The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

What to Wear and Where to Shop in Los Angeles

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere models chic looks for a day of shopping in L.A.'s best boutiques.

A reader recently asked me for some advice about what to wear while touring Los Angeles in mid-March, and since I'm a Midwest-girl living on the East Coast, I was pretty much stumped! So I called on the lovely SoCal native Emily, author of the popular fashion/lifestyle blog Cupcakes and Cashmere and expert on all-things-fashionable on the West Coast, who kindly obliged to respond to my dear reader with her superb advice. Without further ado, here's what Emily had to say about some of the best places to shop in L.A. and how to look good while you do it. —BB

Written by Emily from

One of the best parts about L.A. is the fabulous shopping. Of course, with all those adorable boutiques and designer duds come impeccably dressed women. Pretty much anything goes in Southern California, but it's not fun when everyone can tell you're an out of towner. Here are some of my tips for disguising yourself as a local when shopping amongst the stars.

  • For the designer shops in Beverly Hills (and on Rodeo specifically), I would suggest some dark denim, comfortable high heels, a simple v-neck shirt and a blazer. You want to look put together, but if you're too fancy, your tourist cover will be blown. L.A. is all about accessorizing so whether you throw on some simple gold hoops or opt for a tangle of chains around your neck, it will help complete your ensemble.

  • If you're opting for more California casual and browsing through beachy boutiques, maxi dresses are easy and comfortable. Plus, you can get away with a few bangles on your wrist and some metallic sandals and you're good to go.

Here are a few of my favorite neighborhoods for shopping.

3rd Street in West Hollywood. Here are some of the shops that carry under-the-radar brands with all kinds killer dresses and tops. Be sure to pop into Toast or Joan's for a fabulous salad and a red velvet cupcake for dessert.

  • Milk

  • Hillary Rush

  • Satine

  • Trina Turk

  • Scout

Beverly Hills. This little area is a mecca of designer stores including Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jimmy Choo, Harry Winston and many more. What most people miss out on are the little shops that line Beverly and Robertson Blvd. I go to these places to stock up on Summery basics.

  • Planet Blue

  • Jill Roberts

  • Madison

  • Kitson

  • Lisa Kline

Visit Emily's blog at for more fashion inspiration. Thanks Emily!!

Wow, you look gorgeous, and your outfits are very put together! Too bad I don't live in LA, but this post was really cute and informative. Thanks!
#1 Jacki (Homepage) on 2009-03-10 15:28 (Reply)
If your style is more vintage and rocker chick than designer, I suggest that you shop on Melrose - they have some of the best vintage stores ever! Check out Wasteland and Aardvark's. :-)
#2 L.A. girl on 2009-03-10 15:37 (Reply)
Lovely outfits! :-)
#3 Leia (Homepage) on 2009-03-10 16:24 (Reply)
I love Emily's blog! She has great style, and great suggestions on where to shop in LA. The best places to shop are under the radar.
#4 Darrah (Homepage) on 2009-03-10 18:05 (Reply)
My 2 favorite bloggers come together. Excellent blog ladies. You both rock!
#5 Chrissy on 2009-03-10 20:01 (Reply)
love her site! and yours!! this was great! im dying for a vaca, and im thinking im due for an LA trip, havent been in over a year...
#6 amanda (Homepage) on 2009-03-10 22:00 (Reply)
Emily's fantastic - so's Budget Babe - good to see you together!
#7 Wanderlust (Homepage) on 2009-03-10 23:03 (Reply)
Hey BB,
Just some tips from one who lives in LA-LA land, it's actually kinda COLD here at the moment. Your reader should bring a good sweater for the evening. It's very cool at the beach now too even in the day time. I went to the beach today and wore a surf jacket!
Also, the shops mentioned are pricey not really "budgetary" although they are fabby. Trina Turk will run you 100s of dollars. I love her stuff, but the best "priced" place to get it is the Barney's sale/Santa Monica Hanger. I would recommend shopping Santa Monica's Montana avenue for some adorable stuff at great prices PLUS stopping into 17th St Cafe or Babalu for lunch. You'll also have a great view of the ocean and feel the breeze while you shop. I have spent many happy hours strolling Montana Ave! Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade is another great spot for shopping, dining & people watching. Also, I've seen many stars here in LA. If they are out, most are "schlepping" and are incognito so photogs won't catch them. They are typically in huge sunglasses, baseball caps and sweats. Some of them have assistants do their shopping :-) Emily's pics are wicked cute and she has good tips--just wanted to offer a few more.

PS-- Kitson is a little "trendy" and on perpetual paparrazi steak-out for Nicole and Paris.
#8 Mary Hall (Homepage) on 2009-03-11 00:55 (Reply)
CandC you are so uber stylish!!! I did wonder why you didn't mention Melrose and the Promenade (but they may not be your favorites)-but the other readers covered it! Love this!!!!
#9 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2009-03-11 07:48 (Reply)
Is Camarillo outlet good? OR should i opt for third street? I onli got a free day
#10 jun on 2009-09-10 03:23 (Reply)
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