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When in Cali, shop as the Californians do

- Cristina

 I have lived in California my entire life, but until last year, I had never before visited the famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. It was like something out of a magazine with its dazzling window displays, glamorous people, and the west coast signature: rows of palm trees.
 However, the $80 headband I picked up (and promptly threw down) in Juicy Couture told me why I had never been to the Hills before: Rodeo Drive, while indeed beautiful, is reserved for the rich and famous. Despite what one may see in movies or on TMZ, very few Californians are rich or famous, and that is why the majority of us do not shop in Beverly Hills.
 We go to the Fashion District.
Greenery is sorely lacking in downtown Los Angeles but, thankfully, so are $80 headbands. The L.A. Fashion District, also known as the Garment District or “The Alley,” is a combination of retail and wholesale shops and small restaurants which sprawl over an astounding 90 blocks of the city. What the Fashion District lacks in palm trees and elegance it makes up for in affordable shopping, incredible variety, and true Los Angeles culture in all its gritty glory.
 The beauty of this shopper’s haven is its convenience. Whether you need a prom dress or tuxedo, a graphic tee, a Hannah Montana backpack (for your little sister, of course), a designer watch, or a lifetime supply of calcetines (socks), you can find it in the Fashion District at a competitive price. If you think saving money means giving up quality, think again. Wholesalers from your favorite brands like DKNY, Marc Jacobs, and yes, even Juicy Couture, set up shop right in the heart of L.A. so you can get the best clothing and accessories at the best price.
Rodeo Drive is lovely, but if you want to get the most bang for your buck while in Southern California, the Alley is where you need to go. After all, that is where real Californians shop.
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