Memorial Day weekend was spent up in San Francisco. It was not my first time to the city, but it was the first time I went exploring for unique additions to my ever-expanding wardrobe. If you think San Francisco style means hippies leftover from the days of free love, think again. It is home to the GAP brand (which includes Banana Republic, among others), as well as several well-known fashion schools (FIDM, Apparel Arts), a burgeoning fashion week, and as many indie designers as you can stash in your Birkin.
My favorite discovery of all was a little lingerie shop on Haight, called Dollhouse Bettie. Began in 2004 as a side project for the owners, Michelle and Eric, Dollhouse Bettie has since grown into one of the most loved lingerie shops in the San Francisco area. What caught my eye as I passed by the shop was the window display: a tuxedo bra and panty set accessorized with a flask-holding silk garter. I knew I had to go inside to further investigate the good humor.
Once inside, my breath was taken away by the attention to detail in every little nook and cranny of the store. The layout and displays had a million things to look at. No white cotton undies here! The influence of theater and pin-up girls was obvious, from the silk chaise lounges positioned just so outside of the Parisian-style dressing rooms, to the one of a kind 50's bra and underwear sets. The majority of styles seemed to be vintage, or new-to-look-vintage. However, they do carry some mainstream designers, such as Betsey Johnson.
My favorite in-store item was the kimonos fit for any 50's starlet lounging around her dressing room. Made in silk or velvet and adorned with feathers around the cuffs and neck, in a variety of colors and patterns. I also fell in love with the peacock feather boa. But as a young woman seeking help for her addiction to impractical accessories, I decided against buying one.
Dollhouse Bettie is the perfect bold and original San Francisco treat. After all, truly stylish women know that what really matters is what's underneath it all.
Your Golden Girl,