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Entertaining at home: What to wear this holiday season

Dressing for the holidays, Part 1
White Label stocks chic designs from Frock LA, which constructs garments from natural fibers like soy and bamboo credit:

If you’re looking for just the right fashion ensemble for your Thanksgiving gathering, and in spirit of the season would like to support your local merchants, the Marina Times visited some local boutiques to give you a head start on
your shopping.

2278 Union Street (near Steiner), 415-447-7779,, Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m.
This contemporary boutique offers a comprehensive selection of cozy knits, timeless shift dresses, classic-cut denim, and free-flowing blouses, as well as the perfect pair of stretchy black dress pants, which will help disguise that second stuffing helping. After nine years of catering to the discerning tastes of local clientele, Danielle Mawlaoui understands personal style, and her recent fall stock reflects this. She cultivates personal relationships with an uncompromising service commitment that extends to her long-standing connections with designers like Anni Kuan, which only boosts her success as a small boutique owner. Standout pieces this season include Lan Jaenice cashmere coats and sweaters, Sita Murt knitwear, Anni Kuan structural blazers, Three Dot’s form-fitting stretch pants, Wai Ming’s shift dresses, and a selection of festive, sequined dresses from the likes of local designer Isda & Co. and Ted Baker.

2157 Union Street (near Fillmore), 415-346-7500, Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
For those who need a whole new look from head to toe, venture into Paparazzi and check out their latest fall-inspired fare: clothing rendered with conservative maturity, but tailored with an unexpected consciousness for the female form. Entering Paparazzi is like joining a world of possibility — expressive artwork, couches and throw pillows set off the intimate space, echoing their inventory aesthetic. Boasting over two decades in the business spanning across three Bay Area stores, their statement-making garments are an obvious choice for work, play, and of course, family gatherings. Key pieces that will keep you looking chic but feeling confident include their line of equestrian stretch pants, White and Warren knitwear, Oska’s black knit dresses, and Vince’s classically cool button-down tops.

2070 Union Street (near Webster), 415-252-7719, Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sunday noon–5:30 p.m.
Uko is a study of individualism. The pieces exhibit the idiosyncrasies of form, fit and function evocative first of art and then fashion. There are many French imports with minimalistic qualities that echo a Japanese sensibility. Airing abbreviated hemlines, each piece has a particular energy, whether sculptural, free flowing or form fitting. Uko has a hallowed history in Cow Hollow as one of the few privately owned boutiques boasting over 25 years in the same location. Perhaps their most popular brand, Sun Light has become a heavy hitter with women who forgo trendiness for the more avant-garde and fashion forward. If you are looking for that “wow” factor this Thanksgiving, check out their Isabel De Pedro printed jersey wrap dresses, perfect for traveling. Or look for Kerisma’s unique knitwear, which will wrap you in comfort while you look effortlessly chic.

1951 Union Street (btw. Laguna & Buchanan), 415-202-0500,, Monday– Saturday 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sunday noon–6 p.m.
Ilona Rinenberg is a Jill of all trades: as a personal stylist, makeup artist, image consultant, milliner, and owner of White Label boutique, she proves that a woman can do it all and then some. Her store is not just a boutique, it is a full-service makeover machine, and Rinenberg is the tour de force at the helm. White Label comments on the increasing modernity of the neighborhood, catering to the trend-conscious shopper and the voguish risk-taker. Rinenberg believes in dressing up but looking relaxed, and says her My Tribe sweaters are “perfect for traveling and they look dressy.” As the first boutique to pick up brands like Frock LA, which constructs chic pieces from natural fibers such as bamboo and soy, White Label stands at the forefront of the eco-conscious fashion movement without forfeiting style.Rinenberg herself manifests the very brand she promotes: She’s young, she’s beautiful, and she’s inexplicably cool.

1858 & 1864 Union Street (near xyz), 415-923-9797,, Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Since its historic Haight Street inception in 1983, Dana O’Leary has built a boutique-sized empire on the backbone of their artfully advertised axiom, “At Ambiance, we really like you.” And with two side-by-side storefronts on Union Street, it can be said they especially favor our neighborhood. This means more room to shop with more stuff; in fact, the store seems to bulge under its own massive inventory, but this doesn’t detract from their legendary service and shopping experience. It just means more opportunities to find pieces with their signature mix of edgy urbanite, professionally polished and flirtatiously feminine. Look for single pieces that make a bold statement — pair one of their many printed dresses with a solid blazer — and be sure to peruse their shoes; fancy footwork lies ahead. Much like their vintage-inspired merchandise, their graphic logo and overall aesthetic, their shtick is black, white and pink all over, but it is also unequivocal fun.

2080 Chestnut Street (at Steiner), 415-929-8868,, Monday–Friday 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Rabat’s niche exists within a world where functionality governs form, and form takes its cue from organic processes. The bread and butter here is the wide-ranging shoe collection, including brands like Naot, Ecco, Frye, Blundstone. The casual cool styles may not be the first choice for a black-tie event, but if you’re planning on lying low this Thanksgiving, then Rabat is sure to have something in stock for you.

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Jessica Wolfrom is a freelance writer and Bay Area fashion blogger with a love affair for all things vintage. Check her out at, or get in touch at [email protected].