Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Urban Outfitters Surplus Store.

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Sherman Oaks Location: 14608 W Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91403

So, I’ve mentioned it in a couple posts now, and I thought it was time I do a post on the Urban Outfitters Surplus Store of LA. I drove by this countless times thinking it was just another Urban location, and I already have 3 close by me, so I paid no mind. Finally, after a few months I realized that the GIANT letters and decals in the windows, you know, the ones that say “SURPLUS” all over, weren’t changing. See, initially I drove past and just thought that it was in-store advertising for some big sale, but it finally donned on me that it was not just a sale, but an actual surplus/overstock/outlet store. I know, I’m a little slow…

Finally one day I stopped in, and it was a day that changed me forever! As a surplus store, you are scoring brand new Urban Outfitters clothing at absolutely ridiculous prices. We’re talking thrift store prices, sometimes better. Yes, it’s true, this is the place where they sometimes send the ill-fitting crap that no one wants in the real stores, but I would say 40% of this store is wearable. And by that, I mean wearable to me within my realm of style and fit. That’s pretty good for an outlet in my opinion, and honestly, it’s for the better that the percentage of personal appeal is on the lower half, or else I’d probably buy the whole damn store.

I absolutely love Urban Outfitters, and I think their buyers do a great job with marketing detailed pieces that tend to have a unique edge to them. It just never fails that I find some of my most interesting and favorite pieces at Urban, and I commend them for their creative and affordable loyalty to fashionistas everywhere. Immediately upon my first visit to the beloved Surplus store, I snagged some amazing things at next to nothing. All things I probably would not have paid full price for, ever. It’s a great feeling to know you have the opportunity to get weird and mix up your style without dropping dough or having to take the careful time of sifting through multiple thrift stores. There are gems everywhere in this store, and you’ll sometimes even find things that are still available online or in-store at full price. A few tips when visiting this store, or the only other location (as of now) in Chicago:

1)   Do like a thrifting pro, and scour every rack. It tends to be a little messy and out of place, especially near closing time, and it’s worth your while to make sure you’ve seen everything.

2)   Get Weird. I always talk about stepping out of your comfort zone of “predicatable” style and adding some edge to your wardrobe with truly unique pieces for next to nothing. This is your time to take risks and branch out, if any!

3)   Always ask for a price check. That top is wacky but awesome, right? And totally not what you’d normally pick out. And even though it’s 50% off, it’s still not really worth $29.99 for a spot in your closet….well, good news! I would say more than 60% of the items I’ve purchased have rang up much lower than the red sticker, making it hard to pass up the things you don’t want to try at full price. A lot of these items are cleared out after a regular sale sweep in main store locations, and sometimes the tags are left over from those sales. That means when they’ve hit surplus, they’ve got a red sticker already and get passed over for another markdown sticker even though the price has dropped. I found a $110 Dolce Vita dress, marked $59.99, which is extremely high for this store, and I asked for a price check just to see. The guy on the sales floor told me $10. Hell yes I’d take it for that! Well guess what. When I got up to the counter, it rang up as $5.  Now, do you really want to miss out on 95% off just because you didn’t ask?? I didn’t think so.

Pictured below, some trendy and awesome pieces I’ve scored here have included wedge sneakers for $6.99 (seen here), multiple chiffon and printed headwraps for $2-3 (seen here), camo printed skinny jeans for $9.99 (seen here), as well as a floral blousson top for $4, high-waisted acid wash cutoffs for $9.99, motorcycle tanks for $5, and the aforementioned white Dolce Vita dress for a staggeringly low $5.

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The store itself is much more female than male, with womens clothing taking up over half the store. It’s a cutoffs-wonderland with a whole rack of brightly-colored frayed goodness for $3 a pop, contains ample dressing rooms with no try-on limits, a ping pong table in the center for bored boyfriends (brilliant), and even a photo booth. Above are some photos of the LA store in Sherman Oaks, as well as some of the super-scores I’ve snagged. If I haven’t sold you on checking this place out, you need help.

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Black, on Black, on Black, on Brown.

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Could not have been more stoked to bust out these new sneaks!! Once again, another little oddball gem found at the Urban Outfitters Surplus store. I’m tellin’ ya…a surplus store, outlet, or massive sale of any kind is your time to jump into the deep end with your style. At 90% off, that’s your time to try new things. Fit and construction still matter of course, but as far as snagging something you would never try at full price, there’s no better time to do it.

These hidden wedge sneakers were originally $79.99, but yours truly snagged the last pair in any Los Angeles store, for $6.99. SIX. NINETY. NINE. PEOPLE. That’s just plain ridiculous. And they’re not even sold out online yet. I’d been wanting to give the wedge sneaker trend a go for a while now, I was just keeping a look out for a pair that wasn’t too bulky or chunky, that had some unique detail. This lasercut design was absolutely perfect. Just a touch different from all the wedge sneakers with Velcro and super-puffed design I’ve seen everywhere on the market. I combined them with all black, because I really wanted these babies to stand out as a unique focal point. Like, hellooooo…my face is up here but please look at my feet when you’re talking to me.

Wedge Sneakers: Urban Outfitters Surplus (online here)
Skinnies: H&M
Tee: Zara
Leather Jacket: Asos
Shades: Wasteland

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Embellished-Casual For Turkey Day!

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Now that I’m finally out of my food coma, let’s talk about how gorgeous Thanksgiving was last week! I spent the day down in Manhattan Beach with my boyfriend and his family, and spent both the night before and morning of whipping up some desserts and appetizers. I made a couple gluten-free turkey, cranberry, and blue cheese flat breads that people scarfed (I was thrilled)…and not to brag, but my first ever pumpkin pie turned out pretty damn good, considering it was gluten-free and dairy free!

Those of you who know me well know that I have Celiac Disease, and have been on an involuntarily-strict gluten-free diet for the last 7 years or so. For many years I avoided cooking, and just got by having snacks and no-prep food as meals. Fortunately, I’ve evolved and have experimented with cooking and become quite proficient at it, creating interesting things and learning the best substitutes for recipes. Though this will probably never grow into a food blog, I do love the art of cooking and maybe one of the best joys I get is sharing it with others. Especially when it allows people to realize that “gluten-free” truly can taste amazing when the proper effort is put forth!

I chose an outfit that was easy to move around in during the hustle and bustle of my morning, but would embrace the warm temperature without being overdressed or underdressed. Holidays are special, and we should always look nice, but when you’re with family and friends it’s still important to be comfortable. This outfit did the trick, and I chose to pair a simple tee, loose-fit denim shirt, and flats with what would normally be a very dressy skirt. It was just the right amount of holiday glam while being extremely comfortable, and most importantly, ready to chow! It was an awesome day with wonderful people, who I am very thankful have let me into their life as family when I am far away from my own. :)

Skirt: Express
Denim Shirt: Zara (Similar)
Tee: F21
Flats: Steve Madden
Bracelet: Nasty Gal
Necklace: 2020ave (similar)
Ring: Kate Spade

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