BEST FASHIONS TO HELP YOU GAIN SOME HEIGHT
It’s been years since Melrose has been packed with L.A. club kids prowling for outrageous outfits. In the last 10 years, the area has grown far more sedate, but the shoe selection is still worthwhile if you’re looking for something as whimsical as it is impractical. On the high end, Shoes for the Stars specializes in footwear that offer serious height. We’re talking five-to-seven-inch platforms (sometimes more), embellished with glitter and metal and all designed by a man named Jacob. Though these will set you back a few hundred dollars, deep discounts can be found during the store’s sales. For more affordable prices, check out Posers Hollywood. This long-standing, British-themed shop offers a wide variety of T-U-K shoes, which feature platforms in crazy patterns (plaid, stars, lips) typically for less than $100. 7558 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323) 655-2657, myspace.com/shoesforthestars.; 7417 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323) 653-4393, posers-hollywood.com.
BEST DISCOUNT DESIGNER DUDS
The crowds at Billion Dollar Babes sample sales events have grown to Comic Con–size proportions as bargain-savvy style hounds line up for a chance to sniff out the latest high-end designer fashions (like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, DVF, Chloe) for less — we’re talking up to 80 percent less. What started out, in 2001 in Hollywood, as a massive, multidesigner discount-shopping spree has become a two-day A-list partay with cocktails, DJs, swag and complimentary beauty treatments. But no need to camp out on the sidewalk days ahead to secure your place, or fight to the death for your Fendi. You can buy a VIP pass for $100 a year that gets you into events two hours before the rest of the flock. Early birds get the Jimmy Choos. Holiday sale, Nov. 6-7, Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (323) 964-6356.
BEST COSTUME JEWELS ON THE CHEAP
Glitterati ain’t no Tiffany & Co. Some of its bracelets seem like they fell out of a shipping container from China, some of the necklaces, one step above Mardi Gras beads. But Glitterati’s a great place to go if you need something shiny, pretty, trendy and cheap for clubbing or to dress up a bland outfit: ankle chains, hair clips, bangles, earrings, fake pearls, rhinestone pinkie rings as big as stop signs, you name it. The store specializes in eye-catching costume jewelry, but the keen eye will find more understated pieces. It’s also a well-known one-stop bauble shop for college girls — UCLA is right down the street — who are looking for a little sparkly something to wear to a frat party. Never mind if you can’t remember where you put that skull necklace. At ten bucks, you won’t miss it so much when you have to do the walk of shame. Glitterati, 1122 Westwood Blvd., Wstwd., (310) 208-5350.
BEST $10 WARDROBE
Nothing gets a bargain shopper’s adrenaline going more then the flying elbows and flying fabrics that is the experience of the legendary Jet Rag parking-lot dollar sale. Every Sunday, hung-over hipsters, aging drag queens, and clothing dealers get on their knees among piles of colorful clothing to fight over polyester disco dresses and vintage bowling shirts. Some of my finds over the years have included antique saris, a brand new pair of Joe’s jeans, and handmade silk scarves. Get there early and hang around; they open up bags and bales of clothes hourly. Oh, and they only take cash. Bring 10 bucks and find a whole new wardrobe. 825 N. La Brea Ave., Hlywd., (323) 939-0528. Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.