High design, custom couture, chic ateliers and style enclaves across the city–let's talk shop.
Luxury Shopping: Union Square
Worship at the altar of Dior? Faint at the sight of Louis Vuitton? Shop Neiman Marcus like it might go out of style? Union Square is the place where the flagships soar (and so do the designer prices). A paradise of premium retail, the shopping stakes are particularly high-end here, with the likes of luxury labels Saint Laurent, Ted Baker and classically natty Brooks Brothers rubbing elbows with Brunello Cucinelli, Gucci and Cartier. For every indie boutique, there’s a Barneys New York and—just three short blocks south of the Square—an epic shopping complex, Westfield San Francisco Centre. visitunionsquaresf.com
Vintage Shopping: Haight Ashbury
The Summer of Love vibe that defined Haight Ashbury in its heyday is like tie-dye—cliche but classic. A place where hippies, haberdashery and Dita Von Teese decadence come together in apparel of other eras, the Haight hosts Relic Vintage (1605 Haight St., relicvintagesf.com), a theater for Gatsby-esque garb, midcentury costume baubles and kitten heels curated amid vintage floral motifs and a leopard print chaise a la Josephine Baker, along with fellow throwback Love Street Vintage (1506 Haight St., lovestreetsf.com), a shop that is snug but strictly boho, heavy on velvet, beads, bangles and rock band buckles.
Boutique Shopping: Hayes Valley
Retail haven Hayes Valley continues its surge as a hot spot for boutiques such as Acoté, which has a soft spot for French labels; Dish Boutique, a home for Kate Moss-level looks; MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing), which keeps it edgy with cult brands like Comme des Garçons; and Clare V., where cool kids shop must-have bags. Also at home in the neighborhood, Maker & Moss (364 Hayes St., makerandmoss.com) expresses a high-artisan quotient with merch made from honest materials, along with indie outfitter for women and men Rand + Statler (425 Hayes St., randandstatler.com), dressing the hipster in Alexander Wang, Band of Outsiders and more. hayesvalleyshop.com
Urbanwear Shopping: Mission District
From eats to sneaks, the Mission District is in serious urban mode. Streetwear has swagger here—and few inhibitions. For ‘90s flavor now, FAZE (3236 21st St., fazeapparel.com) applies its fearless mantra to hoodies, snapback hats, tanks and tees. The Darkside Initiative (969 Valencia St., thedarksideinitiative.com) hypes cool skate culture with new styles of classic-brand kicks. But if a Beastie Boys tee is what you’re after—and who isn’t—you’ll find it, along with similarly old-school styles, in the vintage T-shirt vault at Afterlife Boutique (988 Valencia St., afterlifeboutique.com), which aces giving new life to old looks.
Jewelry Shopping: Union Street
Having a shining moment as a home for all that glitters, Union Street makes space for fine jewelry via emporiums like Mabel Chong (1949 Union St.), a dazzling option for diamonds and pieces featuring mixed metals, pearls and gemstones in small and oversize configurations. For something truly precious, and a little architectural, No.3 (2354 Polk St., shopno3.com) is the jewel in the crown for designer trinkets with a distinctly modern appeal from across the globe, along with one-of-kind designs. And, living up to its billing, Carats and Stones (1833 Union St., caratsandstones.com) is a treasure, bringing on the bling with a bevy of statement-making sparklers. unionstreetshop.com
Men Athleisure: Hill City
Redefining menswear with minimal, style-forward basics for modern, multipurpose wardrobing, SF-based athleisure line Hill City—founded by former MLS soccer player Noah Palmer, along with a small team, with the support and leverage of Gap Inc.—is major league: structured and smartly constructed, light on logos, technically innovative and high-performance. The strength of Palmer’s designs are the versatility he’s built into each piece. Our favorites include utilitarian-driven garb like the X-Purpose short, everyday pant, thermal light shirt jacket and beach-ready swim short. Gear up for the gym, stop by the office and meet for drinks in one sporty easy-fit ensemble? Here’s to making the everyman look good. hillcity.gap.com