Superiority Complex — not a thrift store, but very retroEXPAND
Superiority Complex — not a thrift store, but very retro
Maya Kachroo-Levine

From West Adams to Inglewood, 5 Places to Go Thrifting South of the 10

Of all my L.A. thrift excursions (the east of Hollywood, the Westside and the Valley), thrift stores in South L.A. proved to be the most challenging to find by far, and I (very politely) blame SEO. If you research thrift stores in Santa Monica, countless results pop up 30 milliseconds after you press enter. But South L.A. is a large and somewhat amorphous area that search engines struggle to pinpoint. And of the stores I did find online, many had ceased to exist a few years before, and Yelpers had simply never “reported this location closed.”

Overall, this thrift trip was challenging but totally worthwhile. These hard-to-find spots were some of the most unique and creative secondhand stores I’ve come across yet. The way store designers are using spaces on Adams Street (just north of South L.A. in Mid-City), for example, is impressive, innovative and welcoming. Here are some of the best places to thrift south of the 10.

The Walk In ClosetEXPAND
The Walk In Closet
Maya Kachroo-Levine

The Walk In Closet
While some thrift stores have an almost boutique-y vibe, the Walk In Closet has more of a department-store feel, which I personally found to be a good thing. It wasn't overwhelmingly big, but it was sectioned off nicely and easy to navigate. Most of the pants were priced around $6 (and there was even a plus-size bottoms section, which isn't something I've seen at many other L.A. thrift stores). One room held exclusively 25-cent baby clothes and $1 purses and shoes, which also was promising. All proceeds from the Walk In Closet go to Giant Steps Community Programs, an organization that creates opportunities for developmentally disabled adults.
Vintage or thrift? Thrift
Hidden gem: I would definitely say the furniture. The clothes were great (good condition, good prices), but the furniture I saw was beautiful and especially well-priced. A gorgeous glass patio table with four chairs had just sold for $50, and there was a mint-condition twin bed and bed frame going for $30.

10813 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood. thewalkincloset.org.

Gr8 Finds
Maya Kachroo-Levine

GR8 Finds
If L.A. has one signature thrift-store aesthetic, it’s the one I would call “Narnia Wardrobe.” As in, the shop looks as if it’s going to be tiny, but then as you walk in, you realize it just keeps going and going. GR8 Finds is one of those stores that keeps getting deeper and deeper, and seeing as each rack is topped with a big, red $4.99 sign (sometimes $2.99), it’s impossible not to walk further into the store. It really felt like this shop had everything: brand-new purses, home decor, good-quality glassware, funky jewelry and leather skirts for less than $5.
Vintage or thrift? Thrift
Hidden gem: There are tons of great shoes (everything from heels to athletic shoes) for less than $5. It also has a great kids corner, with inexpensive toys and books for children.

2310 W. Jefferson Blvd., Jefferson Park. facebook.com/gr8-finds-thrift-store-860081750766238.

Zoe's VintiqueEXPAND
Zoe's Vintique
Maya Kachroo-Levine

Zoe’s Vintique
Zoe Guillory herself answered the door for me when I poked my head into Zoe’s a few minutes before it was scheduled to open. Guillory created the portmanteau “vintique” to more accurately describe what she’s selling. Some of the clothes are secondhand vintage, while others are never-been-used vintage (or “dead stock”). Guillory has been collecting for 15 years and also sells on Etsy. The prices are much more vintage than thrift — most of the nice blouses are in the $40 to $50 range. Come for the authentic flapper dresses, stay for the sequined changing room.
Vintage or thrift? Vintage
Hidden gem: The sequins rack

5359 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams. zoesvintique.com.

Superiority Complex
Superiority Complex is a shipping container that sits in a village of shipping containers. And the village of shipping containers, known as Adams Gateway, is absolutely lovely. It’s transporting; standing in Adams Gateway feels like standing in another time period and an entirely different city. Superiority Complex itself is tiny (probably the smallest shipping container on the property), and the way owner Daisy Zacarias uses the space is worth checking out. This is the only vintage store I’ve visited in L.A. that didn't have any secondhand items. It's retro, not vintage. However, it still made the list, because the store itself is built out of mostly secondhand materials. The cashier stand, the holder for the iPad used for transactions and the display racks are all made out of used car parts.

Zacarias and her husband also own the shipping container opposite them, which serves as the 1950s-style snack bar. On Wednesdays, they host a car meet-up with hot rods and other classic cars, and project an old movie. Zacarias said the neighborhood was in need of a family-friendly place, and that’s when they decide to open the ’50s snack shack along with their store.
Vintage or thrift? Modern vintage
Hidden gem: The snack bar

5746 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams. adamsgateway.com/superiority-complex.html.

It's a BargainEXPAND
It's a Bargain
Maya Kachroo-Levine

It’s a Bargain Thrift Shop
Located right next to the Orthopaedic Institute for Children, It’s a Bargain is what you’d call a classic thrift store. You can find inexpensive clothing, of course, and the selection of kitchenware is plentiful. For those looking for kitchen appliances, there was a gently used coffeemaker and juicer, each priced at $8, and if your kitchen is more established and fancy, it also has a near-mint-condition selection of glass plates.
Vintage or thrift? Thrift
Hidden gem: The 50-cent books and the $5 records

403 W. Adams Blvd., Historic South-Central. adamsgateway.com/superiority-complex.html.

Rare RevivalEXPAND
Rare Revival
Maya Kachroo-Levine

Rare Revival Vintage
Rare Revival’s interior is swoon-worthy. The store is so cozy that it makes you want to curl up in one of the vintage armchairs and start reading in the mock sitting room in front of the vintage jackets. The mannequins are dressed in outfits that look as if they were pulled from a trend-setting magazine. While these clothes are secondhand vintage, a lot of them have a modern feel, in that their style would definitely translate in 2016. The women’s dresses run from $40 to $120 and the men’s clothes are in the $30 to $50 range.
Vintage or thrift? Vintage
Hidden gem: The $5 bin (which actually has some great finds) and the 1950s ties that are all $15

5569 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams. facebook.com/rarerevivalvintage.


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