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Travel

Kyle Takes San Francisco

San Francisco, how you’ve captured my heart. The city has an infinite amount of things to do and see, and I had less than five days over this past Presidents’ Day weekend.

My sister flew Jack (my boyfriend) and me out to San Francisco to see the city before she moves back to Northern Virginia next month. She had been telling me for years that I would love it out there and now I see why. DC just doesn’t have anywhere close to the amount of hippies or hipsters, small vintage boutiques or new tech-y startups. I love the vibe there and I can’t wait to go back soon!

Now onto the important part: the shopping. Thank god my boyfriend and my sister love me enough to tolerate the amount of stores we went into. Some of the below are brands that we had shopped online for clients but have physical stores on the West Coast, some were curated boutiques of new, vintage, and pre-owned contemporary fashion. Keep reading to find out which stores took my money.

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Guideboat Co.

Lani and I have been shopping from the Guideboat catalogs and website for male and female clients for a few years now. Think high-end LL.Bean. Everything has the most sturdy, high-quality feel. Jack really wanted a pair of $100 sweat-shorts that he loved and we knew he could literally wear for years and years. I loved the lace-up pullover, pictured below from the website.

Funny note: I went into the store mostly for some fashion reconnaissance for my clients, but I obviously love the store for myself too. I know Jack and I look younger than we are, but the store associate made a comment that he was surprised we came in because we are much younger than their typical clientele. Thanks, I guess?

The Guideboat store is in Jackson Square next to A.P.C., Theory, and Isabel Marant.

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Some of My Favorite Products:

Guideboat Co. Jacquard Knit J’Adore Half-Zip, $175

Guideboat Co. Lace-Up Pullover, $350

Guideboat Co. Cigarette Pants, $165

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Eden & Eden

Another boutique in the Jackson Square area, this shop had a designer feel without the designer price tag. It seems to be a thing in San Francisco where boutiques mix pre-owned vintage and contemporary pieces with never-heard of clothing lines. Multiple shops I went into seemed to be effortlessly stocked with hand-picked pieces made any time since last season to thirty years ago (the nineties are back, y’all).

Here, you can find distressed vintage Levi’s and new cashmere sweaters, mixed with 00’s Donna Karan. I picked up a fuzzy Rachel Comey sweater, which was recent enough for me to have found online but sold out on Farfetch. I almost walked away with a pair of rag & bone trousers as well.

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Rachel Comey Plush Sweatshirt (photo from Farfetch)

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Reliquary

Reliquary is another shop that seemed to be effortlessly curated with camo military shirts and hand-sewn patterned jackets. However, the main showstopper here is vintage jewelry. Oh man, I want a budget for the one-of-a-kind necklaces and rings. The hand necklace ($1,500) was a charm holder from the Victorian era, where the hand opens and closes to add charms to the hanging wire. The shopkeeper explained that it was very difficult to find the original hand and wire still intact, since opening and closing it puts so much strain on the piece.

If you love unique jewelry, Reliquary should be your first stop. The store is in Hayes Valley at 544 Hayes Street.

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Marine Layer

Mmmm, so soft and cozy. Marine Layer is a favorite of many because of their super soft, high-quality clothing. There are actually two stores in DC (one in Georgetown and one at 14th and R), but I hadn’t been yet!

What made my stop in Marine Layer super exciting was checking out their t-shirt vending machine. For $20 you could get a mystery tee with a discontinued print on it. I got Jack size marge (a.k.a. medium/large). I love that they had this in-between size, adding length instead of width for men who are 6 feet tall and skinny as can be! I’ve found Jack’s new go-to store for well-fitting tees.

(Bonus picture of my shopping buddy, my sister’s pug, Sophie.)

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After Marine Layer, we had a stop around the corner at Blue Bottle Coffee. Hello, delicious half-caf oat milk latte.

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Oak + Fort

Ok, I heard about Oak + Fort from these super cool girls I follow from Vancouver, where the brand was founded. If I had known how much I would love the brand, I would have been ordering from there much sooner. Oak + Fort does minimal, avant-garde clothing with a streetwear twist. And almost everything is under $150. My dream store! I stumbled into the Hayes Valley location by chance and immediately was like “I have to put down my coffee because I’m going to try on everything.”

I ended up with this great jacket in a structured neoprene material that can easily be dressed down or up (see below). I also got a few pairs of cheap geometric earrings. My sister got the super fun blouse with split sleeves.

There are two locations in San Francisco: the Hayes Valley shop and the South of Market shop inside the Westfield mall on Market St. There is also a Wicker Park, Chicago location and a Soho, NY location.

Photos from Hoodline

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Oak + Fort Jacket 2220 in Black, $118

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Oak + Fort Earring 2055 in Gold, $18 | Oak + Fort Earring 2341 in Silver, $14

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Oak + Fort Blouse 1970 in Black, $58

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On My Wish List:

Oak + Fort Hoodie Dress 1812, $88

Oak + Fort Sweater 1826, $68

Oak + Fort Sweater 2286, $88 $70.40

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Held Over

This is the most thought-out, organized vintage store I’ve ever been to. Typically, I don’t have the patience for vintage shopping, because I start having an allergy attack from dust before I can find anything good. Here, I jumped straight into the “sparkly tops” section and tried on, like, ten glittery tops. I found an 80’s sequin top that I love, along with a houndstooth wool blazer. See me model them below!

Held Over is right in between a few other vintage shops in Haight-Ashbury.

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Union Square

For a San Francisco shopping post, I had to at least mention Union Square. While I didn’t pop into any of the department stores, I did drag Jack into the Gucci store so he could witness the fun, quirky designs. His favorite piece was the “Guccy” cardigan, with their tongue-in-cheek branding. I loved the customizable sneakers with interchangeable patches for the laces. I had to snap a picture of the “dad sneakers,” a trend that I mentioned in a recent blog post that makes Lani scratch her head. And of course, since Birkenstock sandals have been a trend for a few years, it makes sense that the Birkenstock clog would eventually come back.

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Kyle Dunphy is a personal stylist at Real Life Style. She has been helping RLS clients look their best for over five years. You can find Kyle Dunphy and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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