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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Dig Up Classic Clothes in San Francisco


3. What to Do


Vintage shops are scattered throughout the city’s neighborhoods, but you can hit the best of them in a day. Start in neighborly Noe Valley at Vendima, where Day-Glo-style sixties bikinis ($24) lure shoppers into the ground-floor Victorian. The store’s signature fifties lamé “fairy’’ lamp isn’t for sale, but you can pick up Charles Jourdan slingbacks with gold-sequined heels ($78) or a sixties shocking-pink “death dress” with nine-inch slits up the sides ($78). The glass case in front of the register holds an assortment of Bakelite jewelry (from $35 to $200).

Next, scoot over to the Castro district, where Fashion Exchange (2215 Market St.; 415-861-9999) is a drop zone for knockout drag-queen wear. A mix of cheap and outrageous no-name goods (zebra-print pants and size-10 red stiletto sandals) join top-quality designerwear (including a Cavalli three-toned suede jacket for $500). There’s also an impressive assortment of fake Gucci and Prada bags. (The real stuff’s on the walls and behind the counter.)

A former Haight Street head shop turned dressy boutique, La Rosa Vintage (1711 Haight St.; 415-668-3744), is one of the best spots in town to pick up a beaded Bob Mackie evening gown ( $795) or a red Valentino day dress ($150). Cris Consignment (2056 Polk St.; 415-474-1191) in Nob Hill, has a more toned-down feel, with standard-issue black sweaters from Banana Republic alongside racks of fabulous couture.

Published on Aug 8, 2007 as a web exclusive.

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