Its official name is the Fashion District, but most people call it the Los Angeles Garment District. No matter which name you use, it's the same place. And it's better than Rodeo Drive if you're looking for cutting-edge fashions at a discount and not celebrity-spotting.

The Los Angeles Fashion District spans 100 blocks, with more than 2,000 stores and warehouses selling fashions and accessories at 30% to 70% off retail prices.

More than three-fourths of the businesses in the district are wholesalers, but that sill leaves enough places for you to shop until you drop.

The Fashion District can be intimidating. I know because I avoided it for years. What a mistake! Here's what I have learned since then.