(credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Just as it is true for women, the right accessory can complete an outfit and help make a man fell well dressed and confident. Often, men who dislike to shop will treat these matters as a second thought, even after investing large sums in a tailored suit. But a bit of care can give a guy an edge and help him to feel well dressed and confident. To find the right, interesting accessory, avoid the big department stores in the financial district and start exploring the world of boutiques. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
556 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Nomads was one of the first boutiques to settle in the fashionable district of San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood. It opened its doors in the early 1990s, just before the turn of the millennium. Nomads specializes in casual clothing and, in keeping with its name, it proudly offers selections from all over the world. Among the many accessories available here are a fine selection of bow ties and such delicious luxuries as tiny portable speakers to connect to an iPod.
1521 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
Since opening The Brooklyn Circus in 2006, designer Ouigi Theodore’s elegant take on the classics has developed an almost cultish following. No Yankee Doodle Dandy would think of letting a season go by without a visit. A trip to this marvelous store is an adventure in elegance, tradition and clothing as art. Hat lovers will be especially delighted, but anybody who takes pleasure in fine clothing is likely to enjoy this exceptional boutique experience. Customers also appreciate the exceptional service and attention to detail (such as the comfortable and inviting seating area in the middle of the store).
526 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
As you might imagine, this boutique specializes in Italian fashion. It is serious enough to make buying trips every year to both Rome and Milan. The owners boast that they try to seek out lesser-known designers to introduce American customers to Italian style they just can’t find elsewhere. Tucked away on the second floor, this boutique definitely makes customers feel as though they have stumbled upon a well-kept secret. This may be the best place in the city to find a truly elegant belt because the leather goods here are exceptional.
510 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
For the edgiest choices in all aspects of culture, including clothes, San Franciscans know to head to the Mission District. A colorful blend of upscale and down, it is the center of the city’s bohemian life, much like North Beach was for the beatniks of the 50s, or the Haight for the hippies during the Summer of Love. Here are the best bookstores, the best taquerias, the hippest music venues, the most poetical reading series and the funkiest boutiques. Five and Diamond is a great example. Not for everybody, Five and Diamond proudly specializes in what it calls “alternative fashions and jewelry.”
212 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Far from the center of town, out near the Pacific Ocean (who remembers that San Francisco is a beach town), is the Clement Street shopping district in the neighborhood known as the Inner Richmond. Here you’ll find this unpretentious boutique owned and run by two sisters who take pride in making sure that “everyone feels at home” when entering their shop. Seed Store isn’t cheap, but here you will find a most excellent selection of wallets and bags that’ll make you feel like a million bucks.
Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as “The Storming Bohemian” ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay area theatre can be found at Examiner.com.