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38 Essential San Francisco Shopping Experiences, Winter 2015

There are thousands of amazing stores in this great city of ours: These are the 38 that should be on your radar right now.

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Welcome to the Racked 38, our seasonal list of the essential stores in San Francisco. Consider it a rough —though non-exhaustive— guide to the local shops worth browsing. Every few months, we give this roundup a few nips and tucks to adjust for stores that have closed and make room for spots that should be on your radar. That's not to say that we don't continue to love the stores that we've removed. They'll always hold a special place in our hearts. It's just that change can be good. With that in mind, we bid adieu to seven stores on the list this season to add both newcomers, (Ampersand and Rebecca Minkoff), San Francisco classics (Susan and Wilkes Bashford), and a few sentimental favorites (Two Skirts, Timbuk2, and Curator) that deserve a chance to shine.

As always, this list isn't a ranking— stores are organized in vaguely geographic clusters. Have suggestions? Is your favorite shop missing? Or do you think one of our picks is way off? We'll update the list again, and we're always looking for reader input. State your case for (or against) stores in the comments or email the tipline.

1/13/2015: Removed The Kooples, Elizabeth Charles, Barneys, Levi's, The Grocery Store, Amour Vert, Erica Tanov; added Rebecca Minkoff, Wilkes Bashford, Curator, Two Skirts, Ampersand, Susan, and Timbuk2

10/30/14: Removed Carrots and Acre/SF (closed); Uniqlo, Muji, Converse; added Amour Vert, Goorin Bros., The Grocery Store, Unionmade, and The Kooples
04/08/14: Removed Gallery of Jewels and Conifer (closed); added Mill Mercantile and Legion

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1. Goorin Bros. Hat Shop

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1612 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 402-0454
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Hats are all the rage, and this homegrown company has been keeping San Franciscans covered for almost 120 years. While the company has four locations in SF, the North Beach shop is the flagship.

2. La Boutique: L'Art et La Mode

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414 Jackson St.
San Francisco, CA
The best place in the city to channel your inner French girl. They carry Freda Salvador shoes, Shourouk jewelry, and throw an amazing party.

3. Eden & Eden

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560 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 983-0490
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This Jackson Square shop carries unique housewares, vintage clothing, jewelry and other items you won't find anyplace else.

4. Legion

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679 Clay St
San Francisco, CA 94111
Former fashion writer Sydney Pfaff opened this Chinatown style spot last year. You'll find Dream Collective jewelry, Baggu bags, as well as clothing brands Rachel Rose, Theonne, and lots more to covet. Image via

5. Wingtip

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550 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 765-0993
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Wingtip occupies the former Bank of Italy building. The 10th and 11th floors house an exclusive private club where you can smoke cigars, drink whiskey and eat charcuterie. And when you're all clubbed out and you've played enough billiards, take one of Wingtip's fancy Audis out on the town. You can shop for a suit, too.

6. Torso Vintages

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272 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 391-3166
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Prepare to spend hours in this mindblowing vintage store, with clothes dating all the way back to the teens and spanning the decades up to the '80s and '90s.

7. Wilkes Bashford

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375 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 986-4380
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You can thank Wilkes Bashford for introducing Italian labels like Armani to America. For almost 50 years, this posh store (now in its second San Francisco location) has delivered upscale merchandise with personalized customer service, Relish the old-school shopping experience at this mainstay. Photo via.

8. Industrie Denim

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300 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA
The best place in the city to buy jeans (plus dresses, shoes and accessories) for men and women. It's huge, and carries everything from Chanel vintage to Levi's. Photo via

9. Neiman Marcus

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150 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 362-3900
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When you want to get a lot of shopping done at once and get lunch after, Neiman's is your department store.

10. Harputs

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80 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 392-2222
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Harputs is a refreshing place to duck into if you're shopping in Union Square, with its hard-to-find brands including Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto Y-3.

11. Two Skirts

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2124 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123
This gorgeous little shop can set you up with cashmere, premium denim, and a skirt... or two. (Plus it's one of SF Ballet principal dancer Vanessa Zahorian's faves.) Photo via via

12. Sean

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1749 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 474-7363
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Sean is the only place you can buy Paris designer Emile Lafaurie's menswear. If you want to channel your inner French film star, this is your store. PHoto via

13. Cielo

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2225 Filmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 776-0641
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This Pacifica Heights jewel is not for the bargain hunter, but it is your source for Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackerman, Marni, Dries Van Noten and many more covetable European brands.

