk and cashmere, and everything is impeccable. This is not a store for the youth-oriented. No, this is how I would like to dress in later middle-age if I had a ton of money to spend. Still, if you need to buy an incredibly tasteful gift for an older, super classy woman (who's partial to the style of Margiela, Yohji, or Urbanati), this store would be my go-to destination.
8323 W. Third St.
Persimmon Handpicked Objects: Hardly anyone knows about this store. Pity, since so many one-designer dedicated jewelry stores have closed up (Me and Ro comes to mind), and Persimmon carries the goods. Ten Thousand Things, Jamie Joseph, Melissa Joy Manning, and other brands are all featured here. You know, Barney's carries a lot of the same designers, but they're far nicer at Persimmon. And you don't have to spend an absolute fortune here. This so fashionable and of the moment Joseph Brooks black tiger's eye bracelet is $80 (pictured at right), and seems superior to much of the other similar dreck available in bulk around town.
310 Flores St. (off Beverly Blvd.)
Kitson: So, speaking of similar dreck... yes, I know, Kitson is obnoxious and odious, a palace devoted to celebrity ass-kissing of the worst sort. But it's also useful. It's just so crammed full of accessories that it would be irresponsible of me to not give it a mention. Sure, it's trendy and full of the most empty headed sales help ever. Yes, the paparazzi are always stationed outside. But it is a local store. Really, it is, like it or not. Need a few doodads for a teen? Go to the Robertson location midday on a weekday and pick up a couple of things. It'll be a hit, I promise.
115 S. Robertson Blvd.
OK: Already mentioned for its housewares, OK features a lovely, very modernist jewelry selection. It also has plenty of personal accessories, many of which are quite minimalist and appropriate for just about anyone with a pulse. Wallets, key chains, and well designed portable tools are all on display here. And again, there's the jewelry. Much of it is recycled gold and conflict free diamonds (the emphasis here is on "conflict," the "free" has nothing to do with the prices). While much of the wares by such designers as Sarah Graham (her earrings are pictured at right), Pippa Small, and Zara Schofield (among many others) don't come cheap, there are inexpensive surprises like the $35 "Wish" necklace crafted from 14k gold and red thread.
3303 W. Third St.
1724 1/2 Silverlake Blvd
Fred Segal: An LA institution, the two Fred Segal outposts are actually completely different entities. No matter: for our purposes they are the same. One is in West Hollywood, one in Santa Monica. The Santa Monica one is bigger. Both carry tons of stuff, with less obnoxiousness than Kitson. I suppose you could get all your shopping done at either store, although it would be an expensive holiday season, indeed. From beaded baubles to hot handbags to cult cosmetics, Fred offers it all. Plus, there's always lunch to be had.
420 and 500 Broadway, Santa Monica
8100 Melrose Ave.
Bead Boutique: Give the ultimate personal gift and make people jewelry. At least, that's the main goal behind Third St.'s Bead Boutique. There are other bead stores, but they're quite crowded and unpleasant. This store offers an edited variety of bead, chain, and jewel choices. They'll help you out. And, they offer ready-to-buy creations that are lovely and quite reasonably priced (many under $100). Alternatively, you could choose and create a beaded jewelry making kit for a child on your list, so they can make their own accessories.
8313 W. Third St.
Noni: A totally favorite local store, Noni offers lots of local designers at pretty affordable prices. The jewelry can be edgy and fun. There are handbags by vegan designers Matt and Nat. The scarves are on point, trendwise, but at lower price points than other stores. And the clothing, if you're so inclined, is really great. Plus, co-owner Noni girls Megan and Elaine are just so cool and nice (a real rarity in this snooty city). Pay them a visit and find the fashion forward friend a gift.
225 N. Larchmont Blvd.