Santa Monica Shopping: Splurge vs. Save
Luxury Shopping in Santa Monica
When most people think of luxury shopping in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills immediately comes to mind. But did you know that Santa Monica is home to a wealth of high-end stores too? Here’s a list of some of the best spots in the city where you have a Pretty Woman-inspired shopping spree without venturing too far from the beach.
Santa Monica Place
For a marathon day of shopping, valet at Santa Monica Place and experience a wide range of luxury boutiques. Located at the end of the Third Street Promenade, this upscale mall has a variety of high-end stores to check out. Fan of designer brands? Then visit Louis Vuitton on the first floor to browse their signature handbags, luggage, fragrances and more. There’s nothing more chic than sporting that iconic LV monogram.
A few doors down is Rolex Presented by Geary’s. The ritzy Swiss watch brand has been around for more than 100 years and is still going strong with a giant, loyal fanbase. You can browse a wide range of styles at the Santa Monica outpost of this Beverly Hills store, which has been family-owned since it first opened as a hardware store on Beverly Drive in 1930.
Grab a latte and croissant at Starbucks and have your own breakfast at Tiffany’s. Also, on level one, you can admire the whimsical rotating window displays at the famous jewelry retailer and pop inside to pick up an exquisitely crafted memento of your visit.
Santa Monica Place isn’t the only area in town to shop for lavish and stylish jewelry. Sitting on trendy 12th Street, King Baby offers avant-garde, handcrafted pieces for men and women, along with men’s fragrances. The company was started in 2000 by Mitchell Binder, a Mississippi native who moved to LA in the ‘70s as a teenager and was inspired by the freedom and idealism of the rock ’n’ roll of his youth. He grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, and many of the pieces reflect that era and its aesthetic.
While Hoorsenbuhs jewelry is sold at various stores across the country, the flagship shop on Main Street in Santa Monica offers a truly unique visit. You can make an appointment to take in the showroom, or stop by the headquarters across the street, which features art by Damien Hirst and a geodesic dome on the roof where the brand hosts sound baths and other experiences. Each edgy, high-fashion piece is carefully handmade with no expense spared and lots of attention to detail. Celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Rihanna and Mary-Kate Olsen love this brand and are constantly being photographed wearing Hoorsenbuhs designs.
La Vitrine Designs by Musti is located on bustling Montana Ave. The store prides itself on its collection which is, “crafted with precious metals and the finest gemstones in brilliant color combinations.” Musti is the powerhouse behind the creations and his jewelry is all masterfully designed. Looking for a new statement piece? You’ll find some real gems at La Vitrine Designs by Musti.
Budget-Friendly Boutiques in Santa Monica
Santa Monica isn’t all luxury shopping and designer goods with high price-tags though! Thanks to the city’s celebrity and label-loving residents, you can dress like an A-lister, without necessarily spending like one, at a wide range of high-end resale stores where preloved and barely-worn couture items are yours for the browsing.
High-end resale stores
Want a second opinion? Book a free styling appointment at The Closet on Main Street and let its expert fashionistas bring a carefully curated selection of labels right to your dressing room. From Chanel to Free People to Rag & Bone, you’ll find trendy, like-new and seasonal pieces from some of your favorite department store brands here — at a fraction of their retail price
Charity thrift stores
Tucked between the chef-driven hotspots and mom-and-pop bakeries on popular Wilshire Boulevard, The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop is known for its fabulous vintage clothing collection — as well as accessories and homeware — with all sales supporting the ACS and cancer research. Spread a little kindness as you shop for classic couture here.
Located on Pico Boulevard, much of the gently used women’s and men’s clothing, jewelry, shoes and housewares for sale at The Colleagues are designer or vintage. You can also snag decorative arts and home goods. Funds raised from weekly sales benefit Children’s Institute, Inc. to help children and families affected by violence, abuse and other trauma.
With both a dedicated family thrift store and a separate antique and collectible boutique right next door, the Salvation Army on 11th Street, has all your second-hand shopping desires covered. Browse its staggering selection of one-of-a-kind items with fresh stock added daily, and leave with much more than you bargained for!
Conveniently located on one of Santa Monica’s most iconic thoroughfares, St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop is a top pick for gently-used kids’ clothing and adults fashions; as well as a host of books, jewelry, art, homeware and more. Browse its affordable range of donated items, and support several community outreach programs, run by the Parish of St. Matthew, with every purchase.