14. Rebecca Minkoff

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2124 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 466-2859
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Yes, this store just opened, but it's already on our must-see list. There's no shortage of retailers in San Francisco that carry Ms Minkoff's wares, but the Fillmore flagship is redefining the retail experience with smart, touchscreen mirrors and RFID technology.

15. The Brooklyn Circus

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1521 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 359-1999
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A classic, modern men's clothing store with a cult following that hails from Brooklyn. You'll find classic sneaks, button downs with flair, letterman jackets, and lots more.

16. Welcome Stranger

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460 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-2079
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Men's clothes that are stylish and never twee: APC Jeans, Filson, Woolrich, lots more. And they have an awesome couch for your lady friends to relax on while you shop.

17. MAC Modern Appealing Clothing

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387 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 863-3011
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MAC in Hayes Valley was selling Dries Van Noten, Margiela and Jill Sander when the 101 still spilled directly into the Valley. In other words, they know their designers, and they sell the absolute best. Image via

18. Rand + Statler

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425 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 634-0881
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Rand + Statler is one of those rare stores that will keep both men and women happily shopping for Vena Cava, Wren, Paul Smith, Timo Weiland and tons more.

19. Ver Unica

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437 Hayes St. #B
San Francisco, CA 94102
Fantastic vintage and stellar jewelry. If you don't find what you're looking for, check their other boutique up the street at 526 Hayes.

20. Reliquary

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537 Octavia St.
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 431-4000
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Gorgeous vintage clothing, jewelry, textile, and other objects of desire. Proprietor Leah Bershad hand picks small designer lines and vintage items to create a collection you won't find elsewhere.

21. Timbuk2

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506 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 252-9860
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For more than 25 years, Timbuk2 has been outfitting locals with bags. What started as a bike messenger brand has grown into a full range of functional carryalls. This Hayes Valley store is the local spot where you can shop the full collection or design your own bag. Photo via

22. Dish Clothing

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541 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 252-5997
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Dish has been in Hayes Valley long before the neighborhood was an absolute must shopping destination. In fact, they likely played a hand in making it one. You'll find Rhie, Rachel Comey, Raquel Allegra, NDC and plenty of local designers as well.

23. MAAS & Stacks

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2128 Market Street
San Francisco, CA
Men will find clothing basically for their whole life here, from the boardroom to the trail. You'll find crisp button-up shirts, parkas, backpacks, and shoes, both the casual and dress variety. And of course, only the highest-quality brands including Robert Geller, Adam Kimmel, Dana Lee and Band of Outsiders.

24. The Voyager Shop

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365 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Voyager has its own submarine inside, which itself is worth a visit. And the goods won't disappoint: all-American traveler-wear, including stationary on which to record your adventures.

25. BellJar

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3187 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 626-1749
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The shop's tagline is "gorgeous little things," and that about sums it up: apparel from Cory Lynn Calter, Funktional, Something Else, plus gifts for you and yours in the form of pretty candles, jewelry, and home decor.

26. Weston Wear

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569 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 621-1480
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Julie Weston is a San Francisco designer whose super comfy, sometimes psychedelic print dresses and skirts go from work to cocktails with ease. The prices are beyond reasonable, and her sale racks are unparalleled. Image via

27. Ampersand

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80 Albion Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 654-0776
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This tiny flower shop in a Mission alley is new, (it opened in August 2014), yet it has a classic San Francisco vibe. The owners obviously love floral design, but they've created a space —albeit small— that encourages community. And the bright blue barn doors beg to be Instagrammed.

28. Unionmade

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493 Sanchez St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 861-3373
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Local men rave about the selection at Unionmade, both for the house labels and smaller, niche brands like Raleigh Denim. Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone else, you'll be hard-pressed to leave this store without finding something you love.

29. Paxton Gate

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824 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 824-1872
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Whether you're landscaping you outdoor area or looking to bring the outdoors in with plant or a taxidermed chipmunk, this place has you covered. They also carry an assortment of unique and giftable books and jewelry.

