There are a lot of boutiques here, very high priced, as well as junkier stores. I have seen nothing particularly interesting, other than the Women's Exchange. Some wealthy people here dump their stuff when they tire of it.
My best pieces were purchased in St Louis at a relatively upscale shop. I learned to haggle prices with the owner. The unusual pieces are the difference between a ho hum, boring house and an interesting house. My theory is anyone can spend a boatload of money and make a pretty house but it's a challenge to do it without wasting so much money.
You're right about getting too trendy and going for the fashion of the instant.