Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

If you have ever gone to the Melrose Trading Post, then you know how overwhelming it can be. There are so many people, stands, artifacts, clothes, art and food being sold. And so many directions as well as so many possible things to see and do. If you have never been before, I will admit it can be pretty over-stimulating at first. I could have definitely used some tips for making the navigation a little calmer before my first time going, so I created a guide for all of you who have yet to attend. Here are 7 tips for making your first trip the Melrose Trading Post just a little bit more manageable:

Allot yourself a good amount of time to see everything.

When you get there, you will see how large this market is. It takes hours and hours to get through. I was there for about three hours when I went, and I only even saw half of it. It was really hard to get through everything because there is so much to stop and see. Everything is beautiful and all the sings grab your attention so you literally want to stop and shop at every place. Make sure you go early and you have the entire day to spend. 

Bring cash!

To get inside the gates, you need to pay in cash (it’s a $5 entrance fee). Once inside, most vendors take credit card – I never have cash and I never had an issue with paying. However, paying and shopping would have been a lot easier if I just had cash on me. Most vendors have a small little machine for card payments, and it takes some time, plus they can’t give receipts. If I went again, I would make sure I had cash on me.

Eat beforehand.

I would say this is an important point for two reasons. The first is that the food there is in a separate lot, and it can be somewhat expensive because it’s the only food offered on the premises. Second of all, Melrose is such a massive undertaking, an arduous journey from start to finish, that you MUST be well fed and properly fueled for your day. You will run out of steam promptly if you go in hungry (as I did).

Wear clothes that are easy to change out of in public.

A lot of the Melrose Trading Post sells clothes, and they are pretty cheap too! You can actually find a lot of things you like, and you can probably buy a lot too because the prices are so low. Sounds great right? The one downfall is that most places don’t have changing rooms (understandably so, they are small little booths). So if you do not dress in clothes that you can try on clothing over, you will not really be able to try things on at all. I would recommend wearing leggings and a sports bra under your shirt, that way you can try things on over your clothes, even though you are in public. When you find a cute little dress or a cheap pair of Levi’s you like, you will be grateful you did.

Go in a smaller group.

There is a lot to see at Melrose, so you are going to want to stop every other stand or so. If you go in a large group like I did, you are going to lose each other in less than a minute after entering. My group of five ended up splitting into two groups right off the bat, and it was difficult calling and texting each other to meet back up because you’re barely on your phone while you’re there. So if you have the choice, I suggest going with one or two other people who have similar interests/taste as you!

Wear a cross body purse!

Melrose is very crowded. There are lots of people, things, and booths crammed into a relatively small space, so you are kind of brushing by people in relatively close contact the whole time. If you can, wear a cross body purse just to keep your personal belongings close at all times. This way, you do not have to worry about anything getting stolen or lost.

Be prepared to potentially spend a lot…

This is not an obligation at all. The BEST thing about Melrose is how cheap everything it is! The fact about that though is because everything is so cheap, it’s actually kind of easy to spend a lot. When you see that a brand is selling clothes for $10 a piece, it is pretty easy to collect eight cute things you like, and then it all kind of adds up. This is what happened to me! But I regret nothing. Everything I bought at Melrose I cherish and love so much now. I have two prints hanging above my bed, two jackets that I’ve been alternating wearing pretty much every day, and a cute necklace! Definitely all worth it if you ask me, but I guess I just was not expecting to fall in love with so many pieces.

I would definitely recommend going to the Melrose Trading Post the next Sunday that you are free! It is so fun, so easy and so cheap! You will walk away with great pieces and even better memories. Plus, it is a traditional LA outing that you have to experience at least once.

Grace is a senior at UCLA majoring in communications with a minor in film. In addition to being a Co-Senior Editor for Her Campus, Grace writes and models for FAST (Fashion and Student Trends).
Her Campus at UCLA is a proud Elite Level Chapter in the Her Campus. Our team consists of talented writers, content creators, photographers, designers, event planners and more! Follow us @HerCampusUCLA and check out HerCampus.com/school/UCLA for more articles! Feel free to contact us at hc.ucla@hercampus.com for any questions.