These days, there are two reasons why it’s so difficult to buy clothes. First, when money is tight, a new dress or pair of pants ends up pretty far down on the priority list. Even though a person really could use a new outfit, other priorities take center stage and next thing you know, there’s none left for that look you want for your next audition, party, or event.

Second, you know how it is when you’ weigh a little more than you want to, so you don’t want to buy the bigger size than you’re used to because you know you’re gonna lose that extra; but, in the meantime, what do you do? Maybe you can’t even wear the stuff that’s already in your closet!

Well, all that describes the spot I was in when I discovered Karen’s Closet.

Everything in the store is $5.00, except for two things: accessories, which are $1.00, and shoes, which are $10.00. Got that! When I walked in, I wondered what the catch was.

I was greeted by the beautiful and friendly Shantal, and I fired all my questions at her. Why is everything so cheap? Are they irregulars? Shantal explained that the owners, who are plural, not female and not named Karen, are in the wholesale business downtown.

That’s how they can bring these great deals to their store at Pico and Mansfield. The inventory is overstock and could be anything from Arden B to Express to Lane Bryant to Charlotte Russe. You just never know what goodies are going to show up on the racks. A fresh batch of women’s apparel hits the store twice a week – Thursdays and Fridays.

Karen’s Closet gives no refunds and there are no exchanges. This naturally leads to the next question: Are there dressing rooms? Even though it’s only five bucks, I need for it to count. Shantal said, “No. There are no dressing rooms; but, you can try the clothes on.” Apparently, it was A-OK to find a spot in the store and go on ahead and try stuff on!  Whoa!

I looked around and saw that there were several ittle nooks and crannies…

There weren’t many people around…

I decided to go for it.

Lord knows, I’ve ended up changing in some crazy places, being in the entertainment biz, even though it’s supposed to be against union rules.

The thing for me was that I actually wanted to buy a dress, so this was going to be interesting. I tried the first one – so far so good. I was getting into my second option, when a couple came in. I backed up into the little alcove I was next to and struggled to get into some decent shape before they decided to head my way. The operation turned out to be a little dodgy, but I did manage to conceal the important bits without much attention.

The woman was busy singing passionately to the music that was wafting through the store and trying various articles over her own clothing to notice much. The mam was fixed on the racks of clothes as if on a mission to find something for his partner.

In light of all this, I would highly advise wearing clothes that you could try things on over when you shop here – maybe leggings and a camisole or something like that.

In the end, I came away with the perfect little day to night dress that could be made up or down for the unbelievable price of $5 – not irregular, nothing wrong with it – just a consolation prize for the scourge of overproduction.

Please note there are absolutely no refunds or exchanges. Plastic is accepted and there is no pesky minimum required to use it.

I have a feeling Karen’s Closet is going to be one of my top go-to places for fashion I can afford.


Karen’s Closet   5001 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, 90019  (map)

Phone: 323-930-1702

Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. every day


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