Ambiance, which opened in the Haight-Ashbury area in 1983 and now has four San Francisco stores, offers “cute clothes, stylish options and great variety and prices,” says co-owner and co-founder Donna O’Leary, with items priced from $5 to several hundred dollars. The focus is on personal service, and the stores offer wardrobe appointments.
(510) 508-0773 • shopmcmullen.com
High-end women’s boutique with the flagship location in Oakland and a branch in Palo Alto. They carry a beautiful selection of on-trend designer fashions, accessories and shoes and provide fashion advice for the discriminating buyer.
Yum Yum Tree
Yum Yum Tree in Los Altos purveys fun and funky clothing and accessories, often with a European flair. Unique clothes at reasonable prices, plus advice from staff on how to put your look together, make this a local fave.
(650) 323-4912 • phyllisboutique.com
This stunning boutique features designers with an edge while maintaining the utmost in quality and design. Collections include Maria Calderara, Lilith, and Xenia, just to name a few. Owner Phyllis Newhouse claims her blood runs deep retail, catching the bug from her father’s clothing store and beginning on her own in the 1960s.
(415) 927-3260 • shopnewthreads.com
Starting in 1997, New Threads is an upscale women’s clothing store located at Corte Madera Town Center. It fulfills its goal of offering the very latest in unique and affordable women’s clothing and accessories. Check out the fun, homespun videos on the website, and of course, go visit the store! A new addition to J. Readers’ Choice, it places an emphasis on clothing Made in America.
(415) 256-8380 • vivadivaboutique.com
Carrying contemporary women’s clothing with an eye to edgy yet comfortable fashions, presented in a friendly and warm store. They describe their look as being “partial to bohemian, beachy styles paired with a sexy, rocker edge, perfect for the girl who craves a relaxed yet sexy wardrobe.” Reasonable prices for quality clothing and excellent customer service.