How To Shop L.A. Like A Costume Designer

Where would Olivia Pope be without her sleek coats? Or Claire Underwood without her signature sheath dresses? The clothes in Scandal and House of Cards are as character-defining as Olivia's gladiator mentality or Claire's political prowess. Quality acting and riveting writing may be hallmarks of a great production, but you can never underestimate the importance of a killer wardrobe in any TV show or film.

Of course, stellar on-screen style doesn't happen overnight. For every fashionable leading lady, there's a brilliant costume designer working diligently behind the scenes. Hoping their impeccable taste and knowledge of fashion would rub off on us, we tapped seven Hollywood costume designers for L.A. shopping recommendations. Oh, and these designers aren't just any old wardrobe whisperers — all seven women are nominees at the 17th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. How's that for proof they'll have A+ advice?

Below, the style geniuses behind Scandal, American Horror Story, Wild, and more reveal their favorite retail haunts. Here's to hoping their recs will help us be half as chic as Olivia someday...
Photo: Courtesy of Curve.
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Lou Eyrich, nominated for a CDG Award for American Horror Story: Freak Show
With characters ranging from a bearded lady to conjoined sisters, it's safe to say that AHS: Freak Show kept costume designer Lou Eyrich's hands pretty full. But, of course, the seasoned vet — who previously worked on Glee and Nip/Tuck — pulled it off with aplomb.

The Way We Wore
"Doris always has incredible vintage couture jewelry, hats, clothing, etc. She sends them to me wherever we are shooting and saves the day!"
The Way We Wore
, 334 South La Brea Avenue (near West 3rd Street); 323-937-0878.

Des Kohan
"Hand-curated designer clothing and jewelry. Elegant with an 'at home' vibe."
Des Kohan
, 671 Cloverdale Avenue (at Wilshire Boulevard); 323-857-0200.

Swift Vintage
"Treasure troves. Great, fun vintage stuff."
Swift Vintage
, 3216 West Magnolia Boulevard (at North California Street); 818-558-1289.

Photo: Courtesy of Mohawk General Store.
Johanna Argan, nominated for a CDG Award for House of Cards
Nobody on TV nails power dressing quite like Robin Wright's character, Claire Underwood, and she has costume designer Johanna Argan to thank for that. We can't wait to see what Argan has come up with for season three, which premieres on February 27.

Mohawk General Store
"For a unique find."
Mohawk General Store
, 4011 West Sunset Boulevard (at Sanborn Avenue); 323-669-1601.

Reiss
"For dresses and skirts that are fashion-forward, but at a great price point."
Reiss
, 145 North Robertson (near Beverly Boulevard); 310-276-0060.

Curve
"For my French staples."
Curve
; multiple locations.

Photo: Courtesy of Stacey Todd.
Lyn Paolo, nominated for a CDG Award for Scandal
Though Olivia Pope's outfits almost always steal the show (and understandably so), Lyn Paolo is equally brilliant when it comes to the rest of the cast's looks. Think: Mellie and Fitz's White House-worthy ensembles and newcomer Liz's standout skirt suits.

Stacey Todd
"Stacey Todd is always cutting-edge and finding new designers and silhouettes, and has been a favorite of mine for many years."
Stacey Todd, 454 North Robertson Boulevard (near Dorrington Avenue); 310-659-8633.

Jami Lyn
"Jami Lyn — and specifically the owner, Jami — is always willing to source multiples and is truly collaborative with costume designers."
Jami Lyn
, 840 South Robertson Boulevard (near Gregory Way); 310-657-5887.

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Photo: Courtesy of Lost and Found.
Jenny Eagan, nominated for CDG Awards for both True Detective and Olive Kitteridge
With not one but two nominations to her name, Jenny Eagan is a veritable costume-design powerhouse. Before outfitting Rust Cohle and the Kitteridges for the small screen, she worked on blockbusters like No Country for Old Men, Catch Me If You Can, and True Grit.

Lost And Found
"Beautiful clothes for men, women, and children, and accessories, shoes, and gifts for just about anyone."
Lost and Found
; various locations.

Decades
"Really amazing vintage, as well as wonderful vintage and contemporary pieces for resale."
Decades, 8214 Melrose Avenue (near North Harper Avenue); 323-655-1960.

Photo: Courtesy of Decades.
Melissa Bruning, nominated for a CDG Award for Wild
A silver screen specialist, Melissa Bruning served as costume designer on movies such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Let Me In before equipping Reese Witherspoon with her hiking looks for the Oscar-nominated flick Wild.

Playclothes
"If I'm looking for really amazing vintage pieces for a show or to wear, this is the first place I go. They always have unusual pieces that are in really good condition."
Playclothes
, 3100 West Magnolia Boulevard (near North Fairview Street); 818-557-8447.

Sumi's
"Gifts, art, vases, or jewelry — they have it all. It's my go-to place for presents or jewelry for an event."
Sumi's
, 1812 North Vermont Avenue (near Franklin Avenue); 323-660-0869.

Cydwoq
"Not only do they make high-quality shoes here, but they have a special back room of deeply discounted shoes, belts, and bags."
Cydwoq
, 2102 Kenmere Avenue (near Valpreda Street); 818-848-8307.

Una Mae's

"They have modern and vintage, and sometimes just a cool T-shirt to wear with jeans."
Una Mae's
, 1768 North Vermont Avenue (near Kingswell Avenue); 323-662-6137.
Photo: Courtesy of The Way We Wore.
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Ane Crabtree, nominated for a CDG Award for Masters of Sex
Convincingly re-creating the '50s and '60s is no easy feat, but Ane Crabtree hits it out of the park for Showtime's period drama Masters of Sex. We might be guilty of re-watching scenes just to get a closer look at Virginia's and Libby's outfits...

Rafu Busson
"It’s a great place to get authentic Japanese items for the home, and also beautiful gifts. It started as a business before World War II. The owner had to leave during the Japanese internment camps, and they still manage to thrive today."
Rafu Busson
, 326 East 2nd Street (near South Los Angeles Street); 213-614-1181.

Necromance
"This is my all-time-favorite place for skulls, Victorian mourning jewelry, and bits of interesting antique items (like glass slides!) that I have used in my own artwork."
Necromance
, 7220 Melrose Avenue (near North Formosa Avenue); 323-934-8684.

Wells Tile & Antiques
"Love antique California tile? Into the American art-pottery movement? This is the place for you."
Wells Tile & Antiques
, 2110 West Sunset Boulevard (near North Alvarado Street); 213-413-0558.

Stories Books And Cafe
"The combination of new and used books here panders to Echo Park's bohemian literati. It's a real bookstore, with really yummy breakfast."
Stories Books And Cafe
, 1716 West Sunset Boulevard (near Logan Street); 213-413-3733.
Photo: Courtesy of Oak.
Ellen Mirojnick, nominated for a CDG Award for The Knick
Are we jealous Ellen Mirojnick gets to hang out with Clive Owen all day? Possibly. But, mostly, we're in awe of the early-1900s outfits she churns out for the new Cinemax show, in which Owen stars as the dapper Dr. John W. Thackery.

Oak
"Everything in black and white you could dream of."
Oak
; various locations.

Mameg
"A cornucopia of European flair; L.A.'s mini Colette for women."
Mameg
, 9970 Santa Monica Boulevard (near Moreno Drive); 310-826-4142.

Fred Segal
"Fashion on trend, at every price point."
Fred Segal
; various locations.

Maxfield
"L.A. high fashion at its finest."
Maxfield
, 8825 Melrose Avenue (near North Robertson Boulevard); 310-274-8800.



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