Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Accessorize for Everything Except a Crime: Shop Local LA Part IV

Here's a pretty well-known but oft-forgotten secret: you can wear a plain t-shirt and jeans, but if you accessorize it brilliantly, you'll always look fabulous. This is easy advice to give, but harder to follow unless you have the sources for great accessories. Accessories also make wonderful gifts, since many people simply won't fork out for them and have no idea how to i.d. an incredible outfit-making piece, anyway.

Accessorize With the Best of Them

Ten Over Six: This is the corner shop you really want around the corner from your house. The owners truly specialize in accessories, and it shows in the eclectic, often cutting edge pieces they stock. Their own line of purses and shoes, for instance (only found at the store) are a prime example: a perfectly sized clutch bag borrows the quilted leather of a Chanel bag, but then has one end "dipped" in house paint for something new and delightfully edgy (they offer booties like this as well). Many of the scarves are vintage and not very expensive, and they'll show you how to drape and tie one to dress up an ordinary t-shirt. All the jewelry is interesting, and they even have cool accessories for men. All in all, Ten Over Six is a must.
7274 Beverly Blvd.

Il Bisonte: Yes, Il Bisonte is based in Italy. But you really can't buy their goods anywhere except tiny boutiques (with limited selection) or at the stores, which are few and far between. Luckily, we have one right here in Beverly Hills, and that's local enough for me. These leather goods are streamlined, modern, and classic all at once. They have that cool equestrian vibe that Hermes boasts, without the out of line price tags. And they carry what I believe is one of the classiest and best designed key chains ever, for around $50. It's a great gift, really, and worth making a trip into the wilds of Beverly Hills to purchase some.
409 N. Camden Drive

Noodle Stories: This is primarily a clothing store on Third St., containing a meticulously edited selection of cult brand goods, some of which you've never heard of, but I assure they are of the highest quality. They also have high prices to match. However, the selection of scarves and odds and ends is truly lovely. I don't think you'll get out of here for under $200 (thus violating the Toad's price code), so just make sure whoever receives this gorgeous scarf, hat, wallet or pair of shoes understands exactly what they're getting. And hey, there's no law against going in to dream.
8323 West Third St.

Calleen Cordero: No local guide would be complete without mentioning Cordero, who produces her handmade belts, shoes, and bags right here in Los Angeles. These are rustic appearing goods that only the rich can afford in multiples, but there are still bargains to be had if you stick to the belt and smaller bag selection. When this store has a sale, the ferocity of the clientele becomes electric; don't fight these women unless you want your hair pulled out.
7384 Beverly Blvd.

American Rag: It's one big emporium of fashion, from jeans to ultra-trendy evening. But between the racks of unobtainable clothing lies a trove of accessories, much of them vintage and one of a kind. Most are in excellent shape, and perfect as gifts for arty people who love labels not. The sales assistance is lackadaisical at best, so good luck getting help retrieving that necklace from the case. Do check out the shoes, as they have an interesting assortment, especially for men (you can buy shoes for men; they're less fussy and generally only care about fit).
150 S. La Brea

Kitson: I mention this with severe reservations. Kitson has nothing but accessories for everyone, but it's the most obnoxious example of celebrity pandering nonsense on the planet. I think the store encourages the paparazzi to hang in front and stalk away. It is a local institution, however, and many of their goods are fun and hard to find. Go during an off hour (earlier morning, for instance), and get in and out fast.
115 S. Robertson Blvd.

Kid Robot: I love this store. My kid loves this store. Kids collect Kid Robot's strange, anime inspired keychains to hang from backpacks and bags. My child prefers "Yummy Breakfast," but there's a whole host of themes available. A word of warning: some themes are not appropriate for kids under 12 or so, so use your judgment. Most of these fanciful objects make terrific stocking stuffers.
7972 Melrose Ave.

Lost & Found: Tired of hearing me flog this horse repeatedly? Yes, it's Lost & Found again! I'd really like to not have to mention it once more, but I have no choice. You see, the accessories here are wonderful. Tons of interesting jewelry, scarves from around the world (Epice and Missoni abound), leather and paper goods, hats, and other fun stuff. I found wonderful beaded bags for just $15 each (so great to give to little girls). Yes, some of the goods aren't cheap, but most of it you simply won't find anywhere else.
6314 Yucca St.

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