If we had to pick a Bay Area shop to be our sole personal closet, Dish just might be it. Filled to the brim with cool, sophisticated wares, this Hayes Valley destination is the brainchild of owner Desiree Alexander, who has her thumb on the pulse of fashion...and our sartorial hearts! Think accessories by Loeffler Randall and Rachel Comey, garb by Gryphon, Graham and Spencer, and The Podolls, and baubles by Melissa Joy Manning and Hortense. Trust, these pieces will be with you for decades.
Dish, 541 Hayes Street (between Octavia Boulevard and Laguna Street); 415-252-5997.
If you’re itching to take a vacay but can’t exactly afford the airfare, strolling into Reliquary may cure that travel bug for you — at least temporarily. This color-soaked Hayes Valley boutique is packed with quirky artifacts, textiles, and items du jour. It has been curated down to a T, and the merch is like having a boatload of worldly trinkets at your fingertips.
Reliquary, 537 Octavia Street (between Hayes and Grove streets); 415-431-4000.
Ever since the Manhattan-based designer Steven Alan opened up a location on the Hayes Valley shopping stretch, we’ve been completely elated. The prep-meets-sleek styles are now readily available whenever we’re moseying on by — and every time we wander in, we walk out with something by the likes of Equipment, Acne, and Clare Vivier. This hip haven isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (in fact, there's now a Fillmore Street locale) — and why would we want it to? We’re addicted!
Steven Alan, 445 Hayes Street (between Octavia and Gough streets); 415-558-8944.
If there’s one S.F. boutique that continually keeps us on our toes, it’s Hayes Valley’s indie emporium Acrimony. The edgy boutique is a creatively merchandised shopping Mecca that supplies gals like us with in-demand brands like Karen Walker, Alexander Wang, Jeffrey Campbell, and more. Owner Jenny Chung knocks it out of the park with every selected item — her picks are blood-pumping cool, and deliriously amazing. This shop is the real deal, guys. If you want tough-to-nab labels like no other — get here, now.
Acrimony, 333 Hayes Street (between Franklin and Gough streets); 415-861-1025.
As part of the Rand + Statler and Welcome Stranger trifecta, this amazing Hayes Valley outpost keeps us, and our fellas, sartorially current with offerings from Topman, Scotch & Soda, and Catbird, just to name a few. Added bonus — it has got one of the best cozy hoodie collections in the city!
Azalea, 411 Hayes Street (at Gough Street); 415-861-9888.
Rand + Statler
Talk about staying current, this luxe spot is not only a total stunner with its dark and minimalist aesthetic, but it's the place to nab basics and knits from perennial favorites, Inhabit, A.L.C., Acne, and more. Scoring a vintage rose-gold watch and a pair of suede Modern Vice oxfords in one fell swoop would not be unusual here — it's that diverse.
Rand + Statler, 425 Hayes Street (between Octavia and Gough streets); 415-634-0881.
Sure, this one may be geared toward the fellas, but we always find a little something for ourselves in here, too. With dark-leather sofas, camping motifs, and antlers galore, it is the epitome of rustic elegance and houses cool brands like Norse Projects, Topman, Malin + Goetz, and more. Looking for something for a guy friend and just can’t decide on what? The super-helpful and friendly staff will lead you in the right direction!
Welcome Stranger, 460 Gough Street (at Hayes Street); 415-864-2079.
MAC Modern Apparel Clothing
This Hayes Valley staple does not take the term “specialty store” lightly. Sure, you’ll find pieces from the likes of Comme des Garçons and Sofie D’hoore on the racks, but MAC also carries one-of-a-kind local threads stitched together specifically for the shop. And if apparel seems to never fit you just right, note that MAC alters any garment free with purchase. Yes, we’re totally serious!
MAC Modern Appealing Clothing, 397 Grove Street (between Franklin and Gough streets); 415-863-3011.
This stylish, Euro-leaning boutique holds its own amongst Hayes Valley’s other dreamy shops by supplying "can’t-leave-the-store-without-this” duds. Its selection of classic, high-end wares are practically guaranteed to survive a long lifespan in your wardrobe, too. And it’s hard to not let out a squeal over the enviable shoe selection that we’d happily walk the city’s seven by seven miles in.
Nida, 544 Hayes Street (between Laguna and Octavia streets); 415-552-4670.
Photos: Courtesy of Dish; Welcome Stranger; Reliquary photographed by Maria del Rio