Boutique Shopping

Do you honor the tradition of Black Friday and start your Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving? Many shoppers will rush to the “big box” stores to struggle with crowds in search of bargains. That’s fun, for sure, but for a more relaxed experience, you might enjoy visiting some small local shops as well where you’ll be able to find unusual gifts. The following South Bay shops have been recommended by local fashion experts. All will be open on Black Friday and are likely to have some special surprise bargains available.


In Her Shoes
Town & Country Village
865 El Camino Real, Suite 45
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 326-9644

In Her Shoes is a truly unusual boutique in the South Bay world of upscale fashion. Recommended by personal shoppers and fashion experts, In Her Shoes showcases local designers and offers a range of prices from the low to high end of the scale. It offers many well-known brands, as well as some that are hard to find, and all at a reasonable cost. But what is truly unusual is that 100 percent of the profits go to a charity: the San Francisco-based non-profit Global Fund for Women. Owner Pam Rosekrans had been a passionate supporter of the Fund for many years and started the store as a project to keep herself busy when she came to face an empty nest.

Leaf And Petal
439 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 329-8070

Leaf and Petal is an upscale boutique with a reputation for discovering exciting up-and-coming designers before they hit the chain stores. The products here are unabashedly expensive, but the shop is also known for having generous sales where bargains can be found. Bargain prices are not guaranteed, but it is quite possible there will be such opportunities on Black Friday. Customers love the color-coordinated presentation of clothing that is a distinctive Leaf and Petal trademark, making it especially easy to find the right combinations.


Town and Country Village
855 E. El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 943401
(650) 391-9719

Stylist Ruti Zisser is a fan of Tel Aviv designers and, unable to find the work she loved in California, she opened her own boutique in 2010 and has been very successful. It is admittedly expensive, and not for every taste. Still, many customers and personal buyers adore this shop. Some report being stopped on the street and asked where they buy their clothes. If you have a taste for unusual, slightly flamboyant but not excessive style, this could be the shop you are looking for.

Bryn Walker
515 Cowper St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 322-9983

Locally based Berkeley designer Bryn Walker sells original designs. Although Brynn Walker now has several shops, it is still too small to be considered a chain store. In spite of the success, Bryn Walker maintains the feel and quality of a specialty boutique. The South Bay fashionistas we consulted consider this Palo Alto shop a “must visit.” Customers love these designs for their casual but classic feel and the high-quality fabric (emphasis on linen).


Romi Boutique
624 Emerson St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(610) 322-7664

Romi is an upscale boutique with a specialization in personal shopping. It carries a large selection of designer clothing. Romi Mahajan is a Palo Alto native who attended business school at Stanford University to prepare to open her own store in 2005. Customers report that Romi carries many designers you can’t find elsewhere in the South Bay. Styles range from funky to elegant and the shop also has an impressive jewelry selection.

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