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LAist shops: American Apparel factory store

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American Apparel is known for two things: the antics of its iconoclastic/pornographic founder Dov Charney, and its really excellent cotton t-shirts.

The company started making the plain t-shirts for other companies that would then, you know, print stuff on 'em. They still do that, but now notoriety, sexy ad campaigns and dozens of standalone retail stores have made American Apparel a brand of its own.

The main factory is in downtown LA, an enormous, faded pink building. We had heard there was a store there, but until this week hadn't ventured past the big industrial gate and through the mall-sized parking lot.

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It was worth it: adorable t-shirts for $7. In with the overruns and discontinued designs there are some seconds, so you have to look closely. There were lots of those boy-briefs-for-girls, plenty of bathing suits, some skirts and dresses and jackets, and of course loads of t-shirts. If you're hard-up for last-minute holiday gifts or just want to get something for yourself, you can shop here without guilt.

The American Apparel factory store is off Alameda in downtown LA, just south of 7th.