How to Shop Like a California Girl

Kristen Nichols

There’s a particular style that comes to mind when you think of a California girl. Not all Cali girls have sun-kissed hair or live in bikinis like you might imagine, but one thing is certain—they’ve mastered easy, cool style. Their closets are stocked with vintage denim and breezy summer dresses, but where do they find these cool pieces, and how can we all shop like California girls?

To find out, we tapped San Francisco local Ashley Kane to tell us about her favorite places to shop in the city. The founder and editor of Brunch on Chestnut, Ashley knows her way around SF and has her finger on the pulse of all things stylish. She’s mastered laid-back California fashion and knows the best places to find it in the city she calls home. Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of vintage Levi’s or bohemian finds from a local boutique, her list of must-see shops will have you one step closer to California-girl cool.

Keep reading to find out the eight stores she recommends for any San Francisco visitor.

Anaise

My favorite excuse to go to the Mission (well, besides all the amazing Mexican food), Anaise is a beautiful, bright, and airy shop filled to the brim with covetable pieces from brands like Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey, and Waltz. The mood throughout is vintage flair grounded with modern silhouettes. I also really love the bags and accessories!

Wallflower

A vintage treasure chest of well-curated goodies located in the Mission District (another good one close by called Held Over). You will find your perfect pair of vintage Levi’s and can also expect to see beautiful well-worn leather jackets, dresses, and colorful caftans.

General Store

A little bit of a trek to Outer Sunset, but worth it! I love visiting this shop with no expectations or items on my list because everything is so fun to browse. It’s a bright space that feels so warm and welcoming. Their clothing is a minimalist’s dream– think feminine linen dresses and silk camis. Don’t even get me started on their straw bags (I have my eye on a Ghana piece), and they have many gifty items as well.

Steven Alan

A favorite shop to pop into for darling dresses and amazing jackets and sweaters (essentials for us San Franciscans). The pieces are simple, timeless, and elegant—staples for your everyday wardrobe. Located on my favorite shopping street in San Francisco (Lower Pacific Heights) too, so plenty of shops nearby to peruse after.

Modern Citizen

I love visiting the Modern Citizen showroom in Cow Hollow—in fact, I popped in this week and left with two jackets! Everything is so chic, and while reaching for the tag thinking Oh, for sure $300, you are pleasantly surprised to see everything is very reasonable. As you could have guessed, the pieces are modern and timeless. They also have a selection of thoughtful jewelry and ceramics from Luv Haus.

Mira Mira

A little bohemian shop nestled in the Mission District points to all things fun. It carries designers like Mara Hoffman and Grlfrnd Denim, and I personally love the Xirena linens and Hazel and Cox jewelry.

Legion

A tiny shop on the outskirts of Chinatown that has a very curated feel to it. The clothing is modern, eclectic, and architecturally interesting (like Kowtow). Each time I visit, I always sense that they only house pieces that tug at their heartstrings.

Isabel Marant

For a serious treat-yourself kind of day, the Isabel Marant shop downtown is the cutest around. Needless to say, this pit stop is just plain cool.

Next, shop vintage-inspired denim like the celebrities do.

Explore: Levi's, San Francisco

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