Marina-Cow Hollow Insider

Summer in the city

Marine Layer on Chestnut Street. photo:

It’s summer in San Francisco, which means bundling up and accepting our summer for what it is: cold and foggy. Here are a few neighborhood stores that will help you stay warm, or at least help you feel like you’re having a “real” summer.

While most stores are stocked with shorts and summer dresses, you can count on Marine Layer for cozy, long-sleeve tees to fight off the chilly fog.

Marine Layer now has 11 locations across the country, but San Francisco is the company’s design demographic, said Meg Williams, Marine Layer’s brand manager. “We’ll carry dresses in the summer and sweaters in the winter, but we’re mostly consistent,” she said. “People always want to layer up. They buy our long sleeves year-round.”

The company’s design philosophy is “elevated comfort wear” — which means feeling pulled together, yet comfortable. The company prides itself on designing clothes in the softest fabric possible, and often works with several mills to find just the right fabric combination.

“Our cotton modal blend is truly the softest shirt you can find,” said Meg. “You can wear it immediately and feel like it’s your favorite shirt.”

While a lot of research goes into products like this, the price tag doesn’t necessarily reflect that. “The price point is elevated, but not unachievable,” said Meg. “And the fabric is unbeatable.”

And Marine Layer keeps its inventory fresh by producing “small batch clothing,” or limited edition. “We want to keep it unique so 800 people aren’t walking around wearing the same t-shirt,” said Meg.

The most popular item for women is the long-sleeve reversible cotton sweatshirt. For men, it’s the tees.

“Men’s t-shirts crush it,” said Meg. “I honestly don’t believe there’s a better shirt on the market.”

Drop in and layer up (2209 Chestnut Street, 415-346-2400,

If you want to look like you’re spending your summer days in the sun, head into Brown Sugar Boutique for an airbrush tan.

Airbrush tans have become increasingly popular as consumers have become more aware of the damaging effects of tanning beds. And the airbrush technique has developed over the last few years as well.

When spray tanning was first introduced, customers stood in a booth and were misted all over, a process that was all machine-powered. But now, at places like Brown Sugar, the booths are long gone and it’s all done by hand, in fact, at the hands of “spray tan artists.”

“When I interview people for this job, I ask them what they like to do in their free time artistically,” said Barbi Loy, a partner at Brown Sugar. “It has to be something creative — drawing, photography, writing — because painting the body is like painting a canvas.”

And the idea behind having the tan artistically applied is that different occasions entail different applications. Barbi says airbrush tanning is not a one-style-fits-all process. “The perfect airbrush tan entails asking a lot of questions. The first question I ask a client is, ‘Why are you airbrushing?’ For example, maybe it’s for a wedding. If so, I need to know if you’re in the wedding. And what color the dress is. And if the dress is strapless or backless. We fit the tan to exactly match what the client needs.”

An airbrush tan can last for 7 to 10 days. Those with a more active lifestyle can expect it to last from 3 to 5. And there’s a little prepping that needs to be done beforehand, so be sure to ask about that before going in (1996 Union Street #205, 415-346-3680,

To bring summer inside your home, check out Pottery Barn where you’ll find colorful entertaining pieces and whimsical summer decor.

Turquoise and coral are the big color trends this season, which will bring the summer brightness into your home. “Our designs were inspired by the colors of the tropical waters and natural gems under the sea,” said Kendra Stewart with Pottery Barn.

Intricate prints and patterns in summer colors are also popular this season. You’ll find them on pillows and other accent pieces. Bright ikats, animal prints, and geometric patterns have been designed to mix and match.

Decorating with a metallic touch is also popular this summer. “It adds sparkle to a space and pairs easily with bold as well as neutral colors, and it contrasts well with natural woven fibers and rustic wood,” said Kendra. A favorite item in this collection is the shimmering mirror hurricane. The candleholder comes in three sizes and is covered with a mosaic of mirrored glass, giving the feel of sun reflecting on water.

For outdoor entertaining, the Esa Medallion dinnerware collection is inspired by the look of Italian ceramics, but crafted in durable melamine. And the coral ice bucket and starfish bread bowl add a touch of whimsy for any summer party (2100 Chestnut Street, 415-441-1787,

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