Hollywood Stripped: The Most Bawdy Boutiques On The Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard's come a long way from its street walker days (Eve Plum aka Jan Brady as a hooker comes to mind in Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway or more recently, Julia Roberts and her thigh-high boots in Pretty Woman). But amidst today's tourist-filled eateries, fancy clubs and over-priced souvenir shops, there's still a treasure trove for sexy styling, a vortex for vampy stripper wear, fantasy dress-up and trashy awesomeness unlike anywhere in Los Angeles. It's basically stripper central (but truth be told, club wear these days ain't much more modest).
Still, the boulevard's abundance of stores selling skimpy, sparkly, flashy get-ups, shoes and accessories are remnants of a less homogenized Hollywood. Some of these shops have been here for decades, after all. Here, our survey of Hollywood's sultriest and sluttiest (no shame here!) shopping destinations and an eye-popping gallery with peeks inside the best of the boulevard's shops.
Bizzy B (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
BIZZY BAfter a visit here, you'll be getting "bizzy" alright. The biggest and best stocked of the boulevard's booty-ful bounty, Bizzy has something for everyone, from raver girls (furry leg-warmers, muppet-ish hoodies), to fetishy goths (corsets, vinyl masks, bondage gear) to blonde Barbie types (hot pink g-strings, bedazzled bras, etc). They also design stage wear for the likes J-Lo and Katy Perry, so there's some really cool and rather elaborate stuff to be found here too. And a big plus: the staff here are nicest on the boulevard.
Bizzy B is located at 6548 Hollywood Blvd. (323) 469-4309
Lady Love (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
Ladies love this tiny boutique for bikinis in an array of colors, textures and sizes. One pieces here tend to be stripe-y and involved, i.e., for the pole, not the pool. Not the cheapest on the street, but when you need a certain shade of garter belt or a school girl micro-mini (which, let's face it, we all do) this is a go-to.
Lady Love is located at 6566 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 462-0808
Hollywood Toy & Costume (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
HOLLYWOOD TOY & COSTUME
Where else can you snag a Freddy Krueger mask and a lace teddy in one swoop? (And by the way, we won't judge you if you wear them together!) Yes, Hollywood Toy & Costume isn't just the biggest emporium for scary cosplay in L.A., about a third of it is just for glamour gals (and guys who like to dress like gals). Wigs, makeup, heels, jewelry, tights, sexy lingerie and costumes ranging from superheroes to princesses...any fantasy you're looking to fulfill is right here, proving that Hollywood dreams really do come true (sometimes).
Hollywood Toy & Costume is located at 6600 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 464-4444
Hollywood Exotic (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
HOLLYWOOD EXOTIC SHOP
The black-lit dressing room in the back is not only a hoot, it's extremely useful for working girls who'd like to see what their outfit will look like in the dark. An ample array for killer heels, jewelry and undergarments, the merch here isn't exactly exotic, but it is excessive.
Hollywood Exotic Shop is located at 6505 Hollywood Blvd., (949) 484-9148
Stage Hollywood (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
STAGE HOLLYWOOD and HOLLYWOOD DANCEWEAR & COSTUMES
If all the world's a stage, these stores close the curtain on lookie-loo's. Stage and Hollywood Dancewear are both sort of stand-offish when it comes to customer service. They don't allow pictures taken inside, and if you try something on, you'll get the hard sell most of the time. But they both deserve mention here for custom pieces and all the bombshell basics: G-strings, push-ups, pasties, fishnets and thigh-highs in day-glow, lace, leopard and PVC. We managed to sneak a few pics inside, by the way (see gallery below).
Stage Hollywood is located at 6524 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 469-1400. Hollywood Dancewear & Costumes is located at 6620 1/2 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 463-1872
Maya Shoes (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
MAYA SHOES OF HOLLYWOOD
This shoe store offers a sparkling selection of high heels ('the highest heels in town" as the window touts). Their selection of "F- Me" pumps and platforms are worth a look whether you're set to "perform" on stage or in the bedroom, and Maya gets props for stocking drag-friendly extra big gal shoes too.
Maya Shoes of Hollywood is located at 6564 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 960-0302
Playmates of Hollywood (Photo by Lina Lecaro)
PLAYMATESBack when Aqua-net reigned in Hollywood and Mötley Crüe immortalized L.A. stripper chicks in "Girls, Girls, Girls," there was only one place to shop, and this was it. Gals in bands worked here. Groupies and girlfriends worked here. We didn't work here, but we did sell jewelry here! It's half the size it was in its heyday and the front part of it is now a shoe store (with lots of lucite and spikes, natch).Though no longer a hot spot, the store still stocks lots of cute stuff like pasties, tutus, and costumes, all with a more rock and roll flair than the rest on the street.
Playmates is located at 6438 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 464-7636
Frederick's of Hollywood today. (Photo by Juan Francisco Diez via Flickr Creative Commons)
UPDATE: Frederick's has closed.
The store that started it all kinda lost its magic once it moved from its historic original locale several years ago. Indeed, the eye-catching purple and pink building was a beacon for salacious glamour, housing a lingerie museum as well as a retail space. The building became a successful upscale nightclub called the Kress, but closed when someone got shot there.
Though Frederick's has grown beyond the boulevard and is now in malls across the country alongside Victoria's Secret, the company remains focused on sexy lingerie, footwear and slinky sleep stuff, that'd make Victoria blush: crotchless panties and the ubiquitious rhinestone platforms seen at all the stores above. Guess you can take the girl out of Hollywood, but you can't take Hollywood out of the girl!