30. Gravel & Gold

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3266 21st Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 552-0112
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This shop off of Valencia in the Mission has you covered with clothing from Africa, Pennsylvania and everywhere in between. You'll find the best gifts: books, journals, bags, jewelry and lots more. Also look out for their workshops on how to make stuff. Image via

31. mira mira

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3292 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-6513
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You'll find international brands in this shop that you won't find anywhere else. Mira scours the globe for undiscovered designers so you can buy them first.

32. Mill

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3751 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 401-8920
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Beautifully tailored, high quality women's clothing with a preppy-chic vibe is is what you'll find at this Noe Valley gem. And if you're getting on the normcore bandwagon, this place has everything you need to stand out from the crowd. Wait...

33. Curator

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1767 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 970-9828
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The Curator clothing line is designed and produced in San Francisco by two best friends. The Curator store both stocks the line, as well as other locally-made gifts and home goods. This wee shop is a delightful place to discover things you never knew you would want. Image via

34. Susan of San Francisco

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3685 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 922-3685
Susan is as much a gallery of fashion as it is a store. This is the place where you'll discover international designers before they become the next big thing. It's by no means cheap, but the textiles and craftsmanship justify the price tags on these collectible pieces.

35. Luna Boutique

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3615 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118
This Presidio Heights charmer is owned and run by Christina Spaulding, a former architect and designer whose background shines through the clothing and accessories she chooses in her boutique. You'll find brands including A.L.C., Mother Denim, White and Warren and lots more from uber-casual tees to going-out dresses.

36. Seedstore

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212 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 386-1600
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The perfect mix of independent and established brands in the Inner Richmond. Men's and women's classic but modern clothing. via

37. Mollusk Surf Shop

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4500 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 564-6300
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Whether or not you're a surfer, this Outer Sunset surf shop slash art gallery has something for everyone, from surf boards and skateboards to super cute sweats.

38. General Store

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4035 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 682-0600
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Men, women, and children are all covered here, plus you'll find rare magazines and great books. Lots of goods from local craftspeeps, and don't forget to check out the sunny (really!) backyard.

1. Goorin Bros. Hat Shop

1612 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hats are all the rage, and this homegrown company has been keeping San Franciscans covered for almost 120 years. While the company has four locations in SF, the North Beach shop is the flagship.
1612 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133

2. La Boutique: L'Art et La Mode

414 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA
The best place in the city to channel your inner French girl. They carry Freda Salvador shoes, Shourouk jewelry, and throw an amazing party.
414 Jackson St.
San Francisco, CA

3. Eden & Eden

560 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133
This Jackson Square shop carries unique housewares, vintage clothing, jewelry and other items you won't find anyplace else.
560 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94133

4. Legion

679 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Former fashion writer Sydney Pfaff opened this Chinatown style spot last year. You'll find Dream Collective jewelry, Baggu bags, as well as clothing brands Rachel Rose, Theonne, and lots more to covet. Image via
679 Clay St
San Francisco, CA 94111

5. Wingtip

550 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Wingtip occupies the former Bank of Italy building. The 10th and 11th floors house an exclusive private club where you can smoke cigars, drink whiskey and eat charcuterie. And when you're all clubbed out and you've played enough billiards, take one of Wingtip's fancy Audis out on the town. You can shop for a suit, too.
550 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94111

6. Torso Vintages

272 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Prepare to spend hours in this mindblowing vintage store, with clothes dating all the way back to the teens and spanning the decades up to the '80s and '90s.
272 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108

7. Wilkes Bashford

375 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA
You can thank Wilkes Bashford for introducing Italian labels like Armani to America. For almost 50 years, this posh store (now in its second San Francisco location) has delivered upscale merchandise with personalized customer service, Relish the old-school shopping experience at this mainstay. Photo via.
375 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA

8. Industrie Denim

300 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA
The best place in the city to buy jeans (plus dresses, shoes and accessories) for men and women. It's huge, and carries everything from Chanel vintage to Levi's. Photo via
300 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA

9. Neiman Marcus

150 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94102
When you want to get a lot of shopping done at once and get lunch after, Neiman's is your department store.
150 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94102

10. Harputs

80 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94115