*Get there early–We were there by 9 am and had a LOT of the shopping to ourselves for a couple of hours, but the afternoon got super busy.
*Use bathrooms at Micheal Levine—they cost a quarter (and you might get walked in on)—but there are not a lot of public bathrooms available.
*Eat at the Subway on 9th and Olympia–it was cool and we could sit down for a few minutes and rest our feet.
*Vendors don’t really haggle unless your buying like more than 5 yards. Maybe we are just wimpy hagglers, but we found that most vendors were not willing to lower prices for quantities less than 5 yards…..so know that ahead of time.
*Start at FIDM--Dana gave us this advice…and it was well-worth it to start there. Because the fabric is always $1 a yard you can go there first, get what you need and then move out into the Fashion District for more.
*Angel Fabrics is a good place and they’ll call you “little Mama”. We got lots of fabric there…..
*Park at Micheal Levine’s parking lot (turn right off of 9th onto Maple)—it’s on a roof top and only costs $5 to park there all day and you can walk everywhere from there. This advice came from Ashley and she is spot on…it is the BEST place to park.
*Don’t expect killer clothes deals in Santee Alley.
*Take lots of cash in small bills.
*BUY BUY BUY—it’s so cheap, and you’ll regret not getting more when you come home. (We already regret not getting more and we brought 100 pounds back!) And if you like something….just buy it then. We waited on a couple of things, and then couldn’t remember where we saw them (all the shops start looking alike after awhile) and missed out.
But we know for next time!
Oh that looks like so much fun, and I love the fabrics you bought! I’ve got a thing for striped knits. 🙂
liza jane says
That looks like such a fun trip.
Justine of SewCountryChick says
I was just down there last week! I go to the FIDM store about once a month. We love to go to Little Tokyo or Olvera Street or Phillipe’s to eat after. I went to FIDM for fashion design. We didn’t have the store back then. Did you visit the FIDM museum?
I grew up in the LA area and I used to go down there with a friend and her mom who was a designer! SO many fun memories, doesn’t look like the neighborhood has changed much 🙂
LOVE the knit stripes and your advice! I hope I find myself there one day! My brother lives in LA and offered to go for me sometime, but I couldn’t do that to him!
Angela K. says
Thanks so much for this. I live about an hour and a half northeast of LA and have wanted to go here for some time but I didn’t know exactly were to go. Thanks!
Love this! I live not too far from downtown so I definitely check out other people’s recommendations. California Market Center is nearby (walking distance) and it’s worth checking their sample sale schedules for clothing shopping if you’re there on a Friday that is open to the public. Oh, and I’ve been able to negotiate less than five yards but you have to be willing to walk away. I’ll agree that you’ll get a better deal if you’re buying more.
What an awesome trip!! I would love to do this sometime…thanks for all the tips!!
Melissa Martin says
Great advice and I can say right on to all of it. You are right about haggling. You have to be buying larger quantities. I used to go with friends and if we liked the same thing, we would buy an extra yard if need be to get to 5 or 6 yards so we could haggle. I have to admit, the haggling is so much fun! We always stopped at the Subway too, it is also one of the cleaner places to eat down there. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures, makes me a little bit homesick!
Your trip does look fantastic! It reminds me of when I go to High Point, NC shopping for home furnishings, except nothing is usually $1. 🙁 But I usually do find furniture 80-95% off! 🙂 Doesn’t everybody love a stripe?
Heartmade Creations says
Ok, I live in Glendale, Ca just above Los Angeles and I STILL haven’t gone down to the Fashion District. Because of all your awesome advice, I WILL be planning a big trip soon! Thanks for sharing!!!
I live outside of LA and have been to the fashion district a few times. I love Michael Levine when I do go. And yes, if you see something, buy it!! It is definitely an experience though, I know the first time I went I was a bit overwhelmed.
How fun! I so want to take a trip just to go to the LA fabric district! Looks like you got some awesome loot.
I’m 69 years old and have some mobility limitations, so I have a few logistics questions. Did you take some sort of rolling cart to carry your purchases from store to store? Also, the stores look to be rather crowded; do they have shopping carts? Assuming they don’t, how do you manage to carry around items you want, keep shopping, and then finally get it all to the cutting table? This looks like it would be such a fun trip!