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Where This xoJane Editor Finds Beautiful Kimonos in DTLA

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Los Angeles has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around LA that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.

Image via Yelp

Alison Freer is a Texas-born costume designer who fast talked her way onto her first wardrobe gig with absolutely zero prior experience. She recently designed costumes for the new Fly Girls on FOX Television's 25th anniversary reunion of the legendary '90s comedy hit In Living Color. She also writes about her love/hate relationship with clothes, fashion and style for as their resident "Clothes Editor." Here, she shares one of her many secret spots for finding unique wearables, Little Tokyo's SK Uyeda.

"When I go into Little Tokyo, which is quite often as I live in Downtown LA, I always make sure to stop by SK Uyeda, a beautiful Japanese department store on East 1st Street. They have all manner of traditional Japanese clothing, gifts, and utilitarian items. The sales clerks are some of the most helpful, delightful, kind women I've ever encountered—and I shop for a living! I recently bought a beautiful tsuke obi, or pre-tied obi, to wear over my simple slip dresses in the summer. I also get my white split toe Tabi socks that I then dye fun colors to wear with sandals at SK Uyeda—so cute! Their kimono selection is one of the best in LA. It's a gem in the middle of LA's sometimes forlorn downtown!"

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SK Uyeda

230 East 1st Street Los Angeles, CA 90012