Style Tips / San Francisco Vintage Style by Madeline Hansen

12.6.09


Madeline Hansen is the owner / in-house designer of a San Francisco based vintage shop called The Good Shop. It is not just a shop though, it is also a gallery, where emerging artists can showcase their work. If you are in San Francisco, or in the area, you should definitely go and check it out. If like me, you are stuck in Europe (for now), you can have a browse in their online shop, or read below for Madeline's tips on vintage shopping in San Francisco.



I was taking Muni down to my favorite Tenderloin dive bar the other day (San Franciscans drink PBR in place of water) when I spied a most fascinating thing. Standing in front of me, gripping the surely germ-infested handrails, was a woman with green hair and a neck tattoo wearing a sweatshirt printed with the following proclamation: “Go to Los Angeles to be somebody. Go to New York to be somebody else. Go to San Francisco to be yourself.” I found myself nodding along. “Well yes, that certainly makes sense,” I said out loud to no one in particular, because there’s so much crazy in San Francisco that it’s perfectly acceptable to talk to yourself in public nearly everywhere. San Francisco is 47.335 miles jam packed with interesting people, all looking for the space to simply be themselves.

Indeed, in the five years I have spent in San Francisco, I have learned one thing: San Franciscans have their own way of doing everything. We run marathon races drunk and dressed up like giant naked babies and stripper-Elvises. We encourage local personalities with names like Chicken John to run for mayor on an all-art-all-the-time platform, but in the end re-elect stylishly handsome mayors with open drug addiction problems instead. Heck, we’ve even invented our own style of burrito. This place we refer to only as The City is a treasure trove of uncommon personalities doing uncommon things.

What strikes me most about San Francisco is the unique sartorial decisions we make as a whole. People in San Francisco dress differently than people do anywhere else. We’re not what my friends and I call a “spency” (short for expensive) city. When your rent is over half of your paycheck, there’s no room for Marni shoes and Prada millinery. As a result, vintage stores are the breadth of local fashion. Below, you’ll find below a guide to San Francisco vintage dressing for a day at work, a day at the park, and a night out. Tread lightly into these waters my friend, because you might just fall in love with Don’t Call it Frisco, CA.

If you are going here:


You are probably wearing this:

Image from San Francisco Street Fashion Blog Fashionist

San Francisco’s Financial District and Downtown area house most the city’s jobs. Whether you work for Levi’s Corporate designing back pockets for denim, or are waiting for the shuttle to your job at Google, one thing is certain: professionalism is not in high demand. San Francisco jobs are laid back, meaning your style can be, too. Pair a 1960’s pencil skirt with something a little more interesting on top, perhaps a 1970s YSL-style bow and jabot blouse. I love the added suspenders and fishnets (I may have opted for nude nets) for a little kitsch factor. Make sure you have a comfy pair of oxfords or loafers. When you’re walking over a 35 degree hill to catch the bus, you cannot waste time on heels!

If you are going here:


You are probably wearing this:

Image from San Francisco Street Fashion Blog Fashionist


If it’s Sunday and sunny, we’re grabbing some beer and riding our bikes to Dolores Park. With more parks per capita than any city in the US, we take our outdoor recreation very seriously, and the park is always crowded on weekend afternoons. A pair of 1970s high waisted shorts look great with a quirky 90s tank top. Add a belt (wide or skinny) and a pair of 70s boho-style sandals and you’re good to go. Since San Francisco weather changes every fifteen minutes (we do not dress for seasons here), smart girls bring along a 50s embellished cardigan. Hosiery optional!

If you are going here:


You are probably wearing this:

Image from San Francisco street fashion blog The Fashionphiles

When going out in San Francisco, there are two extremes to adhere to. These extremes are full face drag, which is always a fabulous option, or understated comfortable style. Here in San Francisco, we still mourn the day Kurt died. That means that grunge is still an in-style option for a night on the town. 90’s cut-off denim shorts look great paired with tights and anything. I love this look with a more rockin’ black leather belt from the 80s adorned with a variety of studs. For versatility on top, try this look with a vintage lace tank top.


Here are some great San Francisco vintage and thrift stores, should you find yourself in the area:

Thrift Town: 2101 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
Wasteland: 1660 Haight St, San Francisco, CA
CC Rider SF: 260 Divisadero street, San Francisco, CA 94117
Static: 1764 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117
Painted Bird: 1201 A Guerrero St. San Francisco, CA 94110
La Rosa Vintage: 1711 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117
Mascara Vintage: 1747 Polk St San Francisco, CA 94109


If you want to get anything from The Good Shop Online, simply enter the code BLOGZ at checkout to get 15% off.

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