Once an underground high fashion shopping scene popular amongst hipsters, musicians and the counter culture crowd seeking everything untrendy yet hip and hot at the same time, Melrose Avenue today has emerged as a major shopping destination for both the local Hollywood crowd and visitors from all over the world seeking both alternative wear and the latest trendy fashions. No longer an underground for those in the know, the Melrose Avenue District is now known all over the world for a wide variety of apparel choices for all tastes, from hip and hot to sexy and sensual.
The Melrose Avenue District Stores can be divided into 2 halves. There is the east half that starts at Fairfax and extends all the way to La Brea and the west half that starts at Fairfax and extends all the way to La Cienega. On the east half from Fairfax to La Brea, the Hollywood area, the stores are all very edgy, punk and counter culture. It is here that you will find a choice of tattoo parlors, stores with an industrial look-each with funky colors on the outside and high ceilings on the inside blasting a mix of rock and punk music. These stores cater to loud,edgy and heavy accessories such as funky belts, leather boots, goth type jackets, T-shirts and denims as well as accessories such as rings, bracelets and hair pieces. In addition fashionable button ups and leather to cover any part of the body can be found along this stretch. Many of the stores offer the same merchandise although there a few unique items that stand out from store to store. Stores in this area of more branded name included Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. For the most part most of the stores are all boutique like in nature. In addition this stretch offers a variety of boutiques specializing in lingerie and sex appeal and you will find many scantly clothed mannequins holding whips and chains in some of the windows of these stores. There are a variety of restaurants along this stretch that cater to all menus including Mexican, Italian and Sushi. The original Johnny Rockets is along this stretch. This stretch of the Melrose District is well over a mile and half long so although it will be appealing to window shop and dart from store to store, you will need a car if you intend not to walk but want to take the full stretch in.
To the west of Fairfax Melrose Avenue travels towards West Hollywood. Unlike its sister stretch to the east, this section of Melrose is a little more manicured and caters to the more upscale, fashion conscience crowd. It is here you will find stores like Fred Segal where if you follow celebrity tabloids are always full of the A listers and the paparazzi who chase them. The selection in Fred Segal tends to be similar to that of Robertson Blvd, very high end, unique and on the fashionable side. Other stores on this stretch of Melrose include Diesel and Ralph Lauren.
Hollywood's legendary Pinks Hot Dogs are located at the intersection of Melrose and La Brea Ave and is a great spot to grab something to eat in between shopping jaunts.
Getting to Melrose Ave is easy. If in the Hollywood and Highland area take La Brea south to Melrose. In addition the Star Line red double decker buses all make a stop on Melrose allowing passengers to hop off, shop, take in the sights and then board later buses back to Hollywood and Highland.
Parking along Melrose is somewhat accessible with meters lining the entire stretch of Melrose from La CIenega all the way to La Brea. In addition there is parking on residential streets off of Melrose although be sure to read the signs as some of these streets are parking by permit only.