Notoriety of the San Francisco Pride festival demands the best events and accompanying parade in the country. People travel hundreds, even thousands of miles to see what it’s like to dance, sing and just feel the complete gratitude of being yourself at the San Francisco Pride weekend festivities. This year’s theme is global equality. From the basic must-haves to the creative colorful and fantastical, this guide to the best places for Pride outfits will encompass it all. Which type are you?

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The Conservative
The HRC Action Center & Store
575 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 431-2200

Located in Harvey Milk’s legendary and historic home and Castro Camera business, one can get a shirt that fittingly demonstrates his or her pride by wearing a message through images. T-shirts display messages such as Love Conquers Hate, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and the universal “equal” symbol, so you can show your support in a more conservative fashion. There are plenty of other accessories to choose from, as well. Opt for the rainbow collection or pick up some nice sterling silver jewelry with distinct messages already engraved. Proceeds benefit the Human Rights Campaign initiative, a true charity on the mission for global equality.

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The Tie-dye Obsessed
Positively Haight Street
1400 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 252-8747

Positively Haight Street is the only place in the city where residents can find such a vast selection of hand tie-dyed apparel. Choose your shirt, your dress or your accessories with the most recognized colors associated with the PRIDE organization and flag–red, orange, yellow, green, indigo and violet. This 60s-themed store is in tribute to the Grateful Dead, as to be expected in the Haight-Ashbury district, so don’t expect the Pride theme to run rampant inside. It doesn’t. But when it comes to a large selection of tie-dye, this is the place.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Do-It-Yourself-er
Community Thrift Store
623 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 861-4910

The Community Thrift Store has been dubbed as a go-to place for cultivating the imaginative costume, and as with any thrift shopping, you never know what you will find in here. What makes this place different from other thrift store options? They benefit over 200 San Francisco charities, including local chapters of the ACLU, Castro Country Club and GLAAD, to name a few. Being a last minute option, you may want to also buy some scissors, glue, and sequins from your local art store to fully appreciate where your costume will take you. Check their events calendar to see when you can get an extra 50 percent off pricing.

gay pride parade

(David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

The Scantily Clad and Drag
Piedmont Boutique
1452 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 864-8075

This men’s clothing store in The Haight offers sparkles, glittery spandex, feather boas and more scantily clad items for those wanting to make a statement to remember. Find masks, neon wigs, fishnet shirts and tutus. The handmade items are unisex, which means they will fit a man’s shape but also cater to the female shoppers looking to show their pride. Look for the womanly legs clad in fishnets coming out the 2nd floor window and you will know you have reached your destination…or use your GPS, whichever you prefer. Make sure you are in love with your selections before you buy; all sales are final.

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The Young at Heart
Fantasy Clothing Co.
1275 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 556-9900

For those who love going over the top, Fantasy Clothing Co. offers everything from showy feather boas to sequined Carnival masks to princess caps. If you need some help, the friendly staff here will help outfit you in the perfect Pride attire. This place can set you up with the whole look, head to to, as they offer everything from shoes to wigs and everything in between. You can also pick up some finger symbols, funky glasses, lace or satin gloves, sequin belts, tutus and pageant sashes.

And, for the truly brave, there is always the clothing optional choice. San Francisco’s Pride Parade, block party prior to the parade (called Pink Saturday) and corresponding festival all leave the closet door open and some even leave their clothes there, too.

Mel Ball is the founder of, utilizing her background of 10 years in the beauty industry to promote, market, mentor, and build business for small salons and spas across the country. She links up quality salon or spa talented folks with businesses that need them, and supports the growth of all those in the service industry through her virtual knowledge networking site and real-world events. She resides in San Francisco. Her work can be found at